Written by DB
The team claimed their best home performance in their current 6 year sojourn in the BAL,finishing a fine 2nd of the 8 teams from far and wide with 315pts.
The standard was not spectacular in several events and there were,as to be expected with 4 different clubs, considerable swings in the levels of competition from 2007;the Shot/Discus were less formidable whilst the Triple Jump was a world in advance of last summer in the division. However,there was a great deal to commend the home squad who were solid all round,with the field events again rather more prolific,despite the absence of the injured Felix Hatton.
Teamwise,2007 Qualifier Winners,Leeds City,were far too good for the other 7 clubs,but the turnouts from the 2 teams relegated from Nat 2 emphasised why they are currently having difficulties - but all can change in a trice!
Score: Leeds 388/K&P 315/Crawley & Southampton each 290/Medway 233.5/Channel I 229/Edinburgh 217.5/Bedford 209.
A special thank you to those many club members to went out of their way to officiate in any capacity for the match - often in very unfamilar roles. That was a significant feature,as was the almost instant rolling results/scores on-screen feature provided by Martin Rowe - hopefully,the result 'on the park' was a fitting 'thank you'!
The K&P team was experienced in terms of there only being one non-Senior athlete selected, as last year's feisty U20s have now moved up.
David Cook & Chris Hall were not quite sharp enough for prime placings over 100/200 but,as with the 4 x 100,made up for blazing speed with confident and prudent performances. At 400,we were again short on the sub 50s but reliable to the point of perfection,with the 4 x 400 contributing to a fitting finale to the day as all our 4 runners fulfilled a contention that they really would be there or thereabouts(splits - Jamie McC 51.7/James M 50.8/Jason-L B a fine 50.5/Adam B,anchoring at 49.9) - 3rd in 3.22.84 in a blanket finish
Jamie McCullagh's winter has been one of discontent training-wise but experience kept him in the 800A hunt in 4th,whilst new HCA,Tom Beedell,ran a controlled debut race in K&P colours,just eclipsing his pb with 1.58.07. The latter again ran competently over 1500. Over 5000,we were out of our depth,despite the enthusiasm of Dr Mark Reed in turning out whilst on nights and commuting regularly to Germany. Matt Hyett,in his first race on a track for many years,epitomised the 'give-it-a-go" spirit of the team.
We were short of real hurdlers,but Maris Kuklis,currently an HCA,and one of several contesting Exams,showed commendable form; Humphrey Waddington slipped away from more relevant events,to fight his way,as only H. can, to a pb in the B 400H(57.90),whilst all-rounder,Bilen Ahmet,made significant contribution,both at 110H and elsewhere.
At Steeplechase,our answer to Hengist and Horsa/Barnard & Stedman were right there again,with Mike Maranzano & Andy Arbour flying the flag for the umpteenth time.
In the field,we were again strong,even with some members not available - in the Jumps, Chris Dack & Bilen Ahmet scored well at High Jump,in an event not considered their most effective,though the Pole Vault found Gordon Lester struggling with a back injury but commendably clearing a token opening height,hopefully not endangering his forthcoming English School prospects.In the Long and Triple, we were virtually supreme,though a blustery following wind troubled most competitors - David Cook was over 7m to win the A LJ and an irritated Humphrey was pipped for a B string success.The latter made up for this by reaching 14.45 for a 2nd PB of the day in the Triple,though here again he was pipped for the win; James Heptonstall made a fine 13.58 for the B win - fine jumps in an event notable for a considerable hike on that of 2007.
And so to the throws - Felix Hatton's absence affected our javelin prospects but, again, Chris Dack & the omni-present HW collected good points; Kyle Stevens is passing on Hammer to rest his shoulder this summer,but we have a more than able deputy in Rob Smith,and he and the seemingly indestructible Gareth Cook annexed two 2nds; in the Discus,Nick Owen found himself the only one over 40m - a much lower standard than 2007 - and won his first-ever A string DT in the BAL, with Gareth collecting 2B,whilst the Shot was a personal battle between Nick & Kyle,with the former just nicking it at 15.31 by 5 cms, and the rest nearly 3 metres adrift. As stated by the TM before,when you are in contention in a BAL match late on,and you KNOW you have that sort of class to come, you can(occasionally) afford a smile!!
It was also pleasing to have 6 NS 100 runners from the club! New member,Justin Green,was fastest up to win R2 at 11.15,with the others all between 11.80 and 11.91.
Well done guys indeed - now for Leeds(please!).
See the BAL link at the top for the full results.
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