This was another big weekend again for our Track & Field athletes with good performances at the McCain UK Challenge at Cardiff, the England Athletics Under 15/20 Champs at the National Indoor Arena and the UK Masters Champs at Lea Valley.
McCain UK Challenge
Steve MITCHELL had an excellent run in the UK Challenge 1,500m at Cardiff tracking the leader until into the last two laps where he shot passed only to then be tracked by UK International Anthony Whitman. Steve pressed on with an increasing pace and beat Whiteman by over a second and finished within 0.01 of his indoor pb with a fine 3:49.03 secs. Steve went on to lead off the South London Sharks’ winning Medley Relay team with a 1:53 800m leg to complete a great day against top competition.
Hayley PITMAM hit the heights as well (literally) when she twice improved her indoor pb ending with 1.74m to take 2nd place in the High Jump. Hayley is now desperately close to our outstanding Club Record (1.75m) set in 1976 by International Denise Cooper whom she will surely succeed if she continues her present form. Hayley cleared first time at 1.62, 1.65, 1.68 before beating her previous pb with a second attempt clearance at 1.71. It was a first time clearance again to achieve 1.74 before going out of the competition in new territory.
Theo CAMPBELL acquitted himself well in the Triple Jump taking 4th place with a 6th round jump of 14.36m. This was Theo’s 2nd best jump of the indoor season again against a classy field.
EA Under 20 Champs
At the Under 20 Champs Lucy BRYAN (U17) succeeded as expected taking the Gold Medal with an excellent 3.90m clearance. Lucy holds the UK best performance mark with the 4.02 that she set in December.
Closely following Lucy must come the outstanding sprinting of Scott BAJERE. Scott for so long found the breakthrough from 7.00 a difficult step to take but after breaking through in the Midland Champs he hammered that time again. In the Semi-final and Final he achieved new pb’s of 6.91 & finally 6.90 to take the silver medal that he deserved.
Kwame FORDWOR also stormed in as our Club 2nd ranked sprinter this year with 7.12 & 7.13 clockings to go out in a close semi-final. Remember Kwame has just stepped up from the Under 17 ranks and has much time to improve as Scott has obviously done.
UK Masters Champs
At Lea Valley our three Masters Competitors did well to take 2 Gold Medals and 4 Silver Medals between them. World Champion Caroline POWELL won the 60m in 8.88sec and then went on to take her speciality, the 400m in 65.39 secs in the Over 55 grouping.
Dave BEDWELL is now also in the same age group and he took Silver in the 800m with 2:18.97 and the 1500m in 4:39.60. It was also good to see that Alison HURFORD was back on the boards with fine Silver Medal runs in the O50 800m in 2:36.14 & 1500m in 5:14.90. Well done Ali it’s great to see at the front again.
Our only competitor was Scott DAVIE who continued his comeback with another 4.00m clearance to win the Pole Vault.
The noteable achievement of the weekend was a great 3km / 5km double by Steph BARNES. On Saturday in the SEC Indoor Champs at Fayetteville, Arizona Steph competed in the 3km, running 9:38.79 before re-appearing on the Sunday to achieve 16:54.88 in the 5km. That is a real endurance feat for a 22 year old and displays real gusts. Well done Steph.
David BISHOP and Emma REED both had strangely slow Mile races in Albequerque New Mexico where neither could be happy with 4:19.60 & 5:16.9 clockings. Could there have been a mis-measurement on this track?
Skeleton Bob – Winter World Championships
Our International Member Katharine EUSTACE (still relatively a novice on the ice) had brilliant 2nd and 4th round runs in the Women’s Skeleton event in Germany to take 14th place in her first World Championships event. She finished only 3.35 secs (over 4 runs) down on British 4th placer and former Olympic Silver Medalist Shelly Rudman. I believe Katharine was 6th fastest over the final run and could be seen happily standing on the ‘leading run’ dais for some time on the Eurovision broadcast. Great sliding Katharine we are proud that your fast starting comes from your background with Bristol & West AC.
Next weekend a good number of B&W athletes are expected at the final UWIC Grand Prix in Cardiff. (Entry on the day). Steve MITCHELL again challenges the cream of Wales at middle distance where an old mate James Thie is expected to be one of those challengers. Our Finnish International Gustav KLINGSTEDT is also expected to be seen at 400m as he visits the Bristol area for a few days.
Mike Strange – 28th February 2011