With all of our Officials present, 73 out of the 80 competition slots filled and 49 PBs or SBs its clear why we got that ever so rare away Match win at Rugby for the season opener. Quality with quantity will always do well and this time it led to a win by 22 points in around 350. Not only did we win the overall Match but were also the highest scoring in each of the Women and Men’s competitions and we haven’t done that before.
With Tamworth and Notts coming up for the season, the Division was going to change complexion and it was the less familiar Tamworth team who took second place with Cannock & Stafford only 2 points off them in third. Birchfield trailed in fourth but we know they’ll be back. The hosts of Rugby & Northampton had a disappointing day in fifth and Notts AC were last.
Both B&W and Y&D had athletes at the competing competitions of the BAL and UKWAL leagues and Bristol 10k over the weekend, but we made up for that with 70% of our team multi-eventing. Hannah Jackson, Hattie Dent and Bobbie-Louise Gannon also competed at the UKWAL and collectively covered more than 10 events over the weekend.
The team make-up continued the pattern of last year with first and second year Under-17s, through the age groups up to a fine collection of Masters. Both before and at the match we saw the same team spirit as last year with people covering empty spots in unfamiliar events or just going one more time despite the fatigue.
We can all learn something new and there was astonishment from one of our field event athletes when our 5,000 metre runners went off to do their cool down by doing even more running. Its horses for courses in a team with as diverse events as we have.
On to the roll call of PBs and SBs and on this occasion some performances so close to PBs they have to be mentioned. Deep breath and here we go.
Women’s PBs: Tia Jackson (100m), Alexandra Bryant (200m), Georgia Crew (TJ), Bobbie-Louise Gannon (Discus), Karen Jones (Hammer).
Women’s SBs: Alexandra Bryant (200m and only 0.02s from her PB), Jess Frazer (200m), Alexa Parker (400m), Maria Jones (800m and only 0.06s off her PB, and 3,000m), Ellie Leather (1500m), Sarah Everitt (3,000m), Nina Nemi (HJ), Tia Jackson (LJ), Lucy Durham (LJ and TJ), Jo Smerdon (Shot, Javelin and Discus), Maria Townsend (Javelin).
Men’s PBs: Simeon Wynne (100m and 200m), Leon Graham (100m and 200m), Christian Pestell (100m and LJ), Nyheam Kefentse (well 0.04s short in the 200m but come on), Otis Mondir (800m and 1500m), Joe Connors (1500m), Robbie Stewart (2000 s/c and 5000m), Steve Grant (2000m s/c), Neil Kennedy (5,000m), Jack Moore (HJ), Tom Skinner (Shot), Tyler Molton (Hammer). Kane Lee recorded 49.9s for the last leg of the 400m relay as he chased down Birchfield. It doesn’t count as PB but it was another great run and time as our men’s 400m relay anchor.
Men SBs: Daniel Brooks (200m), Christian Pestell (HJ), Matt Muggeridge (LJ and Javelin), Jack Joynson (TJ), Matt Spicer (Hammer and Shot), Tom Skinner (Javelin and Discus despite an injury), Andrew Thomas (Discus).
Thanks to everyone who competed, supported and willed us on. We roll on to the Alexander Stadium on Sunday 4th June 2017 (again the day after the BAL and the UKWAL ; this time at Yate and Bedford respectively) and the cycle of Team Managers checking availability will start again soon.
Steve Grant, Pete Mountain and Matt Muggeridge