Sizzling Success for Track and Field Athletes
On Sunday 21 July, eight counties including Essex went head to head with their best U17 athletes in the annual Intercounties match, this year held at Chelmsford Athletics Centre.
Earning her first ever Essex vest was 15-year-old Josephine Larkin from Braintree, who has been a very lucrative signee for Harriers this season. Competing in the U17 women’s Hammer, Larkins as B string enjoyed a great competition. Her very first effort gained her a superb PB, adding a metre to her original best with a heave of 48.53m. This put her into the final throw off where although she was unable to improve, this was good enough to bump her up to Essex A string and a bagged her a fantastic second place finish.
“ I was very excited to have been chosen and was delighted to come away with a PB and a second place – it’s the best I have felt all season. It was a fantastic competition with just 40cm separating 2nd-4th placed competitors.“
First year U17, Milly Presland ran a strong 1500m steeplechase against a good field. With her improved technique and confidence, she was unfortunate to just miss out on second place by less than half a second after an exciting sprint finish. Her time of 5:18.14 smashed her previous PB and Club Record by some 10 seconds and propelled her up to 13th in the UK rankings.
Sam Shippey, – sadly denied an individual event – ran a strong third leg of the 4x400m relay and helped team Essex to second place in a time of 3:29.27s.
Further down the A12, Rebecca Jeggo and Joy Ogunleye formed fifty percent of the Shaftesbury A.C U20 women’s 4x100m relay team competing as part of the Club Connect Relays at the Muller Anniversary Games at the Olympic Park.
This is the second time that these sprinters have been part of this event which acts as a warm-up for the main events – and this year many events formed part of the Diamond League Season featuring the likes of Dina Asha Smith, KJT and Laura Muir.
Sunday was certainly sizzling, with temperatures, just before their race reaching 27 degrees track side and with no noticeable hindering wind; conditions were near to perfect for the meet. Despite this particular foursome never having run as a complete team before and with Jeggo and Ogunleye practising hand offs on home soil – they discovered on the day that they would be running legs 2 and 4! In lane seven Jeggo had a superb run, from receiving the baton, she accelerated away, showing good style to overtake two on her outside to gain ground and safely passed the baton into the hand of the third runner. As the team came off the last bend, Ogunleye just had to stay relaxed and focused to drive for home – opening up an already good lead to cross in a blistering 46.31s – the third fastest time ever recorded for an U20 women’s team at the Club Connect relays. The team now sit in second place in the UK U20 rankings behind the GB team.