20/05/2010: A lot of right things amid the wrong ones

RANKING LISTS – AN EXPLANATION

The Scribe, on behalf of his colleague The Ranker, apologises for the fact that for the next few months the All-Time Ranking Lists on the Club website are not going to be updated.  The reason for this is the introduction of the new All-Singing, All-Dancing Club Website which is in the process of being constructed by Sorrel Hoare and Chris Birchall.  The intention is that when it’s up and running The Ranker will be able to do his own amendments instead of having to send everything through Webmaster Chris; the problem is that the new site uses a different set-up to that currently in use, and Chris is having enough of a wrestling match converting the information without dealing with the immense number of amendments that a track season puts through (70 in the last three weeks, for instance).  It’s therefore been decided that there’ll be a total revision sometime in October, when things have quietened down.  Please be patient – it is a heck of a job!

The Lists will, however, continue to be revised and printed, and the copies on view at South Leeds Stadium will be kept up to date; if anybody really wants to see a particular List they can send an e-mail to The Scribe at the usual address and he’ll do his best to oblige.

16th May – National Young Athletes’ League, Northern Premier East Div., Doncaster

A LOT OF RIGHT THINGS AMID THE  WRONG ONES

There are days when the most appropriate comment is the Kenneth Williams’ famous line from Carry On Cleo – “Infamy, infamy, they’ve all got it in for me.”  Somebody had it in for Leeds City at the Keepmoat Stadium; a late arrival due to a communications breakdown with the bus company and an over-determined reliance on the Sat-Nav, a misunderstanding over the setting of the Triple Jump boards, a couple of no-shows due to illness, people being unavailable due to appointments in fields with the Duke of Edinburgh (don’t ask!), and a disqualification on the sort of technicality that it was hoped had vanished into the limbo of past jobsworthness, were just a few of the little things sent to try people.  The net result was a far lower finish than might have been anticipated.  Still, all was not gloom; there were numerous improvements and even one or two real breakthroughs to record, and if a few of them in the sprints had the benefit of a gusting wind, they still had to be run for.

One reason for the low finish was the sizeable number of gaps in the Under-17 teams – most particularly on the Boys’ side, where only four B-string places were filled (though in fairness several more might have been but for circumstances), and you can’t have what you ain’t got!  This was to some extent offset by the number of wins obtained – eight, plus a high-scoring double in the Javelin in which both Andrew Ettenfield and Jake Armstrong set new Bests, Jake breaking forty metres for the first time.  Unsurprisingly Jake supplied two other wins in Shot and Discus, while Andrew, in addition to some ’emergency’ sprinting, took almost a second off his Hurdles best.  There was also a bit of high scoring in the 3000, which Elliot Todd took pretty comfortably and Alex Hart backed up with a steady third place, while Jack Mosley, Harry Foster and Gordon Benson took an event each, the last two without undue stress.  Quite the most remarkable PB, though, was Connor Morley’s High Jump; after apparently being stuck in a groove at 1.60 for the first month of the season, he chose possibly the least propitious circumstances to make a massive advance to 1.70; obviously he should only take part in High-jump contests in howling gales!

There were rather less spaces in the equivalent Girls’ squad, and there were some striking performances making use of the wind; Fran Coldwell admitted she’s been ‘blown’ to her 12.4 in the Hurdles, though like Connor she seemed to find High-Jumping in a breeze conducive to PBs as well, and India Wilson equalled her best 200 and took a chunk off her 100 time, supported by Sarah Brownbill, who was significantly quicker over 100 than a fortnight earlier.  Both Fran and Chloe Harley picked up a good array of points, and Georgia Yearby was untroubled in taking the 300,  but the most striking effort of the day came from Claudia Chrappah, who started the afternoon by volunteering for the Triple Jump and finished it as the Club’s fifth-best performer ever; she also came within an ace of getting on the Long Jump Lists at last.  Charlie Nicholson chucked everything in sight, including a winning Hammer throw, and Katie Radcliffe and Laura Smith filled every available gap, both picking up new bests in Triple and Javelin respectively.  The squad rounded off with a pair of Relay wins, with India, Sarah and Georgia making up three-quarters of both teams and Claudia and Fran putting in their two-penn’orth; the 4×300 was pretty quick.

