id1934-YDL Lower Age Group Match 3 – Poole – Sunday 17th June

Written by Richard W   

Massing at the club for a 7:45am start in the drizzle was not made any better by the absence of the long-heralded coach. One worried Team Manager’s phone call later and our chariot pulled into the car park allowing the Team to arrive at the Ashdown Leisure Centre in style. In a year where team numbers have been low just enabling a few athletes to attend that would otherwise have been out off by the journey could make all the difference. A big thank you to the Club for agreeing to part-subsidise the coach hire.

The joyous moment of overtaking the Guildford and Godalming team coach on the motorway on the way down was lost to our athletes who were either heads down and focused on their various gadgets or out for the count from near end-of-term sleepovers.

Armed with a mental picture of period railway posters advertising trips to the Dorset coast the intrepid bunch of Kingston and Polytechnic campaigners arrived in Poole sporting shorts and short sleeved tops. The more knowledgeable locals from the three clubs that comprise Team Dorset had ignored the weather forecasts and arrived sporting puffa jackets, full rain gear, and armed with thick blankets.

The blustery conditions meant that the sprinters were looking forward to a howling tail-wind down the finishing straight. The only issue would be managing to warm-up before races. 

The day saw numerous AAA Performances, hat-tricks of PBs and some fabulous relays.

The Squad

U13 Girls (6)- Jocelyn Booth, Caitlyn Harvey, Ava John, Bethan Norvill, Evie Priest, Nelly Priest

U13 Boys (7) – Sam Atkins, Ollie Cooke, Thomas Darke, Dylan Dowell, Rishi Dowell, Jack Le Vesconte, Charlie White

U15 Girls (6) – Tobi Afilaka, Francesca Austin-Endersby, Emilia Chittenden, Kira Holt, Freya John, Milla maritz

U15 Boys (6) – Seb Chang, Max Dickson, Liam Macdonald, Kai Mason, Sam Nesbitt, Michael Webb-Bourne

U13 Girls

Ava John broke both her sprint PBs to win the A string 75 metres in 10.7s (AAA Grade 3) and the 150m A race with a Grade 2 time of 20.8s. 

Nelly Priest broke both her sprint PBs to win the B string 75 metres with a Grade 3 performance of 10.9s  She was just pipped into 3rdin the 150 metres but rewarded with a PB and a Grade 4 winning time of 21.6s. Nelly also furthered her Shot PB to 6.1m and now tops the club ranking list.

In the 800m the other clubs continue to shuffle their squads but are still unable to topple Caitlyn Harvey’s domination in the A string of this event. In addition to her Grade 2 800m she also added 0.96cm to her Javelin PB. 

Evie Priest took 2 seconds off her PB to come 2ndin the 1200m with an AAA Grade 1 time of 4:08.3. She jumped to within a centimetre of her PB in the Long Jump and added 64cm to her best 400g javelin throw. 

Multi-eventer Hannah Choudhury picked up 3rdplace in the B string 800m, 4thin the B Shot and 5thin the A string hurdles.

Jocelyn Booth set a PB in the Long Jump with 3.45m and was just outside her best in the non-scoring 75m with 11.9s.

Bethan Norvill took 0.8s off her Hurdles PB (14.8s), equalled her PB in the High Jump, coming 3rdwith a Grade 4 height of 1.25m, and set a PB of 11.9s in the non-scoring 75m. 

The seasoned relay squad (well it is 3 YDLs in a row with the same squad) bounced back from the result at Horsham to a spirited 2ndplace just behind the locals Team Dorset only 0.1s off their match winning performance from Round 1.

U13 Boys

Hot on the heels of making his debut for the club at the Ebbisham last week we welcomed Jack Le Vesconte to the touring party. Jack started the day off with 3rdplace in the 75m Hurdles to achieve a Grade 3 in 13.9s, knocking 0.5s seconds off his PB from Coulsdon. He then jumped to another Grade 3 in the High Jump with 1.35m before coming 3rdin the 100m in 14.5s. Once his Power of 10 page is set up he will go to the top of the club rankings for the Hurdles and the High Jump. 

In the B string hurdles and 100m Rishi Dowell lowered both his personal bests with a 15.7 2ndplace in the hurdles and 3rdplace in the 100m in a time of 15.2s.

Matching his brother’s brace of PBs Dylan Dowell recorded a Grade 4 throw of 21.4m in the Javelin and set a distance of 4.52m in the Shot.

Sam Atkins and Ollie Cooke set PBs in the 800m running 2:32.5 (Grade 4) and 2:38.4 respectively. Sam set another PB in the Shot with 4.68m. Ollie set two more PBs in the Long Jump and the Javelin (14.29m). When the present cohort of Middle Distance runners move up to U15s next year it is good to see that we have Ollie and few others to take up the reins of leading the U13 Boys in that discipline.

In a welcome return to the YDL, after an injury that saw him miss much of the start of the season, Thomas Darke came 4thin the A string 200m in a time of 30.8s and came 4thin the High Jump with a height of 1.20m.   

The 1500m saw a cagey battle with runners sitting on Charlie White’s shoulder all the way. Despite being edged into 2ndplace on the final bend Charlie won in an exciting sprint finish with both boys commended by the Track Referee for holding to their lanes. (4:55.7 – Grade 3). Charlie was second in the B string 200m with a time of 29.6s.

The U13 Boys Relay team of Charlie, Jack, Rishi & Dylan finished in 2ndplace behind Team Dorset.

