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This Sunday’s EYAL final, in a very warm and sunny Thurrock, saw the U17 men managing to achieve nine new personal bests between them.

The first track event of the day, the 100m Hurdles, meant a PB for Nathan Kallinga, who shows great promise for next year. Nathan also managed a second personal best in the high jump, clearing a fantastic 1.70m, alongside Tom O’Reilly, who finished in 2nd place.

In the sprints, both Jacob Haynes and Louis Jackson came a respectable 2nd place in the 100m. Jacob went on to compete in the 200m, coming fourth. Two more PBs were gained in the 400m, with great runs by both Ezra Fernandes and Jack Raine.

The middle distance squad of Tom O’Reilly, Michael Armstrong, Joe Chamberlain and Sam Burnell, all faced stiff competition in their races. Tom and Michael both managed 2nd place in the 800m, and Joe and Sam both finished a very determined 1st in their groups for the 1500m.

Thomas Ashton had a great end his season by gaining a new personal best in the Polevault, clearing 3.70m and finishing in 2nd place.

The long jump saw both Jack Raine and Team captain, Marcus Stansbury, both finish in 6th place, with Marcus then going on to achieve a PB in the Triple Jump.

There was more success for James Isaacs in the throws. Having just finished playing rugby, James came straight to Thurrock, making it just in time for his Discus competition, where he came 2nd with a huge throw of 39.52m and a new PB. James also came 2nd in the shot put.

The strong performances continued in the Javelin, where A string athlete Jasper Smith came 1st and the B string competition saw Callum Bennett gain a new PB, and finish in 2nd place.

We had a different line up to usual  in the 4x100m Relay. The team consisted of Jacob Haynes, Nathan Kallinga, Michael Armstrong and Marcus Stansbury. The team ran credibly, but had some very strong competition.

Special thanks must go to U15 athlete Oscar North, who competed for the U17’s on Sunday. At short notice Oscar threw shot and ran the 200m, where he came in a very respectable 5th place.

I have awarded Nathan Kallinga Athlete of the match for achieving two PBs.

Finally, I would like to say a huge well done and thank you to all of the U17mens team, including those who didn’t get to compete in the finals at the weekend, for helping to make my first year as  team manager an enjoyable one. Thanks must also go to the parents for their support throughout the year, without them we wouldn’t have a team.

Julie Hollis

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