British Masters Championships – 11th and 12th March 2017

Bristol & West AC as usual enjoyed considerable success at the National Masters Championships held over the past week-end (11/12 March 2017) at Lee Valley Arena.

Pride of place has to go to our V60 Champion Dave BEDWELL who succeeded in not only taking Gold awards in the 800 metres (2:26.88) and 1,500 metres (4:57.26) but also taking Silver in the 3,000 metres in 11:00.25.  Dave has long been prominent for Bristol & West over these distances and still stays fit and able to take on the best so we wish him many more happy and successful years on the racing circuit.  It is interesting that Dave as a Coach now has a very successful group of athletes under his wing who have nearly all come through the ranks and are now reaching maturity as Senior Athletes.

Our other evergreen Champion is Caroline POWELL who took W60 Gold in her World Record event the 400 metres.  Caroline was clear of the field to win yet again in 69.72 seconds.  Caroline also took Silver in the 60 metres in a time of 9.03 seconds but I note she did not contest the 200 metres where she was also the defending champion possibly due to increasing knee ligament problems that are gradually getting the better of her.  As with Dave, Caroline has been a main-stay for the Club for many years and I hope she can stay competitive to enjoy her sport for many years to come.

Peter MOUNTAIN had a tough week prior to these Championships where he needed to recover from quite a bad spell of illness.  Nevertheless Peter responded magnificently to run an Indoor best of 2:24.32 to come fourth in his qualifying heat.  Well done Pete as you now move into a new age category and look for more glory.

Tony ROPER ventured indoors for the first time that I can recall and clocked a creditable 10:15.84 in the M50 3,000 metres to take a well-earned fourth place.  I trust you enjoyed your comfortable run in the warmth of Indoors Tony and will now go on to race more often in that exciting environment.  I see that Tony is coached by one of our prominent past Members in Simon PRIOR, who of course has a very successful son Luke PRIOR competing in middle distance events and soon in the World cross-country following his great third place in the Inter Counties Cross-Country on Saturday.

Talking of past Members they also were prominent this past week-end at Lee Valley.  Our two great International Long Jumpers Joanne Willoughby (EDWARDS) and Sue RICHARDSON (HEARNSHAW) both took Gold awards in the Triple Jump (9.44 metres for Jo (W55)) and 8.28 metres for Sue (W60)).  Jo’s husband Ian (M60) who until quite recently held our Club Record for 110 metres hurdles took Gold in the 60 metres (8.78) and 60 metre hurdles (10.02).  Jane HORDER (STEWART) followed Caroline POWELL in the 60 metres to take Bronze in 9.08 seconds and then took a clear Gold in the 60 metre hurdles in 9.92 seconds.  To conclude Brett DAVIS ran a heat and final in the 800 metres (M50) to clock times of 2:19.74 in the heat and 2:23.61 to come sixth in his final.

Mike Strange – 13 March 2017

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