A small group of hardy athletes trekked to Chelmsford for the junior South of England Championships earlier this month. It was a baking hot weekend (34 degrees on the Saturday) with tough competition, but great experience for all the youngsters who travelled – a number of whom achieved PBs.
First off on the Saturday was Jorja Clark (U17W) in the hammer. Jorja has been concentrating on the 4kg hammer this season in anticipation of the Island Games in 2023, rather then the lighter 3kg the U17s throw. There was some stiff competition with a number of juniors who had represented their country. Jorja performed well and came 4th in the competition with a new PB of 41.28m.
Next up on the track were the sprinters. Ethan Rankin ran 26.14 in the heats of the U15B 200m, a twitch just before the gun not giving him the best start. Dan Ross ran a 12.10 in the U17 100m heats. Jamie Oldham ran 11.42 in the heats and progressed to the semi-finals where he ran 11.38, which wasn’t enough to progress to the final. Dannielle Wilkinson, Lucy Cohu and Lucie Miller competed in the U17W 100m getting 13.50, 13.51 and 14.61 respectively. The athletes were a bit disappointed not to achieve faster times, but the majority of the sprints were into a strong headwind.
Daniel Dubras and Tom Bennet were in action later in the day in the U15B Javelin. Daniel threw 33.07 and Tom 34.93.
Isla Hall had a long, hot wait for her U15G 1500m heats at the end of the day, where she she ran 5:05.88.
On Sunday in the U15B 100m, Ethan got a much better start to come in at 12.87. In the U17 200m races heats when straight to finals, so the qualifying conditions were very hard. Dannielle and Lucy ran 28.04 and 27.24 in their 200m races. Dan Ross got a PB of 23.64 into a -2.9 headwind. Jamie Oldham won his heat in 23.14 and progressed to the final where he put in a great race and came 7th in 22.88.
Throws action came from Daniel in the hammer, who had a below par performance of 31.46, with the leader reaching 67.19.
Lucie Miller competed in the long jump in her first off-island competition in a number of years. Most of the jumpers struggled to get legal jumps in the first 2 rounds – the same was the case for Lucie. Although she managed to get a legal jump in round 3, at 4.14 is was much shorter than her illegal jumps and not enough to make the cut.
Tom competed in the discus on Sunday and threw 29.76, a great effort for someone who has only been throwing this implement for a matter of weeks.
The best performance of the weekend came from Bradley Andrews-Callec in the U17M 1500m, who had another long hot wait to compete at the end of the day in a straight final. The athletes set out at a very pedestrian pace, but Bradley had a goal of a new PB and he took the race on after a lap and ultimately came 5th in a new PB of 4:16.88. A really mature piece of running from the young distance athlete who seems to improve at every event.
Due to the high price of flights, the return flight was on Monday evening, so our superb organiser, Judy, sorted trampolining on Sunday night and an aqua park with inflatable assault course on the Monday – even the coaches enjoyed that one.
Thanks to Judy and Coach Nick for taking the time out to allow the athletes to compete. Another great experience of high level, off-island competition.