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UKYDL Final 2014

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Last updated 15 September 2014

UK Youth Development League - 2014 Finals

All you need to know, just visit the UKYDL website 2-01-13
7 September 2014 - UAG Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham 9-09-14
6 September 2014 - LAG Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham 11-09-14

7 September 2014 - UAG Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham


Results Edinburgh 1st, BBHAC 2nd

So our Upper age group are the second best team in the whole of the Country! Well done one and all.

But, our girls came first so are off to Europe next year!


Full results here...


Photos from Jay Galley


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6 September 2014 - LAG Final - Alexander Stadium, Birmingham

Final results 1st Sale 606, 2nd BBHAC 598 & 3rd Reading 584

So our Lower age group are the second best team in the whole of the Country! Well done one and all.

Full results here...


Full report below...


Photos from Karen Desborough



Photos from Jay Galley



Photo from Nic Corry

Getting ready for their big day... 

Prior to departing to Birmingham Dina gave them all a 'pep talk' and took this selfie... The President also address them and told them that The Queen wished them all well and good luck. Not sure if they all believed him... If in doubt check this out...


Having been crowned Southern Premier Lower Age Group Champions, our young athletes qualified for the National Finals of the Youth Development League. These were held at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on the 6th of September. The other qualifying clubs were Edinburgh, Preston Harriers, Reading, Rugby & Northampton, Sale Harriers, Southampton and Swansea. For most athletes this was their first experience of a Grand Final, and they gained valuable experience for future large competitions, such as using a dedicated warm-up area, and a rigorous call room schedule. The athletes took this all in their stride and an all round team effort earned the team the runners-up trophy. In a fiercely fought match Blackheath and Bromley lost out to Sale Harriers by a mere 8 points.

The day’s events started outside of the stadium with the Under 15 boys’ hammer. James Lancaster and Henry-James Cowie got the team off to a tremendous start. James won the A string in emphatic style by more than 10m. He missed out on the 50m mark by the narrowest of margins. James returns to the age group next year, and the club record will surely be tested. Henry-James produced a solid performance to place 4th in the B string. Blackheath and Bromley were off to a great start! A James Lancaster 1st (49.34m) B Henry-James Cowie 4th (25.22m)

Inside the stadium the Under 15 girls were represented by Eloise Locke and Carys Marsden. Eloise won gold in the A string by a comfortable margin, and Carys produced a superb series of throws to place 5th in the B string. The girls received great support from coach Herbie who was one of a number who had made the journey to see their athletes compete. A Eloise Locke 1st (33.80m), B Carys Marsden 5th (19.81m)

In front of a highly partisan crowd the Under 15 boys long jumpers received a rapturous welcome. Adefela Lipede and Coleman Corry were up against a highly competitive field. Preston were fielding the 8th ranked jumper in the country with a personal best of 6.07m, and he was beaten into second place by the Sale Athlete who produced the 17th longest jump in the UK this year at 5.95m. Adefela was struggling with an achilles problem that has reemerged at the most inopportune moments during the season. A Coleman Corry 8th (4.52m) B Adefela Lipede 8th (4.46m)

The Under 13 boys and girls commenced proceedings with the High Jump. Alice Prentice and Isobelle Bridge held their own PB party and also came away with medals. Alice earned a bronze in the A string, Isobelle winning silver in the Bs. In the boys, Caelan Raju rose to the occasion with a new PB, before diving off to take part in the hurdles. When Caelan returned to the High Jump only one competitor was left but the bar had moved up nearly 20cm! Caelan had passed all his previous heights and so was allowed to attempt the new height. Caelan had three gutsy attempts at what would have been a massive PB and gold medal. Caelan's efforts were rewarded with the silver medal in the A string. Pedro Gleadall just missed out on a medal on the count back. U13G A Alice Prentice 3rd (1.35m PB). B Isobelle Bridge 2nd (1.30m PB). U13B A Caelan Raju 2nd (1.45m PB) B Pedro Gleadall 4th (1.30m)

