English Schools' Combined Events & Race Walk Championships
Posted: 18th Sep 2017 by Lewis Smith
The English Schools' Combined Events & Race Walking Championships kicked off, on the weekend of the 16th and 17th of September, in Lincolnshire. The final major championship of the year was met with rain and a lot of wind. Ashford AC were represented by four athletes at these Championships; three race walkers and one decathlete.
The wind and the rain wasn't stopping anyone - Three medals, three Club Records, and twelve PB's between the four athletes was one for the record books in itself.
Grace Whittingham, Jacqueline Benson, and English Schools' Kent Captain Marshall Smith got the PB's rolling on Saturday.
First off was Grace in the Junior Girls 3000m Walk, Grace shot in to the lead from the gun for a very fast lap with experienced race walkers on her heels. With only two laps left, Grace was overtaken with third place looking like her destiny, but with one-hundred metres to go and a twenty metre gap to fill, there was no stopping Grace. A desperate final ten metres saw Grace lunge over the line to win the Silver medal by just half a second. Not only did Grace come away with her first major Championship medal, she also set a huge personal best time of 17m31s.
Next up was Jacqueline in the Intermediate Girls 3000m Walk, a veteran of four English Schools' Championships. Jacqueline calmly stuck to her race plan to come eighth overall with a new personal best time of 19m01s.
Finally, it was the turn of Marshall Smith in the Senior Boys 5000m Walk. Marshall, ranked No.1 in the UK for 5 Miles Running this year, only took up Race Walking four seasons ago and has medalled at English Schools' every single year since he started, he has also represented England and was therefore named English Schools' Captain for Kent. Marshall stuck to his plan whilst the leaders went off chasing records. For well over half the race, Marshall tracked the third placed athlete but then used his strength and stamina on the final two laps to claim the Bronze medal with a new personal best time of 24m37s, a time that would be considered fast to most people running it!
Tyler Adams was also around competing in a vicious ten events over the weekend in the Senior Boys Decathlon. This was only Tyler's third ever decathlon as well as his first major Championship, but a solid foundation of training this season placed him in good stead to take the Bronze medal. With the 100m, Long Jump, Shot Put, High Jump, and 400m on Day One; and the 110m Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, and 1500m on Day Two. Tyler excelled in every event taking no less than eight individual event PB's over the weekend, as well as a ninth PB in the overall Decathlon. Sunday saw three Club Records for Tyler in the Discus with 43.01m, the Javelin with 52.20m, and the overall Decathlon with 6424 points.
Kent Relay Championships
Posted: 12th Sep 2017 by Lewis Smith
A last minute decision by Ashford Athletic Club paid off with an unexpected Silver medal at the Kent Relay Championships in Bromley on Sunday.
After a superb record breaking season for the club, quite literally, it was a quiet end to the season for the Club at the Kent Relay Championships. With only one team entered - the Under 15 Boys 4x300m team - they concluded the end of the season with the very last race of the day.
The team of four have rarely run together in the same relay team this season, however this did not stop them from winning the Silver medal in the Final. They also managed to smash the Club’s 4-year record by over 7 seconds finishing in 2m38.30s.
James Coward, Spike Purdie, Ben Smith and Kristian Samwell-Nash all agreed that it was the best possible way to finish a great season for the Club.