01/06/10: HALF THE ATHLETES BRING HOME THE METAL

1st JUNE, 2010

29/30th May – Northern Under-17 and Under-15 Championships, Leigh

HALF THE  ATHLETES BRING HOME THE METAL

The number turning out in the Northern Youngsters’ event at Leigh wasn’t great – eight in all – but four of them brought home six medals, three others just missed, and the one who could only finish sixth hammered a PB doing it.  It’s not a bad return for outlay, looked at like that.

The two titles taken came in the Under-17 Men’s throws, and it will come as no surprise to regular readers that the two winners shared a common forename.  Yes. Folks, it was the Jake and Jake Show again; predictably Jake Armstrong took his title with the Discus, launching another big one of 46.49, but the contest must have been his battle with Jacob Gardiner for the Shot, which the latter won though not before both of them had extended their PBs (14.67 and 14,.50 respectively) in the process.  A bit of ‘needle’ does competitors no harm on occasions!

The lesser medals went in collections to a couple of athletes who certainly made a weekend of it  – two each to Alyssia Carr and Matt Campleman.  By a tiny margin Alyssia’s was the better performance of the two; both set new Best performances in both events, but Alyssia got two Silvers while Matt took Silver and Bronze.  (It’s hard for The Scribe to judge between excellences!)   Alyssia’s two medals came in the Under-15 Girls’ Long Jump, where she went out to 4.97, and the Hurdles, in which she ran a fine 11.68; behind her in 6th in the latter Melissa Fletcher cut her best from 12.6 to 12.29 – a massive drop.  Matt took medals in the equivalent Boys’events; in the Hurdles he was a tantalising three-hundredths of a second off a Gold with 12.48, while his Long Jump, his second improvement in the event in a week (see below), just hit the Ranking standard with 5.40.

All the other three participants placed fourth.  Connor Morley couldn’t quite find the 1.70 of a fortnight previously, and had to settle for 1.65 in the Under-17 High Jump, while Elliot Todd was a bit of  a distant 4th in the 1500 (4.16.33), and in the Under-15 Boys’ 800Luke Cooper wasn’t far from his best with 2.09.34

23rd May – National Junior League, Pennine Division, Leigh

NICE TRACK, GLORIOUS DAY, LACKLUSTRE MEETING

The designers of Leigh Sports Village may have started with the advantage of having a whole coal-mine site to play with, but they’ve certainly shown some local authorities how to organise a successful multi-sport facility; Leigh Harriers (who weren’t actually participating) share their site with a professional Rugby League side but have an entirely separate track which leaves no conflict of interest (and amateur RL team also have their own pitch), and the indoor training area is cleverly incorporated in the stand.  The Club’s first visit to Pennington Park also coincided with the best weather of the summer so far; unfortunately it was a Junior League meeting, and the well-known (to The Scribe at any rate) shortcomings of that league’s programme combined with the fact that none of the clubs/teams involved could raise anything like a full team (one didn’t turn up, and another sent only one athlete) didn’t make for a meeting which raised the spirits.  Leeds City were significantly short-handed – the two teams consisted of a total of seven male and eight female athletes – but nobody else was a great deal better.

That’s not to say there weren’t a good number of meritorious performances by Leeds City athletes.  Indeed there were one or two breakthroughs, notably by Tom Mosley, who hit eleven seconds for the first time in a couple of injury-strewn years and could be back on track, and Jacob Gardiner, who also ran a swift 100 (11.3) besides trying out the heavier throwing implement for the first time.  He certainly mastered the 6k Shot (13.03), rattling up to fourth on the Club Under-20 List, but only got one valid throw in (34.57) with the Discus, though that was good enough for a win.  Support in the throws came from Karl Evenden, who threw everything to somewhere close to his best marks, and in the case of the Shot (8.60) and Javelin (29.52) rather better than them.  Similarly, Mark Fuszard tackled all four jumping events and won the lot, setting season’s bests in High Jump (1.70) and Triple Jump (11.66) and not being far off with the others.  Jack Mosley and Dan Brownbill covered the longer sprints, the latter running a near-best 52.5 400, but the only distance-runner on view was Mike Wood, and he didn’t seem to enjoy the unaccustomed heat; his 4.18.8 was fifteen seconds slower than his performance on a cool Stretford evening earlier in the week.

The Women’s team saw the season’s first appearance of Amy and Katy Marchant, warming up for serious combined eventing in a couple of weeks; they scored maxima in the Long Jump (5.22 and 5.19 respectively) before Amy went on to hurdle impressively (15.7) while Katy put up a good javelin (34.23) and won the B Shot (10.36), only a centimetre behind Carrie Simpson.  In fact the throwing events were well covered; Carrie won the Discus comfortably (29.21), while Stacey Evenden and Charlie Nicholson combined well in the Hammer, both setting season’s bests (26.34 and 21.36), and Stacey doing it again in the Javelin (19.88).  On the track Kadena Cox ran an impressive long-sprint double (25.8 and 59.1) despite being almost being fallen over by The Scribe in a state of exhaustion after the 400, and Chloe Harley scored well in 800 and 1500.  There was also an unusual occurrence; there would have been a Club record of 2.55 in the Pole vault, but as Anna Spence is a second-claim member it can’t technically be allowed.  It was a most meritorious effort, though.