The first track event of the day was the 1km invitational walk. Two Blackheath and Bromley Under 15 boys were invited to compete due to their efforts in the Kent Young Athletes League this season. Charlie Short and Harrison Parker set themselves a target of 6 minutes 30, and with great support from the Blackheath and Bromley faithful Harrison and Charlie came home 4th and 5th in the event. Harrison Parker 4th 6:28.36, Charlie Short 5th 6:30.18

The Under 13 boys were in action again at the Shot. Tom Mills only found athletics recently and after joining the club late in the season soon got a Kent call up for his efforts in the throwing events. Tom was disappointed only to win the bronze in the shot put, but that is all part of the experience of competition and he will be a better athlete for it in the long run. Cameron Swatton joined Tom in the event, and spent a few evenings with his dad practicing and preparing for the final and it was great to see him winning valuable points for the club after the taking the event seriously. A Tom Mills 3rd (8.55m) B Cameron Swatton 6th (5.21m)

On the far side of the stadium the first Pole Vault event of the day took place. Though they were unable to pitch the club tent Hanna and Dave Cordell elected to bring the club poles up the motorway with them. These arrived just in time for the event, and Lewis Stickings and George Pope took to the runway. John Wakeman was another coach who had travelled to Birmingham to watch the fruits of his labour. Lewis and George only took up the event this season, and as the bar moved higher it was great to hear the announcer at the stadium telling the crowd that George and Lewis were both still in contention for medals. Both athletes rose to the occasion with new Personal Bests. George was unlucky just missing out on the bronze in the A string, but Lewis won Bronze in the Bs. A George Pope 4th (2.20m PB) B Lewis Stickings 3rd (2.10m PB)

On the track, hurdles took centre stage. First up were Grace Fullerton and Emilie Penlington representing the Under 13 girls. Grace ran a terrific race in a highly competitive A string, winning valuable points for the team. In the B string Emilie set a new personal best. The Under 13 boys were represented by Caelan Raju and Billy Keene. Caelan has had a great season over the hurdles, representing Kent earlier in the year and the high jump had clearly warmed him up as he sped to a new PB taking the silver medal. Billy Keene has spent a lot of Wednesday evenings running over hurdles practicing his technique and taking a few whacks to the knees and ankles for his troubles. These were all put to one side as Billy sprinted to a new PB as well as picking up the bronze medal. Kate Purser and Safiya Atkins-Dykes lined up for the Under 15 girls. Both girls were fired up, Safiya equaled the PB she had set at Norman Park in the early rounds of the competition (accounting for wind), Kate ran just shy of her PB and just missed out on the medals. In the Under 15 boys Femi Sofolarin raced across from the Javelin to take part in the A string. Coleman Corry warmed up from the Long Jump ran just outside of his PB. U13G A Grace Fullerton 6th (12.54) B Emilie Penlington 7th (13.69 PB), U13B A Caelan Raju 2nd (12.75 PB) B Billy Keene 3rd (13.99 PB), U15G A Kate Purser 4th (12.12) B Safiya Atkins-Dykes 6th (13.06), U15B A Femi Sofolarin 6th (13.04) B Coleman Corry 7th (14.01).

By now we got our first look at the team totals. Sale were out in front and Blackheath were lying in 5th position.

Femi raced back to the Javelin to join Edward Adams for the Under 15 boys. Edward has been a superlative competitor this season and has recently been competing in a number of multi event competitions. Inevitably this late in the season there is some fatigue. Edward's throws placed him 4th in the A string, but then Femi the original B string athlete surpassed Edward's throw by some 80cm, taking himself out of Gold slot in the B string and 4th in the A string, such is the nature of the competition. Both lads contributed highly to the points total for the team. A Femi Sofolarin 4th (36.19m) B Edward Adams 1st (35.34m)

In the Under 15 girls Hammer Blackheath were dominant with Victoria Wiltshire and Carys Marsden leaving the opposition far behind. The athletes did the win double and Carys' best throw would have comfortably earned her silver in the A string. Victoria ranked 4th in the UK this year surpassed the 50m mark for the third time this season. A Victoria Wiltshire 1st (50.40m) B Carys Marsden 1st (39.73m)

With that win-double the fight back had started....

