This weekend the Avon Under-15 sportshall team travelled to Torbay for the South-West Regional Final and both of the Avon County Under-15 teams qualified for the National Sportshall Finals to be held at the LG Arena at the NEC in Birmingham on Saturday 21st April 2012.
The outcome as always depended on the athletes performing well and the quality of the opposition. Cornwall and Somerset did not attend so there were only three other teams to face. The Girls’ Team was, on paper, perhaps an even stronger team than last year which finished fifth at the Finals. The competition put up by Devon and Gloucestershire was much stronger than in 2011 but it was still a comfortable win for Avon. The Under-15 boys team appeared less formidable than the girls but excelled themselves and collectively pulled it off with a 25 point winning margin and a points total only 10 points fewer than the girls managed. It was a nervous moment having heard the results for the Under-13s and Under-15 girls hoping that the Under-15 boys had done enough not to miss out on the finals. Joyous relief as they made up the quartet of winning teams.
Alexandra Alden’s 4 laps in 46.8 seconds and Sophie Thomas’ speed bounce of 95 in 30 seconds set Avon best championship performances as they gained their gold medals. These are outstanding performances with records going back almost 20 years.
Six members of the team have to compete in three events which count for the Individual All-Rounder competition. A seventh team member is available to compete as a non-scoring competitor in those events. The team score takes the best four individual scores and then adds the results from the 8 lap paarlauf and the 4 x 2 lap relay to arrive at a team score.
Jade Simson from Devon won the Girl’s All-Rounder title with Alex Alden 2nd and Emily Wright of Yate 3rd. All six team members were in the top 9 out of 24. The top nine comprised one each from the other teams and all the Avon team! This explains the commanding lead before the final relays. The 4 x 2 lap team in winning was 2.9 seconds faster than last year’s quartet.
Mark Eynott from Gloucestershire won the Boy’s All-Rounder title with Tomas Goodman of Bristol & West second. Tomas will be eligible to compete again next year. The team featured 4 in the top nine and their consistency gave the team the edge over Gloucestershire and Devon who both had two in the top nine. With a narrow lead over Gloucestershire and Devon the relays were crucial. Jack Dyer and Tomas Goodman dominated the 8 lap paarlauf and the relay quartet did not know at the time but only needed not to get disqualified to secure qualification to the finals. A good second place made the winning margin a fair reflection of their consistent efforts.
Special note goes to those who achieved top three positions and the bracketed number was their overall position as All-Rounders:
Alex Alden (2) 4LR 46.8 1st; SLJ 2.26m 2nd
Emily Wright (3) 2LR 22.0 1st=; SB 86 3rd=
Sophie Thomas (4) SB 95 1st;
Anicia Skeates (6) 4LR 47.3 3rd
Shanique Pierre (9) VJ 59 1st
Paarlauf 1:35.4 2nd Alex Alden & Yemma Songu
4 x 2LR Relay 1:27.5 1st Pierre, Wright, Thomas & Skeates
Tomas Goodman (2) 4LR 43.4 1st; STJ 7.28m 1st
Callum White (5=) 2LR 20.5 1st
Cameron Thaws (7=) SLJ 2.64m 2nd
Ryan Fowler (10) 4LR 45.9 3rd=
Paarlauf 1:28.5 1st Jack Dyer & Tomas Goodman
4 x 2LR Relay 1:24.7 2nd White, Wilkins, Fowler & Noakes
Every team member deserves a mention. The teams included Mia Mok-Hartley (7), Yemma Songu, Tom Wilkins (9), Sam Noakes (13=) and Jack Dyer. Cecilie Anderson and Alex Vaughan-Turner supported the team as reserves and competed as non-scoring competitors.
My congratulations to all the team members for their contribution to another super day.
Under-15 Avon Schools Sportshall Athletics Team Manager