Club Athletes Play Key Role in Team Avon Success

Team Avon, a composite of a number of local clubs, were very impressive yesterday at Derby as they proceeded to run away from the opposition and gain a place in next year’s Midland Premier Division of the National Junior League.  Team Avon finished with 527 points heading their nearest rivals Derby by 87 points.  Bristol & West members were key performers in this very strong team and this report is solely confined to our Club performances.

Multi-eventer James TAYLOR was in his element on the day being asked to compete in 4 individual events.  James produced two very satisfying personal bests in the big throws with a 12.53 PB in the Shot and a 40.68 PB in the Discus.   He also produced a reasonable Long Jump of 5.52 metres and then – to fill in – challenged the 110 metre hurdles with a 20.6 second clocking.  The latter was no mean feat as the wind was blowing against at the time at 5.2 m/s.  This was the highest wind reading of the day and marred any real hopes of decent times.  All in all this will set James in good stead for his last big competition of the year when he goes to the English Schools Multi-Events competition on 17 / 18 September.  We wish James the very best in this prestigious event and thank him for choosing B&W as his first claim club.  James has been a major asset to our Senior Team this year and will grow in his importance to the Club as the years proceed.

Our Sprinters were excellent coming close seconds in both the 100 metres and 200 metres but as remarked before decent times were lost with the high wind.  Scott BAJERE fought hard with the winner but was 1 sec off his best with 11.5 seconds and International Leon REID could only make 22.6 for 200 metres in exactly the same time as the winner.  Great runs but I am sure neither of our lads will be happy with their times.  Never the less they went on to form 50% of the 4×100 metre relay team and won by a clear 20 metres in 43.8 seconds. 

Luke BAILEY as usual was a stalwart for the team with an outstanding win in the Pole Vault with a 4.10 metre jump and then scored valuable points in the Javelin with second B string at 33.09 metres.

In the 3km Luke JACOBS ran in a leading group of 3 for much of the race and was eventually broken with about 800 metres to go whilst Zak TOBIAS ran at an easy pace for much of the race after feeling a little unwell on the journey.  However, as Luke faded so Zak picked up and at the finish they had swapped positions with Zak taking third in the A race and Luke picking up a win in the B race.  Times of 9:18.3 and 9:41.4 were well earned on such a blustery day.  Zak also ran a sound 1,500 metres to come fourth in 4:16.3.

On the Women’s side it was pleasing to see the positive run that Alyssa SMALL has been promising for a long time.  She improved her PB with a 13.6 clocking despite a high wind against her.  Second in the B string was highly creditable in such a strong race.  Alyssa went on to impress with a very excellent run in the 4×100 metres relay to help Team Avon to a third place.

Vanessa BRAN doubled in the 1,500 metres & 3,000 metres and like Luke set about the leaders in the early stages of the 3km.  However, the wind again took over and Vanessa faded back to fifth in the A string.  She gamely came out again to run the 1,500m B and took a very worthy second place with a 5:38.3 clocking.

Pride of place in the Women’s team has to go to UK Under-17 Pole Vault Champion Lucy Bryan who dominated the event to win with a 3.90 metre clearance.  She then moved on to the High Jump where she again was superior to her other competitors and she won with a season’s best of 1.65 metre.  It was disappointing that Lucy was not awarded Athlete of the Match but the doubtful % scoring system for calculation demanded that she beat her British U17 Record to succeed???

Two associated B&W competitors Alice Grosjean and Lottie McCARTHY who are in fact first claim to Mendip AC also performed well.  Alice was fourth A in the Shot with 9.19 and third A in the Discus with a fine 32.32 throw.  Lottie filled a gap in the 100 metre hurdles with an excellent 18.7 clocking (into a high wind) to take third in the B string.

Overall this was a dominating display by Team Avon but I fear it will need to be backed up further if they are to make a mark in the Midland Premier League.   

Mike Strange – August 29 2011