Shot Put was the next event for the Under 13 girls, special credit to Kareena Galley and Daisy Dowling who put in admirable performances in the absence of Tajera Baldie, out through injury. Kareena almost put herself in the medals in the A string, pulling out a personal best, which would have comfortably won her gold in the B string. Daisy has been a great all round thrower this season and produced a solid throw in the B string. A Kareena Galley 5th (7.54m PB) B Daisy Dowling 6th (6.19m)

Next to the crowd the Under 15 girls lined up for the Long Jump. With news of their team mates success in the hammer coming over the tannoy, Magda Cienciala and Karina Harris readied their run ups. It was a tremendous competition and despite vocal support the athletes just missed out on golds coming second in both A and B string, jumping within 2cm of each other. A Magda Cienciala 2nd (5.03m) B Karina Harris 2nd (5.01m)

At the top of the stadium their Under 15 team mates were involved in a hotly contested high jump. Tabitha Lisciotto won bronze in the A string, while Antonia Alapafuja set a new personal best by 15cm - literally a mountain in high jump - to take the B string silver. Both athletes matched each other for height. A Tabitha Lisciotto 3rd (1.45m) B Antonia Alapafuja 2nd (1.45m PB)

All the while the first of the sprinting races were under way, as attention turned to the 150m and 200m races. In the Under 13 girls Grace Fullerton buoyed by her great hurdles effort, ran in a personal best in the A string. Abigail Nelson was not far off her own personal best. Abigail also had 2 more events to come. It was a win double for the Under 13 boys with Myles Xavier and Tom Mills destroying the field. Both boys had the Blackheath faithful on their feet, particularly Tom who left it to the final 80m to take the lead through sheer determination and power. This was followed by two more medal winning performances, with Olivia Richer and Mhairi Brooks representing the Under 15 girls. Olivia stormed home to set a new personal best. Mhairi fought to the line and was unlucky to miss out on silver. In the Under 15 boys race injury overcame Adefela Lipede who grimaced to the line, earning the team valuable points. He was dispatched straight to physio Gemma Steinle who worked her magic, ensuring he would be ok for the relay. Matthew Knight showed his finishing strength. Matthew has really made his mark on the team, joining only recently but showing his dedication to training, he finished 4th in the B string with a new personal best. U13G A Grace Fullerton 8th (21.48 PB) B Abigail Nelson 6th (21.82) U13B A Myles Xavier 1st (26.76) B Tom Mills 1st (27.51) U15G Olivia Richer 3rd (26.52 PB) B Mhairi Brooks 3rd (27.11) U15B A Adefela Lipede 8th (24.89) B Matthew Knight 4th (24.52 PB)

This took us to halfway through the proceedings and the athletes efforts had shaken up the scoreboard. Sale were still in the lead but Blackheath and Bromley had climbed to 2nd. Sale's had secured a large lead however, it would take a supreme effort to overcome that margin...

There followed an astonishing 30 minutes on the track, as the club's 800m took to the stage. Lily Tappenden and Lauren Goddard represented the Under 13 girls. It was tenacity from the pair of them. Lily was spiked on the first lap, but battled on through the pain to earn the team valuable points. Lauren was coming back from injury, but produced a thrilling run which earned her a bronze medal. In the Under 13 boys Peter Guy has dominated the 800 m all season and was determined to keep it that way going through the bell in a rapid 63sec. The equally talented Southampton lad tracked Peter all the way and somehow found another pace as he crept pass Peter on the top bend. Peter continue to push hard but the Southampton boy kept his form to cross the line first with Peter just behind recording his third fastest ever 800m. Such was the Southampton performance that he broke the league record and won 'athlete of the match' award. It took a super human effort to beat Peter, something no one else has done this season! Peter's performances all year have inspired Robert Suckling to great things and the final was no exception as Robert cruised through the first lap holding a great position. Going up the back straight and rounding the top bend the whole field seemed to surge forward but, fortunately for BBHAC, Robert was the strongest and fastest as he eased in front to lead down the home straight. Robert had run the perfectly timed race and there was no way he was giving up the lead as he cross the line a comfortable winner. As he came to a stop it was great to see him clench his fist subtly, over joyed by the result. In the Under 15 girls races Katy-Ann McDonald and Yasmin Austridge increased the Blackheath medal haul. Katy-Ann brought her diligence to her first event of the day, running clear of the opposition by 5 seconds. This even allowed her to pull up into the finish conserving valuable energy for the later events. Yasmin, who had put together an inspirational film for the athletes at the finals, knocked nearly 2 seconds off her previous best to bring home silver in the B string. In the Under 15 boys 800m Henry-James Cowie and Angus Harrington will both return to the age group next year, particularly poignant as they took home medals. Henry-James fought a hard race, having to dive in between lanes as one of the opposition played fast and lose with his bulk to hold his position in the race. If not for this, Henry-James would surely have taken home gold. His efforts were rewarded with a bronze. Angus Harrington's gutsy run built on the quiet improvements Angus has made all season in the 800m. He was determined all the way to the finish and was rewarded with the gold and ran a new personal best in the process. U13G A Lily Tappenden 8th (2:45.61) B Lauren Goddard 3rd (2:34.85) U13B A Peter Guy 2nd (2:15.36) B Robert Suckling 1st (2:25.85) U15G A Katy-Ann Mcdonald 1st (2:15.82) B Yasmin Austridge 2nd (2:20.61 PB) U15B A Henry-James Cowie 3rd (2:04.87) B Angus Harrington 1st (2:12.23 PB)

