Bristol & West athletes made hay while the son shone in the Loughborough International Meeting on Sunday 18th May 2014. This traditional early season meeting sees Loughborough University take on England, Wales, Scotland, Great Britain and Northern Ireland Juniors and a British Universities select side in a six-way match. Add to this some guest events with a very high qualification standard and it amounts to a seven hour feast of athletics. It was a warm day with a slight breeze, so not exactly ideal conditions for middle and longer distance races but the conditions certainly favoured the sprinters.
There was one club winner with Lucy Bryan taking the match Pole Vault with a clearance at 4 metres 25 centimetres before trying unsuccessfully three times at 4 metres 40 centimetres. There were three club records as first Under-20 Chris Stone clocked 10.56 when finishing fourth in the Guest 100 metres B race, Omar Simpson then finished second in the Guest 400 metres A race in 46.61 and then Yannick Budd clocked 13.87 when finishing third in the Match 110 Metre Hurdles not too far down on Olympic fourth placer Lawrence Clarke. Chris Stone followed up his 100 metres with another PB in the 200 metres; finishing fifth in the Guest A 200 metres in a PB of 21.19. Scott Bajere and Debo Ademuyewo were in action in the 100 metres with Scott running 10.58 for third place in the Guest C race; Debo finished third in the Guest D 100 metres in 10.78. Debo was back in action later running the 200 metres in 21.64 before running a leg in the 4 x 100 metres for the Welsh squad. Chris Stone also completed three races leading out the GB & NI Juniors to third place in the match 4 x 100 metres relay. In a busy afternoon for the club’s sprinters Omar started the 200 metres Guest B race but slowed after 50 metres and pulled up after 60 metres for what looked more like a hamstring tightening than a pull – let’s hope it won’t Keep him out of action for long given his fine current form. In the same race Theo Campbell finished second clocking 21.46.
First club athlete on show in the longer events was Charlotte Green who is still finding her feet in the 3,000 metres steeplechase. After a great 2,000 metre chase at Cardiff coach Dave Taylor thought, justifiably, that she was ready for a race over the longer distance in this sort of company and his faith was rewarded as she sliced 21.8 seconds off her PB to finish sixth in the Match race in 10:53.88. Unfortunately Mike Wilsmore was not as fortunate in the equivalent men’s race and was brought down over a barrier by a fellow competitor. In the Men’s Match 1,500 metres Steve Mitchell had a surprise England call up given his recent preference for the longer races but repaid the faith of the England Selectors as a drive through the field from the bell took him into the lead at 200 metres out and he held on for third as he was passed by James Wilkinson and Sam Mitchell (no relation) in the last 30 metres. Still he was pleased with his 3:47 clocking given a lack of speed work of late. Behind him Dan Studley – running for British Universities – was in contention at the bell but finished in tenth place in 3:50 (detailed results of this race are not yet on the results web-site).
So a great afternoon’s athletics and especially so for the Bristol & West contingent who did the club proud.