The British Indoor Championships and the Midlands Indoor Championships plus some big US Meets were the major features concerning Bristol & West this past week-end and there were a plethora of PBs, Club Records and Championship Medals that our athletes were rewarded with.
The top B&W achievement at the ‘British’ at Sheffield was undoubtedly Lucy BRYAN’s Silver Medal with a season’s best Pole Vault of 4.26 metres behind Champion Holly BLEASDALE who also achieved a season’s best with a 4.73 metre clearance. We must always keep in mind that Lucy is still Under-20 so we must anticipate great things to come in the future for Lucy.
The remarkable Hayley PITMAN, once a hurdler but now a dedicated High Jumper returned from her England representation in the Czech Republic to again improve her Club Record to 1.81 metres. Hayley performed well in a very classy competition in which the long standing British Record was broken by young Katrina JOHNSON-THOMPSON with a wonderful 1.96 metre clearance.
Another great Club Record was achieved by Yannick BUDD who dipped under the 8 second barrier for the first time to now go to eleventh on the UK list. As you might be aware I have a bias here as a past Coach of Yannick so I will insert comments from our top speed Coach Alastair ABRAMS “Yannick Budd was in amazing form it looks like there’s another tenth there so am sure the record won’t last long”. Yannick who is still coming to terms with a 7 stride approach (instead of 8 strides) wrote “I am happy with breaking 8 seconds at last but again I’m really disappointed with my race. I just missed out on the final by one place (ninth position overall). I got out really well but again didn’t translate it into the first hurdle. It’s a shame but this is still work in progress and it’s still so new and raw to me the whole 7 stride thing so I can’t be too critical. I’m still not used to the speed I’m arriving at the first hurdle with but when it clicks it will be great. On to the next one”. Enough said.
Emily DIAMOND re-established her name at the forefront of 400 metre running with a 53.73 in her semi-final before finishing eighth in the final. Three top races in one day would have been a lot to expect from Emily who has not long been back to full training after an injury wrecked period. Her indoor best from 2012 is in fact 53.67 so re-united with original Coach Dan COSSINS she is getting back to where she was as an Olympic selection.
Omar SIMPSON in his first outing of the year improved his own Club Indoor Record clocking 47.76 in his heat only to go out in a tight semi-final in fourth place with 48.17 seconds. Scott BAJERE reduced his season’s best to 6.88 in the 60 metre heats and then was narrowly eliminated in the semis with a time of 6.89 seconds. Under-20 Chris STONE ran 21.99 in his 200 metre heat. Chris was disappointed with his run as he couldn’t work off the track properly with his left foot due to still suffering the effects of a fall in Eton two weeks ago whilst warming up for his second round run. Dave Adler (Physio) worked wonders in the week to get him to the start line but time was against him. Chris has now decided to end the indoor season by missing the Birmingham games and Junior indoor nationals. His Coach is making sure that he’s back to 100% for when he heads off to Portugal for warm weather training in April. Then he will be in a better state to come back and attack the World Junior outdoor qualifying mark of 21.00. Popular second Claim Member Debo Ademuyewo ran his quickest indoor 200 metres since 2006 and his fastest ever opener when running 21.77 finishing second in his heat. Tough qualification rules with only the winner going through meant he didn’t advance and frustratingly the winner of his heat was a Portuguese athlete and pulled out of the final. Debo will end his indoor campaign now and focus on getting ready for warm weather training and making an attack on making the Welsh Commonwealth team. He is currently ranked Welsh no.1 over 200 metres, third for 60 metres and second for 400 metres.
No-one seems to know what happened to Steve MITCHELL who was swallowed by the field in the 3,000 metres. (The British Athletics on line feed broke up during that race). Steve finished with a time of 8:25.49 which was disappointing and well below his magnificent 8:04 clocking in Cardiff in January.
In the USA Richard PETERS won his Mile at the David Hemery Valentine Invitational in Boston in 3:57.27 after taking the bell in fourth place he used his considerable speed to come through to take a narrow win. Mike DOWN believes that Richard is in the best form of his life and sees him as a strong Commonwealth contender. Richard also agreed to help as pacemaker in the 1,000 metres which was held only an hour later and he went on to actually finish second in 2:22.71. Richard is hoping to get a place in the up-coming Millrose Games in New York where he hopes the traditionally strong field will pull him through to a truly fast time. Olivia SADLER ran 4:45.62 for seventh in the Mile in at the Armory Collegiate Invitational Meet in New York which will prepare her well for the forthcoming NCAA Camps in a couple of week’s time.
