Written by DB
A very warm sunny day(a what!!!) elevated performances at an inviting Kingsmeadow Arena,particularly in the field,though a wind not evident from the stand hindered the track runners.
We were also indebted to a vast army of technical officials from around the country,courtesy of Roy Stratton the BAL Officials Sec in particular,plus Kevin Hughes' DCL staff inc Robin Carrington,and this ensured the meeting was a joy to behold - a special thanks to them all.
K&P were again solid though the need for a 'hard days' work' was met by all,not least by returning 'skip' Mike Maranzano(400H/3000ST/5000),James Heptonstall(100/200/LJ/TJ/4x100),an also returning Victor Nwagbara(sprints/relays) & Nic Owen(110H/SP/DT/PV).Mark Roberts(PV/110H), Gareth Cook(HT) & Andy Arbour(Steeple) competed when,on another day,they might well have declined.Whilst luck favoured us occasionally at Rugby,we sensibly kept our heads this time when all around us were losing theirs,most noticeably in the 110H B where Nic almost found himself in the lead as woodwork crashed around him(one athlete collected 4 faults for a refusal) and in the 4 x 100 where a useful 3rd turned into a win as others failed to keep within the rules.The steeple was almost as bereft as Rugby - almost all this year's Div 3 squads are very light on 'chasers(they must all have been at nearby Epsom Downs for the 'Derby').
On a congratulatory note,both Victor Nwagbara & Jamie McCullagh have been invited by UKA to take part in the World Trials in Manchester in mid-July. It is likely one or two more members will be invited.
In the sprints,Victor Nwagabara returned less sharp than usual but very welcome(11.44/22.79) whilst James Heptonstall looks a better sprinter as time goes by with a 1st&2nd in the Bs.Jamie McCullagh was even closer to that elusive sub 50 at 400,with James Moroney,making his BAL debut,very close to his best.Jamie was again in the mix at 800 and U20 Craig Price returned with a battling B 800. At 1500,two more of our several U20s,Ron Taylor & Alex Thomas ran their hearts out and set PBs, and at 5000,Ross Shaddick & Mike Maranzano did likewise AND after each answered the call to do the 400H! Mike was out again for the Steeple,finding Andy Arbour just in better form.In the 110H,Mark Roberts was clearly one of the better practitioners and Nic kept his head in the B.
The field was again productive - James Heptonstall,'fresh' from Uni Finals(late news,he got a 2:1), and U20 Chris Hall(pbs 6.22/11.47) scored well with the vaulters and high jumpers(U20 Matt Field & U17 Prath Kaneri) each doing likewise in conditions far more condusive than of late. In the throws,Kyle Stevens(2A) & Nic Owen(1B) in the SP;Felix Hatton,another just through Finals at Uni,(2A) & Chris Dack(1B) in the JT;and Nic & Felix in the DT and Gareth & U20 Rob Smith in the HT all kept that scoreboard ticking over furiously.
Ashford next,then Gateshead!
Full results from Les Hatton via the Results Menu above - and also on the BAL website - www.bal.org.uk
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