The United Kingdom Sports Hall Championships 2017 in Manchester featuring the 12 regional winners proved to be a memorable competition. Avon’s Under-13 Boys continued the proud tradition when finishing a fine second ,whilst the Girls finished sixth to record one of their best ever efforts.
The day started well with the Boys Obstacle Relay team of Aidan Oscroft (Wellsway), Sam Payne (Backwell), Reuben Gardner (Beechen Cliff) and Alex Burton (Writhlington ) winning their heat and then taking the overall Gold. Sam then took Silver in the Speed Bounce with 85 bounces.
Samuel Akinyemi (SMRT) paced his 4 lap heat to perfection and then ran away from his rivals in the Final to record a fast time for Gold. He then took fourth place in the Vertical Jump with 66 cms.
He also teamed up with Tiye Thomas Smith (Cotham) to take Bronze in the 8-lap Paarlauf.
Both the 4×1-lap with Matthew Morris (St. Gregs) , Damani Jones (Oldfield), Alex Burton and Kamel Jamal Smith (Cotham) and the 4x 2-lap relays with Morris, Jones, Joab Burgess (Clevedon) and Solomon Akinyemi (SMRT) took Silver medals in great races.
Solomon then ran the race of his life to take Bronze in the 2-lap whilst Kaylen Jamal Smith took Bronze in the Standing long jump with a PB 2metres 50 cms whilst team mate Reuben Solomon Gardner produced a magnificent jump of 2 metres 45 cms for fifth place.
With 22 competitors in each event a top 10 finish was a major accomplishment and none did better than James Bullock (Beechen Cliff) in the 6-lap race with a fine seventh place after a gutsy determined run winning his heat. Jason Nderami (SMRT) and Jacob Brown (BGS) competed and supported the team as travelling reserves.
Whilst there was only one medal in the Girls efforts for Tilly Smale (Gordano) in the Standing Long Jump with 2metres 30 cms, who also finished an unlucky fourth in the 2-lap race with the same time as both second and third, there were several near misses and an all-round excellent team effort.
Stephanie Brooks (Priory) and Lilly Tipper (Redland Green) came closest in the 4-lap race with a sixth and seventh respectively whilst the 4×2-lap Relay made the final with Kasavia Smolka Headley (SMRT), Tilly Smale, Millie Rosenior (Gordano) and Chloe Marrett (Oldfield) running superbly. Alice Gane (Hayesfield) took a great seventh place in the Standing Long Jump with 2 metres 13 cms.
Phoebe Gooch (Gordano), Olivia Hussey (Winterbourne), Lily Bailey (Mangotsfield), Sophie Harrison (St. Gregory’s), Ella Staveley (Colston Girls) and Freya Elliott(Backwell) all put in performances which supported the overall team’s excellent sixth place.
With half of the team a year young the prospects for 2018 look good.
Credit and praise should also be given to a wonderful supportive group of parents and relatives who could be clearly heard whenever an Avon athlete was competing.
Team Managers Susan Jones and David Turner complimented the young athletes for their efforts.
The athletes travelled up on Saturday and stayed overnight before competing. They proved to b e a polite, respectful and focussed group of youngsters who received several compliments from hotel and stadium officials, and were a credit to their parents and schools.
Thanks are also due to Avon Athletics Association and Bristol & West Athletic Club who supported and contributed financially to enable the team to attend the Finals, and to schools in Avon for their considerable help throughout the season..
Full Team Results can be found on the www.sportshall.org website.
Dave Turner Reports