Performance of the weekend was Lucy BRYAN winning the Under-20 women’s pole vault in the England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships, with a championship best and indoor PB of 4.33, adding 18 centimetres to her previous championship best. Possibly even more remarkable is that this was her SIXTH consecutive win at the Championships, first winning as an Under-15 in 2009 and winning every age group from then on. Lucy has already recorded two indoor international appearances this year, and was beaten only by Holly Bleasdale in the senior British Athletics Championships, so is making great progress towards her target of going to the World Juniors this year. Elise GAUNTLETT also took part in the Under-20 women’s pole vault, coming ninth with a clearance at 3 metres 30 centimetres.
Young Kurt CAMERON appears to be following in Lucy’s footsteps, becoming joint winner of the Under-15 boys’ pole vault in his first ever national competition with a new PB of 3 metres 10 centimetres. Kurt went into the competition ranked fifth but, in a seemingly relaxed and comfortable performance, cleared all heights first time, putting pressure on the others and only one, with a PB of 3.20, was able to keep up. Kurt’s was the clear breakthrough performance of the weekend and Coach Martin Davies and the rest of the Bristol & West supporters were ecstatic!
Next up for Bristol & West were Elliott PRENDERGAST and Alex DALEY in the Under-20 men’s 60 metres; Elliott came second in his heat with 7.09, qualifying for the semi-final where he clocked 7.14.
Alex recorded a time of 7.40 in his 60 metre heat then competed in the 400 metres, where he gained a massive new PB of 51.01 and qualified for the semi-finals, despite being impeded on the final bend and forced to step onto the inside of the track, losing his rhythm, but entirely missed by the track officials. In the semi-final Alex recorded 52.21, clearly feeling the impact of racing three times in a day.
Tomas GOODMAN was next to make an appearance, with 52.94 in the Under-17 men’s 400 metres, and followed this with 23.85 in the 200 metres on the Sunday, both close to his PBs, but not enough to progress to the next rounds.
Amelia HEMPLEMAN-ADAMS will have been disappointed not to have gone higher than her 1 metre 60 centimetres in the Under-20 women’s high jump, and Miranda SADLER was also below her season’s best, with 04:50.0 in the Under-20 women’s 1, 500 metres.
Away from Sheffield and far away in the USA there was a truly outstanding performance by our middle distance star Richard PETERS. Richard broke the American Collegiate Record for 1,000 metres in Boston MA in the annual Boston University ‘Last Chance’ Meet. His time of 2:18.55 reduces his own Club Record of a few weeks ago and surpasses performances by two of our great International runners from the past, Erwin (Swag) HARTEL 2:21.1 and Nick ROSE 2:23.2. (Both those times are converted times from 1.000 yard performances). If only Richard had been accepted for the Millrose Games in New York last week then we could have witnessed something sensational then. Never the less it looks like Richard is well on track in his aim for a Commonwealth Games place at 1,500 metres later in the year.
Back in the UK at Eton Samantha BARRETT (Under-17) had an outstanding day. In a season so far held back by a slight injury Sam at last got a hurdles race in. She showed all the fluency that we have seen in training and clocked an excellent PB of 9.70 for 60 metre hurdles. Sam went on to post a near PB in the Long Jump with a 4 metre 79 centimetre leap.
Nikki FORTUNE improved her seasons PB to 10.04 in the Under-15 60 metre hurdles and inches closer to Sam’s 9.95 Club Record. Nikki also jumped a 3 metre 92 centimetre PB in the Long Jump and putt a Season’s best of 8.05 in the Shot. This all augers well for Nikki’s Pentathlon aspirations during the summer.
Our Sprinters also showed in strength at Eton with Anthony MATTIS heading our 60 metre men with a 7.50 clocking, Ben TULLOCH 7.67, Khan FAGAN 7.73 and Matty LATTIBEAUDIERE 7.86.
Report by Zoe Goodman (Sheffield) and Mike Strange (Elsewhere)