On 1st May 2016 it was time for the U17 and U20 Orion Harriers Juniors to take part in their first YDL of the season at the Julie Rose Stadium in Ashford. For many of our athletes it was their first race of the summer and they wanted to try and claim as many pbs and points for the teams as they could after a long winter training.

The day started with the U20 and U17 400m and 300m hurdles races. Unfortunately there were no Orion athletes in the mens U20 race, but in the men’s U17 400 metre hurdle race Kie Laurence ran a good race to come home in 3rd place. Katherine Myers and Emily Sharpe then ran brilliantly to finish 4th and 3rd for Orion in the u20 and u17 400 and 300m hurdles races. Well done to the hurdlists.

Once the volunteers had cleared the track of all the hurdles it was time for the 1500m races. In the U20 mens race Jordan Chrisostomou ran a perfectly-paced race to finish in fourth and come away with a pb of 4:30. In the 1500m U17 boys race there was another chance for Joseph Owen to show just how quickly he has progressed into one of the nation’s top distance runners. Joe had sat on the 1st placed runners shoulder (Mason Webb of Basildon Beagles) and they were level going into the last 400m, but 400m was still long enough for Joe to pull away from Mason and eventually finish 7 seconds ahead of second place and come away with maximum points and a pb of 4:14. Joseph Clark also ran alongside Joseph Owen in the 1500m race and made sure that Orion took maximum points from the race by winning the B-string in a time of 4:42. In the women’s U20 1500m Maddie Carr also ran a brilliant race on her way to finishing second.

The Orion middle-distance runners had performed well in the 1500m, but now the attention was back on the sprinters in the 100m races. Hanif Henry and Myles-Kelly Hyatt both ran blisteringly-quick races in the men’s U20 100m race to finish in 1st and 4th place in the A and B string races in times of 11.46 and 11.80. Orion’s sprinters in the U17 men’s 100m races Rashaan Stuart and Jordan also impressed by running astonishing times of 11:57 and 11:63 to win both the A and B string competitions. Carmel Titmus-Browns also ran fast time of 14:93 to finish 5th in the B string race.

Next is was time for the 400 and 300m races. Charlie Weston and Thomas Young both ran well in there 400m races to finish 4th in both the A and B string races in times of 52:83 and 54:6. Courtney Reid also ran a pb of 68:39 in the U20 400m race to finish first in the B string and claim maximum points for Orion. Emily Sharpe also performed well in the U17 300m and finished 3rd for Orion running a year down in a time of 44:18.

The hurdles were then once again lined up on the track ready for some more fast races. Katherine Myers ran well in the Women’s U20 100mh race to finish fourth in a time of 18:42. Rashaan Stuart also came home in 2nd place for Orion in the U17 men’s 100mh race in a time of 16:44.

Orion had 3 athletes competing in the 3000m men’s race. George Day, Josh Iton and Eden Coleman all raced well to finish in times of 9:47,9:56 and 10:05. In the women’s 3000m race Hannah Julian ran 14:49 to finish in 2nd place for Orion.

Most of the track events had now been competed but it was now time for the 200m, 800m, Steeplechase races and relays to be ran. In the men’s U20 100m race Hanif Henry claimed his second win of the day in a time of 23:17, after winning the 100m earlier on in the day. Myles Kelly Hyatt also ran a quick race to claim 4th place for Orion in the B race. In the U17 men’s 200m race Jordan Roberts and Rashaan Stuart both finished in the top 3 places for the second time in the day with Joran 3rd in the A string and Rashaan 2nd in the B string. Sherrine Stuart and Carmel Tiemus-Browne both impressed in the girls U17 20m races with Sherrine coming 4th in her race and Carmel 3rd in her’s.

Now it was time for the faster middle-distance race of the day, the 800m. In the 800m U20 men’s race Daniel Richards ran a great race to finish 5th in the a string with Thomas Young also running well to win the B string in 2:05. Sophie Grant and Joelle Ewen also rain respectable times in U20 women’s 800m with Sophie Grant beating Joelle to the line in a astonishing sprint finish to finish 2nd and 1st in the a and b string.

The last track events before the relays were the steeplechase races. Unfortunately there were no runners in the men’s steeplechase events but Maddie Car did run in the women’s 1500m sc and ran a well-judged race to finish 3rd for Orion.

At track events all over the country most of the attention is on the athlete’s taking part in events on the track, but don’t worry Orion throwers and jumpers, I did not forget about you. In the men’s u20 hammer throw Charlie Weston and Joss Foot both threw distances of over 15m to finish 4th and 2nd in the A and B string. Michael Appiah also through a distance of 18:92 to finish 4th in the U17 event. Courtney Reid and Iris Maxwell also both threw brilliant distances of 18:31 and 17:47 in the women’s U20 hammer throw. However, Lucy Dodd threw even further than any of the other Orion hammer throwers with a distance of 32:77 to claim1st place in the women’s u17 hammer throw.

In the men’s u20 long jump William Huke and Kie Laurence both jumped well to finish 4th and 1st place in the A and B string. Moses Musonns also leapt into first place courtesy of his 11.79 jump in the u17 mens long jump. Joyce Mbatika and Maddie Carr also did well in the women’s long jump as they both finished fourth in the u17 and u20 competitions.

Sophie Grant and Joelle continued their fierce rivalry in the pole vault with Sophie once again coming out on top after juping 2 metres with Joelle just behind on 1.85.

Next up in the throwing events was the shot put. Hanif Henry, Thomas Young and Michael all threw well to earn more valuable points for the team in the men’s u20 and u17 shot. Courtney Reid, Iris Maxwell and Lucy Dodd all threw over 5 metres too in the women’s shot put to gain more points for team Orion.

In the U20 men’s discus Joss Foot took part in another throwing event finishing fifth in the a string with George Day also throwing 3rd best in the b string. Michael Appiah threw a good distance to claim 3rd in the U17 event along with Courtney Reid who came 2nd in the U20 a string an Iris Maxwell, 2nd in the B string. Lucy Dodd also competed in the U17 girl’s discus finishing fourth.

In the triple jump Orion were desperately trying to get as many athletes as they could to compete and gain points for the team. In the end they got Joseph Owen, who finished 2nd in the U20s, Moses Musonns , who jumped brilliantly to win the U17 boys event, and Katherine Myers and Melissa Cleary, second and third in the U20s.

After competing in most of the other throwing events, it was time for Joss Foot to throw his favoured Javelin. Joss Foot did go on to win the U17 men’s javelin, with Katie Inch, Amy Richards and Emily Sharpe all stepping up and throwing well to gain points for Orion.

It was now time for the last track events of the day, the relays. Overall the relays went pretty well for Orion, with the standout performance coming from the women’s u17 4X100m relay team finishing 2nd, the women’s U17 4X300m relay team who won and the Men U20 400m relay team finishing 3rd.

Overall the first YDL went very well for Orion, as the U17 and U20 team finished 3rd out of 7 teams in the first match of four. As well as helping to claim a great team position overall, many of the athletes also gained PBs and a few even broke some club records! Well done to all the athletes who competed on the day and thanks to all the volunteers and team managers who helped out on the day. Looking forward to the next YDL on 29th May in Eltham.

Report by Joseph Clarke