Mike Strange reports on the opening weekend of indoor season, with our juniors heading back from Cardiff with a haul of medals.
South West Indoor Champs – NIAC Cardiff – 5th December.
Once again, the local Indoor Track & Field season opened with a bang at Cardiff last weekend with the Welsh Regional Championships and incorporating part 1 of the English South West Junior Indoor Championships.
Bristol & West supported the event with six athletes and walked away with a few South West medals
Most notable was new recruit Rosa May Ford who not only took the gold medal with a magnificent Triple Jump of 10.61m but she also surpassed the long-standing Club U17 Indoor Record for the event set by Sarah Smart set way back in 2004. Rosa also ran a superb 200m in 27.31 secs (bronze medal) to top off her day. Rosa has of course long been Coached at Whitehall and Bath Uni by that great Coaching combination of Paul Weston and Eugene Hechavarria so we well know how good she is. Welcome to the club Rosa, you will be a major asset in the coming season.
Eleanor McIntosh has been running outstanding 300m races all summer, and she continued that with a brilliant 43.65s clocking way out in front of the rest in her race. That effort also won her a deserved gold medal. This girl has real talent, and I will be interested to see her step up to 400m hopefully on occasions in the coming season.
Owen Garrett stepped up an age group and gained a silver medal in the Shot with an excellent throw of 12.08m. An exciting performance at the new Shot weight which I am sure will improve rapidly as Owen becomes more used to handling it.
Sprint specialist Mackenzie Ritson looked supreme this year on the difficult 200m track and finished a clear winner of his race by some margin in 23.82 secs. Unfortunately, Mac who won the gold medal last year in a slower time found that 2 other sprinters not drawn in his race ran slightly faster times and scooped the main medals leaving him with bronze this year. Don’t be disheartened Mac we know that you can be the winner given a fair contest.
Young Dan Webb always gives his best and tackled the 200m, 300m and High Jump on this occasion. Coached by that magnificent Multi-Event Coach Julie Alexander, Dan surpassed his 2021 performance in the High Jump with a fine 1.40m clearance to take fourth place and ran 28.88 secs for what I think was a bronze medal in the 200m. Then, Dan stepped up the challenge to run for the first time indoors 300m. He ran a good 47.77 secs to gain another bronze medal although I think he found that distance quite tough.
At the U13 age group we had newcomer Parish Bailey competing at 200m. Parish began his race tentatively but in the last 50m came through to take a great second place and a club Indoor U13 Record for the distance. Well done Parish, you should be thrilled with your performance.
In the USA Tia Jackson has opened up with two outstanding Indoor performances over the recent weekend. In Annapolis ‘MD’ she virtually matched her windy Long Jump PB with an equally great 5.99m and was very close to her best with a 7.71 clocking for 60m.
In Sheffield where he is at University, Matthew Hula clocked a time very close to his best with 7.69 secs for 60m and then set a PB of 18.12 secs for 150m.