As usual my early May Bank Holiday was spent at Bedford for the British Universities and Colleges Track & Field Championships – all three days of it. Unusually I am not suffering from hypothermia nor do I look completely wind-blown. Indeed at Whitehall last night I was asked where I got my tan!
As with any Championships it had its highs and lows and I hope I managed to track down all the club competitors there. To start with the highs in a show of great perseverance (and after three changes of education establishment) Steve MITCHELL looked imperious in the final kilometre of the 5,000 metres as he romped home with a 2:30 last kilometre to win the 5,000 metres in 14:32.18. This was the most popular event of the day in terms of races with a Bristol connection. Behind Steve Will CHRISTOFI (Oxford University) finished ninth in 14:58.37, Bristol University’s John ASHCROFT was eleventh in 14:59.84 and Ben WESTHENRY (Bristol University and Bristol & West) was fifteenth in 15:51.73.
In the Men’s 1,500 metres Dan STUDLEY (Oxford Brookes) took a deserved silver medal in 3:52.47 with a well executed race that saw him cover every move and just fall short of taking the gold, which went to Frenchman Guillaume Adam based at Birmingham! Behind him the evergreen James Thie (now coach to Steve Mitchell) took another medal (this time bronze) for Cardiff Met – at 36 he tells me this is definitely his last year as a student. New club member (for track only) Paddy RADLEY ran consistently in both his heat and semi but despite clocking 4:00.67 for sixth in his semi didn’t make the final. Adam SPEAKE was also in action (running for Oxford University) clocking 4:02.24 for fifth place in heat 5 of the 1,500 metres. Great to see Adam regaining something like the fitness he showed last year after back trouble.
At the shorter end medal prospect Yannick BUDD false started in the 110 metre hurdles to earn a disqualification in the first round when he has the times this year to have gone all the way to the final. Also in the 110 metre hurdles Ollie JEFFERIES progressed through his heat finishing third in 15.33 before finishing sixth in his semi in 15.97.
Our sole field eventer was James DIAMOND who jumped a PB 6 metres 60 centimetres in his pool but found that it wasn’t quite long enough to make the final.
Bristol & West ladies were a rarity and it was left to track novice Anna BURTON to fly the club flag. Her first 5,000 metres ever on the track saw her clock 17:35.99 to make the final where she improved her time to 17:20.91 as she finished eleventh. A really great championship track debut for Anna.
Bristol University Athletics Club had two winners with Simi Pam taking the Ladies Shot Putt with a lifetime best of 13 metres exactly, while Jazmin Sawyers was a clear winner of the Women’s Long Jump with 6 metres 17 centimetres.
Keith Brackstone Reports