Combined Bristol & West/Yate & District team are 2017 Midland Athletic League Champions

Midland Athletic League Division 1 – 2017 Match 4 Report for Combined Bristol & West/Yate & District team– Nottingham – Saturday 5th August 2017

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In one of the closest matches imaginable, the combined team from Bristol & West and Yate & District secured second place at Nottingham to win the top Division of the Midland Athletics League thanks to great performances and effort over all four matches of the season.

At one stage of the match all six teams were separated by only 25 points which ultimately stretched to 40 and only 12.5 points between the top 5 teams.  Our second place confirmed the League title with 22 League points, Tamworth in second with 15.5 match points and Birchfield in third.  Notts did a phoenix like recovery to win the last match at home and save themselves from relegation in fourth at the expense of Cannock & Stafford in fifth and Rugby & Northampton well back in sixth.

Prior to all the drama on the day we had an on/off/on/off stramash over whether the Pole Vault could go ahead indoors after the outdoor bed was deemed to be unsafe.  It was 5.00 pm on Friday before we knew that it was called off for sure and along the way some of representatives from other clubs ‘unfriended’ one another.  Notts AC and the Midland League apologise to our Pole Vaulters for not being able to provide a competition, and implicitly to Pete Mountain who drove past 3 hour tailbacks on M5 via Glastonbury dirt tracks to collect poles from Bath with Silvia Amabilino in case the event went ahead.

We always knew it would be tough to raise a team in the first weekend of August with the schools finished and the World Championships on.  Nonetheless we maintained our good competitive level and event coverage with new and regular Midland League athletes multi-eventing and giving unfamiliar events a go.   Yet again we had maximum officials’ points, one of the few teams who managed this all season – thanks Pat and the combined officials of Yate and Bristol & West.

The significant list of PBs and SBs are below but we have also described some highlights and events of the day.

Our women’s Field Eventers turned out in force and easily beat the other teams to top up everyone else’s efforts around the stadium and keep us in the match.  In amongst fine performances Christina JONES won a great battle in the Hammer against Notts and Rugby & Northampton with all three throwers in the high 50 metres.   Andrea JESUDASON and Lucy DURHAM added the less familiar High Jump to their Long and Triple Jumps to be within 2 points of the highest scoring team across all jumps and then Lucy also ran the 4×100 metres relay.

Not to be outdone, Otis MONDIR used all his 800 metre runner throwing might to complete our men’s Javelin throwing team while Matt SPICER committed himself to the team effort by doing the first (Hammer) and last event (Discus) of the day with the Shot Putt in the middle.

On the track, Kishanna DOUGLAS confidently, with trepidation,  stepped into Tia Jackson’s shoes, by running the sprints in her first ever away competition along with Lucy CONIBEAR who normally Pole Vaults.  In the 100 metres another competitor was DQ’d for a false start but was not happy and a ‘stare off’ ensued with many officials being drawn in.  Kishanna kept her focus and eventually the race was restarted and successfully completed – well done Kishanna.  Two of the teams other debutantes in Fiona MARKS and Natalie GRIFFITHS had a great tussle down the home straight of the 1,500 metres with just a little more than a vest width separating them.  They both multi-evented and along with Maria JONES and Ana Maria DURAN-MINGO who also multi-evented, contributed to giving us the top team points haul for women’s middle distance events.  Thanks to Sarah EVERITT who consistently arranges her season and work schedule around the Midland League dates and produced a gutsy 400 metres performance despite missing training through injury.

The traffic was playing its part in the day with a number of athletes being caught up in the August rush.  Joe CONNORS let us know he would be late in enough time to shuffle Jarlath MCKENNA in to his first ever 1,500 metres.  Joe then ran a great 3,000 metres alongside Jarlath with little prep time and with Andy SALMON as a guest.  A monsoon came out of nowhere during the 3,000 metres and washed everyone’s numbers off which helped us because Andy had accidentally run in his team numbers that matched Joe’s and we risked a DQ.  With the numbers washed off everyone’s vests, Andy’s charm and an understanding set of officials all was well, but it added to the Team Mangers stress levels.

Team managers also take part in track and field events with our World and European Masters medalist Matt Muggeridge a regular.  On this occasion Steve Grant  gained points for the team in the 3,000 metres steeple chase but unfortunately Pete Mountain had to withdraw from the Triple Jump as he was told he had to use the 9 metre board when his PB is 8.40 metres.

The results are now available on Pof10 for all team and guest athletes.  Some club affiliations will take a few days to get right: http://thepowerof10.info/results/results.aspx?meetingid=198224

Personal and Season Best performances are listed below and apologies if we missed anyone:

Women’s PBs: Andrea Jesudason (High Jump), Lucy Durham (High Jump), Alice Grosjean (Discus),

Women’s SBs: Hattie Dent (400 metre hurdles),

Men’s PBs: Ross Grainger (800 metres), Jarlath McKenna (1,500 metres and 3,000 metres in a monsoon), Andy Salmon (1,500 metres and 3,000 metres also in a monsoon), Steve Grant (3,000 metres steeplechase, previous PB included a swim), Simon Hammann (Triple Jump), Otis Mondir (Javelin Throw)

Men’s SBs: Simon Hammann (Long Jump), Matt Spicer (Shot Putt), Sam Boulton (Javelin)

It was a great and well deserved winning conclusion to a great all year effort.  Thanks to everyone who contributed in any way through competing, coaching, officiating, organising, transporting or cheering us on.

Steve Grant, Pete Mountain and Matt Muggeridge

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