Croydon Harriers' young athletes are celebrating promotion to the top tier of the UK Youth Development for the first time, thanks to a runners-up finish in their Premier Two clash at Hornchurch.
In the blistering sunshine, Croydon’s U13 and U15 boys and girls bagged 489 points, behind division winners Harrow (515) but clear of fellow promotion challengers Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow (465.5).
Fresh from winning the English Schools Championships junior boy’s 100m last weekend, Tyrese Johnson-Fisher led from the front with three individual events wins.
He triumphed in the U15 boys 100m in 11.2secs, with Chuks Ajeh (11.5secs) to take the A and B event honours, and gained another maximum with Verter Oppong-Kyei (5.69m) in the long jump leaping to 5.98m. His third win came in the shot putt (12.82m).
Speedy: Chucks Ajeh in action for the Croydon Harriers
Oppong-Kyei gained a win of his own in the U15 boy’s pole vault with a 2.50m clearance in his debut in the event.
Sprint hurdlers Obi Onyejekwe (11.9secs) and Ezra Rodrigues (13.1secs) notched a maximum in the 80m hurdles.
Another sprinting protege Charles Hagan (ranked third in the UK in the U13 boys 100m) bagged two wins.
The first came in the 100m in 12.2secs, and then teamed up with Seedorf Attah in the 200m to gain an event maximum. Ange Gbeyo triumphed in the shot putt (10.34m).
In the U13 girls ranks, Marcia Sey scooped three individual event wins. She teamed with Toni Bryan in the 75m, and then Kayla Bowley in the 150m, to take maximum honours, and was well clear in the 70m hurdles in 11.2secs.
Croydon concluded the day with a clean sweep in the four sprint relays.
The youngsters will now take their place in Premier One for the first time since the league’s conception two years ago.
In parkrun action, there were three wins for Croydon Harriers thanks to Simon Loughran (Nonsuch Park), David Chambers (Riddlesdown) and Glenn Barden (Beckton).
This weekend sees the junior team attempt to emulate their younger counterparts in the UKYDL at Harrow on Sunday.