We made a concerted effort to get more athletes than usual to compete in the Sussex and Surrey Multi-Events Championships over this last weekend at the Sutton track – and we have been providing extra training for those who were going to compete – and this was rewarded with a good haul of medals. There is something rather special about multi-events – the fact that you spend the whole day (or even the whole 2 days) with the same group of athletes means you are talking to them and getting to know them and sharing in their successes and failures. The sense of companionship is very obvious. We must try even harder next year to get a few more athletes to compete.
Saturday saw the Under 13 and Under 15 boys in action in their 5 event pentathlon. Oli Stuart was hoping to do well, but was close to a disaster in his first event, the long jump. A no jump followed by a jump of less than 2 metres. However a third safe jump of 4.29 metres was better than the rest, even though quite a bit below what he would have liked. He followed with a swift hurdles run of 12.29 seconds and in his first attempt at the shot he recorded a decent 6.57 metres to be followed by 1.33 metres in the high jump. By now he was well ahead and, even with a very slow 800 metres run, he won the gold medal. Scott Shephard went round with Oli and included a good long jump of 3.84 metres and a high jump pb 1.27 metres among his events, as well as beating Oli in the 800 metres.
Jamie Osborne in the under 15 boys pentathlon started with a good 4.90 metres in the long jump before tackling the hurdles for the first time. He cleared each hurdle by a huge margin but got to the end all in one piece. A good 7.63 metres shot putt and then a pb in the high jump of 1.49 metres before a reasonable run in the 800 metres – all of which added up to the silver medal. Phil Rogers took part in the Masters pentathlon. In this event the different age-groups compete alongside each other with their points adjusted by a series of age-related factors. A javelin throw of 31.09 metres and a long jump of 4.97 metres got Phil off to a good start to be followed by a 200 metres run of 27.20 seconds. Unfortunately the last 2 events – discus and 1500 metres – are not Phil’s strongest but nevertheless he held on to bring home a bronze medal.
Sunday saw the Under 13 and Under 15 girls taking part in their 5 events. Mia Russell, coming back from Millfield School in Somerset, was hoping to do well in the Under 13 event, but her first 2 events did not go as she would have hoped. In the long jump she fouled her first 2 jumps and, to be sure of recording a distance, took off well before the board with her last jump. The hurdles seemed to be going well until she hit the penultimate hurdle. She recovered quickly but perhaps lost half a second on her time. Things began to go better in the shot where she achieved 6.32 metres for a new pb and then in the high jump she equalled her previous best with 1.28 metres. She found the 800 metres hard but did enough to finish third overall for another bronze medal.
Of all our athletes Lois Drummie was the only one competing in the Surrey championships. She started well with a new pb in the long jump with 4.72 metres and then won her hurdles race in 12.02 seconds (the only hurdles race into the wind). Another pb came in the shot with 7.47 metres and the high jump gave her the chance of another pb when she cleared 1.48 metres. However her 3 attempts at 1.51 failed. The final dreaded 800 metres was hard work but she got round in 2 minutes and 53 seconds. And when the points were added up it was a silver medal for Lois – her points total of 2546 would have won her the Sussex title. Roisin Bell was in the Sussex Under 15 event and produced a number of good performances with pbs in the long jump (3.70 metres), shot (5.87) and 1.21 in the high jump.
Competing on both days were our under 17s Abby Beswick and Chloe Hollamby with 4 events on Saturday and 3 on Sunday. Abby was close to her best in the hurdles with 12.36 seconds with Chloe on 14.27 seconds. The high jumps saw new pbs for both – 1.35 and 1.26 metres. The shot saw a new pb for Chloe with 8.32 metres (where did that come from ?) while Abby did 7.21. The last event of the first day was the 200 metres and, not surprisingly, Chloe was a clear winner in 25.87 seconds with Abby just tying up in the last few yards to record 27.64 seconds. The second day started with the long jump. While Chloe was happy with her 4.41 metres Abby struggled with her run-up and after 2 fouls opted for safety with jump number 3 for only 4.22 metres. She came back strongly in the javelin with a pb of 24.48 metres with Chloe also producing a pb of 23.74 metres. This left the 800 metres which saw Chloe leading the athletes home in 2 minutes 31.62 seconds with Abby finding the strength to finish quickly some 8 seconds behind Chloe. And with the points added up it was another couple of medals – silver for Chloe and bronze for Abby.
So in total it was 1 gold, 3 silvers and 3 bronzes – a great weekend. And there was more to come, as on Saturday there were the Sussex Steeplechase championships which Sarah Killick-Bird decided to enter at the last minute. And she added to the medal count with a first place – covering the 1500 metres in 6 minutes and 14 seconds.
I’ll tell you more about Friday night’s Under 15 league match later in the week.
What’s happening this week ?
Tuesday September 10th – one-off coaching session for invited discus throwers at Imberhorne from 6pm.
Thursday September 12th – training for all at Imberhorne from 7.