The National Youth Development League moved into Round Two on Saturday 19 May, taking place in the impressive Sports Village at the University of Bath. The world class facilities inspired all the young athletes to deliver some impressive performances. Cheltenham compete in the Premier Division – South West, with a combined Boys/Girls Under 13 and Under 15 team. Featuring six Athletic Clubs, around 240 athletes are involved on the day. Cheltenham achieved an excellent result, coming third in the Match and keeping themselves in line for a possible end of season Regional play-off spot.
In the U15 Girls, Hope Heward-Mills made a strong debut coming 3rd in the 100m and 200m A string races with PBs of 13.3secs, 28.4secs respectively. In the 300m Georgia Webb ran a powerful race, leading until the final metres, to finish 2nd in a PB of 44.4 secs. Amy Jackson Fawkes and newcomer Rosie Pushnik both managed PBs of 2.32secs and 2.44secs respectively in the 800m races and Millie Tombs ran a PB of 5.36 in the 1500m. In the Field events, Scarlett Oram, also joining the team for the first time, achieved a PB of 8.02m in the Shot Put.
The U13 Girls contributed significantly to the overall results, with a small but talented squad. Lorna Willmott ran a PB to win the 150m A race in 19.9 secs. In the 800m, where Cheltenham have real strength in depth, Jess Duncton won the A race by some 30 metres coming in with a PB of 2m30.3, and Milly Foster came 2nd in the B race in 2m46.4. Seren Jones proved the versatility of the squad by setting a new PB of 4m08.1 in a quality 1200m race, and then throwing a PB of 15.63m in the Javelin, placing 3rd. Her fellow runner Freya Howell stepped into the B Javelin event, to also record a PB of 10.92m. In another very high quality field, Jess Duncton took 2nd in the A string Hurdles in 11.7 secs, with Willmott taking 1st in the B string in the same time of 11.7 secs. The two also scored strongly in the Long Jump, both jumping over 4.60m. In another brilliant relay for Cheltenham, Duncton and Willmott combined with Lily Marchant and newcomer Catherine Smith to come 2nd in the 4 × 100m relay.
In the U15 Boys, Ben Powell ignored the heat to finish 2nd in the 1500m with a time of 4m 41.8. In a strong High Jump competition James Stanton came third with 1.65m, Arthur French also placing third in the B string with 1.50m. Finlay Jamieson had a busy afternoon in the throwing events, his best being a 3rd place in the Hammer A string with 22.05m; Will Excel put in a 27.95m throw to grab second place in the Javelin A string. The 4 × 300m relay team of Joe Coley, Ben Powell, Ed Holdsworth and Ryan Berry brought home 3rd place in a very tight finish.
In a quick U13 boys 200m, Sam Cotton came 3rd in 27.8secs. In the B string Thomas Webster ran 28.8secs to take 1st place. Webster also placed 1st in the B string High Jump. There was a double 1st in the hurdles with Harry Ineson winning the A race in 13.4 secs and Barny Shaw winning the B race in 13.6 secs. Ineson continued the day with further success, winning both the High Jump and Long Jump A string competitions. The 4 × 100m relay team of Shaw, Ineson, Webster and Seth Rodrigues put in an outstanding team effort to win in 54.7 secs. Placing 3rd on the day, and following a 3rd place finish in the previous Match in Swansea, Cheltenham can look forward to the next fixture and the opportunity to push for a play –off place in July. The next match in the League takes place in Yate on 17 June