The action was at Cardiff this week for the UWIC Grand Prix 3 (that also incorporated the Welsh Masters Champs). It also marked the effective end of the Indoor season for another year.
Bristol & West athletes were out in force and fielded some great results with 4 Grand Prix winners and a Masters age World Record.
Pride of place must go to Steve MITCHELL who made a tremendous break through at 1,500m with a formidable clocking of 3:46.05. This was by far a PB (3 seconds) and it brings Steve right into the top flight in the UK claiming 7th ranking at this moment. Steve looked confident and assured throughout the race following closely behind pacemaker Chris Discombe until with three laps to go he just accelerated away to win clearly from all of his rivals. Comforting for B&W was the fact that in 4th place new signing Charlie MACLEAN eased in with a fine 3:57.99 clocking. When you think that Charlie clocked 9:22.37 for 3k Steeplechase and 62.6 for 400m Hurdles you will recognize what a great signing he is for the Club.
In the Masters competition Jeremy HOGAN ran a steady race to clock 4:47.09 for 5th place.
In the Shot the consistent James PRESTON came good to win the Grand Prix with an excellent throw of 13.07. James has finished close up to the winner on a number of occasions this Winter and it was really good to see him winning this important event.
As usual the Pole Vaulters were out in force and we had clear wins for Lucy BRYAN (3.85) and Luke BAILEY (4.20) with the supporting cast of Isobel HATCH (2.95); Steve WEST (3.40) and Martin DAVIES (3.10) all looking in great form. Lucy of course won the England Athletics Under-17 Champs last week and is dominating in any competition but Isobel who was 8th in last week’s Championships is now confidently handling a stiffer pole and is really looking for a big break through when the Summer comes. Luke, to whom I apologise for missing reporting on coming 6th in last week’s Under-20 Championships with 4.30m (which is near his indoor PB of 4.32m, (his Mother smacked my legs for that)) came into the competition late, cleared 4.20 with ease and then went for a new PB of 4.40m. The first two attempts at 4.40m were quite tentative and then on the third attempt he missed a landmark clearance by the narrowest of margins. Don’t worry Luke 4.40m will come very soon.
In the Masters events Carol POWELL warmed up with a solid 200m clocking of 29.29 before turning to the 400m and pulling out another World Record V55 mark of 63.39 secs. This time completely washed away the gloom from last week where this World Champion was not happy with a 65+ time. She was unchallenged in the race, went through 200m in 30.14 before powering through to yet another World Record. This will set her up well for her escapades in Europe next week.
Chris DODD ran a sound 800m to finish 2nd in 1:56.66 and was followed by Finnish International Gustav KLINGSTEDT, who was experimenting with alternative distances (Gus is a 400m Hurdler) in 5th place in 1:57.73. Gus also ran the 200m to take 2nd place in 22.90.
Multi event Under-20 athlete James TAYLOR improved on his recent Long Jump performances with a sound 5.80 jump for 3rd place and ran well in a close 60m to come 7th in 7. 94.
All together it was a very excellent day for all of our athletes who traveled to Cardiff.
(Note Power of 10 is showing all distance races rounded up to the nearest 10th but I can assure you that times quoted here are accurate to 100th’s. )
Mike Strange – 9th March 2011