At the Midland Championships in Birmingham there were even more Medals and PBs to rejoice about. Kurt CAMERON took the Gold with a PB of 3.00 metres in the Under-15 Pole Vault and Coach Martin DAVIES notes that he can produce a great deal more when he can learn to hang upside down on his pole. Kurt is in fact now ranked fifth in the UK lists with second place at a reachable height of 3.07 metres. Amelia HEMPLEMAN-ADAMS continued her string of strong performances by taking a Silver medal in the Under-20 HIGH JUMP with a clearance at 1.60 metres. Reuben WILMSHUST (Under-15 800 metres) has steadily improved on the indoor circuit throughout the season and was rewarded with a Silver Medal with a PB of 2:12.83. Reuben has been with B&W for about a year now and is showing real maturity in his racing. Ironically Reuben ran exactly the same time in Cardiff last week. It was really great to see Emma HEATH return to the Sprint scene (yet again) and win her heat easily in 8.01 seconds before powering to a fine Senior Bronze Medal with 7.94 in the 60 metres. Elliott PRENDERGAST (Under-20) ran a double season’s best of 7.07 in both heat and final to take Bronze Medal in the 60 metres.
One real break-through came from Tomas GOODMAN in the Under-17 400 metres where he at last ran a controlled race clocking PBs of 52.85 to come second in his heat and then 52.83 in his final to take the Bronze Medal. This now lifts Tomas to a respectable nineteenth in the UK rankings. Tomas returned the next day to win his 200 metres heat in 23.69 secs before then just failing to qualify for the final with 23.59 in the semi-final. Great back to back runs which indicate that his training is going in the right direction. Ella FALK made the Under-17 300 metres final and finished fifth in a very creditable 42.28 clocking although I must say Ella did not look comfortable fighting for lanes after the break point. Emma did run consistently clocking 42.93 to win her heat. Yemma SONGU also took a fifth in the final of the Under-20 200 metres with 26.37 after coming second in her heat in 26.37 seconds. Samantha BARRETT (Under-17) showed that she has now recovered from a slight pull by Long Jumping 4.86 to equal her PB in fifth place although she did not feel comfortable (injury wise) about trying the High Jump and hurdles at this stage.
Nicola FORTUNE (Under-15) was just off her best in the 60 Hurdles with 10.11 seconds but improved her PB to 29.23 in her 200 metres. Romaine HYMAN impressed on me that he is showing real speed these days and came out of the weekend with a PB of 22.42 to improve his time considerably for 200 metres. His 7.19 60 metres was not quite up to the very good 7.11 set at Eton in January. Alyssa SMALL also improved her 200 metre indoor time with a solid 27.20 clocking which should give her improved confidence. One Higher Competition Athlete (HCA) performance to note here was Zoe STYLES 25.56 clocking to take the Silver Medal in the 200 metre Final.
It was good to see Under-17 Kinnie SONGU back racing and she returned 8.37 and 8.29 for 60 metres and also young HCA Member Sophie THOMAS ran 8.36 in her heat. Under-17 Yusef AMEUR ran a good heat time of 7.55 seconds before returning 7.62 in his semi-final making it a really good day for Alastair ABRAM’s sprinters. From the old guard Triple Jump International Anthony MATTIS ran 7.54 and evergreen Derek MORGAN (with new baby Emily in tow) ran 7.75 both slightly off their early season performances. Matty LATTIBEAUDIERE was equally slightly off his season’s best with 7.92 for 60 metres. Sam CAVEN a newcomer to our sprint groups (running unattached) ran a promising 200 metres in 23.97 for second place in his heat. Your future looks promising Sam.
Finally a special note for young Jack DONOGHUE who seemed thoroughly at ease in the big arena competing in the Under-13 Boys Quadrathlon. Jack eventually finished in seventh place in a big field with performances of 3.64 – Long Jump; 4.83 – Shot Putt; 8.83 – 60 metres & 1.11 – High Jump, scoring 811 points. A long but satisfying day’s work.
Mike Strange – 10 Feb 2014