An outstanding all-round effort by a weakened Bristol and West Athletic Club’s men’s team in the second match of National League Division 4, resulted in another hard-won victory at the Kip Keino Athletic Stadium at Stoke Gifford. This now puts Bristol in pole position going into the third and penultimate match later this month with 12 match points, ahead of Reading on 10 and Nene Valley (Peterborough) on 8.
Team fortunes fluctuated after lying fourth out of six after seven events but finally getting up to first after fourteen events and staying there until the end after 18 events. Bristol finished with 238 event points, Reading on 222 and Nene Valley on 210. A very close call. An outstanding haul of 40 points came from Bristol University athlete Will Hartley who competed in six separate events throughout the afternoon.
Other winning individual performances included a new Divisional pole vault record of 4 metres 60 centimetres by Tony Hillier. a family double by Simon and Liam Biddlecombe in the A & B discus, another double in the 3000 metres by Dan Studley and Oli Mott. More wins included John Brierly in the 400 metres hurdles. Rich Peters in the 800 metres, Charlie Maclean in the 1500 metres, Caspar Eliot in the 400 metres hurdles, Will Hartley in the javelin, James Diamond in the long jump and Luke Bailey in the pole vault. Strong winds and heavy rain depressed performances but were ignored by a Bristol team that kept up the pressure on the teams throughout the battle.
Team Manager Cy Knibb said that ‘the next match is in Bournemouth on 28 July 2012 when Reading will be the greatest barrier to Bristol gaining promotion for the second year in a row. Our continued success will depend on us holding on to the athletes who did so well on Saturday 30th June 2012 and the return of the Club’s outstanding sprinters who have been sidelined by injury and other calls.’
Full individual results can be seen at http://www.bristolandwestac.org/downloads/track-and-field-competitions/british-athletics-league/