Our International Pole Vaulter Lucy BRYAN seems to be safely through the injury setbacks of 2012 with her current Indoor exploits. If you remember before Christmas Lucy opened up with a respectable early vault of 4.03 metres at Bath and then last week went to Loughborough where she cleared close to her PB with 4.10 metres. This placed Lucy 1st Woman in a mixed field. Well this week she appeared at Lee Valley and really achieved greatness with a wonderful vault of 4.25 metres to take her even closer to the top of the UK Senior rankings. 4.25 metres is of course a new Club Record and is 14 cm above anything she has achieved before. Tremendous vaulting Lucy.
Also at Lee Valley was our prominent 400 metre Hurdler Casper ELIOTT. Casper was third in the Southern Indoor 400 metre Championships two weeks ago and this week he came so close to his illusive target of sub 50 with a 50.03 clocking. Keep pushing Caspar, you will make it. Alex FIELDS also advanced his current form with a 51.36 400 metres and then delved into the unknown with a 2:03.84 800 metres.
Over in the USA they are just opening their Indoor season and Olivia SADLER ran a close second to her team mate in the 1,000 metres with a Club Junior record of 2:48.91. Well done Olivia we are watching your progress closely. Meanwhile at Albuquerque was an easy winner in the mile with a 4.55.08 clocking indoors at altitude. Not to be outdone Rich Peters ran a 3.59.57 mile in Boston to finish fifth in the ‘Terrier Invitational’ Meeting apparently after mixing it with Galen Rupp for the first couple of laps (Galen was a convincing winner in 3.50 and bits just outside the US Record).
The first day of the Welsh Championships at Cardiff saw some outstanding High Jumping and Sprinting by B&W members. Joy BRAY featured her top squad with 3 great jumping performances. Each of Adam WALL, Hayley PITMAN & Amelia HEMPLEMAN-ADAMS produced stunning Club Records. Adam WALL cleared 1.80, 1.85, 1.90 & 1.95 at his first attempt before facing a Club Record height of 2.00m. His first attempt was close and then with his second attempt he magnificently cleared that formidable target. Even our great performer of the past Mark LAKEY could only make 1.95 indoors. Adam has cleared 2.01 metres whilst with Yate but for us this is a great mark to commence his competition record with B&W. Adam is a great acquisition for B&W and will challenge the best during the coming track season. It is a long time since we were able to show such talent in High Jumping.
Hayley PITMAN in my view was even more impressive. She went through 1.60, 1.65, 1.70, 1.73 metres before challenging our Club Record with attempts at 1.76 metres. As with Adam her second jump was successful and I use the same superlatives – she was magnificent. Hayley went on to unsuccessfully attempt 1.78 metres. What a standard. She beat that great 1.75 metres Club Record of Denise COOPER set in 1976 with a performance that puts her at third on this year’s UK List.
Almost matching this was the sight of brand new acquisition Amelia HEMPLEMAN-ADAMS eclipsing Denise’s under-20 Record of 1.69 metre with a terrific 1.70 metre clearance to take second place in the competition behind Hayley. Amelia seemed to have a tentative start at 1.55 with second jump clearances at 1.60 & 1.65 metres before clearing that great height of 1.70 with her third attempt. Amelia has jumped 1.72 in a previous life but is currently returning from a long lay off so all augers well for her future. Again we are most fortunate to have her joining us in our league exploits in 2013, welcome Amelia.
Sprinter Scott BAJERE blazed the way in his 60 metre heat with a 6.94 win followed by a brilliant 6.84 PB clocking to take second place in a blanket finish in the final. This hoists Scott well above Leon REID in this year’s Club Rankings and takes him close to the Lloyd Rice Club Record of 6.77 seconds. I think back to a couple of years ago when Scott was striving to beat the 7 second barrier and now I see a supremely confident and dominating sprint force down on the track. Well done Scott we are proud of your progress.
Two weeks ago Theo CAMPBELL who is not really built for short sprints had a terrible start as he stumbled to a 7.32 clocking. This week he put things right with a 6.98 PB for second place in his heat followed by a fine 7.05 in the final. With this extra speed what a force Theo will be at 200 metres and 400 metres during the summer track season.
On the Women’s side under-20 Bethan WAKEFIELD challenged the seniors and produced a fine top ranking run of 7.83 (PB) in her heat followed by a 7.86 in a blanket finish final. She was of course the first under-20 in this race. Bethan is really emerging as a strong force in British Athletics.
In the Men’s 400 metres Joe THORNTON made the ‘B’ final with an excellent 51.15 heat followed by a third place 51.84. John BRIERLY was a little unhappy with his 52.47 heat although I don’t know why. He expected to improve substantially on his 53.66 clocking in December but as many of us know big breakthroughs are not easy to achieve indoors. Keep working away John it will happen for you. Kristian STANLEY went for the 800 metres but was away from his best with a time of 2:08.21.
At Cardiff on Sunday Steve MITCHELL again challenged the might of Belgrave’s Steve Davies in the 1,500 metres and reluctantly had to settle for second place with a very respectable time of 3:50.13.
Our Hurdlers were keen to enjoy the warm indoor surroundings of Cardiff but I think the effect on training of the recent adverse weather had its affect. Will HARTLEY would be satisfied to get the better of Ollie JEFFERIES for the first time with an 8.88 second time. Ollie clocked 9.01 which is a little way off his 8.58 in December.
Emma TITCOMBE, one of our ‘Packers’ training group, ran a very satisfying 9.98 for sixth in the Senior Women’s Final which will give her more confidence to face the BUCS challenge in a few weeks time.
Luke BAILEY cleared 3.90 metres in the Senior Pole Vault to take fifth place in these Championships.
Will HARTLEY also challenged the field events to further his interest in Multi-Events competition. He came second in the Triple Jump with a fine leap of 12.99 metres and was sixth in the Shot with 8.95 metres.
Mike Strange 28th January 2013