A Brace of Bronzes at Season Opener

The South of England AA Indoor age group Championships, held at Lee Valley over the weekends of 12/13th January and 19/ 20 January, saw a number of Harriers T & F athletes open their 2019 track season.

Kicking off was Maya Rattray in the U17w 60m on Saturday 12 January. Using the experience as a chance to test how her training is going and also to lay down a new PB , she ran well to finish 5th in her heat in 8.26s and ending the day in the top half of the field of over 40 athletes.

For Joy Ogunleye and Rebecca Jeggo, the championships on 19/20th were accomplished in good style, earning themselves a podium position each for their efforts. Despite battling a cold, Ogunleye, was competing as a second year U20 in the 60m – an event which saw her win bronze last year in her club debut – she was delighted to qualify in second place in both her heat and semi in 7.73s and 7.71s respectively to be able to challenge again for a medal in the final. Displaying skill and a cool head, she crossed the line in the same time as the second placed runner, but after photo confirmation, frustratingly was given third in a time of 7.68s, just three 100dths of a second off her club record. A great season opener.

Jeggo, now a third year U20, chose to compete the 200m. In a strong field, she won her heat from lane 2 in 25.4s and was the second fastest qualifier through to the final. Facing the 2018 British Senior women’s indoor Bronze medallist and English Schools U17 Champion, Jeggo ran well to take Bronze in her fastest ever season opener in a time of 25.05s. This will give her confidence over the coming weeks of intense winter training as she heads once again to the National championships.

Akin Akinboh should be very content with his opening meet where he competed in a large field of U20 60m sprinters. A PB and fourth place finish in the last and fastest heat (7.13s) saw him gain a well deserved place in the first semi, where this tall powerful athlete sliced off a couple of hundreths to take his second PB of the day to finish just outside the club record in 7.10s.

Tom Palmer doesn’t make life easy for himself. Just the day before his U20 800m indoor debut he was part of the Senior Boys North East Essex Cross Country Team that finished in second place at the Schools District Competition. On the track he faced stiff opposition as a first year in this tough age category and despite placing second in his heat in a time of 2.01.62, sadly this was just not quick enough to progress through.

Jennifer Palmer also competed the U17 300m. Sam Shippey was unable to complete his race due to a niggly hamstring. We wish him well in recovery.