On Saturday 22nd April 2017 Sportcity, Manchester was the location for the National Sportshall Finals.
The under-15 boys team from the Regional Championships were all available for the final so it was an unchanged team. The only change to the events allocated was to vary the 4 x 2 lap relay team to protect an athlete recovering from a hamstring strain. Keniele cautiously did three individual events and gave great support to the others.
The boys’ team performed excellently against nine other Regional winning teams. Based on the top four performing team members the squad was third but the margin from second to fourth was only 7 points. The paarlauf and 4 x 2 lap relay races were fiercely contested.
Boys – Team Score All-rounder Placings
Donegal 1229 Points
Berkshire 1194 9th Leighton Tuodolo 252
Hertfordshire 1168 19th Lewis Hembrow-McKinley 230
Avon 1151 21st Nyheam Kefentse 227
Merseyside 1141 24th = Jonathan Evans 222
Warwickshire 1079 41st Timothy Leong 191
Norfolk 1073 59th Keniele Wilks 155
Tyne & Wear 1028
North West Wales 924
Christian Albon was the seventh team member competing in the 4 x 2 lap relay and a 2-lap non scoring race.
Leighton rose to the occasion and was the team’s best placed athlete. In the 4 lap race he was third but set a best time for an Avon athlete at the finals. He backed this with improved efforts in speed bounce and standing triple jump.
Lewis has to be an automatic pick for next year. Lewis was fifth in the standing triple jump.
Nyheam excelled in the 2-lap race recording the fastest time and breaking the best ever by an Avon athlete at the finals. The team sighed with relief when he managed a valid shot putt effort after two throws outside the sector line. Otherwise it would have been fifth.
Jon matched his South-West performances and it was a terrific effort with Tim in the 8-lap paarlauf to finish third fastest. Jon, who is now training with a 5kg shot, found the 4kg implement more difficult to use. He persisted and was content with his final effort placing him fourth in the event
Tim did his best and he has had and will have better days. It was great that the paarlauf was his last event and the performance was more like the Tim we know.
Keniele went home wondering if he could have made a difference in the 4 x 2 lap relay. The squad did qualify for the final. Five teams didn’t. A fit Keniele would have made a difference to the recorded time but it may not have been enough to catch the four fine teams in front in the final.
I’m sure Christian Albon too will be in the team next year. A mental note has been made to have extra baton changing practice as that is crucial to qualify for the final and mount a winning challenge.
I am delighted and the team should be very appreciative that they achieved fourth place only bettered once by an Avon Boys team in 23 years.
The Best Avon Performances over the past 23 years are as follows:
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The Avon Under-15 Boys team photos are:
A full set of results can be found on www.sportshall.org
Hilary Nash Reports