Invicta’s youngsters show real promise
For the last 89 years, athletes from across the country have gathered for the English Schools National Championships which for many years has included athletes from Invicta East Kent AC who have competed in the county colours. Athletes of school-age compete across three age groups; junior (years 8 & 9), intermediate (years 10 and 11) and senior (years 12 & 13). This year would have been the 90th year of the competition which only didn’t happen during World War 2. As such, the organisers decided, like everything this year, to be innovative and organise a virtual competition.
Athletes from Invicta have been very lucky to benefit from the use of our track at Canterbury Academy, returning to a form of socially distanced, small group training there in early June. It is clear the athletes have worked very hard both during this time and prior to this, following training programmes set by their coaches.
During the week beginning 6th July, athletes were timed by their coaches in training sessions. Although the races weren’t electronically timed, it was a great opportunity to give athlete a feel for a competition and see what standard they are running at. We had a total of 13 athletes take part in the event with the final results showed an incredible four 1st place finishes for Jake Goodman (coach Carlo Monticolombi & Claire Battersby) in the Senior Boys 200m in 21.82, Charlotte Henrich (coach Carlo and Claire) in the Junior Girls 300m in 41.97, Matt Stonier (coach Peter Mullervy) in Senior Boys 1500m in 3:46.65 and Alex Millard (coach Peter) in the Senior Girls 1500m in 4:27.00.
In addition we had a 2nd place finish for Darcie Maple in Junior Girls 100m (13.03) as well as 3rd place finished for Jake Meager in the Intermediate Boys 200m in 24.70 and Freya Lee in the Senior Girls 400m, 64.00.
Chloe Sumner clocked a fantastic 12.78 in the Intermediate Girls 100m to finish in 5th while Scarlet Thomas-Wright finished 9th in the same ‘race’ with 13.00.
Newcomer Jenna Humphreys ran an incredible 13.89 to finish in 8th place behind training partner Darcie in the Junior Girls 100m.
Oliver Scott (Peter Mullvery) finished 10th in the Junior Boys 1500m in 4:46 with just 3 seconds separating him and 7th place. Training partners Maya Ambroisine and Emelia Lester finished in 11th and 12th in the Intermediate Girls 200m in 30.50 and 31.30 respectively.
What incredible performances from our small East Kent club. Sprints coach Claire Battersby said “Huge thanks to the English Schools Athletics Association for putting on such a fantastic virtual event. I think all the athletes needed it in order to have a sense of where they are up to with their training, to get that race experience (albeit in a socially distanced, different setting) and to have the feeling of togetherness that they have in competitions – that they are all achieving great things together. I know, for our sprinters it really lifted their spirits and I couldn’t be more proud of the times they have produced. They’ve worked so hard both in returning to training but prior to that when running alone as well.’