Invicta East Kent adds more England vests to its accolades
Invicta East Kent has enjoyed a string on success over recent weeks. The small (circa 200 members)
Canterbury based club is reaching new highs with the numbers of athletes competing at both
national and international level growing year on year.
The most recent addition, 16-year-old Charlotte Henrich, who it was confirmed last week, had
officially been selected for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Trinidad and Tobago in August. This
is the 2 nd international competition in as many years for Charlotte and she will be representing
England in both the 400m as well as the 4x400 mixed relay.
The news followed another successful weekend for Charlotte as she was crowned English Schools
Champion on 1 st July in her first time at this event (injury and other events had prevented her from
competing here before). And a mere couple of days later she also won her school sport’s day at
Simon Langton Boy’s School.
The English Schools Championships saw a number of other Invicta athletes representing Kent,
including Charlotte’s training partners; Scarlet Thomas-Wright (U20) and Jay Sanders (U17). Both
competing for the first time at this national level and representing their rise to success this season.
Scarlet was just outside of the qualifying times following the heats. However, she had another
chance at a national championship the following weekend at the UK Championships.
Jay was agonisingly close to qualifying for the 400m final with a 3 rd place finish in his heat and
equalling his personal best of 49.87 (a time 3 seconds faster than what he had at the start of the
season). There was just 0.2 seconds between Jay and a spot in the final. An incredible achievement
against some very quick runners. However, Jay had another attempt at a medal as he started the
Kent intermediate (U17) boys’ team off in the 4x100 relay. With a confident and strong start, he put
the team in great position to finish in 3 rd place, only to be given the silver later on due to a
Invicta had two representatives in the distance races, Jamie Keir (senior boys 1500m) and Noah
Paterson (intermediate boys 3000m),both of whom train with Canterbury Endurance under the
tutelage of Donald and Kath Carter (former GB international and medallist at English schools
In his final English Schools, with 3 previous appearances for Kent at the track championships and 4 at
the cross country championships. Jamie entered the metric mile with a best time this season and
overall PB of 3min 49secs, but facing very fast competition. He qualified for the final finishing a
comfortable 2nd in his heat. The final was a slowly run tactical affair from the start with Jamie sat
towards the rear. As the pace quickened he followed the moves and finished in a very creditable 5th
with a time of 3:58.94. This performance matched his 5th place finish in 2019 and was an
improvement upon his 6th place finish last year and 7th in 2021, showing great consistency over the
Noah, who was competing at his first English Schools track championships went into the 3000m
ranked 6th overall with a best time this year and PB of 8mins 48secs. After a slow, tactical start
sitting towards the back of the 26 strong field, Noah began to work himself up the pack from
halfway. While narrowly avoiding 2 separate fallers during the final 800m, he positioned himself well
with a lap to run breaking away with 3 other athletes. After taking the lead with 200m to go he
fought strongly to the finish line, only being passed late on to win the bronze medal in a time of
The following weekend, three Invicta athletes were competing at the UK Championships – up against
the biggest names in British athletics right now. For Matt Stonier (1500m) and Korede Awe (100m)
they were returning to this stage, while 18-year-old Scarlet Thomas-Wright had her first attempt at
competing at this level.
Matt’s addition to the line-up follows an incredible couple of years for him after his commonwealth
championships 7 th place and European Championships 6 th place in 2022. Currently sitting in 5 th in the
overall UK-rankings for 2023, Matt was in good stead going into the championships. In the heats,
Matt was 2 nd fastest qualifier in 3:41.25. The following day, he took on the final and finished 4 th in an
agonisingly close race in 3:46.95; just 0.38 seconds behind 3 rd place and less than a second behind 1 st
place. However, Matthew will be back in action very soon in the U23 European Championships (13 th -
16 th July), as will Alexandra Millard (both 1500m) as both add another Great Britain vest to their list
of recent achievements (following Alex’s European Cross Country success last year)
Having competed at both the UK Championships indoors and outdoors in recent years, Korede Awe
had some experience behind him going into these championships. He ran a blistering heat to finish
2 nd in his heat and 3 rd fastest qualifier in 10.31 (would be a personal best if it wasn’t for the wind!)
Unfortunately, as some of the bigger names joined at semi-final stage, running in a lane next to
Reece Prescod (who later took silver in the final), Korede fell short of qualifying for the final but up
against Britain’s fastest men, it is a huge achievement.
Meanwhile, 18-year-old Scarlet Thomas-Wright was delighted to be at the Championships after a
recent fall meant she missed out on a couple of months’ training. She finished in 6 th in her heat up
against competitors much older than her. We know there is much more to come from her and look
forward to seeing how she progresses in future.