YDL Lower 21st April 2018, Crawley Print
Written by Richard W   
Monday, 30 April 2018 16:57

Saturday the 21st April saw the opening round of this year’s YDL for the Lower Age Group (LAG). Despite a blazing Mercedes which caused havoc on the M23, 13 of our Under 13s and 18 of our Under 15s, made it to a blissfully sunny K2 Stadium in Crawley.

Kingston and Poly picked up 440 points of the 813 on offer with the boys picking up 195.5 points and the girls picking up 189.5 points. Our parents and officials helped us to all 55 of the points on offer for assisting the event organisers on the day.


An exciting match saw us matching Guildford & Godalming point for point in the battle for 2nd place before slipping in the final few events to see Winchester snatch 3rd by 6.5 points.


There were YDL debutants in all 4 squads. Being the start of a new season there were lots of Personal Best performances and new discipline entries on our athlete’s Power of 10 pages.


There were A string wins for Lucy Atkins (200) , Kira Holt (75H), Max Dixon (300 & 800), Caitlyn Harvey (800) and B string wins for Lucy Atkins (100), Michael Webb-Bourne (300), Hiren Simmonite (80H), Oliver Sossick (1500) and the U13 Girls 4x100 relay squad of (Caitlyn, Nelly, Jocelyn and Ava).


Kira’s 12.2s in the 75m Hurdles merited an AAA Grade 2 standard. Ava John picked up a Grade 3 for her performance in the 75m (10.8s) as well as a Grade 4 in the High Jump (1.25m). Other Grade 4s came from Nelly Priest (11.1s in the 75m), Jocelyn Booth (11.3s in the 100), Lucy Atkins (13.3s in the 100), Emilia Chittenden (1.45m in the High Jump),


The run-away performance of the day (every pun intended) came from Caitlyn Harvey in the U13G 800m. Blasting away from the opposition off the start she proceeded to step up the pace with a lap to go. Caitlyn completed the A race to resounding cheers from the whole stand without a single opponent sharing the home straight with her. Caitlyn’s time of 2:29.6 earned her an AAA Grade 2.


A string U13 sprinters Ned Rose and Ava John achieved close 2nd places apiece in the 100 and 200 . George Rees, competing in his first YDL picked up valuable points in the B string, with Nelly Priest and Jocelyn Booth picking up 3rd place slots in the 100 and 200 respectively.


Kai Mason set a PB of 13.3s in the B race and Sam Landau ran a 14.3 PB in a non-scoring race.


Alongside Lucy’s two U15 sprint wins Liam (100 A), Kira (100 A) and Freya (200 B) ran in promising 2nd place finishes. There is more to come from this group. Newcomer Rory Stratford running in his first competitive meeting raced to 4th in the 200 B.


The 300 and 800 were a happy hunting ground for the U15 Boys. Max Dickson put on a dominant display to win both, stretching away from his opposition steadily over each distance. Michael Webb-Bourne and Oliver Sossick (in his first performance in a K&P vest) comfortably won the 300 and 800 B races. PBs were set by Emilia Chittenden (47.2 in the U15 A 300) and Freya John (2.30s in the U15 B 800). Ollie Cooke and Alex Cronje ran their first competitive 800m (2.41s and 2.44s).


Evie Priest secured 3rd in the U13G 1200 and Jocelyn Booth put in a strong final 300 to take 3rd place in the B final. Sam Atkins set a PB of 5:14.6s in the 1500. Esme Cerilli and Sam Landau put their hands up to ensure points were taken in the 1500.


Unlike last year more clubs seemed able to produce dedicated hurdlers this season. We knew we had two in Liam Macdonald (13.5s and 2nd in the A) and Kira Holt (the Grade 2 win mentioned above) but seem to have found another in Hiren Simmonite who ran the U15 B race in 14.3s having eased down once he was assured of the win.


The Field was always going to be tough with a number of field-focused athletes unavailable for this meeting. Many athletes took on disciplines that they either had never done before or hadn’t touched since their early days in the Kestrels.


Max Dickson took on the hammer last year for the YDL as the U15 Boys had a number of very strong field athletes. This season he has carried on with the discipline setting a PB of 22.26m and coming 3rd in the A event. Joining him were 3 athletes who had never thrown the hammer in competition – Oliver Sossick, Freya John and Nicky Hide.


The High Jump was a good event for the club – Ava and Emilie setting Grade 4 heights. Bethan Norvill set a PB of 1.20m (U13G) and Kira recorded 1.40m. Ollie Cooke and Finnian Chang continued the PB rush whilst picking up much needed points for the team.


The Javelin yielded PBs for all of our athletes – Finnian Chang, Alex Cronje, Hannah Choudhury, Bethan Norvill, Alfie Westley, Rory Stratford, Esme Cerilli and Jemima Harcourt.


