Under 17s and Under 20s news from Sunday in Dartford

A number of our athletes took part in the first league match of the season for under 20 and under 17 athletes at Dartford. For this league we join up with Haywards Heath and Lewes to form a composite team which is called Team Sussex. With a nearby celebration of St George’s Day by local cubs and scouts groups parking was a bit of a problem, but it all seemed to sort itself out.

We were competing against teams from Medway & Maidstone, Horsham, Bexley, the host Dartford club and 2 other composite teams – Ashford together with Thanet and Invicta East Kent together with Paddock Wood. We only had 2 male athletes – and overall there seemed to be far more females than males – and one of our 2 was injured and came along to throw a couple of things to earn some points. So well done to Daniel Rusling for throwing the javelin and discus. Ewan Dallas in his first year as an under 17 was probably a bit surprised to find himself doing the 3000 metres – but he won the A string race in just over 10 and a half minutes. He then went on to do the discus and shot before ending up in a leg of the 4 x 400 relay.

Among the girls Lois Drummie produced perhaps the best performance. She was a late replacement for Abby Beswick (who had a sore knee) in the under 17 80 metres hurdles which she then went onto win in 12.0 seconds. This is inside the English Schools entry standard and beats Abby’s under 17 club record from last year – I look forward to Abby’s attempts to get her record back later in the summer. Lois also set a new cub record in the under 17 javelin – though this was not such a surprise as this was the first time one of our athletes has thrown the new under 17 weight of 500g. Similarly Sarah Hennessy set a new under 17 club record in the shot with the new 3k weight.

Despite the sore knee Abby took part in the long jump where her big toe nibbled the plasticine 3 times and so prevented her recording over 5.20 metres and later she took another chunk off her 200 metres best with 26.3 seconds. She ended the day with 2 very swift runs in the 4 x 100 and 4 x 300 relays. Chloe Hollamby, now an under 20, won her 200 and 400 metres races comfortably. In the last event of the day – the 4 x 400 metres relay for under 20s – she received the baton for the last leg some 80 metres behind the team in first place but went on to overtake them in the home straight for a rousing finish to the day.

Elsewhere we saw Georgia Volrath-Dale throwing the 4k hammer a bit further than she did last week and then she took on the 1500 metres steeplechase. Sarah Rusling had a busy afternoon with the long hurdles, both horizontal jumps and a return to the high jump with 1.40 metres. Another of our many Sarahs – this time Sarah Bentley – had the 400 hurdles and 800 metres in the first 40 minutes of the day and added the sprint hurdles later.

This coming weekend sees our younger athletes in their first match of the season on Saturday May 3rd. Our under 13 and under 15 athletes go the Medway Park track in Gillingham – the first time we’ve had a match at that track. For many of these athletes this will be their first time in competitive club athletics. So we wish them well and we hope they enjoy the experience.

A reminder of what’s happening over the next week

TUESDAY APRIL 29th – training for all at Imberhorne School from 7.

THURSDAY MAY 1st – training for all at Imberhorne School from 7.

SATURDAY MAY 3rd – Under 13 and Under 15 match at Gillingham

SATURDAY MAY 3rd – Academy training at Imberhorne School from 10.30.

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