BLOWN TO A RECORD … TWICE!

The sharpest performance of the weekend of 22/23rd May came at the Loughborough International Meeting when Matt Hudsonbecame the first Club member to crack the 14-second barrier in the High Hurdles.  In what must have been a desperately close-fought encounter he was given the same time as the winner – 13.87 – and even though it was a wind-assisted mark it was only over the limit by the smallest of margins (2.1 m/s).  Also out in the 3000 were James Wilkinson and Joe Townsend, both of whom put up good performances; James at 8.13.97 was marginally slower than his indoor mark of February, while at 8.43.22 Joe was well ahead of his season’s best.

Moreover, it was no windy fluke – a week later, in the Inter-Counties’ Championship at Bedford, Matt did it all again – this time with a slightly stronger wind (about 4.4, but that’s not always as helpful as all that, as it tends to blow the runner into the hurdles too quickly) but in the substantially faster time of 13.72; furthermore he was one of Yorkshire’s few winners.  Clearly there should be a ‘legal’ sub-14 before long.

SPEED IN THE CITY

The only reason for the existence of the British Milers’ Club is to stage races for people to go fast in (though whether it teaches any of them how to race is a moot point).  The BMC Nike Grand Prix on the 29th certainly did that for the four Club members who took part.   Pride of place is again hard to select, between James Wilkinson’s winning Steeplechase (8.53.72), in which he appeared to gain a lot  of ground in the later stages, and James Walsh, placing 5th in the A 5000m and becoming only the fifth Club member to break fourteen minutes (13.56.44) as Mike Baxter predicted he would.  The Club 5000m ranking List, the longest of them all, was further extended by Carl Smith braking fifteen minutes (14.54.51), a bench-mark for most distance-runners; while Dale Worton, who’s having a good year, missed making the Senior 1500m List by a fraction with 3.55.23 (It moved him nicely up the Under-20s, though).

ASBO LEADS WHITE ROSE OVER WALES ….

Fell-running is beginning to fall into the conventions of the rest of the sport (probably to the disgust of the more traditionalist bog-trotters) and now has an Inter-Counties Championship; this was held on the 23rd in conjunction with the Lletty Fell Race at Llangynhafal, Denbighshire, and Yorkshire duly won both team events, in the case of the Men by placing their three counters in the first five.  Leading the White Rose Sheep-chasers was Adam Osborne, who sent the following report of the event:-

“This year’s Inter-County Fell Champs was also the first round of the McCain UKA Mountain Running Challenge and attracted a strong field to Lletty, North Wales in search of sun, hills and, possibly, frozen chips. Having been overlooked last year (and then beating all bar one of the team!) I was selected for a strong Yorkshire team. On the hottest day of the year, the 9 mile course (2900ft of climbing) was bone-dry, featuring plentiful steep, lung-busting climbs and long runnable descents.

The race was won by Salford’s Martin Cox who pulled away after the first third of the race. I ran strongly and was never out of the first 5, finishing 4th (1.13.44 ) behind Mercia’s Simon Bailey and Shaftesbury’s Orlando Edwards and ahead of Sale’s Gareth Raven, who I caught at the top of the last long climb.  I finished very dehydrated and with blistered feet, but was pleased to discover that as Bailey and Edwards were only entered in the open race, I had won the Inter-Counties silver medal. With Graham Pearce and Matt Speake in 4th and 5th, Yorkshire easily won the team event, so I finished the day with two medals.

There was further Leeds City involvement as Chris Birchall, coming back after a post-3 Peaks break, finished 28th (1.22.55 ). In the women’s race, a late injury meant that Sophie Lovell, who was only coming to watch, earned a last-minute (as in the morning of the race!) call-up to the Yorkshire team and, despite having cycled over Holme Moss the previous evening, performed admirably, finishing 25th ( 101st overall, 1.40.40) as Yorkshire again won team gold.”

(Social note – Somewhere between the Three Peaks and the above race Chris quietly got married to  Emily Klee – well, he didn’t let on to The Scribe anyway!  Club congratulations are in order.

OLD BOUNDER  MAKES ANOTHER MARK …

He’s done it again!  Sneaking off to the Humberside League meeting at Scunthorpe the same weekend, Julien Gittens broke his Over-45 triple record for the seventh time this year, and this time by a substantial amount with 12.68.  Mind you, he did say that “hopefully I’ll sort out my run-up soon; I fouled the board five times!”  At the same meeting Tom Roberts put up a personal best 400 (51.2) in addition to a surprisingly sharp 11.4 for 100; The Scribe remembers him when he ran cross-country!

OLD FOLKS KEEP ON TAKING TITLES ….

