The combined Bristol & West/Yate & District team achieved a convincing win in the first match of the 4 match summer series, to set up the season well, and hopefully drive towards regaining the league title that was won in 2017, and narrowly missed out on in 2018.
A pleasant temperature and calm conditions awaited the team at Horspath Stadium, Oxford, where league newcomers Abingdon AC were hosting the match as their own stadium is currently under refurbishment.
The team looked good on paper, with only a couple of unfilled positions, and the athletes performed fantastically, taking victories in a good number of events, and picking up good points across the board. As the match scores were updated through this afternoon, it quickly became a 2 horse race between us and Notts, and at the end we pulled well clear, to win convincingly.
There were quite a few new names this year, with some first year U17s stepping up to the league, alongside longer serving contributors across all age groups.
The Men’s short sprints were a highlight, with Daniel Brooks picking up victories in the 100m and 200m, going <11sec once again in the 100m, and gaining a pb in the 200m. Ben Wells complemented this with a <22sec clocking for the 200m A string victory, to underline the rich vein of form he has been showing recently.
In the Ladies 400m, both of our athletes, Jess Frazer and Katie Robbins, smashed their pb’s and scored excellent points. They later combined, along with Grace and Eliza, to bring the relay team home to a fantastic second place.
The Men’s 800m B string race was one to behold, with Abdi (guesting) setting off from the gun and dragging the whole field through to fast times, including our own Greg Hayward who smashed his pb by 5 seconds!
Danni Sinclair, an U17 new to the team, was in fine form winning both her 800m A string and 1500m B string, and another new U17, Dalis Jones, completed the Women’s middle distance by comfortably winning her 1500m A string, the only athlete of the day going under 5min.
There was a double victory in the Men’s 5000m, with Kurt Taylor and Andrew Watt picking up top honours, Kurt having just missed out on the victory in the A string 1500m earlier on.
The women’s 400m H is usually a tough event to find athletes for, but we had 4 for this match, and picked up great points, with 2 PBs being set. Alexia Bennett-Cordy also competed in the 100m and LJ as a guest.
In the field the highlight from our perspective was Toby Conibear in the Men’s Hammer, still an U17, adding 6m to his pb with the Senior weight to pick up second place in the A string. He was admirably supported by newcomer Reece Straker, who picked up first place in the B string.
The Ladies Long Jump saw a double victory with Tia Jackson and Andrea Jesudason, and with 2 guest jumpers also performing very well bodes well for the season.
Another event with strength in depth was the Ladies Javelin, with Jodie Dale coming second in the A string, and Anyha Kerr winning the B string, and Jo and Maria supporting them as guests.
Overall, it was a combination of some exceptional performances, alongside good coverage through all events that helped us to a great victory, and we now look forward to the next match at Alexander Stadium, which will be our last outing there before the stadium is remodelled for the Commonwealth Games.
There were numerous SB’s across the board, and several PB’s achieved, as listed below: