Two County Champions at Essex Indoors
Essex County and Eastern AA Indoor Championships
Lee Valley 8th & 9th February 2020
This year’s indoor championships saw plenty of action from Harriers Track and Field athletes with two awarded as County Champions and others gaining some assuring PB’s.
One of the club’s youngest competitors to earn recognition was Florence Clark who having already competed in Sportshall Athletics for Essex this winter, was keen to try out three events before taking on her first pentathlon later in the Spring. A best leap of 3.94m was enough to secure her an Essex Silver (Eastern Bronze) in the U13 girls Long Jump. She went on to clock a PB of 9.29s in her 60m and despite falling in her debut hurdles race picked herself up and finished her race.
First year U15 Archie Smith made his debut in the 60m with a PB of 8.63s and in his preferred event, long Jump, was pleased with a fifth- place finish with 4.72m. Jess Scotchmer also first year U15 showed consistency with three good jumps all within 6cm, with a best of 3.69m.
Maya Rattray, now a first year U20 opened her season with an inaugural run out in the 60m Hurdles having only started training the event this winter.
In the U15 girls 60m Hollie Martin Whymark took third in her heat with yet another PB for the season of 8.65s, Talia Wynter also showed good progression with 8.65s PB-neither progressed to the next round. Three green vests contested the U20 mens 60m in which Jimi Sijuwola gained a PB of 7.13s, Daniel Jones – who hadn’t competed this event since 2015 – dropped his time to 7.17s and saw Akin Akinboh reach the final where he equalled his PB of 7.07s. Joe Wilkin is enjoying a good start to his year, grabbing yet another PB in the SM 60m in 7.31s.
Storm Ciara didn’t deter those keen to compete day two.
Sam Shippey opened up his 400m competition year running over a second quicker than the equivalent meet in 2019. In a straight final of the U17 men Shippey drawn in lane 6, went off hard and at the bell was lying in second. Despite working hard to close the gap on the final back straight, he was unable to gain sufficient ground, and finished as Eastern Counties Silver medallist, but was compensated after being crowned as Essex Champion in 53.21s.
Jakub Walecki continued his winning ways despite not having the smoothest of competitions. Having opened at 1.70m he then failed his second height of 1.75m twice and then took three attempts at 1.80m . However, in what was his longest competition yet, he managed to clear 1.86m to take U17 Men’s Essex Gold and Eastern Silver.
In the Triple Jump Chanel Mba gained a PB in the U20 women’s competition with 10.33m.
Sundays timetable is dominated by 200m; in the heats U13 Harry Gillon ran just his second ever race over this distance clocking 31.98s. In the U15 girls Martin-Whymark placed fourth in her heat from lane 6, taking a healthy chunk off her PB to lower her time to 28.47s. Talia Wynter and Olivia Gillon (fresh back from injury and illness) went head to head in their heat to finish second and third respectively. Wynter ran well from the gun and was just pipped into second place which gained her an automatic semi-final slot and a new PB of 27.90s – another great improvement on last year’s best and dipping under 28s for the first time. In the Semi she was placed fifth.
U20 men saw the same sprint trio of Akinboh, Jones and Sijuwola take on the one lap race. Akinboh won his heat comfortably ( 23.11s) and was soon joined in the final after Jones took third (23.38s) and Sijuwola fourth (claiming an indoor PB ducking under 24s for the first time) in the second heat. Taking up lanes 5, 3 and 1, respectively, each Harrier reacted well to the gun. All was to play for as they entered the final bend, when Jones tripped on the descent but managed to regain control, at the same time Akinboh, struggling with a tight bend, stepped over the line and as a consequence despite finishing in third was then disqualified and the Essex Silver (Eastern Bronze ) was awarded to team mate Jones.