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Welsh Christmas Classic – NIAC Cardiff – 17th December 2023 + a round-up of other Indoor results

December 17th saw the festive ‘Christmas Classic’ competition at Cardiff with Officials dressed in celebratory costumes to relay that joyful spirit to competitors.  

This spirit was topped by a brilliant display of athletic prowess by none other than European Champion Laura MUIR who left the audience in awe as she smashed the track record with a devastating 3,000m run in a time of 8:37.39.

The B&W performance of the day was undoubtedly by U17 Holly SANIGAR in the 600m - coached by Dave TAYLOR.   

In a Senior level Meet, Holly, who is only an U17, set out with a vengeance in the ‘A’ race and cruised home with a clear lead in 1:35.55. This sets a new Club Indoor Record for U17’s and places Holly 3rd on the Senior rankings behind that great Olympian Kirsty WADE.  

Great running Holly this sets you up for an exciting 2024.

Also impressive was Eleanor McINTOSH now Coached in Cardiff by Darrell MAYNARD. She has just moved up to the U20 age group.  

El ran an exciting 41.29 secs for her 300m race, again running away from a Senior field to achieve a commanding win. She finished off with another win in her 60m in an excellent time of 8.15 secs.

It was heartening to see the return after a year’s absence of Nyah REUTER (U20) in the 60m. Nyah looked to have not forgotten her talent and finished a close 3rd in her race in 8.40 secs. Good to see you again Nyah and fingers crossed we get to see you competing over the hurdles soon.


Another Athlete returning after a year’s absence was Malaysian student Melissa CHOONG who is an U20 Heptathlete. Melissa chose the High Jump on this occasion and was close to her Indoor best with a 1.60m clearance to take third position.

Moni BRADY (U20) seems to be thriving as a new student at Cardiff Met Uni. She improved on her 9.52m Shot Put from a week ago at the Inter-Vasity match with a magnificent 10.25m throw. Moni was of course recently Honoured by England Athletics with a ‘Young Recruit to Officiating’ Award. Well done Monica.

Also at Cardiff Met was horizontal jumper U23 Jedani WRIGHT. Jed followed up his excellent 6.45m Long Jump in the Inter-Varsity match with a 6.29m clearance following a really good 13.92m clearance in his speciality event, the Triple Jump.  

The last time that I was at the NIAC Jedani was acting as a Volunteer Official so well done all around Jed.

In the Senior hurdles Charlie STADDON (U20), who I am told hopes to become a Higher Competition Athlete for B&W in 2024, made an impressive account of himself. Charlie has recorded some impressive times over the 60m hurdles this fall which he topped off with an 8.37 secs time in his heat. This was followed by an 8.29 secs clocking for 2nd place in the Final.

Ryan BRADY, now an U20, ran an excellent 60m in 7.37 secs while Masters O60 athlete Mark ELLERY ran 8.78 secs.

Masters O65 athlete Peter MOUNTAIN ran a strong 600m in 1:50.77 secs setting a new Club Indoor Record for his age group.

Feature races of the day were the 3,000m Welsh Championships and Katrina ENTWISTLE, followed Laura MUIR’s lead race with an excellent 10:19.23 clocking.


There were 76 entries for the Men’s 3km races and it seems that the 3rd race was a B&W Committee affair with both the Chair Ben MALIPHANT and the Marketing and Publicity Sec Felix RUSBY going against newcomer Tom HALLING.  

After 7 laps and halfway into the race, all three settled into the middle of the pack. With 6 laps to go, the race had stretched out, but all 3 of our competitors responded.  

As the 3k race reached the final 3 laps all 3 runners were in the hunt for an exciting finish and at the bell Felix and Tom surged into a tight lead.

But then, right at the death, both were to succumb to a late kick by a Cardiff athlete as Felix also lost out on 2nd place to Tom, who came through with a really late move.  

Ben, who had dropped slightly on that closing lap, finished with a great sprint (as would any 800m runner) to hold 5th place. The three Bristol athletes ran the following times, Tom 8:58.11; Felix 8:58.30 & Ben 9:06.40.  

Great entertainment lads.

Evergreen Dave BEDWELL, now an over 70 competitor, ran a solid race. He led a V65 Welsh competitor, who tracked Dave right to the end, before storming past his older opponent. However, Dave was still rewarded, running a Club O70 best. This capped a great day for B&W in a very Christmassy atmosphere.

In other results, this week-end, V35 Alex FIELDS ran 24.89 secs for 200m at Lee Valley while last week we saw some great U20 hurdling from George ISGROVE and Patrick KYLE at Loughborough. George ran 8.58 & 8.60 secs and Pat 8,21 & 8.44 secs. George also ran a flat 60m race in 7.62 secs.  

In the USA, Tia JACKSON (U23) followed up her recent Long Jump performance of 6.00m with a 5.82 clearance in Baltimore.  

At Sheffield on 9th Dec Harri WOOD (U23) ran 7.64 for 60m. It was heartening to see Harri back out competing after a difficult 2023 season.

Apart from Jedani and Moni at the Cardiff Inter-Varsity match I am pleased to record that regular HCA Long Jump competitor Elani FRANCIS U20 ran 200m in 27.82 secs.

Mike Strange – 19th December 2023

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