Yate athletes off to a flyer
Late Spring is always busy for athletes and for the officials that support them.
Every weekend and often in mid-week something is happening somewhere. Those involved with Yate & District Athletics Club aren’t moaning though, their early season has gone very well.
Team Avon was created to give under-17 and under-20 athletes the chance to compete against the very best clubs. Yate & District AC joined with Bristol & West, Team Bath, North Somerset and Mendip AC, to form a combined team, and have gone from strength to strength over the last few seasons.
The team travelled to Swansea for the first meeting of the 2018 season with little idea of how they would measure up. In the event the result was a triumph with Team Avon scoring 724 points, nearly 120 points clear of their nearest rivals Cardiff AC.
In the under-20 men’s team Josh Snook won both 200m and 400m races. In the high jump, Jack Moore and David Thomas took both first places with identical heights – 1.80m. Jack is also a hurdler and he won the 110m hurdles event with a time of 17.11secs. Daniel Brooks ran a personal best time of 10.89 secs to take the B race.
The under-20 women achieved fewer first places but Annie Lewis ran a good 100m race for second in 12.99 secs. Georgia Taylor has been training hard since Christmas and was rewarded with a win in the 400m in 61.52 secs. Lucy Durham took second place in the triple jump with 9.69m, and Jess Mead increased her personal best time in the 400m hurdles.
The under-17 women produced a raft of personal best performances, notably Rosie Hamilton-James and Rhiannon Paton who ran together in the 3000m, gaining a second place in the A race and first in the B. Ruby Ogbourne’s triple jump of 8.80m was enough for a win and Jodie Dale’s best throw of 31.46 was a personal best for second place.
Toby Conibear in the under-17 men’s team equalled his personal best hammer throw of 54.42m, easily an English Schools standard. Liam Hillier also had a good afternoon with a personal best run in the 100m hurdles and second place in the pole vault. Dylan Armstrong won the B 400m in a time of 55.70 secs.
In this league there are also non-scoring events and it was interesting to see Nathanial Mitchell trying the 400m for the first time and clocking a very good 54.04 secs.
Archie Davis-Grant won the B triple jump in 11.77m; Bryn Davies took the B 3000m, and James Harrod the B 1500m steeplechase after running a superb 3000m in 9:33.73 secs.
The meeting always ends with the 4x400m relays and the Avon under-20 men finished the meeting in style winning by over ten seconds, with Josh Snook powering to the line in tremendous style.
• Team Avon – 724
• Cardiff AC - 607
Team Devon and Cornwall – 577
• West Wales AC – 559
• Swansea AC – 441
Cheltenham and County Harriers - 433
The seniors are competing in a combined Yate and Bristol & West AC team and face the best clubs in the region in the Midland League, the principal division for seniors.
The Team continued last seasons winning ways at the first match of the 2018 season with a fine home win. The League Champions truly delivered on the day wining by 26 points in 408 from a strong but incomplete Birchfield team with Tamworth third. .
Field eventers led the way with the men and women’s teams finishing in first place. The women’s track athletes were second to Birchfield with Notts not far behind while the men were third behind Tamworth and Birchfield. With so many clubs in the mix it could be a very competitive year.
Liam Hillier competed in four events with a personal best and a season’s best. Matt Spicer keeps leading from the front as athlete and coach with a win in the first event of the day (Hammer) and one of his training group, Toby Conibear, winning the B string.
Relays are always a likely source of drama and in this case it was the men’s 4x400m that delivered. Tom Pallot was the teams only recognised 400m man and led off brilliantly at the front. Kurt Taylor and Ben Robinson carried the next two legs and both ran like the wind to put the team in first place. Liam Hillier in his first year as an U17 and after three events on the day took over and in front of a screaming home crowd he never looked phased and kept himself going right to the end to secure an amazing fourth place.
Bristol & West/Yate & District - 408
• Birchfield Harriers – 382
• Tamworth AC – 343.5
• Notts AC – 336.5
• Cheltenham & County – 281
• Wolves & Bilston AC – 249
The weekend of county championships is always a busy one for athletics clubs. Yate & District AC has athletes who qualify for Gloucestershire and Wiltshire as well as Avon, so officials were in action on Saturday and Sunday.
Yate athletes secured thirty gold medals at the Avon Championships on the Saturday, twenty silver and seven bronze. This included thirty-six personal best performances and one Championship Record by Luke Ball. The extremely promising under-15 high jumper’s leap of 1.80m equalled those of Jack Moore and David Thomas, who took the honours in the under-20 event.
There was double gold for Rob Phillips in the senior men’s 100m and 200m. His times of 11.59 secs and 23.39 secs will have pleased him a great deal. Phoebe Havard matched this by winning both events in the under-13 age group.
Fiona Barkley in the under-15 girls had a good day, winning both 75m hurdles and the long jump with very good performances.
In the 400m there were wins for Annie Lewis in the under-20 women and predictably for Josh Snook in the under-20 men. Running with his younger club mate, Kane Lee took the senior men’s 400m with Tom Pallot only slightly behind him.