Reporting on her efforts on what she describes as “the Old Folks’ Pentathlon‘ – i.e., the British M****rs‘ event at Horspath, Oxford –Hazel Barker says she went “hoping to improve on my British record, which I thought was a bit weak at 3586, but I was short of it (3577 points). Most of my performances were fairly modest, not helped by headwinds in the hurdles and long jump. (H 13.71, HJ 1.36, SP 10.34, LJ 4.01, 800 3.14.16).  However I was surprised to find that I had the highest overall age-adjusted score, bettering all the men (including a current and past world champion) as well as the women.  When I was given a trophy for this I changed my mind about being disappointed with my day.”  She also reports that Matt Allison won the Over-35 event with 3095 points, in a rather curious combination of events – Long Jump (5.34), Javelin (54.90), 200m (24.94), Discus (39.96) and 1500m (5.19.60) – which actually suited him better than some of the others.

PLENTY OF ACTIVITY ON LOCAL TRACKS …

Matt Campleman had a heck of a week last week.  Three days before his Northern effort he set two more PBs in the West Yorkshire League at Wakefield, one of which , in the Under-15 Long Jump (5.25), was  superseded.  He also ran a 12.54 100m, a big drop, behind Elliot Hurley who won in 12.06 .  In fact Wakefield was a good hunting-ground for some of the Club’s youngsters;Fran Coldwell equalled her best 80m Hurdles time (12.40), and in the process broke the Under-17 League record, to say nothing of Long-jumping 5.01, and Chloe Harley took around twenty seconds off her season’s best 1500 (5.24.60).  Bests also went down across the ages; among the Under-13s Sam Clark pushed his High Jump up to 1.34 and Caoimhe Crampton edged her Hurdles time for the second time in days (12.0), while Alyssia Carr took to Shot-putting with more than usual success (6.74), and in the Under-11sMegan Sanders moved into the Top Ten of the Long Jump list with 3.46.

Several of the above went to York the previous Saturday for the Ingram’s League and they and others came back with something to show for it.  Possibly the performance of the day came from Hannah Ukandu, who added another three metres to her Under-15Javelin Best with 23.97, though there were rivals in the versatile Vikki Adams trying two more events (Under-13 70m Hurdles and Long Jump) and performing well in both (13.5 and 3.89), and the youthful Megan Sanders improving both her 75m (11.6) and Shot (5.23) to progress in the Under-11 events.  Among the lads Khalil Abdelaziz put up two new Under-11 marks (11.8 75m and 3.38 Long Jump), Joe Clark also producing 12.3 and 2.85 in the same events and running 2.11.9 for 600, Louie Hurley and Harry Ansell-Wood both did quicker Hurdles runs (3.1 and 13.5), and Elliot Hurley equalled both his sprint PBs (11.7 and 23.9) in an afternoon.  Connor Morley, clearly out for an afternoon of preparation for multi-events, set new figures with both Shot (9.76) and Javelin (27.94); not to be outdone big brother Chris turned out in the same events and set a new Javelin mark (31.16).

There were quite a few Club winners, and some interesting performances, at the Cleethorpes Open at Grimsby on the 19th.  Louie Hurley had a double in in Under-13 Hurdles and Shot (15.0 and 6.99) and effort matched by Caoimhe Crampton (12.0 and 6.28), while Jack Mosley took the Under-17 400 in 52.6, a shade faster than Dan Brownbill’s second place in the Senior event (53.0).  Dan’s sister Sarah made her debut over 300m (48.7), but the interesting effort her was from the much-younger Gemma Keir, experimenting again and finishing second in 45.0.  It appears ti be doing her longer runs no harm; two days later in the Trafford Medal Meeting she ran 2.23.2 for a new PB over 800.

…. AND OTHER SURFACES

The Askern 10k is a Tuesday-evening trot which has always attracted a few of our members; the year on the 19th it attracted its usual adherents and then some.  Darran Bilton placed 4th in a good field (headed by Pothunter Supreme Andrew Pearson) and did his own bit of Vet’s-pot hunting in 4th (31.10), about half a minute in front of the reviving James Smith (31.39), who was next finisher.  The Senior trio was made up by Leon Foster in a Grand Central 12th place (34.47 – it’s an in-joke!), while Trevor Clough (47th, 38.08), found rather a lot of swift 50-year-olds had turned up and was only good for 5th in that group.  The Ladies were also well represented;Kirsteen Young, who has a penchant for this one, was first lady home (39th, 37.33), with support from Sarah Whitley in 6th (41.53 – 123rd overall) and Julie Barley, who was third among the Over-45 ladies (141st, 42.51).  Final Finisher puzzled The  Scribe for a sec, but then he realised that Jenny Yates (10th Over-35 in 49.05) had to be Jenny Harrison married!

Last weekend, or thereabouts, saw another couple of members out in odd events.  Jennie Guard took the Female prize in theApperley Bridge Canter on Thursday evening (30th in 39.57), though the first Over-35 was in fact ahead of her (there are some quick Old Ladies about, you know!); while on Sunday Aidan Adams nipped across to Manchester for the Reebok Sale 5 and finished a sound 9th (26.31).