Track & Field Bulletin – 14th January 2013

A small party of Bristol & West athletes ventured to the High Performance Centre at Alexander Stadium, Birmingham for the Midland Counties Open Meeting and all of them achieved high performances, which makes the trip really worthwhile.

Greg SMITH was still chasing the illusive sub-7 second barrier being thwarted last week by his starting blocks slipping.  This week he came as close as one can with two 7.00 second clockings.  Greg came fourth in the seeded race 1 and again fourth in race 2 (effectively the final) and was each time within 1 hundredth of a second of that breakthrough.  You can’t get any closer.  Well done to Lloyd RICE who is coaching Greg back into sprinting after some years of injury frustration and then a complete 5-year break from athletics.  Back in 2007 Greg ran a 6.91 PB for 60 metres and is now well on the way to matching that.

Rebecca COURTENAY was battling with a 3 stride pattern for a long time but after finally achieving her aim at Cardiff in December she must be full of confidence.  Her consistency showed after getting 9.98 in the top seeded race 1 and then equalling her PB with 9.95 in the final (race 2).  I wonder what Rebecca’s thoughts were as she lined up in her races (as she experimented with stride patterns) against one of Britain’s top hurdlers, Sarah CLAXTON?  Brave of you Becky.

Nicola FORTUNE (Under-15) has been through the 3 stride dilemma and now appears to be really settling down to a fine rhythm.  Her 10.55 PB has seen her whittle her time down from 11.29 seconds in December and she is really going places.  Nicola also did the flat 60 metres in 8.93 then 8.90 both PBs but then had to refrain from aggravating a back injury by withdrawing from the final hurdles race.  Now that you are achieving respectable times please be comfortable with that back before continuing your challenge with the hurdles Nikki. 

The very fast SONGU sisters were without the injured Yemma through injury this week so it was left to Kinnie SONGU (Under-15) to fly the flag.  Kinnie consolidated her 8.5 60 metres win at Cardiff last week with season’s best’s of 8.50 and then 8.49.  That was a very fine win at Cardiff last week and this confirms Kinnie to be in fine sprinting form.

One other performance to be noted was 2012 Higher Competition Member and English Schools Champion Evie GROGAN (Under-20) leaping an excellent 1.65 metres to come third in the High Jump.  We trust you will stay with us in 2013 Evie where you would be a major asset to our UK Women’s League Team.       

At Lee Valley our star hurdler Caspar ELIOT took an opportunity to measure his fitness in the Southern Open Meet as he went for a flat 400m competition.  After heats and semi-final runs of 50.78 & 50.47 respectively he ran an excellent 50.07 in the final to be placed 3rd

Lloyd RICE trained Alyssa SMALL (U20) came out of hiding to run an excellent 8.16 sec time at Cardiff.  Alyssa has great inherited talent from her Mother, Violet who some older members remember as one of those very talented Bristol ‘Dynamo’ sprinters back in the 1980’s and Lloyd is bringing that talent through.   

Mike Strange – 14 Jan 2013       

[As ever Mike Strange has produced the Track and Field bulletin and modesty permits him from saying how much impact has coaching has had on the club’s hurdlers – so I can say it on behalf of the club – and it is clearly evident in the performances such as Nikki Fortune and Rebecca Courtenay. Keith Brackstone]