Athletics: Very busy first week of the season for Harlow Athletics Club

Athletics / Tue 23rd Apr 2024 at 07:42am

THE first week of the outdoor athletic season has been a particularly busy one and has involved every part of the club, from the Wheelchair Squad to Seniors.

It began last weekend, with the first Eastern Young Athlete’s League match. The match took place at Wodson Park, Ware. Sadly, despite a pick-up in numbers generally at training, turnout was small. Nevertheless, there were some excellent performances:

At U13 level, Lucas Hardy won the boy’s high jump with a height of 1.25m. This was bettered by the U13 girl’s as both athletes won the A and B competitions. Sharon Segun-Fatumo won the A competition also with 1.25m and Darcie Bruce won the B jump with 1.20m.

Another winner at this age was Isabella Springer. She won the girl’s javelin with a throw of 11.37m. Whilst all wins are good, the most impressive perhaps was Saoirse Casey-Bond’s 70m Hurdles. She ran the distance in 12.8s, a full 1.7 seconds faster than her nearest competitor. A search of the Power of 10 database shows that, at this early stage of the season, she is twenty-second nationally.

In the U15s, there was further high jumping of note as Abigail Jones posted a PB, of 1.30m, for fourth, and newcomer George Simpson jumped 1.35m, also for fourth. 

Ben Tucker was fourth in the 1500m and produced a PB of 3.94m in the long jump. Tucker’s week went from strength to strength as he ran his first track 3k on Wednesday, at Watford, in a very creditable 9.59.15 minutes. And his success continued into the following weekend as he bagged his first victory at the Harlow Park Run.

Faryl Wright was the club’s sole U17 Woman, and she enjoyed a personally good day. She threw a PB, 15.63m with the javelin, was third in the 300m and was fourth in the 800m. The times for these were greatly affected by strong winds.

Conditions for the U17 Men were better when they ran and both Kamal Ricketts and Manny Richards posted new PBs at 2.17.9 minutes and 2.13.1 minutes respectively. Richards’ good day continued with an excellent 60s exactly for the 400m. Daniel Sokunle was on debut and ran a very good 12.1s in the 100m. It was unfortunate for him that he had Nathan Earles, of Basildon, who has already represented his country Under 17 level in his first race!

Despite the small numbers, the team managed to score 168 points. 

This weekend has been dominated by the London Marathon. George Watkins was invited to participate as part of the British Road Race Challenge. He ran the Under 15 2.6k course in 8.18 minutes, forty-sixth for this event and 105th overall when the London Boroughs were added in.

Two wheelchair racers were also in junior action. Chloe Lewis covered the distance in 10.51 minutes and training partner Natalia Lisiak pushed for a time of 13.13 minutes.

In the main race on Sunday, Adam Beaumont ran a very impressive 2.33.01 hours. Club newcomer, Max van Wingarden, finished in 3.43.27 hours, and club Membership Secretary, Robyn Bond, ran 4.58.49 hours.

As the Marathon was going, some of Harlow’s youngest members were in action at Watford as they hosted the Early Season Open for athletes up to school year 8. Thirteen club members, and five of their siblings, tool part.

The host club was overwhelmed by a larger than expected turnout and full results will be available later in the week. Highlights from the day for Harlow were:

Laila Burgess-Chafe winning the Y4 hurdles, Skyla Simms-Johnson winning the Y5 hurdles and the Y5 long jump, Isabella Springer winning the Y6 shot putt, and two very good second places. These came in the guise of Maya Willis, second in the Y8 girl’s shot, and Laila Burgess-Chafe literally sprinting the last 200m of the Y4 600m to come through the field for that second place.

The action comes thick and fast now with an EYAL match in Hornchurch, the county championships, and the senior team getting their Division 2 North & East season underway at Stevenage all in the next four weeks.    

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