The main track and field season for Cheltenham & County Harriers junior athletes opened under blue skies and bright sunshine in the welcoming atmosphere of the Swansea AC Stadium on April 21. Cheltenham CH compete in the National Youth Development League Premier Division – South West. The teams on the day include both boys and girls U13 and U15 ages, with the results combined to give an overall team score. Featuring six Athletic Clubs, around 240 athletes are involved on the day.
This League is extremely competitive, and Cheltenham achieved an excellent result, coming third on the day behind Swansea (who last year made it to the National Finals) and Cardiff Archers. Whilst all the athletes contributed significantly, there were a number of notable performances. In the U15Girls, Kaitlyn Sheppard ran a very strong 1500m A string race finishing 2nd with a PB of 5.10; Georgia Webb ran a very competitive A string 300m race coming in 3rd with a PB of 45.26 and Amy Jackson-Fawkes excelled in the 800m B string race finishing second with a PB of 2.44. Leading the way for the U15 Boys, James Stanton came second overall in a very strong High Jump competition, achieving 1.70. Will Excell just missed out on first place in the Javelin, coming second with 32.14m.
The U13 Boys featured a number of athletes competing for the first time at this level. Harry Ineson and Barny Shaw made it a double first in the Hurdles; and Connor Hilton, competing strongly in throwing events, demonstrated his versatility and the team ethic by stepping into the High Jump as a late replacement and producing a Personal Best.In the U13 Girls, Cheltenham achieved some of their best results of the day. Seren Jones and Freya Howell scored a hard fought double first across the A and B races in the 1200m. Molly Dibden came second with a new PB in the 800m A string, and then Jess Duncton and Lorna Willmott produced another double first for Cheltenham in the 150m.In what was a very successful day all round for Cheltenham, Lorna also put in an outstanding performance in winning her Hurdles race in a new U13G club record of 11.61s, putting her at number one in the UK rankings on the day. The next match in the League takes place in Bath at the end of May