After this terrific burst of activity Blackheath had moved into first place, 5 points clear of Sale. There were still a number of events to come, Sale having dominance in the sprints, and favoured for the relays, but Blackheath could rely on strength in the Field events, and the 1500m races were still to come. Could the 'heath hold on?

Tom Mills and Pedro Gleadall were determined to. They stepped over to the centre of the field for the Under 13 boys javelin. Tom threw a massive PB to take home gold in the A string, overcoming a strong performance from the Rugby athlete, and Pedro comfortably won the B string underlying his Kent credentials in just his first season in athletics. A Tom Mills 1st (39.49m PB) B Pedro Gleadall 1st (32.24m)

Now it was over to the cage for the Under 15 girls Discus. Carys Marsden added silver to her hammer gold. Eve Keith opened her medal haul on the day taking home silver in the B string. Eve missed out on gold by just 20cm in a hugely competitive field. A Carys Marsden 2nd (28.63m) B Eve Keith 2nd (27.38m)

Henry-James Cowie had barely time to recover from the 800m before being called to duty in the Under 15 boys Shot Put. He was joined by fellow multi-eventer Edward Adams. Both were a little disappointed not to clear 10m but they should put in to context the pressures of the day, moving between events, as Edward had the High Jump looming, as well as the terrific season they have had. A Henry-James Cowie 6th (9.50m) B Edward Adams 5th (9.34m)

In the Under 13 girls Long Jump big credit went to Philippa Widdows and Katia Cienciala. Philippa saved her best jump of the season for the National Finals setting a new personal best. Katia emulated big sister Magda with a gutsy performance near to her own best set at Ashford earlier this season. The Blackheath crowd appreciated their efforts and they were warmly supported. Philippa also returns to the age group next year! A Philippa Widdows 8th (3.62m PB), B Katia Cienciala 8th (3.39m)

By the track the crowd got ready for more sprinting, as attention turned to the 75m and 100m. In the Under 13 girls Grace Fullerton stepped up for her third event of the day, and in the B string Abigail Nelson was competing in her second. Both athletes gave good accounts for themselves adding to the team total. In the Under 13 boys Myles Xavier gave of his best to earn his second gold of the day. In the B string Phil Tenyue just missed out on the medals but equaled the PB he set at Bromley. The Under 15 girls both took home medals, Magda Cienciala added another silver, and Nicole Farmer fought off a great challenge from Rugby to take the bronze. Credit goes to Harry Taylor who stepped up to the A string in the Under 15 boys 100m. This was despite a knock to the back during pole vault training earlier in the week. Adefela Lipede showed a mature attitude by stepping out of the 100m for treatment to injury, and George Robinson moved into the B string to cover. Both ran great races almost matching each other for times. U13G A Grace Fullerton 7th (11.00) B Abigail Nelson 8th (11.26) U13B A Myles Xavier 1st 13.13 B Phil Tenyue 4th (13.88) U15G A Magda Cienciala 2nd (12.66) B Nicole Farmer 3rd (13.39) U15B A Harry Taylor 7th (12.45) B George Robinson 5th (12.42)

