Thetford Athletics Club youngsters show promise in relays

Thetford U15 Boys at Aldershot, from left to right, Joe Smythe, Tom Mead, Aiden Try, Harley Swan and

Thetford U15 Boys at Aldershot, from left to right, Joe Smythe, Tom Mead, Aiden Try, Harley Swan and Darren Mead. - Credit: Submitted

Thetford Athletics Club U15 Boys made their first competitive showing following the end of the track and field season at the first of three mammoth relay events over the next few weeks.

The South of England Road Relay Championships is traditionally the curtain raiser to the long and challenging winter season with thousands of athletes from across the South converging on Aldershot for this popular event.

Ironically, the opening race of the winter season was warmer and brighter than many of the summer days that had come before, making the three-kilometre legs that the Thetford boys had to endure even tougher.

There were 47 complete teams, each consisting of four athletes taking their turn to run a 3km leg each.

In the U15 Boys’ race Thetford finished in a highly creditable 13th place, just missing out on the top 10 which would have meant automatic qualification to the National Road Relay Championships.

Harley Swan opened the race for Thetford, completing the course in 10:18, the 21st fastest time for that leg. Aiden Try followed with a 15th fastest second leg of 10:21. Tom Mead was the quickest Thetford boy over the three kilometres on the day with an impressive ninth fastest third-leg time of 10:15. Joe Smythe then ran the anchor leg, clocking a time of 10:55, the 24th fastest time over the final stage.

Thetford’s team time of 41:49 was just over two minutes off the leading time set by winners, Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers who clocked 39:27. The quickest individual leg of 9:17 was run by Lachlan Wellington, competing for the City of Portsmouth AC.

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Another Thetford junior athlete was in action over the weekend with U13, Jessica Norkett, competing in one of the final track and field competitions of the season at the Biggleswade Open.

On a fantastic day for Norkett, she ended her season with personal best performances in the 800m and the long jump, clocking 2:37 on her way to victory in the 800m race and leaping to second place in the long jump with a distance of 3.55m.

Norkett also equalled her PB in the 200m sprint with a time of 31.1 seconds.