When it came to PBs the Under-15 Lads had a particularly good day, though the strength of the opposition meant they didn’t pick up the same proportion of wins; Team Manager Carl Hurley recorded a dozen new bests in his e-mail account, and you can’t ask for a lot more than that.  In some cases there were considerable advances from people finishing near the back; Daniel Harrison, for instance, lowered his 1500 by not far short of twenty seconds (Keiran Savage lowered his by rather less, but still lowered it), and Jack Allinson’s first effort at 400 (and he’s a very young Under-15) certainly impressed one onlooker.  Jack Gape equalled his High jump and improved his Shot, and if both Elliot Hurley in the 200 and Kendle Hardisty in both sprints had some help (“How the West Wind did blow,” as Carl put it) they still had to put the effort in to use it.

Elliot was one of only two winners in this group, in the Long Jump; the other was Luke Cooper, who took the 800 and ran a fast 400 for the conditions.  There was nothing ‘wind-assisted’ about the PBs for Appiah Kwarteng and Max Ansell-Wood, though – you don’t get wind-assisted Hammer-throws!  It can affect other throws, though; and while Max and Kendle had a decent day with the Discus, Appiah and Kieran failed to register a Javelin-throw.

The Javelin was by far the most successful event in points terms for the Under-15 Girls, though; Hannah Ukandu advanced a bout a foot from her Yorkshire-winning effort and Nicola Sawyer, despite not feeling her best (she did the 800 though she’d rather not have) made it a rare full-pointer.   The only other winner was Gemma Keir, who again defied the elements to win the 1500 and take three seconds off her best, and had enough left to throw a sound Discus later on (Grace Coburn partnered her in both, and threw the Discus a bit further).  For once Alyssia Carr and Melissa Fletcher weren’t among the winners, but as both ran wind-assisted hurdles times faster than ever before it wasn’t for lack of effort; Molly Allinson turned out for the first time as an Under-15, but needs a couple of races to adjust to the longer sprint, while Amena Abdelaziz had an off-day with the Shot but rode the wind in the 100; Sian Gilmartin-Green looks as if she’s going to be this team’s ‘sticking-plaster kid’ (she did the 200 this time), and Annabelle Brady made her first appearance and, according to The Scribe’s source, enjoyed the day.

The full-pointer among the Under-13 Lads came in the Shot, where a nice little internal contest is building up; clearly stung by finishing behind Haris Hameed at Leeds, George Armstrong has pulled a couple of stops out, and his winning distance this time was eight centimetres ahead of Haris’ winning mark.  Haris didn’t get quite as far, but is cracking eight metres with consistency and could go further before the season’s out.  The other two wins both came from Sam Clark, who took both Jumps with similar marks to last time; Kieron Lockwood didn’t cope with the wind quite as well, and nor did Harry Ansell-Wood, whose 200 seems to have caught the only crosswind of the day.  Louie Hurley in the hurdles and Tom Harrison in the 100 and Long Jump certainly did cope; both were ‘blown’ to new PBs.  The other main victims of the wind were the middle-distance runners, all of whom were slower than at Leeds, but team Manager Pat Childs reckoned that the quartet of Billy Dawson, Haydn Williamson, Jack Wormald and Tomas Szajdzicki all ran more assured races this time out, and are developing along the right lines as competitors.

The very small Under-13 Girls’ team – seven of them – were quite a busy lot, most of them covering the full three events.  The most eye-catching performance came from Vikki Adams, who not only picked up the only win with an advance to 1.35 in the High Jump and put a fair Shot, but returned to where she started in the middle-distances and ran a decent 800 as well.  Just as busy was Caoimhe Crampton, yet another to take advantage of the breeze with a very fast hurdles time – as she finished third she clearly wasn’t the only one – as well as covering 75m and Shot; while Eleanor James also produced a speedy hurdles and an excellent first effort in the High Jump.  Jessica Barker and Gaby Cummins did a couple each, Jessica putting in a swifter 150m and Gaby producing two good sprints, Jasmine Hardisty worked hard in the 800, and Laura Benson was, in spite of the climate, a bit faster over 1200 than last time out.

