Ilford young athletes raced at two venues this weekend, four athletes went to the second Essex League match at Hockley, whilst the other two represented their school in the English schools cup.
Freezing cold conditions met the athletes at Hockley, however by the time the races got underway the frost had melted and the ground was firm underfoot. Ilford had three athletes lining up for the U15 boys race, and all of them made very positive starts. At the end of the small lap Farris Patel was in 5th place, with Jak Wright just behind in 7th and Bradley Deacon having a great run inside the top 20. The larger lap took the athletes onto the hillier parts of the course and whilst Farris and Jak had lost a few places Bradley was moving through the field. As they came out woods for the final sprint to the finish Farris showed his track speed and finished and excellent 7th, Jak was close behind in 9th place. Bradley had his best ever run in an Essex League for a brilliant 15th.
Jordan Hinds was in the U17 girls race, she has been experimenting a bit with her starts this season, and this was one of her slower starts. By the end of the first lap she was nicely positioned and was ready for the hills. Her recent hard training and hill work paid over in the second lap and she was able to move through to take a seasons best place of 15th.
Meanwhile Aaron Samuels and Matthew Hick both represented their schools in the English Schools cup. Both have had to go through 2 preliminary rounds to make the final ,where the top 30 schools in the country compete for both the individual and team titles ,out of more than 600 schools that originally started.
Aaron completed in the u15s and made a promising start and kept with the leaders during the first 2k.Aaron then pushed himself more towards the leaders and took the lead with about 600m to go and powered away from a top quality field to win the individual English schools team title
This is a great achievement from the Ilford athlete who gets better with every race
Matthew Hick competed in the U13s race in another very competitive race and even though he got a bad start he worked through the field to come in the 50s out of a large field and was part of his school team who ended up coming second in the team event out of the 30 schools competing
Great performances by all our youngsters in preparation for the Essex champs next weekend