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Last updated 19 June 2017

UK Youth Development League 2017

18 June 2017 - U13/15 - Eton

Glorious weather welcomed us to the scenic venue of Thames Valley Athletics Centre at Eton for the third fixture in the UKYDL lower age group. Dave Cordell and Steve Hollingdale were first on site to cherry pick the best pitch for our large team tent and this provided an essential shady retreat for our athletes before and after their events. As a result of the first two fixtures BBHAC were currently in second spot behind National Champions Southampton and a solid result at Eton would help us get closer to our goal of making the 2017 National final, being held this year in Birmingham in September. Havering AC and Bracknell AC started the day in 3rd and 4th and keeping ahead of them would be crucial as only the top two in the league are guaranteed automatic places in the final.

The glorious weather was superb for us spectators but not so friendly for the athletes as the temperature must have been well into the 30ís!

The U13 boys began the day well with two 2nd place finishes for Oliver Robertson and Matt Smith. Oliver smashing his personal best and Matt Smith back near to his quickest best. Ollie and Matt both had to then endure long spells in the beating sun during a tough high jump competition and both did well securing 3rd spots. Oliverís day continued in the sand, jumping well to place 3rd again while Matt had to endure 3 and 3/4 laps in the sun doing the 1500m coming 4th. Ollie's final effort of the day was running leg 2 in the sprint relay.

Ben Platt made his National league debut putting an equal best in the shot followed by a great 23 m gaining valuable team points. Josh Buddle Smith was just short of his pb also in the shot and then threw the javelin over 20m again scoring vital team points.

At the half way stage we were a little surprised to hear that BBHAC were leading by over 10 points with Southampton and Havering tied for 2nd but with a loads more events to be contested.

Connor Sutton had a fantastic day winning all three of his individual events starting with a massive PB in the 200m smashing through the 27 sec barrier and slicing 0.6 sec off his best. Next up was the 100m and another great personal best performance winning in 13.2. Fairly new to the long jump but taking to it well Connor then leaped over 4m equaling his best, winning again and finally racing the final leg in the 4 x100m sprint relay.

Ethan Alapafuja looked good in the 200m placing 3rd and ran a quick 100m sprint equaling his best and was start off leg in the sprint relay.

The 800m were up next and Max Gregson continued his great season with a mature a well paced race finishing with style in a great 2nd, just outside his best.

Jake Anthony making his National track debut lead from the front in his race and held off the fast finishing Windsor athlete to secure a brilliant win.

Two first year in the age group athletes battled it out well in the heat of the day over two laps of the 800m, both just outside their best with Jamie Sears posting 2:35.3 and Oles Chaban 2:37.4. Great times especially in those temperatures. Oles also sharpened up his sprinting, racing well over 100m.

Emmanuel Oniwinde was just outside his best in a quick 100m and helped the boys to a fourth place in the 4 x 100m relay running the 3rd leg on the top bend.

Finally completing our strong squad Ben Campbell ran a solid 1500m during the hottest part of the day and should be pleased with his performance and time placing a respectable 4th in a very tough race.

With two events left to score BBHAC were 9 points in front of Southampton but 10 minutes later with all events recorded Southampton had clawed themselves in front to win the match by a single point leaving us in 2nd with Havering 3rd and Bracknell 4th . At the beginning of the day we would have been happy with this result but felt slightly deflated having been in the mix all day.

However, that result strengthens our position in the league table and with just our home fixture to go on Saturday 15th July we are in a very strong position to qualify for the National final.

There were many fine performances throughout the day from our U13 and U15 boys and girls but the highlight must be the club record breaking quartet of the U15 girls 4 x 300m relay team. A fabulous collective effort from Zakia Mossi, Shakanya Osahon, Daniella Harper and Holly Mpassy rounded off a fine days athletics setting a new best time of 2:51.13.

Blackheath and Bromley HAC once again demonstrated great team spirit from athletes through to parents, team mangers and officials with many parents doubling up as officials as well. Pleasing to see the field events officiated by BBHAC being run efficiently, calmly and in a friendly relaxed manner, great for spectators to see and obviously for the competing athletes.

Many thanks go to Dave and Steve for providing the necessary shade and for team manager Marco for his tireless efforts in ensuring our young athletes are fully prepared and ready to compete.

Looking forward to Norman Park on Saturday 15th July.



Photos from Jay Galley

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