Loyalties were divided as the Essex Schools Championships pitted training partners against each other as 30 of our young athletes competed for five different Essex districts at Basildon last Saturday. The fixture also clashed with the Met League fixture at Stevenage and Karim Ali was the sole participant for the club there, finishing a creditable 15th in a depleted field of 37 in the U17 Men’s event.
At the Scottish Closed Championships this weekend, Francis Smith took the 60mH title with 8.22 secs, and made the final of the 60m flat where he placed 6th in 7.26 secs after clocking 7.17 sec in qualifying. Alasdair Strange picked up silver in the pole vault with 4.50m, and 800m man Andy Brown made the 400 final where he placed 5th in 50.96 secs. In Kentucky, Joice Maduaka got her indoor season underway with a 7.45 secs clocking over 60m.
This weekend saw the second part of the Southern Indoor Championships at Lee Valley. Many fine WGwEL results were led by Olympic 100mH finalist, Sarah Claxton who took the 60mH title in a CBP whilst other titles were won by Richard Alleyne and by Rachel Dean amongst a host of other fine WGwEL performances.
After Saturday's London City Runner Metropolitan CC League races at distant Stevenage, our senior teams sit atop all three divisions again with just one date remaining. This venue, home to the Herts Phoenix club, was new to the Met League. Virtually flat, very firm parkland with a long section of hard trail through woods which featured stone and, seemingly, concrete elements. This deterred many from wearing spikes. Given the trickiness of the fixture, sandwiched between the county champs and the South of England champs, clashing with the Southern indoors & the county schools and hosted at a possibly uninviting venue, our teams showed excellent resilience and emerged with great credit. Linda Jackson even won the women's race in terrific style.