Weekend News Report - 22nd/23rd June 2019

800 Metres Breakthrough For Murphy

Ben Murphy showed that he is continuing to develop as a middle-distance track runner when he placed fifth in the National under 23 championships at Bedford on Sunday.

He progressed through Saturday's heats with a time of 1:51.80 and then produced a personal best of 1:49.79 in Sunday's final, which was won by Spencer Thomas, from Brighton in 1:47.31. Murphy became only the seventh Tonbridge athlete to ever run under 1:50 and his time qualifies him for the British Championships, at the end of August. His team mate Kieran Eland also performed well, running a pb of 1:53.67 in the heats.

Alasdair Kinloch finished 6th in the under 23 men's 5000 metres in 15:00.47 and Phoebe Barker 8th in the women's race, over the same distance and age group, with 18:39.77.

A few days earlier Nicole Taylor set another Tonbridge women's club record when she ran 4:22.13 for 1500 metres, at Eltham. This lowered Ashley Gibson's record by more than three seconds. Kiri Marsh also produced a fast time of 4:40.69 to lower her best significantly, whilst Michael Ellis clocked 4:00.53 to win the men's B-race on the night, in what was also a pb for him.

The Tonbridge under 13 and 15 squad once again finished 4th of the six teams in their latest match of the UK Youth Development League and look certain to maintain their Premier Division status.

In the under 15 age group good points scoring was very hard to come by and there were no outright individual wins. However, one of the highlights was Saskia Lean, who High Jumped a new personal best of 1.60 metres, adding two centimetres to her previous best.

The under 13 team produced some top class results with Albert Kreuzberg once again showing his ability across a range of events. He won the 800m in a personal best of 2.11.5, which ranks him second in the UK, in this age group and also improved his club record in the 75 metres hurdles, with a 12.0 second recording, to finish 2nd. Tom Daly won the Javelin with a throw of 32.82m, which was more than four metres further than his previous best. Millie Lewis also set a Javelin pb in the girls' event with 33.08 metres, which moves her up a place to third on the current national rankings, for the age group. Lily Slack once again dominated her middle distance event and on this occasion won the 800 metres by five seconds in 2.24.2.

The Club also had a few young athletes competing for Kent in the South East Schools Combined Events Championships, over the weekend. The highlight performance came from Rebekah O'Brien who broke the Tonbridge under 17 women's Heptathlon record, which had stood since 1980. O'Brien scored 4601 points and the performances included 80m hurdles 12.72 personal best, High Jump 1.65m, Shot Putt 10.16m pb, 200m 26.76, Long Jump 5.03m, Javelin 27.56m and 800m in 2.19.61.

Samantha Stubbs also performed very well, setting a personal best score of 4404 points to place 5th of the 22 competitors. The results place O'Brien 5th and Stubbs 10th on the current UK age group rankings. Ben Nolan finished 2nd in the Junior Boys' Pentathlon with 2678 points, which ranks him 3rd in the UK.