An update from Mike Strange following another weekend of indoor action.
Given the entry criteria, there was a small turn out by Bristol & West athletes at this weekend’s Welsh Junior Championships, confined to athletes with Welsh qualifications. As in last week’s championships, B&W did however gain a wonderful gold medal and also narrowly missed a Bronze by the finest of margins, with just two athletes competing.
Nyree Perry has been a formidable Pole Vault competitor for some years now, and it is often forgotten that she is still only an under 17. She is now at such an age where the pressures of life including school studies and the restrictions in indoor training due to Covid-19 have all come together to make life difficult. She appeared to struggle in recent past competitions against seniors, but this week she emerged as the dominant competitor, with magnificent clearances of the bar from 2.85m upward to match her SB after 2 attempts at 3.15m. Nyree went on to go for a new SB at 3.25m and needed to change her pole after one attempt but sadly was not able to master things. However after this victory she beamed with confidence as she stood on the medal rostrum with ‘Welsh Champion emblazoned on her chest, to give her renewed confidence for the future. Well done Nyree, we are proud of you.
Sprinter Josh Maggs has been competing on the Welsh senior circuit recently and has been improving his 60m PB bit by bit. In this week's heat, Josh blasted into his final with a great 7.15s qualifying clocking to bring his PB down by a further 3 hundredths of a second, and then faced a formidable line up in the final. In the final, with a mid-lane draw for the first time, he almost matched his heat time with a fine 7.17s clocking, only narrowly missing that Bronze medal in 4th place..
At Sheffield in their Run, Jumps & Throws open, Alex Daley bounced into life with an exciting 400m season debut clocking an outstanding 48.15s to rank 9th in the UK for 2022, ahead of Ben Jefferies 10th and Mark Cottam 11th. What a great bunch of sub 49 secs 400m runners B&W have at the moment. Matthew HULA continued his 60m season with a 7.68 secs clocking also at Sheffield.
Hugh Sadler seems to have copied his redoubtable Athletic sisters Olivia and Miranda in journeying to the USA for college education and has begun his season with an outstanding 3000m run of 8:12.43 secs in Boston, MA. Here’s hoping Hugh will return from Beantown to be able bolster our National Athletics League team for 2022.
As usual the Southern Champs results are slow coming through to Po10 so they can be included next week, but there are important Women’s 60m sprints to report, some of which were missed last week. Khia’aama Kofi posted a sensational 7.72s mark at London ‘Newham’ to shoot to the top of the Club’s 2022 sprint rankings, whilst Tamara Jackson improved her U17 time to a 7.91 PB at Lee Valley, both last week.
Then this weekend at Loughborough, hurdles International Jenna Blundell honed her sprint speed with an impressive 7.76s clocking and U23 Disability Athlete (T45) Simran Kaur ran 8.69s to show that she is a strong contender for a place in the England Team for the forthcoming Commonwealth Games.
The UK fixture list looks good in February - we have the England Athletics Champs at Sheffield next weekend and the Universities Championships (BUCS), then we go into the Muller Grand Prix and finally the UK Champs. Plus of course there is also an extra Midland Meet at Birmingham and the rearranged South West Age Championship to look forward to at Cardiff on the 20th.
Good luck to any of our athletes who might gain from the great competition ahead.
Mike Strange 07/02/2022