09/03/2010: After the Roundhay ball was over…

Having been somewhat involved in the National Cross-Country Championships, and somewhat kn***ered thereafter, The Scribe has taken a short break; however, he still has his ear to the ground and his spies in circulation, and so is now eventually able to produce a reprise of last weeks’ efforts – at least those he’s found out about. He may have missed the odd bit (he’s getting on, you know!!), and will be happy to catch up with whatever he’s omitted.  With his commitments elsewhere this summer he might not be around quite as much as in the past but still intends to produce ClubNews at regular intervals – it he has enough information to go on.  The moral is therefore to all members – if you’ve done anything, LET HIM KNOW ABOUT IT!  Contrary to some rumours, his e-mail address hasn’t changed.

1st-6th March –  World M****rs’ Indoor Championships, Kamloops, Canada

GOLDEN END TO HAZEL’S CANADIAN SILVER WEEK

The week after the collection of Silver medals in the National saw Hazel Barker add two more items of prestigious silverware, and then follow it with a Gold in British Columbia (The Scribe believes there was some other sporting fixture going on down the road in Vancouver about then).  She started the week up against an athlete who’d be pretty useful at any age, but at 50 was positively awesome; but by the time she’d finished it she’d achieved some pretty awesome efforts herself, lowering three of her own Over-50 Club records, one of them twice.

Hazel’s main event is multi-eventing, and her first Silver came in the Pentathlon, where she added 44 points to her previous Over-50 best with 3612.  She opened as if she meant it, by lowering her 60m Hurdles mark from 10.31 to 10.20, and followed that with another age-group record in the High Jump, clearing 1.42.  her Shot, at 9.12, was possibly a  bit disappointing for her (she’s been over ten metres),
but a very satisfactory Long Jump of 4.09 kept her clearly in the frame for the medal; and as is her habit, she ‘got through’ the 800 in 3.20.45.  All good stuff – but she was beaten by a colossal 1300 points as Australian Marie Kay set a new World mark of 4906.  For the record, her marks (which some of our teenage multi-eventers wouldn’t be averse to equalling, The Scribe bets) were 9.95, 1.51, 12.30, 5.16 and 2.46.78.

Over the next couple of days Hazel contested two other events, with mixed fortunes both on the medal and performance front.  In the Shot she produced a much better mark then in her pentathlon, recording 9.94, but in a strong field that only placed her 7th.  Later in the week she took on the High Jump and earned her second Silver, but had a slight off-day and only cleared 1.35.  Perhaps it was the fact that she came up against Marie Kay again, who after clearing 1.50 took a shot at yet another World age record of 1.56.  However, Hazel saved the best one up for Saturday; in the 60m Hurdles she blasted her earlier effort into oblivion by cracking the ten-second barrier with 9.92 and taking the Gold in a tight finish against Italian Carla Forcellini.

The Scribe will no doubt shortly get Hazel’s own e-mail account of all this, in which she will stress her advancing years and decrepitude; he will take it with his usual pinch of salt.

6-7th March – England & Northern U17 & U15 Indoor Multi-events, Sheffield

COUPLE OF NORTHERN MEDALS AND PLENTY OF BESTS

There was Club representation in all four age-groups at the E.I.S., and while no National medals came home on this occasion there were a couple of Northern gongs to crow about.  There were bound to be a few P.B.s as four of the seven Club participants were doing their first indoor multi-event and a fifth was moving to a new event, but even so all seven – even Jacob Gardiner, who withdrew from the Under-17 Heptathlon after the second event, presumably with an injury – recorded at least one individual event Best (in his case a 7.30 60m).  The only one who didn’t get a new total score was Fran Coldwell in the Under-17 Women’s Pentathlon, and she missed out by an agonising six points with 2684 (14th, and 10th in the concurrent Northern event); mainly on the strength of a slightly below-par 800 (2.54.94); she’d certainly started out well by lowering her 60m Hurdles time to 9.44, and followed that with a very sound 4.89 Long Jump and a new best in the Shot with 8.29.  With a 1.30 High Jump she appeared to be going well on target; but she’s done inside 2.40 for 800 in her time, and The Scribe wonders how much running she and other multi-eventers have been able to do in this winter’s conditions.  Regular distance-runners just get used to it, but multi-eventers can’t really be expected to relish the prospect.

The three Under-15 Girls who contested their Pentathlon found themselves in a big and strong field (the Midlands were having their Championships as well), and didn’t do badly in their first effort – especially as they included the very juvenile Alyssia Carr and Melissa Fletcher.   The pair certainly started well, both cracking their 60m Hurdles best in the opening round with 9.35 and 10.08 respectively, and both following with good Long Jumps of 4.59 and 4.45.  However, they were found out in the Shot, where sheer lack of size restricted them to 4.81 and 5.57; it was here that Hannah Ukandu, who’s a bit bigger (not far short of six feet at fourteen, in fact!) followed up openers of 11.23 and 4.26 with a P.B. of 7.76.  Both Hannah and Melissa (who just about makes five feet!) cleared 1.39 in the High Jump, but here Alyssia had a rare disaster; she only made 1.30, which for a 1.50 performer last year was a bit of a downer; still, not many people get everything right in a multi-event. Hannah (1754 – 27th/15th) dropped out of the 800, while Alyssia (2.49.25) and Melissa (2.55.87) got round for scores of 2365 (19/9) and 2231 (21/11) – sound first efforts.

Besides Jacob, Connor Morley started the Under-17 Event, and his was the first Northern medal – Bronze, with a score that just cracked the 3000-point barrier – by seven.  He couldn’t have been asked to do a lot more, as he scattered P.B.s all across the event; opening with 8.29 for 60m, he went on to a 5.20 Long Jump, 9.31 Shot and 1.62 High Jump – the last three all improvements.  That wasn’t a bad first day, and he was bound to get two more on the second, as both the Pole Vault (2.21) and 1000m (3.25.19) were new events as far as he was concerned; he combined them with 9.88 over the Hurdles to round off a very satisfying performance.  He was, in point of fact, last of the nine finishers; but with that many improvements he won’t have gone home disappointed.

So what about the other medal?  Well if Connor’s was a catalogue of advances, how about Matt Campleman?  If you want to be pedantic, he ‘only’ improved in three of the five events in the Under-15 Boys’ Pentathlon; but as he missed out by less than a second over 800 (2.32.04) and in spite of being “unable to get the run-up right and taking off from the wrong foot” (Mum’s description, before Matt considers violence against The Scribe!) was only 13cm short (4.96) in the Long Jump  The other three were striking improvements – 9.47 hurdles (down from 9.61 and the fourth improvement of the winter), 1.54 High Jump (“massive” improvement on the old mark of  1.42) and 8.88 Shot (an “even more massive” advance from 7.98).  Of course, it helps that like a lot of Under-15s Matt’s shot up over the winter like a tomato-plant ion a grow-bag, but just out of interest his Hurdles (for instance) now puts him ahead of Jacob Gardiner at the same age, while his total score of 2157, which placed him 5th and brought in the Northern Silver, is better than the one Dan Gardiner achieved at fourteen.   Of course, it doesn’t guarantee that Matt’s going to get to the same level and between now and their present age he’s got to put in the same amount of work; but it does point to an interesting potential.

TWO SMALL APOLOGIES

There were a couple of performances missing from last week, lost by The Scribe in the scramble to get something out after the National.  He failed to notice Ben Tootle finishing the under-13 race at Roundhay Park in 350th place, and he also failed to spot Melissa Fletcher’s Under-15 60m heat at Birmingham, annoying as she set a P.B. Of 8.60.  Apologies are proferred to both parties.