SEAA Age Group Championships

Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford

Last weekend five of the Club’s members made the long journey to the Julie Rose stadium in Ashford to compete in the South of England Athletics Association Championships, highlights from the day included Holly Mills winning two medals including a new championship best in the long jump and Darcie Henderson making two sprint finals and securing her first ever regional medal.

Holly was in action in the U17 women’s 80m hurdles and the long jump. In the hurdles Holly comfortably won her heat in a time of 11.57 seconds but knew that the final would be tougher as she was up against English Schools silver medalist Sophie Ellis who was a year older and had posted quicker times this year. In the final Mills got a great start to take the lead but the strong finishing Ellis overhauled Mills off the last hurdle to take the title with Mills taking silver in a time of 11.33secs.

Mills was then immediately in action in her strongest event the long jump and was favourite to take the title. Despite posting a no jump in the first round she took the lead with a jump of 5.93m in the second round. Further improved jumps in the next three rounds was rounded off by a magnificent jump of 6.29m in the final round to take the title and in the process beat the Championship Record that had stood since 1995. This jump now ranks Holly fourth all time in the U17 women’s long jump, this is despite being bottom of the age group. 

Darcie competed in the 200m on the Saturday and 100m on the Sunday, Darcie ran well earning herself a PB of 25.53 in the first heat of 200m. In the final Darcie ran a strong bend to get herself into a medal winning position. After a great run Darcie gained another PB of 25.42 to take the bronze medal, this is her first ever regional medal and is reward for her hard work over the last few months.

On the Sunday Darcie was against 21 competitors for the 100m, two were in the UK top 5 and two Top 10 meaning this would be a tough competition for Darcie. The temperature had dropped on the Sunday compared to Saturday when the conditions were good for athletics. Darcie came third in her heat running 12.59. She qualified for the final and ranked 5th in the timings. The time for the final was brought forward meaning there was only 30 minutes recovery between races. Darcie did well to finish 7th with a time of 12.58. The winner was Charmont Webster-Tape 11.88 ranked 3rd in the UK and second Vera Chinedu 11.97 ranked 5th in the UK. 

There were also strong performances from Jasmine McClucthie who ran a wind legal PB in her heat to make the 200m final and also Elizabeth and Victoria Butler-Clack who competed well in the 100m, 200m and 75m hurdles. 

The next competition coming up in is the national championships in Bedford where Andover AC will be well represented by Holly Mills and Will Westmacott.