Despite not winning an individual event Avon’s U13 Boys team have won the UK Sports Hall title beating off the challenge of 11 other Regional finalists including Birmingham, past winners for the last 3 years at the NEC on Sunday.
This represented a fantastic team effort with all 12 boys contributing to an unexpected win. Although Avon’s U13 Boys have won 3 other titles in the 1990s this was the first win this decade although last years team came a close 2nd.
To add to the delight the U13 Girls team finished in their highest ever position of 4th place.
Young St.Mary Radcliffe student Matthew Chapman ran the race of his life to claim a Silver medal in the 6 Lap race and then was called into the 8lap Pairs relay at short notice to combine with Zachary Rigby (St.Bedes) to again produce an unexpected Silver medal behind a talented South London duo.
Although Matthew Mattis(St.Bedes) in the High Jump (1m45) and Josh Caulfield (Priory )in the Shot (pb 11m34) both took Bronze medals they scored 1st place points for the team as they were beaten in the competition only by Individual competitors.
Zachary Rigby and Dean Taylor (Merchants Academy) both made the 6 man 4 lap final where Zach finished 4th and Dean 6th both again beaten by individual competitors and so scored 2nd and 4th points. Dean ran a great heat to qualify and then produced a magnificent Standing Long Jump Pb of 2m55 for the Bronze.
The 4x2Lap relay including Jospin Buxton,Tom Davison(Priory) ,Matt Mattis (St.Bedes) and Marcus Hook (SMR) came within a whisker of beating the Birmingham quartet finishing a fine 2nd.Sadly a dropped baton in the 4x1lap relay meant a 5th place finish instead of 2nd.Marcus Hook(SMR) took 4th place on countback in the Vertical Jump with 64cms
Brian Miclat (St.Bernadettes) produced a Pb in the Shot with 10m12, and Tom Davison (Priory) doubtful with injury problems until Thursday competed with guts and determination in his events.
Mention to must be made of David Alexander (Bristol GS) who finished 5th of the 24 competitors in the 6lap and Jamie Hoare (priory) a late replacement for the unavailable Josh Allen. Jamie ran and jumped his heart out in the High Jump and 4x1Lap relay.
Jack Dyer (Bed.Down) proved a helpful and enthusiastic reserve taking 2nd place in the non scoring race.
The Under 13 Girls team finished the event with 3 Gold medals.
A fantastic 6 lap race saw Katie Grinyer (Clevedon) tie for 1st place, a feat equalled by Sophie Thomas (Worle) in the Speed Bounce with 86 bounces.
The 4×1 Lap relay team of Alexandra Alden (Redland Green) Yemma Songu, Georgia O Sullivan (Fairfield) and Anicia Skeates (St.Bedes) baton changed superbly to win the event in great fashion.
The 4x2lap Relay of Sophie Thomas, Alex.Alden, Natalie Ogden, and Yemma Songu ran well for 4thplace
Top 6 finishers also included a great double for Natalie Ogden(Backwell) who made the 2 Lap final finishing 5th and a 4th place in the Speed Bounce with 85.Anicia Skeates ,off a short run up took 6th place with 1m40,whilst mention should also be made of gutsy efforts from Natasha Jones(Redland Green) finishing a creditable 10th in the Vertical Jump,and Stevie Parker(St.Bernadettes)in the 6lap,and Maddie Burnell(Bristol GS) in the 4 lap.
All members of the team deserve the highest praise including reserve Redlyn Street (St.Bernadettes) who finished 2nd in the non scoring race.
Team manager Dave Turner was absolutely convinced that Birmingham had won because they had won all 3 high scoring Relays, and had resigned him to another 2nd team place.
When the results were read out both Sue Jones (Girls Team Manager) and Dave T were shocked and speechless at the performances and positions of the teams.
A very special day which will live long in the memory for all concerned and special thanks must go to all the parents, supporters and athletes for their part in this epic day.
This success would not have been possible without the link with Wesport and senior Competitions Manager Lisa Blacow, who organise and support Sports Hall athletic Schools competitions throughout the Autumn and Spring when many of the athletes are identified as being potential team members.
Dave Taylor April 20th 2010.