Kent Track and Field Championships
Two days of intense competition between over 600 Kent County Track and Field athletes saw the club come away with a total of 32 medals (11 gold, 12 silver and 9 bronze) . Held at Medway Park track due to the Ashford track being resurfaced, day one saw glorious sunshine but day two was overcast with intermittent showers. The club Gazebos made for decent cover (there is no stand at Medway) with a two day game of musical chairs in the background as people competed to put bums on seats!
Controversy reined over the false start detection system with four club members getting disqualified in the 100m for apparent false starts all of whom were strong medal chances. The system purports to detect any movement in the 0.1 of a second between the gun going off and athletes reacting to its sound (according to research humans can’t react quicker than 0.1 of a second) but to the naked eye and from feedback from athletes there was a lot of concern over its reliability.
On the positive side there were load of personal bests as athletes raised their game in the championship situation and medals came across the full range of events from sprints to middle distance, hurdles, jump, throws and race walking.
Dejaune Lingard was the fastest athlete across the weekend with his 10.67 win in the Under 20 100m, a time that puts him in a good position for GB team selection for the European Under 18 championships later this year. Dante Lingard, Rahaan Beckford-Collier and Doyin Aderinto would probably have made the podium as well if not for the above mentioned DQs!
Nuriah Orhurhu had a great weekend winning both the Under 15 girls 100 and 200m with both being in PB times.
There were silvers for Chichi Cooper in the U20W 100m with a PB of 12.70 for Daniel Nyong in the U17M 200m with another PB, this time 23.08 and for Emily Cadman in the U15G 200m 26.66. Emily picked up a bronze in the100m whilst Derin Aderinto took bronze in the senior women's 100m.
Over the longer sprints it was great to see Omari Marland Montgomery back on form after years of niggles getting in the way of his talent. A 48.70 clocking was good enough for second place in the senior men’s 400m. In the U20 men’s race Shaquille Fernandez-Folkes set another PB to take bronze in 52.57. Over 300 there were silvers for both Faith Assah (U17W - 43.19) and Gabby Noyce (U15G - 43.57).
Nuriah Orhurhu - 100m and 200m golds
Iris Williams smashed her PB in the U15G1500m taking seven seconds of her best and beating nearly all of her local rivals to take silver in 4:50.28. At the other end of the age range Ed Adigwe grabbed a bronze in the senior men’s 1500m with 4:18.73. In the middle of the age range Megan Marchant won the Women’s 5000m in 17:37.23 before dashing off to watch Holly Dixon run at the night of the 10,000 PB's at Parliament Hill. Elsewhere is was great to see our numbers growing in the junior middle distance events, a trend which hopefully will continue to build next year.
There were lots of family connections going on in the throws with sisters Sophie Fenner (Senior hammer) and Katie March (U17W javelin) both taking gold whilst Hannah Bridge took gold in both the Under 17 shot and discus with younger brother Michael picking up silver in the U15B shot. Not to be outdone Josh Baker son of Matt Baker who used to jump in out National League team back in the 80’s took silver in the under 17 javelin (50.01m). Andy Kruszewski who competed alongside Matt Baker in the 80’s grabbed a bronze in the discus throwing 33.51m at the age of 62 whilst Natalie Mann picked up silver in the hammer behind Sophie.
Double gold medallists Sophie and Katie
Chichi Cooper was our sole medallist in the jumps which could be a reflection on our lack of coaches in this area.
Christian Hopper was comfortable winner of the U20M 3000m race walk in a season’s best of 14:12.06.
Keziah Olaleye came away with gold in the 300 hurdles and silver in the 80m hurdles whilst training partners Carlos Rojo-Thigo (U20M 110H) and Gabby Noyce (U15G 75mH) both set good PB’s whilst getting bronze medals. Over 400 hurdles Fuad Busoir secured bronze in the senior men’s race whilst Reuben Chandler did the same in the Under 20’s.
Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PB's (inc. British Championships)
Holly Dixon was invited to the A race at this spectacular event. With 5,000 spectators allowed onto lane 3 of the track, two tunnels to run through, thumping music and commentary, it made for a great atmosphere. Competing against most of the UK's top track runners she finished 23rd in a field of 31 with a PB of 33:59.55.
Ben Shearer (M45) also produced a PB of 32:20.67 for 3rd place in Race 1 of the non-championship events.
Kent Master's League - Women's Report (Mon. 9th May - Sutcliffe Park)
Allowed out to play at last, this was our first match since 19th July 2019 at Erith, yet there didn’t seem much `rust’ on our team. Events kicked off with a comfortable 100m run where Lisa Atkinson, protecting a history of past Achilles' problems, finished in one piece, Julie Backley ran the B string using the 100m as a fast stride for her 1500m later. 3rd Place for Susan Dixon in the W50’s and for Joanne Murphy 3rd in the W60’s, her first time on the track in a long while!
Next up on the track, 1500m in which Lucy Marlow had a good run with Tonbridge and Dartford out in front, Julie Backley continues her fitness from XC onto track finishing 3rd having to drop an age group to fill in on the `B string race, although in the W50’s her time would have ranked her 1st place. Susan Dixon had a string of runners behind her in the W50’s 1500m, looking relaxed and finishing 2nd.
Things were busy on the field too, with Natalie Mann 2nd in the W35 shot and Jenny Agyepong in the W50’s a first but enjoying catching up with fellow competitors rather than pleased with her throw! In the W50’s high jump Christine Bond having not jumped since 2019 continued her long chain of wins within these league matches. Winning with only two jumps, then pulling out to `fight another day!
Last but no means least, the 4x100m relay, with no sprinters it was left to our middle distance and 400m runner to form a team. With a little confusion as to what is the now the take over lines, the baton was safety taken round by Susan Dixon, Lisa Atkinson, Julie Backley and Lucy Marlow.
Overall, we ended the evening in 3rd with Tonbridge and Dartford just ahead. It was only Maria & Chris who made McDonald’s after, maybe a few more at the next match in Erith!!!