25 of our young under 13 and under 15 athletes went to Gillingham yesterday for their first match of the season in the Youth Development League to face teams from Dartford, Hastings, Bexley, South London Harriers, Medway Park as well as the home team Medway & Maidstone. Let’s get over the bad bits first of all.
It was especially disappointing that we had only one under 13 boy competing – so well done Jack Sanders for getting on with his events. And then in the first track event of the day our 2 athletes arrived at the start too late to take part. And if that’s not enough the first field event – the hammer – saw both of our athletes producing three no throws. It could only get better, couldn’t it ? Well it went OK after that, except that our under 15 girls team were disqualified in the 4 x 100 metres relay – their last change-over took place outside the box, but before the box rather than after the box.
A few high spots – and perhaps the best performance came in another relay when the under 15 boys 4 x 100 team won their race by some 50 or 60 metres. An impressive time of 49.7 seconds to equal the club’s under 15 record set in 1997. So well done Oli Stuart, Tom Dean and the 2 Jamies Osborne and Holme. To add to that Jamie Holme won the A string 100 metres in an excellent time of 12.2 seconds (2 days after 12.4 seconds at the Haywards heath Open at K2 on Thursday evening).
Otherwise first places were rather thin on the ground. Tom Dean won his A string long jump with a best outdoor jump of 5.20 metres and 2 athletes in their first match picked up B string first places. Daniella Taylor held on to win her 300 metres in a good time of 49.7 seconds – the same time as the boys relay – and she had earlier looked comfortable in the high jump. And Lottie Tolbin saw her 6.96 metres shot putt winning that B string.
But, apart from the boys relay, perhaps the best performance of the day was the second place for Tom Dean in the 800 metres in 2 minutes 8.6 seconds – the second fastest under 15 800 metres by an East Grinstead runner and not that far from the English Schools entry standard.
In writing these reports I can’t easily cover every event and every single performance – the results page of the website will give you all these details – but I ought to mention all those athletes, especially under 13s, who were making their first appearance in their East Grinstead vests. I’ve already mentioned Jack Sanders in the under 13 boys. In addition we had Rosie Pumford, Erin Harnett, Jemma Edgar, Hattie Doswell and Antonia Deeley all doing well and scoring points in their first league match. Well done to all you athletes and thanks to the many parents who came along to watch your sons and daughters.
I don’t know the final team score but I suspect that we came sixth out of the 7 teams. Although this doesn’t sound very good all the teams above us are bigger clubs from bigger towns (and they all have proper tracks to train on !!). Our next match is on May 31st when we go to Hastings. Let’s hope for a few more athletes, especially among the under 13 boys. Let’s also hope that some of our athletes will think about doing events that may be outside your normal comfort zone.
The coming weekend none of our teams have a league match but the end of the following week sees a rush of league matches with the under 13s at K2 on Thursday May 15th, the under 15s at Horsham on Friday May 16th and the senior team taking a coach to Winchester on Saturday May 17th.
What’s happening over the next week ?
TUESDAY MAY 6th – training for all at Imberhorne School from 7.
WEDNESDAY MAY 7th – last day for entries to Sussex and Surrey County Championships.
THURSDAY MAY 8th – training for all at Imberhorne School from 7.
SATURDAY MAY 10th – long/triple jump session at Imberhorne from 10 to 11.30.
SATURDAY MAY 10th – Academy training at Imberhorne School from 10.30.