• Ben

South West Indoor Champs – NIAC Cardiff – 5th December

The 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.


Amongst the 6 medallists for B&W was an outstanding PB of 10.87m and gold medal in the U17 shot for Tony O’Neill ‘Young Thrower of 2021’ Owen Garrett. Although there were not too many competitors in his event, Owen excelled with another outstanding thrower from Cheltenham being well beaten for that gold medal.


Mackenzie Ritson has been an all-conquering sprinter all season and mastered the tight bends with consummate ease to record an excellent 23.91 secs to take gold in the U17 200m. Mac was slightly unhappy with his time having run 23.25 outdoors in the summer but he needs to remember each bend adds about half a second to your time indoors.


U15 Daniel Webb really puts everything into athletics and on this day, he tried high jump and 200m. Feeling very nervous facing indoor athletics for the first time and moving up from the U13 age group Dan put in two exemplary performances improving his high jump PB from 1.32m to 1.35m with a straight-forward scissor jump and in the 200m improving from 29.59 to 29.03 secs after treating the banked bends with great respect. Dan was well rewarded with two South West gold medals.


Oliver Thistlewood as an U15 has been high jumping 1.50m consistently through the summer but could not get to grips with the hectic indoor run up and had to settle for a respectable 1.40m clearance this time having moved up to be an U17. This high jump competition was extremely competitive which resulted in Oliver not quite making medal status.


Our only female competitor was U15 Ruby Woodman. Ruby took a South West silver in the long jump but was not happy with her leap of 4.18m as she has a 4.78m jump to her credit. Ruby also took a well-earned bronze in the 200m with 28.48 secs.


Two Whitehall trained NSAC athletes also excelled at Cardiff and deserve a mention. Rosa May Ford U17 is coached by our own Paul Weston and Eugene Hechavaria for jumps and she showed the great compliment of clearing 10.92m in the triple jump and then ran 26.64 for the 200m to take 2 gold medals. George Isgrove also U17 is coached generally by past member Richie Brunsden and comes to Whitehall to be coached for hurdles by Jim Kyle. George also excelled in his competitions achieving a great 1.70m in the high jump and 12.98m in the triple jump to take two gold medals as well.


We look forward to the Welsh Christmas Classic on 19th Dec for our next taste of exciting local indoor athletics.


Two performances away from these South West Championships and worth noting are a 60m sprint by Matthew Hula (son of Bristol distance legend Martin Hula) in 7.69 secs at Sheffield ‘EIS Arena’ where he is now at university and a 6.65m long jump by Jedani Wright at Cardiff on 1st Dec in the annual Met. match against Birmingham University.

Mike Strange

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