This was the big week-end for those hoping to make the GB Indoor Team for the forthcoming European Championships in Sweden as they contested the Trial at the EA Championships at EIS Sheffield. At the same time the Midland Championships were being contested at the NIA Birmingham.
Pride of place must go to David BISHOP who surpassed all by winning the 3,000 metres in that trial at Sheffield with the magnificent time of 8:06.98. David is coached by our great friend James THIE over in Cardiff when he is in the UK but of course he spends much of his time in the USA (where he graduated from the University of New Mexico – current home to club member Imogen AINSWORTH. We must hope that David manages to make it to at least one of our British Athletics League matches in the summer. See the photo in the photos section to appreciate just how close a finish it was!
One who will surely be competing here in the summer is Omar SIMPSON who last week took that excellent Club Indoor Record from Colin O’NEILL. Well this week Omar surpassed his new record on three occasions to bring it down to 47.94 in the 400 metres final. When you think that the first time we had seen Omar was just a year ago at Birmingham in a 200 metres race then you will understand just how far he has come. The final was packed with current UK Internationals so his runs on Saturday and Sunday were not by any means an easy route. Great running Omar.
Lucy BRYAN is picking up the ends of a wretched season with injury last year and is once again showing that great promise that we have seen in the past. After Vaulting a PB of 4.25 metres last week Lucy managed 4.20 at Sheffield to finish equal third in a height also achieved by the Silver Medalist behind the great World leading performance of Holly Bleasdale. Remember Lucy is still an under 20 so compared well against her much older opponents.
Bethan WAKEFIELD followed up her International (Welsh) debut last week with a very respectable 7.88 in the 60 metre heats but Leon REID continues his disappointing form with a 7.00 clocking in the men’s event.
Steve MITCHELL had the most upsetting performance of the week-end at Sheffield and Keith BRACKSTONE’S report explains the as yet untold story from EIS. With just 3 battling for the lead 100 metres from the finish of his heat (and with three to qualify) Steve Mitchell was pushed over by Chris Warburton in the 1,500 metres. Steve subsequently spent the night in A and E after waking up in agony at 1.30 a.m. – a posterior knee ligament tear is suspected and he is now on crutches. The final saw a disappointingly run race that was there for the taking. Steve is so frustrated when thinking about what could have been. We all wish you a speedy recovery Steve after showing such promise.
Hayley PITMAN may have finished tenth in the High Jump but we knew in the week that she had contracted Flu and was a doubtful starter. Her 1.72 clearance was amongst a host of 1.72 / 1.75 performers and she could have been fifth if she had been successful at 1.75 metres.
Back at Birmingham for the Midland Championships in Hayley’s absence Amelia HEMPLEMAN-ADAMS took the Gold medal for B&W with a good clearance of 1.65 metres. Amelia was well pleased with her Gold Medal but disappointed with the 1.65 clearance after getting over 1.72 last week. Still you only have to beat the opposition don’t you.
Adam WALL added to Coach Joy BRAY’s successful week-end with a Gold Medal in the Men’s event. Adam’s 2.00 metre clearance matched last week’s at the NIA and at least one of his three attempts at a PB of 2.03 metres was very close. Joy also had success with Yate’s Adam BROOKS winning the under-15 event with a 1.70 clearance.
Luke BAILEY is steadily recovering form and cleared 4.20 metres in the Pole Vault to take the Senior Gold Medal. Well done Luke – now you are going places.
Being a speed man my performance of the week-end goes to young under-20 Chris STONE. Chris has looked capable of the big break through over this Indoor season but he really showed his worth with fantastic Club under-20 indoor records of 21.76 on Saturday to come second in the 200 metres and 49.13 to take the Gold Medal on Sunday in the 400 metres. Chris looked very handy in the 200 metres heat to clock a PB of 22.15 in winning before facing that great final where he was only beaten by UK #2 Matthew HUDSON-SMITH. His Sunday 400 metres surpassed all expectation with a 49.7 PB win in his heat followed by that brilliant 49.13 PB in the Final. His parents were delighted for him and Coach Alastair ABRAMS insists that he should be the Evening Post athlete of the Month for February. Sporting his ‘Sponsored by Mum & Dad’ tee shirt (and that goes for lots of athletes like him) he looked a happy bunny on the winner’s rostrum taking his well-earned Gold Medal. Chris also competed in the 60 metres but his 7.17 clocking presumably indicates that his mind was on that 400 metres final.
