Bristol & West AC had an excellent turn out of around 30 athletes for the Welsh Grand Prix Meet at Cardiff on Sunday. This was a very encouraging indication for the forthcoming Track & Field season.
The leading performance was an outstanding 1,000 metre run by Charlotte TAYLOR-GREEN of 2:44.78. In a Male dominated field Charlotte was carefully guided by B&W athlete Andrew DEAN-YOUNG who set her required pace exactly. When Andrew exited the field Charlotte reacted magnificently to record the second best ever for the distance by a B&W Athlete – behind the time of UK legend Kirsty WADE.
Another great pair of performances came from Tia JACKSON. Last week Tia (Under-17) became the third fastest B&W Athlete ever (senior as well) over 60 metres with a time of 7.68 behind the times of Olympians Emily DIAMOND and Margaret CRITCHLEY. This week she consolidate that great run with a 7.78 heat and then a 7.76 final where she also took the Gold Medal in the South-West Under-20 category. In Tia’s specialist event the Long Jump she also took the South-West Under-20 Gold with another outstanding season’s best of 5 metres 34 centimetres. The great pity of all of this is that Tia will not be allowed to compete for our UK Women’s League team in 2018 because she is too young!
Also in the Women’s 60 metres there were some other very good runs: Julia COOK 8.01; Olivia WILDING 8.03; Liberty PULLEN 8.37; Hannah JACKSON 8.47; T44 Disability athlete Sophie KAMLISH 8.53 and Masters athlete V45 Henrietta ANSTEY 9.51 for a PB.
In the Women’s 1,500 metres we saw top UK athletes Hannah ENGLAND and Julia COOKE dominate the field but B&W Athletes were the best of the rest. After leading the chasing pack for most of the race Fiona MARKS improved her recent Cardiff time to 4:44.95 for a creditable fourth place and a PB but overtaking Fiona in the final lap was new recruit Mel NEWBERY who ran an impressive 4:40.49 to take a very impressive third place. Mel I understand is primarily a steeplechaser so she will comfortably fit into our UKWALg team this coming season and with Fiona also steeplechasing in 2018 the club is well blessed with talent in this specialist event. Welcome Mel. Not to be overlooked leading the Masters athletes was Sarah EVERITT who finished seventh with a solid 5:04.17.
The Men’s 1,500 metres saw Josh MOODY improve on his recent Indoor debut with a sensible controlled run for sixth in a fast ‘A’ race with 3:57.09. Billy COCHRANE (Under-20) impressed in his indoor debut also with a controlled performance clocking 4:25.20 in third place in the ‘B’ race with V50 Masters Tony ROPER taking fifth with a 4:45.42 season’s best.
In the separate Masters category Dave BEDWELL V60 dominated the ‘B’ race by leading from the gun to win in 4:59.66 and was closely trailed by Peter MOUNTAIN V60 who was just pipped for second place on the run in with 5:02.21.
In the field events Simon HAMMANN took the South-West Gold Medal with a fine Long Jump of 6.25 metres and following her 2.33 metre clearance in Manchester last week Madeline HARTNOLL (Under-20) achieved an Indoor PB of 2.40 metres to finish sixth. Under-17 Charlotte MARTIN challenged older athletes and came away with a fourth place in the High Jump with a 1.50 clearance.
Apart from her 60 metres flat run Hannah JACKSON improved her season’s best with a Silver Medal performance in the 60 metre hurdles with a 9.35 clocking.
Andrew DEAN-YOUNG ran a solid 2:02.06 for an 800 metres second place before his pace-making duties. It was good to see Andrew back in racing form after a health problem and only pace-making duties recently.
The Men’s 60 metres saw eight B&W sprinters in action with Scott BAJERE and Will KENNEDY (Under-23) making the 8 man Final. Scott ran a season’s best of 6.85 for second in the final following his 6.93 heat win and Will a PB of 6.96 for seventh in this strong final. Excellent performances. Also competing were under- 20s: Ben TULLOCH 7.44; Treay REID 7.45; Tim PIKE 7.47 – a new PB; Tai Jan DEIDRICH 7.48 and Ruben FINDLAY 7.49, with new senior recruit Luke SIMPSON clocking 7.89 and V55 athlete Mark ELLERY clocking an 8.29 PB.
The Women’s 200 metres proved positive for South-West Medals with Olivia WILDING taking Gold with an indoor best of 26.17 and Natasha JONES Bronze with 27.37. Liberty PULLEN was fourth in this category with 27.54 and V45 Henrietta ANSTEY clocking a PB of 32.08 in her race. UK Women’s League Team Manager, Keith Brackstone, was on hand to see new recruits for the club who should greatly improve our sprint resources for the coming campaign to secure promotion back to Division One. Similarly Roger Brocklesby was at the meeting liaising with potential members of the Men’s British Athletics League team.
Natalie JONES slightly improved her indoor PB in the 400 metres with a fine 60.96: V60 Peter MOUNTAIN clocked 65.54 to win in the Masters race.
Mark ELLERY V55 was our only Male entry in the Men’s Senior 200 metres and finished third with 27.34 PB clocking. I didn’t understand why so many of our Masters Athletes entered the Senior Races when there were a whole tranche of separate Masters categories to choose from? They would probably have found themselves in closer competition with a good chance of winning.
Mike STRANGE – 4 Feb 2018