On the Saturday in the Junior Boys Pentathlon, Blackheath harriers had Joshua Dako making his debut for Kent. Running a steady 12.81s for the 80m hurdles and throwing 8.98m in the shot, his 2nd furthest ever throw, he was off to a good start in 3rd place. Not bad for a first year Under 15. With 2 PB’s in the high and long jump (5.31m and 1.62m respectively) he clung on to his 3rd place position. With a gutsy 800m run, within 3 seconds of his PB he finished the competition in 4th place with a new total pentathlon PB of 2253 points. He qualified for English schools as part of the Kent Junior Boys team and more importantly he was part of the top scoring 3 boys out of 4 that makes the team, despite being the youngest in the squad.

The Intermediate Boys (U17) had Nathan Firla representing London. Nathan’s Octathlon debut was cut short last year at Lee Valley in the same competition due to a lower back injury so he was keen to redeem himself this time round. After a rocky start in the long jump and the discus (which were technically season’s bests!), he redeemed himself with a decent javelin throw of 33.63m and a more than respectable 51.78s 400m (3rd fastest of the day) to climb several places at the end of day 1 to 14th.

The Intermediate Girls (U17) were well represented by the club with Daisy Snell, Tallulah Ndikanwu (Both Kent) and Sienna Kidd (Surrey). All first year Under 17 and first time Heptathletes looking to make the transition from pentathlon. County rivalry was fierce as it was so close between Kent and Surrey as to who would win the team score competition. Sienna lead the way in the 80m hurdles with an equal PB into a 0.3m/s headwind with 11.87s, taking an early lead in the competition. Daisy ran a decent 12.05s time and Tallulah ran 13.53s for a PB. In the high jump Daisy and Tallulah clawed back the points with 1.50m despite Sienna getting a 2cm PB with 1.47m. Further points were raked in by the Kent athletes with an impressive 10.41m shot from Tallulah and 10.10m from Daisy (a 5cm PB!) while Sienna battled on for a rather disappointing shot put. Daisy, showing her class ran a massive PB with 25.76s in the 200m with Sienna running a PB too with 26.01s, Tallulah completed the set of PB’s with 28.38s. Ending the first day Daisy was 2nd , Sienna 4th and Tallulah 12th overall.

On the Sunday in the Junior Girls Pentathlon, Alyssa Firla and Qi-Chi Ukpai represented Blackheath Harriers as half of the 4 woman team. Both ran a decent hurdles race into a slight headwind with Alyssa’s respectable 12.24s and a new PB for Qi-chi with 12.39s. The next event both girls dominated in the shot with Alyssa’s 9.52m and Qi-Chi’s 9.89m, both PB’s. This was enough to push them up to 4th and 2nd respectively. Alyssa battled her way to 1.36m in the high jump, Qi-chi made it 3 for 3 with PB’s with a small but significant PB of 1.69m, pending other results elsewhere, number 1 in the UK and breaking that tie for first at 1.68m that has been the case since the winter indoor season. With tired legs, the long jumps were solid performances from the pair and it all came down to the 800m. Alyssa’s heat came first and she set the standard for the rest of the Kent team winning it in 2:30.34, a PB. This catapulted her several places to finish 7th overall and a new pentathlon PB of 2650. Qi-chi, quite apprehensive after running a 3:07 800m only a few weeks prior as a guest at the Surrey Schools champs smashed her PB when it counted and ran a heroic 2:42.84, sealing the win overall with an impressive 3058 pts, 58 pts clear of 2nd place. This places her 2nd in the UK (pending results still to come in) and all of the Kent team qualified for English Schools in Bedford in September.

The Intermediate Boys concluded and a 100m hurdles PB of 17.09s , solid high jump and shot put and a huge 9 second PB in the 1500m meant that Nathan finished the Octathlon with a new PB of 3704 points. The second day of the Intermediate girls saw huge changes ushered in with a whopping 5.75m PB long jump for Sienna Kidd. Daisy jumped well with a 5.48m and Tallulah leapt 4.65m for a PB. Up next was the Javelin and Sienna and Tallulah confidently hurled big PB’s with 29.47m and 28.80m respectively, not to be out-done Daisy also threw a PB with 23.91m. With only the 800m to go, Sienna was in 1st place, Daisy in 2ndand Tallulah in 12th. After the dust had settled with Daisy’s 2:31.38, Tallulah’s 2:27.06 and Sienna’s season’s best of 2:40.76 all 3 girls had scored respectable Heptathlon PB’s, especially for their first time! Tallulah scored 3992points for 10th place, moving up 2 positions. Daisy scored 4499points to take the bronze medal and move on to English Schools and Sienna scored 4537 which, subject to confirmation is a new club record (that had been standing since 1986 and that was wind assisted), took the silver medal and also has booked her place to Bedford.

All in all, 7 athletes went, all PB’d in their combined event total and 5 of them have made it through to the English Schools Championships in Bedford. Well done all! Was a truly great weekend of athletics and they all did Blackheath and Bromley Harriers, as well as their counties, proud.

Alex Pope