Out on the field the Under 15 girls were contesting the Pole Vault, Caitlin Chick has another year in the age group, and her eyes must surely be set on the club record for next season. Yasmin Austridge set a new personal best, which was some consolation for missing out on silver, as 2nd place through to 6th all cleared the same heights, with positions decided on count backs. There weren't many other competitors who had just run the fastest 800m of their life before vaulting though! Caitlin and Yasmin matched each other on height, which must have pleased John Wakeman. A Caitlin Chick 7th (1.90m) B Yasmin Austridge 5th (1.90m PB)

Back at the track it was time for the 300m. The Under 15 girls were represented by Roisin Atkins-Dykes and Catrin Murphy. Sale were holding onto a lead by 9 points, every position now against Sale was going to count. Not only did Roisin and Catrin overcome the Sale athletes, they came away with medals in the process. Roisin won bronze in the A string, and Catrin took home silver. In a double blow to Sale their B string athlete was disqualified. Representing the Under 15 boys were Matthew Knight and Rhys Urwin. The winner of Matthew's heat ran in the 5th fastest time in the UK this season, Matthew gave a good account of himself running just shy of his own personal best. Rhys Urwin was very unlucky to miss out on the medals edged out by 0.02 of a second, he was rewarded with a new personal best however. U15G A Roisin Atkins-Dykes 3rd (43.65) B Catrin Murphy 2nd (44.47) U15B A Matthew Knight 6th (39.38) B Rhys Urwin 4th (39.72 PB)

It was Javelin next for the Under 13 girls, and it was fitting that Daisy Dowling and Zoe Austridge held their own PB party at the National Finals. Daisy's best also earned her silver in the A string, and Zoe earned the team valuable points in the B's. A Daisy Dowling 2nd (28.16m PB) B Zoe Austridge 8th (12.46m PB)

At the High Jump Edward Adams and Frankie Scrivener warned up for the Under 15 boys. Edward and Frankie were supported by Keith Liston another coach who had battled traffic to support the athletes. Frankie overcame his butterflies to clear the opening height and get points on the board. Edward took the bronze missing out on silver on count back, and jumping just shy of his own personal best. A Edward Adams 3rd (1.65m) B Frankie Scrivener 8th (1.35m)

The Under 15 girls Shot Put now took centre stage. A clinical performance from Eloise Locke and Eve Keith saw the athletes produce another win double for the team. Sale performed strongly too with their athletes taking home bronze in the A and B string. Both teams pulling out what they could to take home the national title. A Eloise Locke 1st (11.11m) B Eve Keith 1st (9.60m)

It was time for the long distance races, the 1200m and 1500m. Representing the Under 13 girls were Alice Prentice and Emilie Penlington. It was Alice's second event of the day but in spite of this she narrowly missed her personal best. Emilie ran the race of her life taking 2 seconds off her personal best, and taking the bronze medal in the B string beating the Sale athlete by 0.02. Billy Keene reluctantly took off his hurdles medal to join Kier Lundy at the start of the 1500m for the Under 13 boys. Billy and Kier spent the next 5 minutes locked into their own private friendly battle in the 1500 m. Coach Mick Jones was egging them on urging them to keep ahead of the Sale athletes. Billy took this advice to heart and urged Kier on at the bell, Keir picked up the already fast pace and strode past a few opposition. They tracked down the home straight neck and neck, finally being separated by 1/100 second with Billy being given the nod over Keir. This left Billy 5th in A string and Keir 4th in the B string. Naomi Kingston and Millie Smith both took home medals in the Under 15 girls 1500m. Andy Frankish stopwatch in hand urging them on. It was the hottest part of the day as the Blackheath faithful supported them down the home straight, their cheers literally trying to lift the girls, but the Sale challenge was too strong. Naomi's fantastic efforts were rewarded with bronze, and Millie, who has another year in the age group, with silver. Michael Eagling and Coleman Corry showed real team spirit for their Under 15 boys race. Michael took Coleman through a detailed warm up before the race, leaving both athletes relaxed but ready to do business. Urged on by their teammates they ran a solid race, really taking it up a gear each time Sale's B string runner bravely tried to challenge. By the bell though there was no challenge left and Michael and Coleman had their own battle, finishing within each other by 0.3s, and just shy of their own PBs. Both return to the age group next year with Angus and Henry-James so it bodes well for next season's distance running. U13G A Alice Prentice 4th (4:14.32) B Emilie Penlington 3rd (4:12.85 PB) U13B A Billy Keene 5th (5:09.66) B Kier Lundy 4th (5:09.67) U15G A Naomi Kingston 3rd 4:53.46) B Millie Smith 2nd (5:04.20) U15B A Coleman Corry 7th (4:33.57) B Michael Eagling 6th (4:33.86)