Throwing the discus for the first time Dhruv Simmonite set 14.92m in the U15 A competition to come 4th. Alfie came 2nd in the U15 B with a distance of 10.93m having just moved up to the heavier weight of the U15 disc.


YDL stalwart Jemima Harcourt was carrying an injury and unable to put a real spring in her step. She still recorded her second best shot and will be pleased to note how close she was, whilst injured, to the front of the U15 G field. Lucy Atkins might have surprised herself with her first ever attempt at the shot of 6.67m.


The Long Jump saw PBs for U15 Rory Stratford (4.12m) in his first ever meeting and for U13s Caitlyn Harvey and Evie Priest.


And so it came to the Relays. Thomas White had come along to warm up the sprinters and look after the 4 x100 relay teams. Having watched the sprints earlier in the day and taken note of who had tired legs from other, longer events the teams were assembled with our strongest sprinters generally on the 2nd leg to keep us in the hunt.


First up were the U13 Girls 4x100 team. Caitlyn Harvey, Nelly Priest, Jocelyn Booth and Ava John setting the precedent with a storming 57.9s win.


The U13 Boys team of Ollie Cooke, Ned Rose, Alex Cronje and George Rees managed some slick changeovers and were just pipped into 3rd place. A mention must go to Ned Rose who ran a scintillating second leg to put the boys right in the mix.


The U15 Girls had a strong array to choose from as we were unable to field a 4x300 team. The squad of Freya John, Lucy Atkins, Emilia Chittenden and Kira Holt were neck and neck with Horsham Blue Star Harriers to the line, missing out by just 0.3s in a time of 52.6s. They should be looking to the 2014 club record of 52.01s at the Lily B in a fortnight’s time.


The U15 Boys put out both a 4x100 and 4x300 team. Hiren Simmonite, Liam Macdonald, Kai Mason and Rory Stratford ran a 50.7s race in the sprint relay never looking in danger of losing 2nd place. The 4x300 team of Oliver Sossick, Michael Webb-Bourne, Alfie Westley and Max Dickson had all had a strong day in their individual performances at the YDL and put in a resolute performance to come 2nd in 3.02s. Coming into the 3rd leg Team Dorset had stretched their lead but Kingston weren’t entirely secure in 2nd place. Alfie kicked at 150m, the Winchester athlete didn’t respond till too late. Alfie safely handed the baton to Max to bring the day home to a resounding cheer from the large contingent of Kingston and Polytechnic athletes who had convinced their parents to stay to let them cheer on their team-mates.


All in all, a good first round. Whilst we were a little disappointed with 4th place and our overall performance in the Field this was the first meeting for many athletes. There were some fabulous performances, lots of Personal Bests and even more smiling faces throughout the day.


Many thanks to the parents who endured the traffic chaos to get there, my fellow Team Managers, Sara John and Louise Doherty, and the officials who helped the team to points and the day to finish on time.


A special mention must go to Susanne Dietrich who gave up the whole day to lead the Field team, introducing many parents to the world of field judging.


To all the athletes – thank you for your time, effort and, in many cases, willingness to take on an extra event to record valuable points for your team-mates.


Richard White


Remaining dates for your diaries


Round 2 - The next match is at Horsham on Saturday the 19th of May.


Round 3 - a home event at Kingsmeadow on Saturday the 21st of July.


Round 4 – Poole on Sunday 17th June. K&P has struggled in the past with availability for this meeting. This year we are aiming to hire a coach so that the team can travel en masse and make a day of it. Parents will be welcome on the coach.


The Squads


U13 Girls : Ava John*, Bethan Norvill*, Caitlyn Harvey, Evie Priest, Hannah Choudhury, Jocelyn Booth, Nelly Priest


U15 Girls : Ellen-Ada Barlow, Emilia Chittenden, Esme Cerilli, Freya John, Jemima Harcourt, Kira Holt, Lucy Atkins, Nicky Hide*


U13 Boys : Alex Cronje*, Finnian Chang, George Rees*, Ned Rose, Ollie Cooke*, Sam Atkins


U15 Boys : Alfie Westley, Dhruv Simmonite*, Hiren Simmonite*, Kai Mason, Liam Macdonald, Max Dickson, Michael Webb-Bourne, Oliver Sossick*, Rory Stratford*, Sam Landau*


* YDL debutants


Officials : Susanne Dietrich (Level 2 Field), Stewart Dickson (Timekeeper), Ulrike Chang, Nina Stratford, Sarah Chittenden, Matt Atkins, Susan Hobart, Richard White, Kate Atkins (Field Judges) – apologies if I’ve missed anyone.

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