athletics Huge praise for athletes at nationals
Team Bath athletes have been handsomely praised for their contribution towards arguably the most successful season the composite Team Avon squad has enjoyed in the Youth Development League National Finals. The squad, comprising under-20 and U17 athletes from Yate & District AC, Bristol & West AC, North Somerset AC, Mendip AC and Team Bath, finished a highly creditable fourth in the end-of-season finale at Bedford. “It was a brilliant result due to a great team effort from everyone,” said a statement issued by joint managers Sandra Woodman and Jim Strudwick. “We achieved this because you all battled so hard for every point. You can feel very proud of yourselves as you are a great credit to your clubs and your families. “Well done to those of you who were awarded individual medals and/ or achieved personal bests. A big thank you to our lovely band of officials who support us so faithfully and earn us extra points. “We hope being in the national final inspires you all to continue with your athletics and train hard this winter for another great season for Team Avon next year.” Team Bath athletes certainly played their part in a successful campaign culminating in the final, where they secured 31 medals which included eight golds, 11 silvers and 12 bronzes. Jenna Blundell led the way with silver medals in both the U20 200m and 100m hurdles while John Howorth also chipped in with two medals finishing third in the U20 men’s 800m and 1,500m races. There were also A string silvers for Will Stockley (U20 3,000m), Enya Maylor (U17 1,500m steeplechase) and Renee Jelf (U20 high jump) and bronze medals for Rebecca Ousby, Sarah Long, Eleanor Webster, Harry Meredith, Alexander Parsons and Robyn Ellison. Multi-eventer Rory Howorth had his usual busy day winning bronze in the U17 shot and then playing his part in a victory for the 4x400m relay team as he unleashed a final split of 50.7secs in a final time of 3mins 29.93 to put them 11th in the UK U17 rankings. Among the B string medallists Marcin Olech stood out with golds in both the U20 men’s long jump and triple jump events. There were also golds for Femi Akinbobola in the U17 200m, Hayden Bailey in the U20 800m, Ellery Cole in the U17 400m hurdles, Rebecca Ousby in the U20 high jump and Gabriella Holt in the U20 hammer. Silver medals were won by Robert Howorth, Justin Davies, Enya Maylor, Jonathan Evans and Keelan Tucker while there were further bronzes for Sarah Long, Sam Roberts and Cole. In the U20 men’s 4x400m there was a great battle with Blackheath and Bromley just taking the victory in 3:22.65 and Team Avon sharing sec- ond with Team Edinburgh with a time of 3:23.47. The quartet of Robert Howorth, Joshua Snook (Yate), John Howorth and Hayden Bailey recorded splits of 52.1, 50.2, 50.9 and 50.3 respectively lifting them to third in the UK. Joe Carter and Filip Oczko ended the Avon Track & Field League season on a high as they dominated the U15 boys sprints at Gloucester. Carter did the double in the 100m and 200m, clocking 11.9secs and 24.4secs respectively, while Oczko was runner-up in both events (12.3/24.9) and then went on to win the 300m in 40.1. In the field, Kiran Carter produced another double win in the high jump (1.75m) and triple jump (11.56m) into a fierce headwind. Sophie Harrison won the U15 girls’ shot (8.77m) and was second in the 200m (28.2), while Charlotte Longden won the U17 women’s long jump with 4.68m and was runner-up in the 300m hurdles (53.9) and shot with (8.75m). Other winners were Alex Knight (U13s 1,500m, 4:59.1), James Lanfear (U17s 100m, 11.3), Luke Scott (U17 triple jump, 11.31m), Imam Qazi (masters 100m, 12.1 and senior 400m, 58.0) and Chris Elmer (senior 1,500m, 4:31.3). Team Bath AC’S senior men wrapped up the team prize at the Chippenham Half Marathon with Josh Taylor leading from the front with an emphatic victory in a time of 1hr 15:48. Clubmate Gary Dunstone finished runner-up (1:17.43) with solid support from Stuart Henderson in 15th and Lee Allen in 63rd to complete the scoring four. There was also an over-60s’ age group prize for Tom Hutchison in 106th overall (1:37.50) and leading club woman was Ewelina Wojtala in 250th. The Team Bath AC pair of Alison Vaugniaux and Sarah Street finished 14th and 15th in the women’s race at the Oldbury Power 10 which incorporated the Avon Championships. Vaugniaux clocked 81:09 to finish runner-up in the over-55 age group while Street (81:40) was fourth veteran over 50. The Chronicle’s athletics coverage is sponsored by Running Bath, Bath’s specialist running shop. Find running Bath at 18 High Street, call 01225 462555 or visit runningbath.co.uk.
Ethan Hall at the Youth Development League finals