u13/u15 YDL Regional Final, 20 July 2019

30 July 2019

The young athletes of Cheltenham Harriers achieved their best ever finish in the UK Youth Development League competition in an enthralling Regional Final held in Yate.

The Under 13 and 15 athletes, having secured their place in the Final by finishing third overall in the fixtures through April, May and June, put in some fantastic performances on the day to finish fourth. Sadly, this meant that they missed out on progressing even further to the National Finals, but to get to this stage, only losing out to the far greater strength in depth of Marshall Milton Keynes, Birchfield and Swansea, was a tremendous effort.

On the day, at one point Cheltenham were lying in third, and kept in contention right through the afternoon.

The Under 15 Boys are a small squad in number, but pull together to cover events that are not normally their speciality.

Oliver Spencer took 3rd in a very strong 200m race in 23.99s, and followed this with 4th in the 100m in 12.12s. Archie McLean backed this up, taking 2nd place in the B 100m in 12.53s. The Hurdles have been a real strength across a number of the age groups again this season, and in the 80mH Joe Coley took 2nd in the A string, clocking 12.23s, and Sam Broderick completing a fine result with 1st in the B string at 12.91s.

In the B High Jump, Sulaiman Ouiles, returning from injury, jumped 1.50m to take 2nd. Also in the vertical jumps, Tim Smith took 3rd in the Pole Vault A with 2.50m.

The boys again showed good form in the throws. In Discus, Billy Buxton proved the value of putting in the training hours to win the A competition with 31.82m, ably supported by Archie McLean taking 2nd in the B with 23.29m. In the Shot, Joe Coley took 2nd with 11.07.

The Under 15 Girls had athletes returning from National Schools Competition, and their quality was evident. Jess Duncton ran superbly to take a double first – winning the 100m in 12.90s and the 200m in 25.89s. The ever improving Lily Marchant took 4th in the B 100m in 13.47s, and then ran a PB in the 200m B string to take 2nd in 26.9s.

Ruby Brook once again took on the challenge of the 300m and 800m, taking two excellent 2nd place finishes, recording 43.35s in the 300m and 2:27.78 in the 800m. Seren Jones had another strong run out in what is a shorter distance for her, taking 2nd in the B string 800m in a time of 2:30.33.

In the 1500m, strong running from the gun made a double first for the Dee twins- Kiya finishing well ahead of the field in the A race in 4:49.78, her sister Taya winning the B race in 05:07.01.

In one of the most memorable races of the day, the 75Hurdles, in a blanket finish Jess Duncton came in 4th in 11.85s.

Lorna Willmott, another athlete returning from English Schools Competition, took 2nd in the Long Jump with 4.90m. In the High Jump, Celia Darwent took 3rd with 1.45m.

Moving to the throws, in the Hammer Georgie Newell threw 20.70m to take 2nd in the A, and Freya Millington looked comfortable in winning the B string with 17.96m.

Further success came in the Javelin, Mimi Davis winning with 29.80 m.

The relay team of Amy Jackson Fawkes, Hetty McCartney, Seren Jones and Ruby Brook later put on a composed display in the 4 x 300m to finish 3rd in 3:08.47

Looking to the Under 13 athletes, there were some other very strong results. Fred Fowler took 3rd in the 200m in 26.94, and went on to win the 100m B in 12.99. In a high quality 75 Hurdles, Fowler ran well to take 4th in 13.09.

In the 800m Cheltenham placed well, Oli Barley 2nd in the A race with 2:28.67; and Jack Tanski taking 2nd in the B string in 2:38.46. In the High Jump, Ed Glanville won the B string with a PB of 1.30m.

In the Under 13 Girls, the outstanding performance of the day came when Flo Hampton found herself the last remaining athlete in the High Jump. Keeping her composure, she won with a new PB and Club Age Group record of 1.46m. To cap off a fine afternoon, Hampton went on to take 2nd in the Javelin with a throw of 21.53m.

In the 800m Milly Foster demonstrated her tremendous consistency, turning in a determined run to take 2nd in the A race with 2:38.86. Tilda Barter, running this distance for the first time at YDL, took 3rd in the B string in 2:56.40.

In the 70 M Hurdles Emily Brown took 2nd in a time of 12.15, and then in the 100m, in a race featuring two of the top age group sprinters in the country, she placed 6th in very fast race in 10.61; Kitty Ellis took 5th in the B in a new PB of 10.8.

In the 150m, in a blanket finish - Cara Walsh took 5th in a new PB of 20.61(w). In the B string, Annabelle Wigan took 5th in a new PB of 21.43 (w).

Moving to the longer distances, in the 1200m Alice Stalberg continued her excellent run of results in the YDL, coming 2

nd in the A race with 4:15.87. Evie Henderson, making her full debut in the YDL, put in a controlled run to take 3rd in the B with 4:27.19. In the Shot, Mya Bury took 3rd in the B string with 6.33m.

Only the top two teams from this Regional Final go forward to the National stage, and in this instance it was Milton Keynes and Birchfield – both of whom have progressed to the Nationals previously. However, for this group of athletes from Cheltenham, they stepped up their performances where it mattered, giving the Club its best ever result at this level. They can look forward to competing in the Premier Division again next season.