TRACK & FIELD UPDATE

21 Feb

 British Grand Prix – Birmingham; City 0f Birmingham Games; Metaswitch Games – Lee Valley; Southern Masters Championships – Lee Valley; BUCS Championships – Sheffield.

The principal event of the weekend on Saturday was the prestigious Muller Grand Prix in Birmingham. With spectacular performances all round including a 1,500m Indoor World Record (3:31.04) and a new British Record for 1 Mile of 4:18.75 from Laura MUIR it is sad to report that there were no B&W Athletes performing. The one notable event related to the Club was that the previous UK Mile record belonged to B&W Club legend Kirsty WADE who’s 1988 mark of 4:23.86 was set in New York NY. Even if we can’t squeeze qualified athletes into the main competitions I do feel we could well pester the organisers into allowing our U13, U15 and U17 athletes into the 4 x 200m relay events that preceded the main events in this great celebration of televised Athletics.

On the following day the NIA hosted the City Of Birmingham Games incorporating Midland Championship events. Harrison WOOD has dabbled with sprint hurdles for a couple of years but has lacked the self-confidence to match his undoubted talent. Tempted to run on the big stage Harri came good with finishing 2nd in his Under 17 60m hurdles race in an outstanding time of 9.57. Well done Harri – this is just the start. In the 60m sprints Will KENNEDY just shaded his season’s best with 7.12 and U20 Ben TULLOCH was a shade away from his with 7.33 to his credit.

At Lee Valley in the Metaswitch Games on Sat 16th U15 Tamara JACKSON looked to hone her speed at sprinting rather than hurdling this time. Tam in her two 60m races clocked first a fine 8.56 before then striking a great pb of 8.47. U20 Tai-Jan DEIDRICH also slipped in a pb of 7.39 followed by a close 7.41 follow up.

Four B&W athletes contested the South of England Masters Championships at Lee Valley on Sun 17th Feb where Pete MOUNTAIN & Anne DOCKERY both won double Gold Medals. Pete (a V60) consolidated his 800m season’s best of the week before with 2:29.93 but concentrated his efforts on the 1,500m where again he produced a sb of 5:09.84. Anne (a V70) won Gold’s at 400m & 800m beating much younger opponents to clock 89.48 & 3:21.48 respectively. Mark ELLERY (V55) doubled in the sprints clocking 8.39 for 60m and 28.08 for 200m and Henrietta ANSTEY was just hustled out of a medal when finishing 4th in her 200m but still produced a pb of 31.73.

At the great annual British Universities Championships held at the English Institute of Sport venue in Sheffield there were quite a few promising B&W youngsters performing for their Universities.

Our two top sprinters Hannah WILLIAMS and HCA Yvette WESTWOOD were prominent with Hannah making the Final and clocking 7.73 after registering a pb of 7.66 secs in her heat and 7.67 in her semi-final. Yvette emulated these times with a 7.63 clocking in her heat but failed to get through with 7.70 in a very competitive semi-final. Freddie OWSLEY obviously had not shed his injury sustained whilst competing in the Midland Champs last week coming 3rd in his heat in a far below best 7.36 clocking. In the 200m heats Canadian Multi-eventer Dan GREGORY clocked 23.34 and HCA Yvette clocked a really outstanding 24.77 in her semi-final following a 25.14 winning heat. Mark COTTAM just failed to make the 400m final but posted a near to his Indoor best of 49.26 to come 3rd in his semi-final and Matt NEWTON equally missed the final clocking 50.54 in his semi after a 50.26 heat. On the Ladies side Norwegian Amalia WESTERLUND was unable to better her sub 60 outdoor run of last year following a period of illness and lost training but still finished with a creditable 63.23 clocking. At 800m Otis MONDIR began his season with 2:02.81 finishing 4th in his heat.

In the field Silvia AMABILINO was close to her best with a 3.70 Pole Vault clearance and in the High Jump Jamie ANDERSON cleared 1.96 in the final to take 6th place and close to his 2.00m clearance earlier in the year.

In the USA Lucy BRYAN Pole Vaulted a consistent 4.32m to win in her home base of Akron OH. Meanwhile I witnessed two fine Cross Country runs by B&W athletes at Cheltenham where newcomer Jed BARTLETT was ever in a bunch chasing the leader in the 9.3k Gloucester Lg event before coming 3rd. Rob STEWART represented his 2nd Claim Club Clevedon to come 22nd not far behind. Mike Strange – 19 Jan 2019

In the USA Lucy BRYAN Pole Vaulted a consistent 4.32m to win in her home base of Akron OH. Meanwhile I witnessed two fine Cross Country runs by B&W athletes at Cheltenham where newcomer Jed BARTLETT was ever in a bunch chasing the leader in the 9.3k Gloucester Lg event before coming 3rd. Rob STEWART represented his 2nd Claim Club Clevedon to come 22nd not far behind. Mike Strange – 19 Jan 2019