Mike Strange’s Track & Field Bulletin

With the euphoria of the Men’s Team getting back into the British Athletics League we seem to have overlooked some outstanding International performances by our athletes that do need recording.

First Leon REID went to the Commonwealth Youth Games in the Isle of Man in early September and again clocked an outstanding series of 100 metre runs (heat 10.91 +1.1; semi-final 10.66 +3.4; final 10.72 +2.9) to finish sixth in the final.  A pity that this caused whatever problem Leon had that made him miss the BAL Qualifier a week later.

Lucy BRYAN who was denied competition at the Youth Games above due to a lack of facilities in the IoM was repaid with a magnificent Senior UK International selection against USA at Newcastle in the Great North Street Games.  What a tremendous opportunity for Lucy to stay in a hotel and mix with her own Pole Vault heroes and other stars of the recent World Championships.  Lucy would probably be a little disappointed with her vault of 4.76m in coming third but conditions were unusual and difficult.  One American competitor failed to record a height so I think that indicates the difficulty factor.  Lucy was also featured on the BBC TV telecast so we all managed to watch her performance (I hope) and just think how our UK under-17 Record Holder felt in front of such esteemed opponents and enthusiastic spectators.  A word of thanks as well to Lucy who took time out on 10th September to come to College Green to present the prizes and trophies to the victorious competitors in our Street Sprint and Mile races – the youngsters loved it Lucy. 

On the same weekend, 17/18 September James Taylor competed in the English Schools Combined Events Championships at Exeter Arena.  James came a creditable tenth scoring 5,417 points (his personal best is 5,486 points set in June).  The performance was made up of the following event performances: 12.09; 5.97; 11.51; 1.69; 55.53; 18.83; 39.07; 3.53; 37.84 & 5:07.28) the HJ 1.69 & JT 37.84 were PBs and James is awfully close to our Club Record of 5,731 held by Simon PARLEY.

On a personal note I am also pleased to record that one of the athletes whom I coach, Anicia Skeates, of NSAC also competed at Exeter and improved her 75 metres hurdles time from 12.4 secs to 12.14.  Joy BRAY also coaches Anicia for High Jump where she cleared 1.41 metres so you see Bristol & West coaches have a major input into her 5 event Pentathlon.

In far away Albania Kate GOODHEAD was competing for GB in the World Mountain Running Champs and completed the arduous 8.77 km course in 56:07 to take 41st place.  Well done on another Mountain Running International Kate.

Claire HALLISSEY ran on the famous Half Marathon course in Philadelphia (USA) where Nick Rose set a UK Record in 1985 and posted another excellent performance of 72.39.  This takes Claire to fifth in the 2011 UK Rankings.  Her PB is 72:02 set in Bristol last year.

And last but not least Carol POWELL traveled to Italy for the European Masters Championships and took away Gold Medals in the 200 metres; 400 metres and 800 metres with times of 28.71; 63.70 & 2:33.68.  Carol of course was disappointed as she usually is when she does not break a few World Age Records but she explains the conditions were not conducive and she also comments that her 200 metres was run during a raging thunderstorm!  Scary.

So that really concludes a very notable track season for Bristol & West AC.  We look forward to taking our place at the top table in 2012 with our Men’s Team moving upward in the British Athletics League and our Women at last gaining their place in the UK Women’s League next September.  With our new tracks giving us the benefit of great new venues to train at you can visibly see the whole club viewing revival.  Good news is that already we have three key signings from ex-North Somerset athletes Javelin Thrower Megan COE and sprinter Bethan WAKEFIELD on the Women’s side and sprinter Elliott PRENDERGAST on the Men’s side.  Elliott and Bethan recently competed in the UK School Games (along with Lucy BRYAN) so they all come with some reputation.  Welcome each of you to a fine and ambitious Bristol & West AC.

Mike Strange – September 29 2011