A cold day in Gillingham (updated for report on Gillingham match)

A cold Saturday in Gillingham for the under 13s and under 15s

A cold, windy and mainly cloudy day was what we had at Gillingham on Saturday – with the wind blowing against the sprinters and hurdlers. But we also had electronic timing.

Football meant that we were missing several male athletes, although the under 13 girl were there in numbers – pity we couldn’t find any girls to do the 1200 metres. Perhaps the best performances came from 2 of our second-year under 13 athletes. The under 13 high jump saw the boys and girls jumping together and it was great to see that the only jumpers still there at the end were ours. Hannah Plumb produced a pb to win the girls event with 1.31 metres and Cameron Wells won the boys event with a pb of 1.34 metres. And we happened to be judging the event.

Both of these athletes also did well in their second field events – Hannah throwing the javelin 18.52 metres with Cameron over 4 metres in the long jump for the first time with a best of 4.24 metres. Both pbs and both second in their A strings.

Quickly going back to the high jump where George Collingwood made it a double first for the under 13 boys by winning the B string with 1.10 metres, while Jack Sanders came up with a pb in his under 15 high jump of 1.25 metres. Jack was one of just 2 under 15 boys and he also did the shot and javelin – both heavier implements than last year. Luke Davison was our other under 15 boy and his 4.17 metres long jump earned him third place alongside his discus throw and 800 metres run.

Our under 13 girl sprinters and hurdlers also produced some good runs. Luci Sydenham was first in her 2 B string runs (11.72 seconds in the 75 and 22.45 in the 150) with Olivia Aston in the A string races (11.65 seconds for third in the 75 metres and 22.52 for second in the 150). The 70 metres sprint hurdles saw Ella West second in the A string (14.91 seconds) with Issy Carrick first B string with 15.23 seconds – both of these girls have been spending extra time at training recently over the hurdles.

Many of us have been waiting for a long long time to see Maddie Sims competing and now that she is a first year under 13 she was able to run away from the rest of the runners to win the 800 metres in 2 minutes 40.32 seconds. And we had Olivia Barton and Lucy Rogers doing their bit in the under 13 throws.

Another impressive performance from a first year under 13 distance runner came in the boys 1500 metres from Ethan Scott. Running against boys twice his size he was strong in the second half of the race to come home second in the A string in just over 5 minutes and 11 seconds. He also did the 200 metres and, for the first time ever, did some putting, an event where we had the A string winner with Eoin O’Donoghue’s 6.54 metres putting him over a metre ahead of the rest.

Also among the under 13 boys George Collingwood added a B string 800 metres win to his high jump win, while Noah Englishby-Allen completed the under 13 team with points in the 100, 800 and long jump.

We had just 4 under 15 girls with the strongest event being the 800 metres. Erin Harnett’s strong finish in the A string race couldn’t quite get to the winner as she finished second in just over 2 minutes 42 seconds while Jemma Edgar’s fast first lap saw her slowing down a lot in the second lap – but she had enough of a lead to win the B string in 2 minutes and 51 seconds. Erin had earlier had problems with the hurdles, but managed to recover to come third. I won’t tell you her time because she’ll run much faster next time out. Jemma produced a pb with third place in the shot with 7.71 metres.

Izzy Sims was third in the A string 1500 metres (5 minutes and 43 seconds) and Katie Wheeler second in the B string (5 minutes and 51 seconds) and both girls doubled up in the 200 metres and discus.

As usual the match finished with the relays and the under 13 girls team of Olivia Aston, Ella West, Hannah Plumb and Luci Sydenham were just beaten into second place in 58.68 seconds. The under 13 boys team of Cameron Wells, Noah Englishby-Allen, Ethan Scott and Eoin O’Donoghue also got round safely to pick up a couple of points.

Competing against a number of stronger Sussex teams, plus the very strong home club Medway & Maidstone, we were perhaps looking to come fourth or fifth of the 7 clubs in the match. Not surprisingly it was Medway & Maidstone way out in front with 684 points. Lewes were next with 452 and Hastings third with 414. The team in fourth place had 383 and the team in fifth had 341 – were we either of them? Yes we were, with 341 for fifth place – Worthing scoring the 383. Holland Sports followed us with 266 and Medway Park Phoenix, as expected, were last with 121. With more athletes – especially among the under 13 boys – we might hope to overtake Worthing next time.

And next time is SATURDAY MAY 21 and it’s a shorter journey this time – to Lewes.

Forthcoming matches

This coming Sunday 1 May the under 17s and under 20s – school years 10 and above – go to Southampton for their first match. So far the number of athletes who have confirmed that they will be going to Southampton is disappointingly small.

County Championships on May 14 and 15

A reminder that the Sussex County Championships to be held at Brighton are now not that far away. Entries need to be made by Tuesday 26 April.

Training on Tuesday 3 May

Because of the under 13 match on May 3 there will be no training for junior athletes that evening – because you should all be at K2 for the match. In addition most of the club’s coaches will be at the match and, at the moment, we aren’t sure if there will be any training for senior athlete on that evening. We’ll do our best to keep you informed.

What’s happening over the next week ?

Tuesday April 26 – training for all at Imberhorne.

Thursday April 28 – training for all at Imberhorne.

Saturday April 30 – Academy training at Imberhorne from 11 to 12.

Sunday May 1 – match for under 17 and under 20 athletes (school years 10 and above) at Southampton.

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