Hayley, Steve and Hannah medal at BUCS Indoor Championships

There were numerous club athletes involved in the BUCS Indoor Track and Field Championships at the England Institute of Sport Sheffield over the weekend 25/26 February 2012. As befits a season where the young bloods have been showing us what they are made of and there seems to be a real resurgence in indoor competition from club runners there were great performances from a number of athletes – including three medals.

In the Men’s 60 metres sprint Scott BAJERE (running for Bath University) finished third in his semi-final with a 6.94 clocking just outside his season’s best of 6.93 and PB of 6.90. Earlier he won his heat in 7.05. Adeolu Dada (Bristol University) ran 7.75 when finishing sixth in his heat. Jack Podmore (Bristol University) ran 7.82 when finishing sixth in his heat. There were 14 heats in the Men’s competition.

In the 200 metres Scott ran 23.43 to win his heat and followed up with a 21.91 semi before finishing fourth in the final with a PB 21.88. Tough luck Scott fourth is the worst finishing position being so close to a medal. Alex FIELDS running for UWE (I thought he had graduated?) clocked 23.53 for second in his heat for a season’s best. John BRIERLY (Bristol University) stepped down to 200 metres and ran third in his heat with 24.54 – just outside his season’s best – and Steve BEST (Bristol University) clocked 25.28 for sixth in his heat.

In the Men’s 400 metres Alex FIELDS (UWE) clocked 52.40 for fifth place in his semi-final having earlier clocked 51.67 for third in his heat. John BRIERLY (Bristol University) finished fourth in his heat with 52.34 for a season’s best.

Cy Knibb’s group were represented with two athletes in each of the men’s and women’s 800 metres. Will HARTLEY(Bristol University) was fourth in heat 5 in 2:02.72. and Kristian STANLEY (Bristol University) was sixth in his heat in 2:03.61 just outside his PB of 1:02.39. Aoife KELLY (Bristol University) was  fourth in her heat in the Women’s competition clocking 2:22.47 and Louise CARD (UWE) was sixth in her heat in a new PB recording 2:23.47..

The 1,500 metres is going through something of a purple patch for the club so it was no surprise that three of the nine finalists were Bristol & West athletes. Mike WILSMORE (Plymouth) continued his rich vein of form to finish fourth in the final in 3:50.38 after winning his semi-final in 3:54.86 and his heat in 4:02.30. Just behind him in fifth place in the final Andrew WOODS (Bristol University) ran a 3:53.96 PB after 3:56.54 for fourth in his semi-final and 4:07.86 for second in his heat. Finally, Chris DODD (Bristol University) was eighth in the final in 4:04.88 after finishing third in his semi-final in 4:05.42 and third in his heat in 4:00.16.

Probably the closest to a gold medal was Steve MITCHELL (Bath University) who won his heat in 8:27.73 and then took the final by the scruff of the neck after a slow first 2k to really kick on with 600 metres left. Agonisingly close to winning, he was caught on the line by Phil Hurst of Sunderland who clocked 8:09.38 to Steve’s 8:09.66. Steve was rewarded with a big PB and the result was no disgrace as Phil had finished fourth in 8:01 in the UK 3,000 metres two weeks earlier. Another athlete to run well in the 3,000 metres was Hannah ALDERSON running for UWE. Hannah finished in bronze medal position and showed that her injury problems are behind her as she clocked 9:49.27 having won her heat on the Saturday in 10:19.09. In the same race Ellen HARRISON (Bristol University) had a real breakthrough clocking 10:22.85 for fifth in her heat before improving to 10:21.81 for ninth in the final. Obviously the work she has been doing with Chris Elson and lately with Keith Brackstone’s group has paid off.

Another athlete to finish just outside the medals was Yannick BUDD (Loughborough University) in the 60 metres hurdles. Yannick followed up second place in his heat in 8.20 with the same time in the final as he finished fifth not far off his PB of 8.13. However, I am sure he will be disappointed not to have gone under 8 seconds which has been his target this winter.

Bristol University ran a team in the 4 x 200 metre relay where they finished third in their heat in 1:36.00 but failed to qualify for the final.

There were few Bristol & West athletes in the field but one who was competing in the Women’s high jump and who did so with distinction was Hayley PITMAN competing for Oxford Brookes. Hayley qualified comfortably with 1 metre 66 before a PB equalling 1.75 in the final saw her gain a silver medal behind Isabel Pooley who jumped 1.82.

Luke BAILEY (competing for UWIC) was in action in the Men’s pole vault and jumped a PB of 4 metres 50 centimetres to finish seventh but with the same height as fifth. Luke would have needed to clear 5 metres to get in amongst the medals but he is certainly headed in that direction.

Finally, German international Rainer GROH (Bristol University) will not have been pleased with sixth in the Men’s long jump with 6 metres 83 well below his personal best of 7 metres 80.

Bristol University will have been pleased to come away with several BUCS points from their finalists but pride of place must go to our medalists Hayley PITMAN (Silver in the Women’s high jump), Steve MITCHELL (silver in the Men’s 3,000 metres) and Hannah ALDERSON (bronze in the Women’s 3,000 metres).

Keith Brackstone Reports