Where Are All Our Athletes?!!
This was the question on the lips of the team manager and coaches at a cool and very windy athletics track at Harrow on Saturday. The occasion? The first league match of the season (of four) for our U13 and U15 athletes. Sadly, the lack of athletes on the day severely compromised the Club’s performance and whilst tremendous efforts were made by those that did attend, by filling in on unfamiliar events, the end-result was entirely predictable with the Club well-off the pace in last position.
Despite the poor showing, there were many reasons to feel positive about the outlook based on the performances and ‘never say die’ attitude of our competing athletes. In terms of performance, best result of the day went to Ryan Wells (U15 boys) who secured an Amateur Athletic Association (AAA) grade 4 in the 80m hurdles and won the race by some margin. He followed this up with a second place in the discus with a throw of over 22m and was also part of our 4th placed team in the 100m relay (along with Tam Mango, Finlay Sanders and Owen Westbrook).
Owen Westbrook also achieved some success in the long jump, earning the Club valuable points with a 4th placed jump of 4.57m and he was supported by Harry Holbrook competing for the first time as an U15. Harry also achieved a 6th placed finish in the 300m and went one better in the 800m with a 5th place. Finlay Sanders was another young athlete who performed very well in his first 200m race with a 2nd place finish before trying some throwing events with a 2nd place in the Shot with a throw of 9.4m and 4th place finish in the javelin of well over 28m.
Amongst the U15 girls, the stand-out performances were by Christina Poulsen who achieved the AAA grade 4 standard in the 200m and Renae Hall who achieved the same standard in the Long Jump which she also won. Both girls covered a variety of other events to help the Club to gain points and they were well supported by Bessie Chalmers, Sally Walling, Amy Hogbin and Emma Caddell. Sally’s performance in the 800m was worthy of note in that she achieved a decent PB of 2.44.8 in very windy conditions. Plenty more to come there!
Our youngest athletes in the U13 category also included many debutants to the world of track and field and several were only just old enough to compete in this category which bodes well for the future. There were some encouraging performances on the day from Vanessa Thorpe in the 75m (supported by Olivia Edwards) , Sienna Tanner in the 150m and the long jump, and Lyla Griffin in the Shot.
On the track, Libby Sutton produced our highest placed finish (fourth) in the 1200m with a sensibly raced race, producing a big PB of 4:22.The U13 girls team managed to cover many of the events and the positive attitude of Chloe Fossel, Ellie Faulkner, Iris Cooper and Kiera Payne who contributed many valuable points simply by ‘having a go’, deserve great praise.
It was a similar story in the U13 boys with several athletes competing in the league for the first time. There were strong performances from Casper Chillingworth in the 1500m with a 2nd place in the A string and William Alexander who was 1st in the 75m Hurdles and 2nd in the Javelin. Charlie Kassar achieved a 5th placed finish in the 100m in a very tight contest and later bravely competed in the 1500m, again achieving valuable points for his Team. The other point scorers were Adam Silvester, Daniel Cogan, Rufus Parry and Lochlan Warkup who all gained valuable experience of competition which they will benefit from in the next event.
Finally, a big thank you to our Team Manager Duncan Griffin who did a great job in trying to fill gaps in the team whilst at the same time meeting the needs of the athletes. Let’s make sure that we have a better turn-out in the next fixture so that his job is made a little easier!
Next Fixture is Saturday 17th May at Hillingdon
Race report by Richard Claessens