Monday, May 5, 2014

Two good days

...don't, we hope, make a summer, but this weekend has seen some terrific weather and some really rather good athletics. I had hoped that the YDL youngsters would do better as a team, but individually there was nothing whatever to complain about.

So, to start with, let's look at the number of Personal Best performances. There were thirty-nine of them.


Say that again.


So well done to each and every one of them.

Obviously, some stood out particularly, and I must mention the two under-13 middle distance girls, Ellie Hobbs and Anne Jones, who provided one of the few Yate double firsts. Rosie Allen and Hannah Hobbs smashed their PBs in the 1500m, coming ever closer to the magic English Schools qualifying time. I've also got to mention Tilly Wyatt and Chloe Pitts, chucking a hammer in anger for the first time. PBs and close to 20 metres. (The last time Lesley dragooned a girl into throwing the hammer, she ended up as the British number one and going to the Commonwealth Games, so who knows?)

Amongst the boys it was in the field events where the wins came. Special mention has to be made of Jack Moore who cleared 1.58 in the high jump in a terrific PB. Alongside him was David Thomas, who, his coach tells me, had a bit of a 'thing' about going higher than 1.30 in competition: well, he did it on Saturday, clearing 1.40 and looking pretty darn good while he did it. Tylor Molton and Joel Williams both won in the shot. Joel also won the discus and Tylor was second in the javelin. Could it be that good times in the field events are about to return?

Overall, Yate finished in fourth place. I guess we knew that Bath were going to do well. Cardiff Archers were a bit of a surprise (to me at least). And we very, very nearly beat Bristol, having lead them for half the afternoon. Next time......

Sunday, it was the turn of the seniors in the Midland League, where our athletes compete alongside colleagues from Bristol. A second day of sunshine and another sparkling day of athletics.

I must confess I like travelling to these meetings on the coach. I try to get a seat by myself, put the ipod on and fall asleep as the motorway unwinds below us. (Modern jazz on the way up; orchestral music on the way home, in case you were wondering).

I don't have detailed results to hand at the moment so I can only tell you about some impressions from the timekeepers' stand. Josh Evans and Mark Cottam looked dominant in the 400m races and then looked just as good in the relay that finished the track events. Hattie Dent looked her customary strong self in the 400m huradles. Tom Pontin complained mightily about his times, but still managed to win his race. It was good to see Jamie Brock back in competition after much too long a gap: looking good, though perhaps not quite back to earlier form. Hannah Jackson also won the 100 hurdles and is looking good at the moment.

I'm coming round to enjoying timekeeping. This was the first time I've worked on steps with a dozen men who were all qualified and more experienced than me. I was paired with Bob Purcell from Gloucester and it was heartening how close our times were all afternoon. At least twice we were identical to the hundredth of a second. There wasn't perhaps the badinage that goes on when the timekeepers aren't quite so professional, but it was still a very enjoyable afternoon.

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