The Second UWIC Grand Prix was held at Cardiff this past weekend and again Bristol & West Athletes were prominent in most events. There were also open races at Sheffield and Manchester where members competed.
The star performances came from our very formidable 1,500 metre runners Steve MITCHELL & Mike WILSMORE. Steve ran at Cardiff and very sensibly was carried along with the pace until Belgrave runner Steve Davies burst away with 600 metres to go. Our Steve followed sensibly again a short distance off Davies and at the finish was complimented with a 3:43.65 clocking to become the fastest Englishman at the distance in 2012 (Davies is Welsh). Coach Keith BRACKSTONE was delighted with the performance. At Sheffield in the BMC Meet Mike WILSMORE came close to matching Steve’s performance with an outstanding PB of 3:47.20 clocking to take third place.
Also at Cardiff the ‘B’ race was always comfortably in the hands of Andrew WOOD who dominated throughout to win comfortably in 4:01.54. Young Zac TOBIAS (U20) was fourth in 4:10.72 and evergreen Dave BEDWELL (V55) came eighth in 4:44.58
Male Sprinters were out in force with International Leon REID (U20) taking third place in the 60 metres final after an indifferent Start with youngsters Joel HENDERSON (U17), Jack DYER (U17), Simon PARK, Khan FAGAN (U17) & Matt LATTIBEAUDIERE (U20) all clocking 60 metre PBs. Congratulations to Coach Alastair ABRAMS. However the big revelation of the day was young Chris STONE who improved his PB in the heats to 7.24 before going on to take sixth in the Senior Final in a very impressive 7.14 seconds. Chris followed this with a 23.45 PB win in his 200 metre race to round off an excellent day. Believe me Chris is on a mission for success.
Now for a walk down memory lane. The most remarkable performance at Cardiff came from Olympian Nick Rose who celebrated the passing of his 60th birthday with a really great 3,000 metre performance. Think of this you young athletes, Nick had not run indoors for 29 years (before most active athletes were born) and he celebrated with a time that will surely top the UK M60 rankings for 2012. Just missing the 10 minute barrier Nick clocked 10:00.49 to come forth in the race behind Ander Russell of Stroud (B&W’s Tom’s brother). For comparison when Nick was at his best he actually clocked 7:46.7 for the Indoor event in 1979 to finish second in the UK Outdoor rankings only 0.5 secs behind Brendon Foster.
In the euphoria let us not overlook a very fine 8:53.83 by Dan STUDLEY in second place in this race.
In the field a confident looking Theo CAMPBELL produced a great series of Triple Jumps to win in an Indoor PB of 14.94. (Now for the 15 metre barrier indoors Theo). Luke BAILEY improved on last month’s Pole Vault performance and won again with a 4.26 metres clearance but failed to master a new indoor PB of 4.46 metres which would have made him really happy.
On the Women’s side we again were deprived of seeing our top new signing Bethan WAKEFIELD due to some ankle problems but Hannah WILLIAMS took a commendable third in the Senior final with a sound 8.20 second clocking. It was really heartening to see our B&W members showing as a real competitive force in the U17 event. Yemma SONGU ran a remarkable last 20 metres to pull up from fourth to second in a PB of 8.25 and Alyssa SMALL (who clocked 8.24 last month) took fourth place in a very tight finish in 8.38. This race was won in 8.24 by the great North Somerset talent Anicia SKEATS who also won the Long Jump in an equally impressive 4.97 metres and clocked 28.12 in the 200 metres. These were all PBs and I highlight this because Anicia is helped a great deal by B&W Coaches as she is a regular season ticket holder at Whitehall track.
Isabella PARSELLE has just joined B&W from North Somerset AC and she began her competition for us with an Under-13 60 metre Club Record of 8.87 seconds to take second place in her race. Well done Isabella.
Andrew DEAN-YOUNG seemed vexed at being relegated to the ‘B’ 800 metres and so set off from the gun to prove the seeding wrong. Andrew eventually clocked a sound 1:59.20 and was a clear winner.
Prospective Higher Competition Member and 400 metre Hurdles specialist Will HARTLEY improved his PB considerably and was delighted with his 2:01.60 clocking. Aimee DAVIES continued her return to athletics after a long absence with a 2:32.82 clocking in the Women’s race.
Another prospective member, Bristol University’s Oliver JEFFERIES really got his hurdling together with a formidable top 50 ranking 8.73 win in the first race of the day. This is only Ollie’s second race at this height and he faltered a little at the first hurdle last month so improved by 0.54sec. I feel Ollie is a really good prospect for 2012 and will improve tremendously as his training progresses.