String of great results from Essex Track and Field Champs
Day one of Essex Track and Field Championships on Saturday 11 May
The Hammer cage produced the first two gold medals of the 2019 championships, held as usual at Melbourne Park in Chelmsford.
U13 Wyatt Larkins enjoyed a very consistent competition with a best throw of 31m claiming him his first Championship title in the 3k event whilst U15 Olivia Simon once again obliterated the field with a huge 9m lead. Defending her title, Simon’s competition revolved around six throws within the 40 – 41 metre range. Her best of 41.62m in round 3 regained her championship title. And just to outline her remarkable development in this event, her win this year is 9.5 metres further than she threw last year.
Philippa Davenall fresh from her BUCS success missed out on Gold this weekend by a mere 10cm despite enjoying a great competitive meet where she threw her second ever best throw of 58.87m and Megan Larkins took a good bronze in the same competition, whilst younger sister Josephine Larkins took the silver medal in the -17w but was disappointed with her best throw of 33m. Alfred Riddell competing in his first ever major competition brought home a terrific bronze medal in the U20 men’s Hammer managing 29.28m after a number of no throws.
Aliyah Soames had early success, sending her spear to a new PB of 29.97m and earned with it a Bronze medal to add to her collection. Hopefully this will boost her confidence to relax in competitions and produce the form that she does in training, with the Club Record just six centimetres away, this season she could be re-writing the books.
With crazy spring weather oscillating between warm still conditions to gusty heavy downpours, the day produced some interesting wind gauge readings and some pretty rapid 100m times; sadly, not all of them were legal. Ian Kelly’s committed squad of young sprinters were rewarded with some great times; U13 Jessica Scotchmer reduced her electronic 100m time from 15.58 to 14.61 to finish fourth in her heat whilst Hollie Martin Whymark certainly stepped up to the occasion to gain herself a place in the U13 girls final having got a great new PB of 13.77s in qualification. In the U15 girls heats second year Tilly Mott, made her Essex Champs debut producing the run of her season having been drawn in a heat which produced a new championship best performance by its winner helping to carry the rest of the field along with her. Mott sliced her PB to run a great 12.81s and qualified into the semi where she was unable to progress forwards. First years, Olivia Gillon managed a fantastic PB to cross in 13.66s – a great time for this diminutive first year u15, with Talia Wynter, drawn in lane 8 ran well to finish in 13.92s (+2.3sw).
U17 Maya Rattray was delighted to have created a new PB of 12.92s with a fourth-place finish in her heat, then had a lengthy wait before learning she had gained a fastest loser slot in the final of her 100m where she was placed eighth. Jimi Sijuwola enjoyed an electric start and looked relaxed as he crossed the line in second place for an automatic qualifying place in the final. Sadly, organisational hiccups then delayed the start of his final, which left all athletes hanging around in chilly conditions unsure of what was happening. A very fast and close race left Sijuwola disappointed with fifth place but did gain him a legal PB of 11.12s.
Training buddies, Akin Akinboh and Daniel Jones fought a great battle in the straight final of the U20 men’s 100m. In a very close race Akinboh, gained good ground after a hesitant start but went on to take a wonderful silver medal crossing in a new wind assisted PB of 10.89s whilst Jones was left in unenviable fourth place, but should be duly satisfied with a first sub 11s run, crossing in 10.99s.
Rebecca Jeggo stepped up to the blocks hoping to secure the first of a double win over the weekend – defending her title from last year. In a sublime show of sprint efficiency, she eased away from the field to cruise across the line in 11.97s (w). In the second heat, Joy Ogunleye had more of a race but also managed to secure her place in the final with the second quickest qualifying time of 11.98s. An exciting final eventually unfurled. A mix up of lane draws, followed by a false start didn’t deter either of the girls. However, Ogunleye’s blistering start left Jeggo with a lot of work to on her hands and at the 40-metre mark it was anyone’s game. By 70m, they were neck and neck with Jeggo just pulling away to claim a great one, two over the last ten or so meters. And with the clock stopped on 11.76s this was an amazing new PB, however after official results were published an illegal wind took the edge off of an otherwise great race by these two talented Harriers.
U17 Sam Shippey has made the move from 300m to 400m look easy and was rewarded with a great Bronze and a new PB of 52.26m, adding to the drama by tripping as he cleared the line. Jake Young struggled during his senior men’s 400m and despite qualifying through to the final he decided to withdraw after not feeling well enough to compete. Tom Palmer, now an U20 competed the 800m and qualified as third fastest to the final, but at the last minute had to pull out after a previous injury flared up.
In other championships James Hamblin competed the senior men’s Hammer at the Cambridgeshire County Championships where he won gold with a best effort of 57.20m – showing a real return to form.