PB-tastic Weekend at SEAA U20 & Senior Champs

8/9th June 2024 saw the Club take a good sized team to the South of England U20 and Senior Track & Field Championships at Eton.  The weather was pleasant, if a bit windy and the track is set in the beautiful grounds of Eton College, reached by a gorgeous walk along the river.

Head Coach Peter Irving has been growing his training group over the last year and we have a bigger senior sprint group than we’ve had in a while, with several athletes competing for the first time this season.  The quality of the sprinting at the meeting was really high, so the athletes were up for some great races – and that showed in the number of PBs achieved.

First on the track on Saturday wasn’t an athlete, but a Club official.  Rebecca Orpin was taking the opportunity to gain experience to move to the next licence level in Starting.  The meeting was very short staffed due to a clash with a County Schools competition, so Judy Andrews-Callec volunteered to assist at short notice and spent a great day in the call room.

Events on the Saturday were kicked off by Pete in the 400mH.  With only 2 weeks back training following injury, Pete made it round in 59.33s in his heat.  Next were the flat 400m heats with Will Brown and JJ Lloyd.  Will coming in at 51.47s, with JJ coming home in a PB of 53.96s.  Lucy Hunt ran and excellent 58.56s PB for 6th place in her heat to gain the EA National Champs qualifying standard.

In the 200m for Senior men, Zach Saunders was 3rd in his heat in 21.93s (+2.6) to advance to the final.  Steven Mackay was 3rd in his heat with a great PB of 21.60s, and Taylor Renouf also got a PB with 22.92s.  Zach was 6th in the final with 21.37s, really close to his PB of 21.35s in a high quality field, where the winner finished in 20.84s.  This is also a new senior Club Record, beating Jamie Oldhams 21.47s from Trinidad in 2023.

We also had some action on the field with new member Zara Asante winning the triple jump bronze medal in 12.06m – our first medal of the day.  Zara has come back into athletics in 2024 after a number of seasons out, so this was a great start to her comeback.

The sprinting was broken up with the combined U20/Senior 5,000m where we had Bradley Andrew-Callec, Ed Carney and George Carney all competing.  After a great start, tracking the senior athletes for the first 6-7 laps, Bradley unfortunately dropped out of the race due to a medical issue.  Ed Carney took the baton on for Jersey and had a really strong run, finishing in a PB of 15:19.17 for 2nd place in the U20 race.  George also got a PB to finish in 4th place in 16:23.14.

In the U20 100m Jamie Oldham qualified for the final with a 3rd position and 10.85s in his heat.  In the women’s U20 race Lucy Cohu was 5th in her heat with a great PB of 12.78s.  In the final, Jamie snatched the bronze medal by the skin of his teeth after a poor start to finish in 10.87, the same time as the 3rd place finisher.

Sunday was a little cooler and a lot windier, but the PBs kept coming.

First up was the senior mens 100m.  Taylor Renouf followed up his 200m PB with a new best of 11.38s in heat 1.  Will Brown got his fastest ever electronic time with 11.42s in the second heat.  Zach Saunders was 3rd in that heat in 10.89s to qualify for the semi-final, and Steven Mackay was 3rd in heat 3 in 10.93 to also qualify for the semis.  Steven then got 5th in his semi-final in 10.91s.  Unfortunately Zach was DQ’d in that race.

We had a break from sprinting for the junior 3,000m races.  In the U15 race, Zane Simpson got the bronze medal and a PB of 10:01.16, frustratingly close to going under the 10-minute mark. There was similar frustration for Samuel Oldham in the U17 race where he was 8th with a PB of 10:01.96.  Myles Christoper was a happy lad with a PB of 10:07.37 and 4th place in the U15 race.  Great performances from the distance athletes.

For the U20s, Lucy Cohu progressed to the final of the 200m with an excellent new PB of 26.23s knocking over 3 tenths off her previous best.  Jamie Oldham also gained a place in the final with a windy 21.84s (+2.8) for second place in his heat.  In the final Jamie got another silver medal with 21.59 (+2.8) to round off a great weekend and see him coming back to form following the exam season.  Lucy Cohu finished her final with 26.40s, slightly slower than her heat time, but still inside her previous PB.

At the end of the day the team waited to see Peter Irving compete in the 110m hurdles.  Pete was 3rd in 16.03s to qualify for the final, so plans for a leisure bus ride to the airpot were quickly changed.  In the second last race of the day, Pete finished 6th in the final in 16.10s.

That finished off a hugely successful weekend for the athletes and great to see the benefits of travel to the race against quality competition in the UK.

As ever thanks to Jersey Sport for their assistance via the Travel Grant and the Workforce grant.

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