South West Indoor Championships – NIAC Cardiff and Indoor Pole Vault & Shot – Bath

Before featuring our Young Athletes at Cardiff this weekend we must highlight the great performances by two of our Middle Distance runners in Glasgow last Wednesday.  Kate MALTBY and Charlotte TAYLOR-GREEN featured in a major way in the 3,000 metres when Laura MUIR went on to break the British Indoor Record for 5,000 metres.  (The races were combined).  Charlotte was engaged as pacemaker for this race and led Laura relentlessly on lap after lap until her job was done and she stepped aside having passed 1 k in 3:02.  This was a great performance by Charlotte and helped Laura immensely.  All the time again in close call to Charlotte was Kate who at the end of 3,000 metres even surpassed her magnificent run at Cardiff in December to run a PB 9:01.97.  Kate gets ever closer to the Bristol & West Club Record of 8:56.48, well done Kate.

It was good to see Laura now being such a prominent world star and I well remember her coming to Bristol to support our College Green races as a very shy young person following her appearance as the youngest British competitor to in the Olympic Games in 2012.  There is a pathway for most young athletes if you just hang in there.

Many of our Young Athletes ventured Indoors to Cardiff on Sunday and most enjoyed the great competitive atmosphere for the first time.  Libby DICKENS took the South West Championship Gold Medal with an electric 60 metre hurdles far surpassing her Coach’s expectation in a time of 10.74 seconds.  Libby fell in last year’s Championships and lost her confidence but boy she has it back now.  In a different race Alice MATTHEWS, new to the age group, ran an excellent 12.04 clocking to take the Silver Medal.  A great 1, 2 to set the Club up for the afternoon.  In the 60 metres flat we had 6 competitors with Kasavia SMOLKA-HEDLEY coming close to Tia JACKSON’S Club Record with a brilliant time of 8.69 seconds.  She won the South West Gold Medal.  In separate races our other girls posted  excellent times :- Lily BAILEY – 9.06; Ellie BREEZE – 9.19; Tamara JACKSON – 9.27; Libby DICKENS – 9.35 and Alice MATTHEWS – 9.48.  I must check whether Tamara is still actually an under 11, if so that time is a Club Record.  Lily who excelled at the first part of the South West Champs in December also finished second in the 800 metres where she ran a strange race coming fast down the finish straight the throttling back in the back straight.  Lily with the advantage of speed and a long stride will I am sure eventually succeed as a 300/400 metre runner but she needs to be able to pace herself after gaining more experience.  Oh isn’t it good to see so many Under-13 Girls competing at top level for the Club.

In the Under 15 girls Simran KAUR (an athlete with a disability classification) was an outstanding second in a close 60 metres in 8.45 seconds and Sophie HILLYERD third in her race in 8.60 seconds.  Jessica LEWIS doubled at 800 metres, where she was sixth in 3:09.89 and was 38th in the Shot with 4.86 metres and she was not last.  (This indicates how many competed in this event – there were 54 in the Under-13 Boys Long Jump).

Tia JACKSON our star sprinter / long jumper at Under-17 level had an under par day (for her) but still took Gold in the 60 metres in 8.01 seconds and Silver in the Long Jump with a jump of 4.98 metres. Mia BREEZE also sprinted to 8.32 seconds in the 60 metres.

Patrick KYLE and Ethan GILL flew the flag for the boys in the Under-13 Races.  Ethan ran 60 metres flat in 8.90 seconds, 12.13 seconds for 60 metre hurdles and jumped 3.44 metres in the Long Jump.  Patrick ran 11.61 seconds for fourth in the South West event before taking Bronze in the Long Jump with 3.93 metres.

In the Under-15’s Ed WILSON had a really solid race to take Bronze in the 60 metres hurdles and broke a Club Record that has stood since 1991 with a time of 10.55 seconds.  Ed was third in his heat of the 60 metres flat in a time of 8.23 seconds but Damani JONES just bettered that with a resounding win in 8.23 seconds. Damani also Long Jumped 3.76m.   (It was good to see Ben GAME, son of Bristol sprint legend Duncan GAME, in the 60 metres but unfortunately competing for Team Bath).    Joe MEAD was pipped for second place on the run in of the 800 metres but still bettered his own Club Record for the distance with a time of 2:24.94.

In December the annual Pole Vault and Shot Indoor Competition was held at Bath University with impressive performances by B&W Athletes.  Pride of place must go to young Chloe MARRETT who improved her own Under-13 Pole Vault record with a clearance of 2.06 metres.  A lot of credit here must go to Coach Martin DAVIES who is laying a great foundation for Chloe’s athletic future.

In the Under-17 throws Anna LOUGHLIN improved on her South West Championship gold performance in the Shot with a throw of 11.01 metres.  Anna was followed in third place by up and coming Thema HENDRICKS with a throw of 8.80 metres.  Sam BOULTON won the Men’s under 20 category with a throw of 12.16 metres.  Also to the fore in the senior competition was Higher Competition Member Alice GROSJEAN who had a solid throw of 9.89 metres.

Mike Strange – 8 January 2017

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