Day 2 from Birmingham plus a trip to Aldershot

Day 2 of the English Schools Championships in Birmingham saw Tom Dean and Abby Beswick through to their finals. Tom was first up in the under 15 boys 800 metres and came 7th in a time of 2 minutes 4.17 seconds and later Abby came 8th in the 80 metres hurdles final for under 17 girls in 11.92 seconds. In between these events Vicki Pellett threw 34.14 metres in the under 15 girls hammer – nerves perhaps getting the better of her. Getting selected for the English Schools Championships and competing against the best athletes in England is a great achievement in itself – and is an important part of an athlete’s career. So very well done to all 3 of these athletes – and after a period of reflection you can start to get ready for next year’s championships. And their success can serve as good examples to some of our other athletes who are close to the required level of performance required for these championships.

Meanwhile at a very warm Aldershot Military Stadium (reached after driving past one of the Army Assault Courses plus lots of very high-class sporting facilities) our very much depleted senior mens and ladies team were doing their best against three of the strongest teams in our league. For example in the ladies 3000 metres the winner was Steph Twell, who ran for Great Britain in the 1500 metres at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Not surprisingly it was a difficult afternoon with first places few and far between – I think there were just three. Phil Spivey and Eddie Vermeer managed a double first in the hammer (47.54 and 31.04 metres respectively) and Sarah Rusling’s last jump of the triple jump competition was 10.50 metres which gave her first place.

There was a bit of controversy in the ladies high jump where many of the athletes felt very hard done by. All except one of the high-jumpers were going to run in their clubs’ 4 x 100 metres relay teams. They asked the high jump judges if the competition could be suspended for the 5 minutes or so that the relay would take – so that after the relays the bar would not have been raised. This was agreed. However during the relay the 1 jumper  who was not doing the relay – from the host club Aldershot – insisted on jumping a higher height. This was allowed and so by the time the rest of the jumpers returned the bar had gone up and the judges wouldn’t allow the bar to be lowered. Complaints to the field referee brought no joy and none of the returning jumpers could clear the bar at the new height. To add to the ill feeling the Aldershot jumper then sat on a chair in the jumping area while she rested between her jumps – by then she was the only jumper left. She would have won the event, but the rest of the jumpers – including our Ellie K-B – would have liked the opportunity to go a little bit higher than when they left to do the relays.

We came fifth out of the 6 teams – more athletes would have given us a good chance of a fourth place but the top three teams of Aldershot, Team Kennet and the league leaders from Plymouth would likely have been too strong for us even if we had had a full team. Our results can be found on the Leagues section of the website.

After the rain and thunder washed out last Tuesday’s club championships we had further rain on Thursday which threatened to wash out that evening’s events as well. However it stopped raining sufficiently early to allow those events to go ahead – although the number of athletes taking part was disappointingly small. This coming Tuesday evening (July 15th) we will do the events that were washed out last Tuesday.

Next Saturday July 19th sees the last match of the season for our under 13 and under 15 athletes when we go back to the Gillingham track – the venue for the first match at the beginning of May. Please please please do your best to be there.

What’s happening over the next few days ?

Tuesday July 15 – day 2 of club championships at Imberhorne from 6.30

Thursday July 17 – training for all at Imberhorne from 7

Saturday July 19 – under 13 and under 15 match at Gillingham – last match of the season in this league

Saturday July 19 – academy training at Imberhorne from 10.30

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