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Jake Rogers into country's top 20 with bold tactics at Watford

Despite many people away on family summer holidays, no fewer than 255 athletes turned up for the 1500m at Watford's high-revving August Open and 3 IEK young athletes coped admirably with exciting crowded starts as 15 athletes swept round in[img:477l] each of the 17 races on the night. Pictured left are Amy Old (330) and Lilly Coward (331) at the start line of the first race : in her first outing at this distance Amy (12th) chased Lilly all the way to record 5 mins 41.84 (Grade 4) while Lilly's 5.32.76 (Grade 3) puts her 2nd in our 2009 rankings - both girls looked strong and both put in an impressive burst in the final 250m. Race 11 had all the ingredients of a titanic clash..... Thurrock's Jessica Judd, the country's top u15 female against Kent's leading u15 Boy, our own Jake Rogers, ranked 24th in the country - her pb on the start line 1 second faster than his 4.22 Jake was alert to all changes of leader in the first 500m, then by going with the pace[img:478r] in the middle 500m he left the green-vested Judd trailing in 4th - click picture to view detail. Instead of his usual surge 300m from home, Jake struck boldly at the bell to completely break the field and he is only the 3rd u15 IEK boy, behind Abbie Hayward (1999) and Alex Newson (2008) to break the 4 min 20 mark. His new pb of 4.19.60 is now 2 seconds ahead of Judd's amazing pb and after accounting for other sharp u15s on the night, it takes him up to 17th in this year's u15 national rankings for boys. Jake leads one of our strongest ever contingents at 1500m - no fewer than 6 'reds' are in the National Power-of-10 rankings : Luke Dawson (41st) is 2nd Kent, Jack Balsdon (73) is 4th Kent with Tonbridge's best, Sean Molloy between them. Jack Smith (447) Eddie Burton (478) are 19th & 20th Kent while Tommy Armstrong is 598th in the country and is Kent's 23rd boy in the national ranking.