Havering youngsters impress YDL Upper fixture and School Games

School Games medallists at Loughborough 

School Games medallists at Loughborough - Credit: Florence Okoro

Havering athletes shrugged off late withdrawals as they comfortably won a low key final YDL Upper (Under 17 and Under 20) fixture at Basildon on Sunday.

The under 17 Women were close to full strength and once again Stephanie Okoro took top billing with two winning performances.

The English Schools and National 300m hurdles champion stepped down to race at 80m hurdles for the first time and clocked the seventh fastest ever by a club U17.

She followed up with the fastest 200m clocking by a club female since 2014, and the fourth fastest ever by a club U17W – both winning performances.

Okoro added shot points before ending her busy weekend by anchoring the 4x300m relay squad to victory in a new club record as Lucy Nattrass, Natalie Sewell and Olivia Boachie put her in pole position.

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There were double wins for Olivia Sorae (100m & long jump), Uche Okpalauko (200m B & high jump), Paige Robinson (B hurdles and high jump), and Katie Ennis (discus and hammer). Olivia Boachie won the 300m, while Natalie Sewell and Maddie Barker won both A & B 800m events.

Karis Thomas joined Lucy, Uche and Paige in the second placed sprint relay team.

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For the under 17 Men Patrick McLean-Tattan and Brendan Burgess added PBs as both won shot & discus A & B strings, and Patrick was also hammer runner up with a PB.

Sam Mahoney and Shane Hart finished neck and neck to win both A & B 1500m event and there were also wins for Ronnie Adoma (400m) and Denzel Achi (long jump).

Second place points were gained by Ridwan Salaam (100m B), Archie Winey (400m B) and Charlie Howell (800m B) and Oliver Grundy (javelin - PB).

Dan Peters joined Ronnie, Archie and Patrick in the winning 4x400m relay squad, and Ronnie, Ridwan, Jack Botha and Denzel were sprint relay runners up.

The small under 20 Women scored well. Second claim athletes Grace Iyinbor and Josephine Larkins won the hurdles and hammer, and added second places in the javelin and shot respectively.

Aaliyah Payne won the 100m B, and Sydney Foley won the 1500m and was second in the 800m and long jump, while Emma Ramsden picked up full points in the B shot.

Aaliyah and Emma were joined by Esther Agnimel and Temitope Ajayi in the second placed sprint relay team.

The under 20 Men’s team were also smaller than usual. There were track wins from Louis Berrett in the 800m and Toby Bishop in the 400m hurdles, and Toby also won the B javelin, with Hal Hutton throwing beyond 50m for the first time to win the A javelin.

Darah Thomas and Aaron Freshwater won both strings of the high jump, and Daragh (400m) and Aaron (triple jump) added runner up points.

There were also second places for Aaron Eweka (long jump), James With (110m hurdles) and sprinters Michael Okoro (100m B) and Malcolm Oshungbohun (200m B). James, Malcolm, Toby and Aaron combined for second in the sprint relay, before Louis, Daragh, Michael and Charlie Howell won the 4x400m relay.

Five club athletes took part in the prestigious School Games Finals at Loughborough, which brought together the leading Under 17 athletes in the UK and three returned with medals.

Stephanie Okoro has dominated the 300m hurdles this season and did not disappoint clocking a fast 43.17s for victory despite clattering the first and last flights.

Stephanie added a silver medal in the 4x300m relay for her Rio team – each team was named after Olympic host cities - with Olivia Boachie, who had earlier placed sixth in the 300m individual event, helping her Athens team to bronze.

Denzel Achi was outside the medals in his favoured long jump, placing fourth, but stepped in to cover a gap in the 100m and was rewarded with a bronze medal in that event.

Jacob Blanc was a favourite to add the sprint hurdles crown to his English Schools and England Athletics titles, but after placing a close fourth in the 400m hurdles event, was a little below par in the 100m hurdles as his opponents raised their game and edged him out of the medals into fourth.

Dikachi Godwin was the fifth of the club contingent, placing a respectable fifth behind Achi in the long jump.

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