Spartans win plenty of battles on the playing fields of Eton

Jersey Spartans AC competed in the South of England Athletics Association Championships in both U20 and Senior age groups, returning some outstanding performances Picture: LUCY HUNT (38272899)

LAST weekend saw the Jersey Spartan Athletics Club take a good-sized team to the South of England U20 and Senior Track and Field Championships at Eton.

Head coach Peter Irving has been growing his training group over the last year and the Island has a bigger senior sprint group than it has had in a while, with several athletes competing for the first time this season.

The quality of the sprinting at the meeting was high, so the athletes were up for some great races, which showed in the number of personal bests achieved.

First on the track on Saturday wasn’t an athlete, but a club official.

Rebecca Orpin was taking the opportunity to gain experience to move to the next licence level.

The meeting was very short-staffed due to a clash with a County Schools competition, so Judy Andrews-Callec volunteered to help at short notice and spent a great day in the call room.

Events on the Saturday were kicked off by Peter Irving in the 400m heats. With only two weeks back training following injury, Irving made it round in 59.33secs.

Next were the flat 400m heats with Will Brown and JJ Lloyd.

Brown came in at 51.47secs, with Lloyd coming home in a PB of 53.96s.

Lucy Hunt ran an excellent 58.56s PB for sixth place in her heat to gain the EA National Champs qualifying standard.

In the 200m for Senior men, Zach Saunders was third in his heat in 21.93s (+2.6) to advance to the final.

Steven Mackay was also third in his heat with a great PB of 21.60s, and Taylor Renouf also got a PB with 22.92s.

Saunders was sixth in the final with 21.37s, really close to his PB of 21.35s in a high quality field, where the winner finished in 20.84s.

This is also a new senior club record, beating Jamie Oldham’s 21.47secs from Trinidad in 2023.

There was also some action on the field, with new member Zara Asante winning the triple jump bronze medal in 12.06m, the club’s first medal of the day.

Asante has come back into athletics in 2024 after a number of seasons out, so this was a great start to her comeback.

The sprinting was broken up with the combined U20/Senior 5,000m, where we had Bradley Andrew-Callec, Ed Carney and George Carney all competing.

After a great start, tracking the senior athletes for the first six to seven laps, Andrew-Callec unfortunately dropped out of the race due to a medical issue.

Ed Carney took the baton on for Jersey and had a really strong run, finishing in a PB of 15mins 19.17s for a second place finish in the U20 race.

George Carney also got a PB to finish in fourth place in 16mins 23.14s.

In the U20 100m, Jamie Oldham qualified for the final with a third position and 10.85s in his heat.

In the women’s U20 race, Lucy Cohu was fifth in her heat with a great PB of 12.78s.

In the final, Oldham snatched the bronze medal by the skin of his teeth after a poor start to finish in 10.87secs, the same time as the third-place finisher.

Sunday was a little cooler and a lot windier, but the PBs kept coming.

First up was the senior men’s 100m. Taylor Renouf followed up his 200m PB with a new best of 11.38s in heat one.

Will Brown got his fastest ever electronic time with 11.42s in the second heat.

Zach Saunders was third in that heat in 10.89s to qualify for the semi-final, and Steven Mackay was third in heat three in 10.93seconds to also qualify for the semis.

Mackay then got 5th in his semi-final in 10.91s. Unfortunately, Saunders was disqualified in that race.

We had a break from sprinting for the junior 3,000m races.

In the U15 race, Zane Simpson got the bronze medal and a PB of 10mins 01.16s, frustratingly close to going under the ten-minute mark.

There was similar frustration for Samuel Oldham in the U17 race, where he finished eighth with a PB of 10mins 01.96s.

Myles Christopher was a happy lad with a PB of 10mins 07.37s and fourth place in the U15 race.

For the U20s, Lucy Cohu progressed to the final of the 200m with an excellent new PB of 26.23secs, knocking over three-tenths off her previous best.

Jamie Oldham also gained a place in the final with a windy 21.84secs (+2.8) for second place in his heat.

In the final, Oldham got another silver medal with 21.59s (+2.8) to round off a great weekend and see him coming back to form following the exam season.

Cohu finished her final with 26.40s, slightly slower than her heat time, but still inside her previous PB.

At the end of the day the team waited to see Peter Irving compete in the 110m hurdles.

Irving was third in 16.03s to qualify for the final, so plans for a leisure bus ride to the airport were quickly changed.

In the second last race of the day, Irving finished sixth in the final in 16.10s.

That finished off a hugely successful weekend for the athletes and great to see the benefits of travel to the race against quality competition in the UK.

As ever thanks to Jersey Sport for their assistance via the Travel Grant and the Workforce grant.

– Advertisement –
– Advertisement –