With the UK still in lockdown it was again down to one of the club’s Stateside contingent to provide the on track action 


Tom Pitkin, who graduated from Brunel University last summer, made his long-waited debut for Butler University, Indianapolis after much of their indoor season had been on hold.  Pitkin who represented Ireland at 400m in the European Under 23 Championships in 2019 had not raced since August that year but returned to the track in style at the Big East Triangular event in Chicago to place third in the individual 400m with an indoor PB of 49.57s. He ran even faster an hour later, clocking an impressive 48.38s opening leg for the Butler quartet in the 4 x 400m relay squad setting them on the way to victory in a Butler record of 3m 16.54s. With the US outdoor season starting on 20th March Pitkin soon hopes to be back in outdoor action, after being unable to race domestically in 2020 before making his move Stateside.


With all club training and competitions still not allowed under the current lockdown, club athletes took the opportunity to compete in the Chelmsford Virtual Junior Challenge, held last week. Athletes had to run designated distances between 13th and 20th February  within a reasonable distance from home, under adult supervision, record their times on permitted running apps, and submit these to the organisers.


Club teams came out on top in three age groups, and added a runners up and third placed team,  with two individual runners up and two third place finishes.  Overall an impressive 36 club athletes too part and the club had the most finishers in two age groups. The victories were achieved by the Under 13 boys, with Findlay McLaren second and Jack West third, with Freddie Rowe in 8th, and both Under 17 teams, as runner up Alex Ford, third placed Dan Peters  and Matt Blacklock in 7th, took the men’s honours, while Maddie Barker (4th), Natalie Sewell (5th) and Hannah Yexley – 12th) won the women’s equivalent.  Freya Long (6th and Charlotte & Hannah Evans (8th & 11th) were Under 15 girls’ runners up, and Daniel Lamas (9th), Ryan Carroll (10th) and Oliver Taylor-Bush (12th) placed third for the U15 boys. The Under 13 Girls trio of Maggie Smith, Rosie Warner & Abigail Rogers were in 8th. RESULTS 


Zoe Hughes broke Kate Cowley's senior women's club long jump record with a 6.16m leap, competing indoors at Clemson, South Carolina on Friday. Her first round jump added 9cms to her career best and 4cms to Cowley's record, set in July 2004.

The US based athlete, now a Global Health graduate student at Duke University, after graduating from Harvard last summer, has had mixed fortunes in recent years after a series of minor injuries but has shown good form since the New Year in her indoor competitions, with more to come.  .