EIGHT Championship bests were set at last weekend’s Kent Championships at the Julie Rose Stadium includling one from Ashford’s own star pole vaulter Ellie Gooding.
Ellie maintained her rise up through the ranks with another championship title taking the U20s crown equalling the 2003 mark of 3.60 metres set by another Ashford athlete Natalie Olson and maintaining the club’s proud history with four other county champions in the event coming from the club.
Senior women’s champion was Laura-Ann Henderson with 3m, Alexander Hardy took the U-17 men with 3.40, Charlie Jinks the U20 men with 3.80m and Leia Desseaux the U15 girls title with 2m. In addition there were silvers for Ellie Atkins in the U15s, Charlotte Wroe in the U17 girls and Luke Williams in the senior men.
Ashford ended up with 21 Kent titles with a double by Gooding who also claimed the U20 women’s 110m hurdles and there was also a double for the talented Rachel Hanagan who won the senior women’s triple jump and long jump.
Another double gold came from Ashley Buckman taking the U20s triple jump and long jump.
The club added gold and silver in the senior women’s high jump with the title taken by rising U-23 star Debbie Martin winning with 1.70m ahead of teammate Katie Hamilton with 1.50m. Matt Smiley won the men’s high jump with 1.85m and Jack Huxley took silver in the U20 men.
There was a similar result in the men’s 110m hurdles won by veteran Pete Davey from teammate Luke Williams, taking his second silver of the championships. Davey also won bronze in the 400m hurdles.
Veteran’s Candy Hawkins showed their endurance winning the women’s 5,000m and Steve Lake the men’s triple jump while youngster Tyler Adams claimed gold in the U17s shot and a silver in the discus.
A new championship best was established in the U16 girls’ javelin by Eloise Locke (Blackheath and Bromley) but she was pushed all the way by Ashford’s Emilie Knights-Toomer less that 4m behind with 34.90 with Jaimee-Ann Heyes just missing a medal with 24.80m.
Similarly in the triple jump Chloe Ford (9.79m) was edged out by Natasha Ford (Medway & Maidstone) whose 10.16m was a new record.
Ashford have a terrific base of talent in the U17 girls led by Mary Coleman taking silvers in the shot (9.12m)- where she was outshot by Divine Oladipo who set a remarkable championship best 14.66m – and the javelin, Grace Sullivan the silver in the long jump and Hannah Owen silver in the hammer and bronze in the shot. Mary also took bronze in the hammer.
In the U15 75m Hurdles, Emilia Isaac took gold. Young Shaun Khaira took silver in the U15 triple jump, Kian Crawford silver in the hammer and Ellis Bennett bronze in the high jump.
Ashford did well in the walks brothers Chris and Jonathan Hobbs taking gold and silver in the 3k with veteran Steve Holliday fourth while veteran Lesley Hall won the women’s 3k.
Ashford’s disability athletes performed well with wins for Stephen Sopp, Nicholas Lovell, Andrew Johnson and David Austin.
Other medal winning displays were silvers for Kyle Denning (U17 1500m steeplechase), Cameron Amadee (U17 100m hurdles with Ben Isaac in third) and bronze for Amanda Jukes (SW 1500m).
The other championship bests were: James Whiteaker (Judd School) in the U17 javelin with 72.59m; Victoria Wiltshire (B&B) U15 hammer in 43.62m; Cheriece Hilton (B&B) U20 400m In 55.15 and Amber Durrant (Medway & Maidstone) U15 high jump with 1.69m.