Stable-mate Anicia SKEATS (both under the guidance of Alastair ABRAMS) also had some exceptional runs. In the 60 metres she clocked 8.07 and 8.06 to take sixth in a very close final before running a PB of 9.35 in the 60 metre hurdles semi-final followed by another PB of 9.33 in the final. Anicia topped this all with a superb 200 metres Club under-17 record of 25.82 in the 200 metres on Sunday. With heats and finals that is a lot of running for one week-end.
International Member Anthony MATTIS continued his come-back after a few years off with an improvement in his 200 metres heat to 24.34 but I am afraid he lost out in the battle of Skypark (Bedminster) to newly elected Honorary Life Member Alastair ABRAMS who clocked 23.62 in his heat and then went on to improve further to 23.26 in his semi-final.
A word here for our friends at Yate AC who of course will be running with us as a Composite Club in the Midland League this year. Hannah JACKSON ran a very accomplished 60 metre hurdles to win the Gold Medal in 9.14 seconds and the exceptional young sprinter Emily WRIGHT won the under-17 60 metres in a PB of 7.68 seconds and then went on to Sunday to win the 200 metres in 24.79 .
Under-20 sprinter Alyssa SMALL consolidated her good progress at 200 metres to clock 27.66 and showed no sign of faltering as she came off the notorious last bend that she had trouble with last week. Alyssa also clocked a good 60 metres of 8.26 seconds.
Greg SMITH again posted a sub-7 sec time in the 60 metres with 6.98 but presumably encountered some kind of injury as he did not line up for the semi-final. That left Romain HYMAN to carry the B&W flag in the senior competition where he came eighth in the final with a 7.25 clocking after a 7.22 in the semi-final.
Elliott PRENDERGAST (under-20) showed indoors for the first time this season starting with 7.11 in his heat, going to 7.10 in the semi-final before ending with a fine 7.04 in the final. I am sure he will be well pleased with that progress for his first outing of the season
Caroline POWELL again challenged the youngsters in the sprints and finished with outstanding W55 times of 8.99 for 60 metres and 62.94 for fifth in the final of the 400 metres. I am not sure but it wouldn’t surprise me if that 400 metres time was not a W55 World Indoor Record?
Academy Coach Alex DALEY (under-20) ran a good 60 metres to clock 7.72 seconds and footballer Matty LATIBEAUDIERE ran 7.95 following a 200 metres clocking of 26.23 for a PB in his heat on Saturday. Looking for more speed in his 400 metres quest Tomas GOODMAN clock a very good 24.17 PB in his under-17 heat and Freddie OWSLEY continued his progress when he made an occasional venture Indoors to clock a respectable 54.3 in his heat of the under-20 400 metres. Saturday Morning School limits Freddie’s ventures with week-end competition.
Young hurdler Nikki FORTUNE similarly showed good improvement with a PB of 10.43 in the 60 metre hurdles for fifth in the final but was a little disappointed with 29.77 in the 200 metres. We hope this now leaves Nikki confident and well prepared for the EA Indoor Champs which is her next port of call.
One of our anticipated ‘stars of tomorrow’ and a product of Dean GARRETT’s Academy Tia JACKSON challenged 32 other under -3’s in the Quadrathlon and came away with tenth place. Not bad for a first year in this age group and I trust she will be contesting the Medal places next year. Her performances were 60 metres – 9.16; Long Jump – 3.67 metres; High Jump – 1.16 metres and Shot Put – 5.66 metres.
Some performances from mid-week indicate that Pole Vaulter Scott DAVIE is in good form having cleared 4.30 metres in the Inter-Varsity Match at the NIA. Scott was closely followed by Luke BAILEY with a 3.80 metre vault. Luke as noted previously went on to clear 4.20 to win the Midland Champs.
Over in the USA there is news that Olivia SADLER is looking to improve all of her PBs shortly having bettered her Mile PB with a 4:42.25 clocking in New York at the Armory in the Lafayette Rider Winter Games.
Mike Strange – 11th February 2013