The Midland Division 1 South West meeting of the National Young Athletes League was held on Sunday 5th June 2011 at the Kip Keino Athletic Stadium, Stoke Gifford.
The match result was a convincing win for Bristol & West Athletic Club and another step forward in building a team that will merit a place in the Premier Division.
The visitors enjoyed their first visit to the Kip Keino Stadium and the Club had the experience of hosting a Young Athletes League fixture at the venue for the first time. The meeting was well supported by officials and volunteers who ensured the meeting was efficiently run. We have to thank them all. We could not operate without the qualified officials, the team of hurdle and barrier movers, the recorders, and surprisingly we are talking about 30 people mustered by the club to make it all work.
The day threatened to be one at 10.30 am when I thought it would be best to go home and not get wet through. The dire threat did not persist and whilst occasionally damp I will not remember sunshine but a day that could have been totally unpleasant.
The athletes did what good athletes do and got on with things.
In the under-13s Alex Hayhurst and Hannah Dyer ran strongly to record good winning times in the 800 metres and 1,200 metres respectively. Kinnie Songu must have enjoyed a bit of a supporting breeze to enable her to take just 10.6 seconds for her 75 metres run, a grade 2 performance. Evie Parker-Yarrow clocked a grade 4 22.4 seconds in the 150 metres race.
Simonne’s power of persuasion enabled Claudia to borrow a vaulting pole from the Carmarthen Team and then go on to clear 2.30 metres. A grade 4 performance backing up her grade 4 winning performance in the 75 metres hurdles. Amy Parker was given the verdict over Yemma Songu in the 100 metres but both ended up with the grade 4 time of 13.5 seconds. Other under-15s not named are improving their performances in a range of events and beginning to like some new events.
Maria Jones and Victoria Kenny were the only two under-17s to compete. The impact of exams and other competitions is understandable but clearly shows we have much to do in recruitment, development and retention of the younger athletes. Victoria was the winner of the combined 1,500 metres race (Grade 4) and Maria won the shot putt (grade 4) and was 2nd in the 200 metres race.
Hugh Sadler finished superbly to win the 800m (G4) backed up by Anton Mills in 3rd place. Simonne was impressed by all her hurdlers, Tom Murray and Kurt Cameron and hurdle novice Ashley Little. Jason Harkness had one of those moments that happens to the best of hurdlers when hitting a hurdle and only just managing to stay on his feet. He managed to finish so it is hopefully back to do some training.
Matthew Mattis won then under-15 100 metres, shot putt and high jump. Two grade 3s emphasised his ‘Athlete of the Match’ award at Match 2. When I remember he will get the T-Shirt!
The under-15 boys 4 x 100 metres relay quartet was only marginally slower than the under-17s. It is great to see athletes who have done well during the afternoon coming together to finish on a high. Jack Dyer and Freddie Owsley like the rest of the team are improving. Both appear to be capable of getting closer to 55 seconds for 400 metres.
Chris Stone achieved a sprint double in the under-17s 100 metres and 200 metres (Grade 4). Zak Tobias and Luke Jacobs had a good afternoon with very respectable times in the 800 metres and the 3,000 metres. Maximum team points from the two events is great.
Javare Blackman and Zeyn Mulla arrived late in the day (revision completed) to make an impression in the 400 metres and 4 x 100 metres relay.
Jake Cussell (3 Grade 4s), Ben Miller and Jonathan Clayton made a huge difference. I am reliably informed Jake achieved a PB in the high jump and his discus throw looked pretty good. I reckon I used to throw as far when I was his age. It’s strange what memory does!
The NYAL season concludes with a trip to Yeovil on the 19th June when we compete against Yeovil Olympiads and Rhonda Valley. It should be a second win of the season which will leave the team second or third in the Division with Team Bath the likely winners of the Division.
Athletes please make yourself available for the final NYAL fixture but do beware as you may be involved in the South West Schools on the 18th June.
Hilary Nash – 6th June 2011