Henry Henderson and James Lancaster were representing the Under 15 boys at Discus. Henry has worked hard all season at throws training adding Discus along side Javelin to his suite of events, which has seen him improve by over 10m this season. Henry produced another good set of throws to score highly in the B string. James had his own battle in the A string but was edged out of the medals by the Sale thrower. A James Lancaster 4th (31.86m) B Henry Henderson 6th (24.35m)

At the last field event of the day, the Under 13 boys Long Jump, Myles Xavier and Ben Gardiner pleased the crowd jumping right in front of the Blackheath faithful. Ben juped within 2cm of his best to take home the B string Bronze, and Myles produced his third solid performance of the day to win the silver. What a great first performance at the National Finals! A Myles Xavier 2nd (4.71m) B Ben Gardiner 3rd (4.17m)

By now the scorers had sensed the urgency of the competition and the updates on the standings were halted. It was clear Sale and Blackheath were fighting it out, but who was overcoming who? All that remained were the relays...

In the warm-up area athletes had been practicing their handovers, working on their lane orders. Now was the time to put that practice into action. The Under 13 girls comprising Abigail Nelson, Alice Prentice, Katia Cienciala and Grace Fullerton, did brilliantly considering that half the team were new to the event and all had competed in a number of events on the day. Importantly they got the baton home safely earning valuable points for the team. The Under 13 boys waited anxiously for Myles to complete the Long Jump. There are a number of sprinters vying for places on the Under 13 boys team, which has made team selection difficult, but the standard has been superb. Joining Myles were Caelan Raju, LJ Wright and Nathan Urwin. LJ put his injury-plagued season behind him to give the team a tremendous start, and Nathan's work on the top bend set up the team beautifully to take home gold. The Under 15 girls team comprised Olivia Richer, Magda Cienciala, Nicole Farmer and Mhairi Brooks. Fantastic work saw them take home the bronze, but missing out on silver by 0.08s. For the last 4x100m relay the under 15 boys were faced with the daunting task of overcoming a Sale team anchored by the fastest sprinter in the UK this year. Gemma had weaved her magic on Adefela and he was under strict instructions just to run on straights, no bends! Fortunately Ade was running last leg. Joining Ade were Edward Adams, Harry Taylor and George Robinson. Edward set up the team with an explosive first leg, and the team never looked back with Harry and George providing Ade with a cracking chance down the final straight. Sale had had a shocking race and the fastest man in the UK found himself looking at Adefela's back. Try as he might he didn't overhaul Ade, and the team took bronze by 0.1s. U13G Abigail Nelson, Alice Prentice, Katia Cienciala, Grace Fullerton 6th (57.91) U13 B LJ Wright, Caelan Raju, Nathan Urwin, Myles Xavier 1st (53.22) U15G Olivia Richer, Magda Cienciala, Nicole Farmer, Mhairi Brooks (51.19) U15B Edward Adams, Harry Taylor, George Robinson, Adefela Lipede (47.09)