U15 Girls

Duke of Edinburgh expeditions and family parties had reduced the U15 Girls to 6 athletes.

Having run for Surrey in the 4-way SE Inter Counties match the day before Kira Holt’s day was going to be about the balance of any residual tiredness in the legs set against the fabulous tail wind on the home straight. Any sense of tiredness has to be ruled out as she started the day with a Grade 1 performance in the 75m of 11.8s, followed by a Grade 2 and personal best in the 200m of 26.8s, a PB in the 100m with a Grade 3 performance of 13.0s and a great leg in the relay. 

Freya John set a PB in 100m B race with 2ndplace and a 13.4s run. She matched this is in the 300m with another 2ndplace and another PB of 46.3s. 

Emilia Chittenden set a new PB to win the High Jump with a Grade 3 performance of 1.50m. She matched this form on the track running in the 300m and 800m races in which she was less than a second off PBs in both. 

Having only joined the club a week ago Tobi Afilaka has settled in well. With only a few minutes coaching from Frank before the match started she has found a new discipline in the Hammer. Tobi clearly has all the strength and poise to be a great multi-eventer. Tobi is in the enviable position of being able to kick off her Power of 10 page with an AAA Grade 3 performance in the 100 metres, having won the non-scoring race in 13.1s. She matched this up with 3rdplace in the A string Long Jump and got the 4x100m winning relay team off to a great start to close the day. Quite a debut.

Making a season debut in competition Francesca Austin-Endersby set PBs in the Shot and the A string Javelin and helped us to valuable points in the 200m. Milla Maritz set PBs in the 800m and Long Jump.

The U15 Girls finished off the day in style with the relay combination of Tobi, Kira, Emilia, and Freya winning comfortably and getting to within 3/10thsof a second off the club record with a time of 52.3s. Competition for the U15 Girls 4x100m looks to be hotting up and, with good conditions, it is only a matter of time before the record tumbles.

U15 Boys

Late injuries and a few family absences had led to a depleted boys squad of only 6 athletes. 

Liam Macdonald set a PB and achieved a Grade 4 standard in the 100m with a 12.3s race. Liam was fractions of a second off his PB in the hurdles achieving a Grade 2 performance of 12.2s in the 80m and achieved a Grade 4 in the High Jump coming equal 2ndwith 1.55m. Kai Mason set a PB in the Long Jump with 4.83m and came 4thin the 100m B race. 

The 300m saw Dorset-Kingston 1-2s in both races. Max Dickson equalled his PB with a Grade 2 standard 39.10s in the A race and Michael Webb-Bourne set a PB of 42.8 in the B race. Max came 2ndin the 800 (Grade 4) and smashed his previous best in the Hammer by over 3 metres with a throw of 26.97m. The almost instant sleep mode achieved by Michael on the coach journey home was explained by his completion of a hattrick of PBs with 2:25 in the 800m and 4.14m in the Long Jump.

In the 1500 Sam Nesbitt was our sole runner, racing to within 2 seconds of his PB and remaining nearly 10 seconds clear at the top of the club rankings.

Seb Chang was busy in the Field setting a PB in the Javelin with a 3rdplaced 28.39m to top the club rankings. Seb was centimetres  off his PB in the discus and picked up some very valuable points in the B Hammer, securing 2ndplace. Seb’s true mastery of the day was in achieving the optimum wind-cheating setup with the Chang family picnic blanket turned into a wrap-around recovery shelter.

Kai, Sam, Max and Liam combined in the 4x100 relay securing 3rdplace with 53.0s.


Once again, a huge thank you has to go out to our officials : Frank Schubert for leading our Field Team (and bagging us maximum points as our Level 2 Field Judge), Stewart Dickson for facing into the wind all day from the exposed steps of the Timekeeper’s Stand, Neil Darke for taking on the Track Judge duties. In the Field Frank was once again able to call upon Hugh Choudhury and Ulrike Chang for every event with assistance from Sarah Chittenden, Nina White, Richard White and many others. The addition of the full set of Officials points for the Kingston and Poly team tipped us from 5thto 4thplace overall at the last meeting and we were hoping it might just do the same this time.

At this point I’m going to interrupt the match report to put out a general plea for parents to qualify as officials. Hugh must have his Level 1 meeting requirements in the bag now. If we can get Ulrike on a Field Judge course, she has officiated at enough meetings to fill up her “Record of Experience” through and beyond Level 2. That’s a lot of poles raised, javelins retrieved, and pits raked. The courses only take a day, are really informative and allow you to put something back into your kid’s sport. Taking on the role gains the team precious points and, more importantly, frees up our coaches to help the young athletes on the day. Plea over.

World Cup Moment

A further note of commendation has to go to Frank who totally immersed himself in the screening of Monsters Inc on the journey home. It remains to be seen if the apparent fascination was merely a ruse to block out the showing of Germany’s 1-0 defeat to Mexico on the seats next to him.

In Conclusion

In what has been a recurring theme for the Lower Age Group YDL this season the overall team position was disappointing but the performances of the athletes we did manage to field was encouraging and rewarding. We finished 5thwith 420.5 points, an agonising 1.5 points down on Horsham in 4th. 

The advantage of being at home for the YDL was clearly demonstrated by the dominance of Team Dorset where they even managed to fill all the available non-scoring positions. My fellow Team Managers, Sara John and Louise Doherty, hope to mobilise a full contingent for the final match at home (Kingston) on the 21stof July.

One stellar team performance could see us staying up in Southern - West 1.

Richard White


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