TALES OF TRAILS …

Trail races – midsummer off-road events to those that don’t know – appear to be ‘in’ at the moment, and certain of our members are getting a good bit of fun – to say nothing of ‘pots’ – out of participating in them.  Courtesy of the all-seeing Lunchtime O’Surf, The Scribe has a few details, starting with the Hawkshead Trail Race, one of the Lake District series, on April 24th, which was a bit of a cake-walk for James Walsh.  The lad finished the 15k (or thereabouts) in 60.48, on a course which can’t have been anything but hilly, 2½ minutes ahead of the runner-up and 7½ in front of third-placed Martin Hilton (68.05).  The other 557 finishers were no doubt spread all over the landscape.

Three weeks later Martin took on one rather nearer home, the Yorkshire 10k Trail Race at Newby Hall, and persuaded near-neighbour Mike Burrett to go along as well.  Result – Hilton first (32.19), Burrett second (32.44), next finisher a minute and a half behind.  Not a bad day out for the lads.

…. AND ODOROUS ROADS …

The above headline can only mean that it’s the season for the John Carr 5k Series, that wonderful event run by St. Bede’s A.C. Round the settling-tanks and filter-beds of Yorkshire’s biggest (or is it second-biggest?) sewage works.  This year’s participation by Leeds City members in the Tour de Merde was fairly small in numbers but pretty successful in places, as two of the races were won; moreover there was a fine contest between a couple of the guys which enlivened the proceedings.

Race 1, on May 5th, saw the fun start when Chris Needham outkicked Ben Dyson by a margin so small that the timekeepers were unable to separate them; both were given 16.33 in 11th and 12th places.  Rob Gatenby placed 107th in 20.03, managing to stay ahead of John Mace, who has recently been attempting to emulate the now-departed (back to Sunny Scunny) Scott Mitchell by racing everything in sight; his 132nd place (20.49) put him about half a minute ahead of Roger Parker (145th, 21.16), and neither of them were pleased at being beaten by former Pudsey & Bramley old-timer Peter Covey, now running with Bingley in his seventies.

Race 2, a week later, produced the first Leeds City winner, and the fastest time of this year’s series, when James Smith decided to give it a go; he clearly wasn’t hanging about to judge the pungency of the local atmosphere, s he waltzed around the installation in 15.02, 58 seconds ahead of the runner-up.  The Needham-Dyson saga took the next of its twists when Chris beat Ben by just seven seconds (16.30 to 16.37) but by four places in a tight finish.  In 49th place Sophie Lovell was the third female finisher, in a creditable 18.19, while John had his best finish (106th) and fastest run (20.24) of the series.

Second and third finishers from race 2 both went faster in Race 3, but found themselves behind a different Leeds City winner when Greg Hull just did enough with 15.46 to beat the pair of them; while behind them Ben got the better of Chris by six seconds (16.31 in 11th to 16.37 in 13th).  Both Sophie (54th, 18.45) and John (126th, 20.49) were a shade slower than the previous week; perhaps the midges were rising!  Chris and Ben places 6th and 7th in the cumulative table, while John was 7th among the Over-55s.

… AND CUNNING TRACKERY

It has been suggested to The Scribe that Julien Gittens has a Cunning Plan!  He’s after a record that even The Ranker never thought of – the member to break the same Club record the most times in a season.  The way he’s going about this is to improve his Over-45 Triple Jump mark by about two centimetres at a go; and on May 13th at the Charnwood Open at Loughborough he added another two with 12.50.  The current score is six – watch this space!!

The naturalisation to a Yorkshireman of Gavin Chatterton took another step when he admitted in a recent e-mail that “it’s rare that trips to Essex are worthwhile!”   However, a trip to the Essex County Championships at Chelmsford certainly was; he not only brought home a Silver medal but reduced his Steeplechase best to 9.50.18.

if it’s summer it must be Trafford Grand Prix time, and people are going over to go for hairy times.  The latest meeting, one May 17th, was notable for some swift 800m running, with Mike Salter clearly showing that his indifferent run  in the British Students’ was a bit of a ‘blip’ by turning in 1.51.02 in the  B.M.C. A Race (he finished 7th), Dale Worton winning the B.M.C. C event in a startling 1.55.07, and Gordon Benson advancing up the Under-17 List with 1.57.03. The fourth name was one we haven’t seen about, but it was good to see him in action; Rohin Dhand cam,e out of the woodwork flying with 2.00.50.  In the other events Robert Torch ave the 400 a go and won his heat in 55.05, Rachael Dyson cracked five minutes for 1500 for the second time this year (4.59.67), and Alice Simpson launched the hammer for another prodigious distance (47.93).