The 4x300m relay would provide the finale for the day. A superb team effort saw the Under 15 girls take home the gold. Catrin Murphy overcame a terrible lane draw to hand to Roisin Atkins-Dykes in 5th, Roisin gave up a place, but as we have seen so often this season beneath her placid facade a deep determination resides. She worked away gaining 3 places, before letting fly in the last 100m to hand to Grace Scopes in 1st. Grace ran a terrific leg holding on to 1st until just before the handover when Sale managed to overcome her. Katy-Ann McDonald dug deep and battled with Sale until the last bend when she took it up a couple of gears and Sale were left standing. All that remained was the Under 15 boys race. Matthew Knight showed great courage to hold his hand up to say he couldn't give the team the best opportunity after his runs in the 200m and 300m individual. Henry-James Cowie stepped in to replace him. Rhys Urwin gave the team a great start handing to Charlie Scrivener, but Sale were racing away with Rugby hot on their heels. Charlie ran a gutsy leg handing on to Henry-James who poured everything into his leg. Frankie Scrivener took the team home, and gave the Blackheath crowd a near panic as he pulled up with 50 metres to go, but Frankie overcame this wobble and held off Swansea, to secure 5th. Had the team done enough? But then at the last, controversy. There had been a disqualification. Sale who had placed first were out. Sale lodged an immediate appeal. While the judges considered the case the crowd waited on. Then the answer, a new league record awarded to Rugby, and the disqualification upheld. U15G Catrin Murphy, Roisin Atkins-Dykes, Grace Scopes, Katy-Ann McDonald 1st (2:54.26) U15B Rhys Urwin, Henry-James Cowie, Charlie Scrivener, Frankie Scrivener 4th (2:45.59)

Whilst waiting for the final results the BBHAC boys and girls used their time wisely by attempting a mass trampoline exercise on the pole vault mat in full view of all spectators, officials and ground staff. Did any other club have such distinctive t-shirts?

Despite the controversy Sale proved to be worthy winners, overcoming Blackheath and Bromley to take the title. It was a fiercely contested competition and to be runners-up was a great achievement for the club's young athletes. When the final result was announced a jubilant BBHAC squad completed a lap of honour as if they had won, leaving the actual winners in their wake.

We were lucky enough to have first year Under 13 boys Leo McCallum & Elliot Wanagho as travelling reserves who along with the injured Kelsi Cornish (Under 15 girls) were great team supporters.

Both age groups, boys and girls are always well supported by parents, grandparents and siblings and the distance to Birmingham didn't stop then coming in large numbers and our huge thanks goes to them all for supporting all the athletes with such enthusiasm that it rubs off on the whole squad. Some of the upper age groups families were there giving support, a day early also. We are also always well supported by the Club, and the Blackheath Royalty were out in force headed by our current Mr and Mrs President, along with Mr and Mrs Past President Lawrie and Mr and Mrs Past Presidents Alison and Colin Brand and Vice presidents Hanna and Dave Cordell, Track Manager and PP Ken Daniel and U20 girls team manager PP Tim Souter. The athletes were particularly pleased Tim was there, as with his intervention they were able to tuck into KFC, Subway or MacDonalds on the journey home! The team would also "like" to thank all those that provided their support through the Blackheath Facebook pages. It was great to receive that encouragement.

Our special thanks go to Dina Asher-Smith and Adam Gemilli, who both gave up their time to speak to the young athletes before they competed. They are an inspiration to the team and we are very lucky to have such role models. Dina told the team "Your best is good enough". Adam's advice to get to bed early was perhaps a little overlooked! The team really appreciated their words of encouragement. As we understand it our performance was being watched with some interest by our real Royalty… the Queen no less. President Dick Griffin had spent an afternoon in HRH company recently and the Queen asked what he was up to that weekend…..and Dick only went and told her!

This weekend was a great success and thanks also go to many including Jay Galley for all he does, taking photos, setting up multi media, chaperoning and more. Rose Bennett for preparing the relay team and all the preparation she does with the teams at Norman Park and chaperoning. Coach, Mick Jones for all his efforts throughout and in the warm up area and Claire Austridge who said,” if you can’t bet them, join them” referring to the rest of her family.

This meeting was Sandie’s last as team manager and we would all like to give her massive thanks her for all the hard work she has put into her U15 girls team over the last few years. We were going to throw her in the steeplechase water jump but someone talked us out of it!

We all had a long weekend with lots of time spent on the coach, in the hotel and at the stadium and the athletes' efforts on and off the track and the way they conducted themselves throughout, was exemplary. They are a great credit to our club. They did us proud.

Karen Desborough
Nic Corry
Paul Austridge
Sandie Richer

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