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A great day at Ashford and 5 PBs for IEK

Several of IEK’s athletes headed over to the Julie Rose Stadium on Saturday (1st June) for Track Athletics South-East Series. In what turned out to be a day of PBs for the event as a whole – over half of all the performances at the meet were personal bests – incredible – and shows that if you go to the right competitions you can achieve your best!

10 of our athletes competed in a very well organised meet. First on-track was Jack Mullins in heat 2 of the 100m. Jack had to battle with a late surge from Dean Oakes (Medway & Maidstone) but won the race with 11.96s, just 1/100th second off his PB. The next heat was like an IEK championship race, with Elliott Burton winning the race in 11.49s, Jaffer Adams 2nd in 11.52s and training partners Sushant Lama and Sam Mousley 3rd and 4th, in 12.15s and 12.46s respectively – a new PB for Sam (must be the new spikes!)

Next up was Ella Fox, an improving middle distance athlete. She took on the 800m setting a new PB of 2:25.61, a huge 6 second improvement. Well done Ella! She also took on the 1500m later on in the day. Track Athletics provided a pacemaker in the shape of our very own Tom Purnell. However, the pace was slightly off for Ella to achieve another PB, but no doubt the 800m PB was still in her legs! She still managed to win her heat in 5:10.28s.

Sushant, Jack and Sam were back on the track for the 200m. This time Sushant won his heat in 24.45s, just 1/100th off his best time, Jack was 2nd in a new PB of 24.46, by 0.7s – a massive drop over this distance and Sam 3rd with his second PB of the day in 25.04s, an improvement of just over 1/3 second. Nice one Sam!

Jaffer was in action again in the 200m, claiming 2nd again in 23.57. Sean Valand joined the action this time. An athlete whose coach is trying to encourage to get more race time, finished 3rd in 24.57s. Josh Taylor, who is having a fantastic season this year, was 4th in this heat in 28.45s. Josh also tried his hand (or legs!) in the 300m, finishing 2nd to Samuel Hindley (Watford Harriers) who was aiming for a qualifying time for his championship selection), in a time of 47.24s.

Tom Purnell raced in the 1500m, after pace-making the previous race for Ella Fox. With this in mind a great time was recorded of 4:26.28s – we just wonder how quick he would have gone if he had gone into this race fresh!

Sean returned to the fray in the 400m clocking 55.61s in heat 1, enough for 2nd place. Let’s hope Sean continues racing – how about the Southern League home match on 15th June??

Bradley Wake-Smith also ran the 400m in heat 3, which was the quickest of the day –with the winning time clocked at 47.28s by Sebastien Rodger (Shaftsbury & Barnett) – quicker than our club record - who was using this, along with others, as a quality race ahead of U23 & U20 Nationals in Bedford later in the month. Bradley is a talented multi-eventer, who has struggled with some injuries this year, but is definitely on his way back. Bradley claimed 5th in 57.14s, which was a very good performance considering the enforced lay-off he’s had.

Tom Purnell was back again!! He opted for the 3000m this time, more as a training run, and taking his race distance to a total of 6000m for the day. In his usual style he put in a good effort and even turned on some of his trade-mark sprint in the final straight (encouraged by the announcer over the loudspeaker system!). His finished 1st in 10:26.81 – not bad for what he said was a training run!

The next Track Athletics, South-East Series event is at Bromley on Saturday 6th July. Norman Park is a great venue and rumoured to have the quickest bends in the South-East. We recommend you sign up for this and see for yourself!


Barry Hopkins