Croydon Harriers came within just 3.5 points of a second place finish in last weekend’s opening round of Southern Premier Two of the Youth Development U13/U15 League.
There were many fine performances across the board, importantly backed up by athletes lower down the field and others filling gaps to score precious points.
Croydon’s sprinters reigned impressively supreme, winning all their individual events and relays. Across the board they achieved nine event maximums, A and B victories.
U13 sprinter Charles Hagen topped the bill with A string sprint victories, clocking 12.2sec for the 100m and 24.9sec for the 200m, both of which rank him number one nationally.
U15 sprinter Tyrese Johnson shone brightly too, with A string wins in the 100m (11.3sec) and 200m (23.2sec), performances which rank him top and sixth nationally.
Obi Onjekewe also caught the eye with his U15 hurdles and high jump double.
He won the 80m hurdlers in 12.1sec, 1.5sec clear of the runner up, and headed the high jump, 15cm above his nearest rival with a leap of 1.70m, both national top 10 performances.
The girls contributed well too with Marcia Sey notably registering national top six performances, when she won both her U13 75m sprint and 75m hurdles in 10.2sec and 11.7 sec respectively.
Anje Gbeyo, U13 shot and Verter Opong Keye 15 long jump were outstanding in the field winning with distances of 8.90m and 5.91m, placing them sixth and eighth nationally.
The Harriers golden relay achievers were: Toni Bryan, Nayana Brown, Kayla Bowley, Marcia Sley (U13 girls 4x100m 54.0sec), Ines-Kerel Zapa, Naomi Hoosang-Robinson, Chanice Gordon, Tosin Salami (U15 girls 4x100m 51.3sec), Raid Boukari, Jack Ennis, Ugo Ajeh, Charles Hagan (U13 boys 4x100m 53.4sec) and Nathaniel Marshall, Javone Reid, Chuks Ajeh, Tyrese Johnson (U15 boys 4x100m 47.8sec).
The club finished on 482 points for fourth place, two points behind Crawley, 3.5 points behind Windsor in second, and 28.5 points behind leaders Team Dorset.
Hopes will be high for the next match in this league, which will give them home advantage at the Croydon Arena on May 31.