Athletics: Super George does the double at Essex County Champs (along with some other great performances)

Athletics / Tue 14th May 2024 at 04:32pm

TECHNOLOGY has been a wonderful tool, revolutionising the scoring of league matches and championships for a couple of years now. Unfortunately, when it breaks down it is a nightmare! 

Last weekend’s second Eastern Young Athletes League fixture should have been reported upon before now. However, Harlow’s fixture at Havering fell victim to a computer glitch and the results painstakingly picked over to establish the result from the day’s scorecards and result slips. The final result was only available on Thursday.

Harlow ended up sixth in the match with 159 points. A result that sees the club sit twenty-second in the twenty-five-team league. The headline doesn’t tell the whole story, however, as the team was lopsided in terms of boy’s and girl’s involvement. The team consisted of forty-three U13s to U17s, thirty-three were girls and only ten boys. Hopefully, the balance will be better at the next match, in Sandy, in a couple of weeks’ time.

Whilst getting numbers out has proven difficult for the youth league, a good number have made themselves available for the Hertfordshire and Essex County Championships respectively.

Three Harlow athletes were in action at Watford on Saturday and Sunday as they are eligible for this county. Eilidh Malcolm ran in the senior 400m and was second. Nissi Onofowokan claimed silver in the 100m for Under 20s and returned on Sunday to compete in the 200m and Long Jump respectively. She won silver in the 200m and bronze in the Long Jump.

Tia Weekes had to negotiate a semi-final to reach the U15 girl’s 100m. It was incredibly close with the athletes in third, fourth and fifth place recording times of 13.82, .84, and .86s respectively. In the photo, Weekes was declared third place to pick up her first medal as a member of Harlow.

There were more Harlow athletes involved at Chelmsford in the Essex Championships. The day began with three athletes in hurdle action. Saoirse Casey-Bond made it to the U13 final, in which she was seventh, and her better time came in her heat. She equalled her PB of 12.8s

Kitty Tyson ran her first race as an Under 15, meaning this was the first time that she had competed over 75m and with the additional barrier height. She recorded a time of 13.43s and will surely take that down as the season progresses.

The U17 Women’s event was a straight final and Louise Duffy was in it. She ran a new PB time of 14.84s to take seventh overall. Duffy then went on to compete in the Long Jump and made the top eight. She was fifth overall and recorded a season’s best, 4.28m in the process.

Rhiana Drew was in Under 20 Hammer action and threw a massive new PB of 34.61m, fully four metres further than her best effort last year. This was good enough for bronze. She repeated the bronze medal feat on Sunday as she threw 25.82m in the discus.

George Watkins won the straight final U15 Boy’s 1500m. He led the fifteen-boy field from start to finish and recorded a PB in the process, reducing it to 4.23.78 minutes. On Sunday, he returned to run the 3000m. The field was smaller in number but just as good in quality. Again, Watkins led from start to finish and held off the challenge of Tom Friedman to sprint away with 150m to go. His time was 9.19 minutes and a new seasons best.

Several athletes were in 100m action across the age groups and sexes. None made finals but Saoirse Casey-Bond, Noah Brown and Kitty Tyson all recorded personal bests, and Holly Austin ran a season’s best. On Sunday, the same athletes, without Tyson, repeated the feat in the 200m.

Another athlete who performed incredibly well, without making a podium, was Manny Richards. He was Harlow’s only entrant at U17 level for 1500m and was eighth in the thirteen-athlete field. He destroyed his own PB by eight seconds, reducing it to 4.32.42, from 4.40.0 minutes.

Lacey Murray also competed at Under 15 level. She was there to compete in Long Jump and Javelin. In the long jump, she jumped a new PB of 4.04m to narrowly miss out on qualification for the top eight, finishing ninth overall. Her final event, javelin, brings us back to computer issues: her performance is currently unavailable due to a technical error in the event software package!

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