4 Golds at SEAA Championship
The first championships of the new distance-running season, the South of England road relays, took place at Crystal Palace on Sunday and it was business as usual for Aldershot Farnham & District who claimed four sets of gold medals. The under-15 boys’ event would have yielded silver medals too but for the rule that clubs cannot have two teams on the same podium. Michael Gar had put the B team in the lead at halfway after taking over from Charlie Wagstaff in fourth while Ed Henderson handed over to Alfie Spear who brought the A team home in ninth.
Harry Hyde stayed ahead on the third leg as the A team’s Woody Jerome moved up to second, handing over to Ryan Martin a dozen seconds behind. Martin beat all the u17s when winning the South of England u15s’ title over 3000 metres on the track (about the same distance of the lap at Crystal Palace) and he secured the gold medals for AFD A at the expense of Ethan Scott. Tonbridge, who crossed the line in third, were awarded the silver medals.
Tonbridge led at the final changeover of the senior men’s six-stage contest but AFD’s Richard Allen passed George Duggan and reached the finish more than half a minute clear. Legs by Ben Bradley, Luke Prior and Josh Grace had resulted in third for AFD at halfway before Ricky Harvie and Ellis Cross each improved a place. The men’s veteran races, over four stages, were held with the seniors’ and AFD scored a victory in the over-50s’ category with Paul Gaylor, Austin Soane, Koji Miyazaki and Scott Smith-Bannister.
Tonbridge were also runners-up to AFD in the u17 men’s competition. The latter were sixth at halfway following legs by Dylan Spencer and Elliot Pocock. On the penultimate stage Theo Doran put AFD into second and Will Barnicoat, whose summer included bronze medals over 3000 metres in both the England Athletics and English Schools championships, overtook Tonbridge’s Toby Emm to ensure team gold for AFD.
Pippa Roessler recorded the second fastest lap overall when anchoring Ruby Horton and Rachel Gillett to AFD’s silver medals in the u15 girls’ event. The club gained the bronze medals in the u13 boys’ event with Henry Rattray, Toby Spencer, Dan Shattock and Alex Bishop.