Upper YDL - 30/06/24

03 July 2024

A HUGE WELL DONE to everyone  at Newport on Sunday and my thanks to you all! We finished 3rd on the day to Swansea but maintained 2nd place in the Division overall to the mighty Avon which is a fabulous result and a great team effort.

For the final match of the Upper YDL (U17/U20), Cheltenham Harriers travelled to Newport with a target of finishing 2nd in the Division. With the forthcoming National Champs for some, and some athletes having competed in the recent SW Combined Champs, we competed tactically to maximise points and avoid injury! Some newer athletes competed and we had some great results across another packed day.

In the 100m the U17s enjoyed some great PBs from Molly Woodcock (13.2), Charlotte Newton (13.41), Ollie Marchant (11.82) and Jayden Campbell (11.85). Luke Johnson returned to smash his 400Hurdles PB to finish 2nd with 66.68 with James Blanch taking the B race win, also with a PB of 71.92. Over in the sprint hurdles, Oliver Belbeck recovered well from an impaired start when his blocks slipped to finish 2nd, with Jayden Campbell taking 1st in the B race with a PB of 15.36. In the distance events, the 1500 was eventful - Dom Martin controlled the pace and took the U17M win in 4.10, with Tom Wightman finishing 2nd in the B string with a well deserved PB of 4.24.28. In the U20 race Joseph Smith ran a huge PB to finish in 4.56.69, and despite Eddie Atkins being sick halfway through the race, he continued to run an amazing PB of 4.54.28!
In the 800m, Blue Heath-Smith ran a cracking, well-paced race to finish 1st in a new PB of 2.20.16 and Harry Knight earnt himself a PB of 2.18.33 in the U17M race. We had 3 women in the Steeplechase, with all of them running a PB - Abi Thornley (5.57 dead), Jess Sheppard (6.12.95) and Amelie Paul (6.25.63). Jess made it a double with 5.18.17 in the flat 1500m too.
In the field we enjoyed success as all 4 Javelin throwers threw PBs - Molly Woodcock with 25.88m and Rosie Mullard 28.59m, and Fred Parry returning from injury to throw 40.73 to finish 2nd and Fenton Weatherley-Kaye throwing 30.77m to take the B string 2nd place. The men did well in the Shot Put too, with Lewis Burnett-Hockey finishing 2nd with a PB of 13.12m and Johnnie Stanimeros also putting a PB of 9.85m to take 2nd for the B team.
In the jumps, the always-reliable Isla Pain finished 10cm clear of her nearest competitor to take the U17 win with a clearance of 1.65m, with Izzy Burfitt jumping a PB of 1.35 in her 3rd  jump event of the day. Tom Curneen finished 2nd with 1.70m for the U20M, with Jamie McCormack clearing 1.65m on his debut, and Luke Johnson taking the B with a season's best of 1.60m.
In the exciting final events of the day, the U17 girls ran a rapid 4x300m (Isla Pain, Georgia Howell, Blue Heath-Smith, Ellis Woolley) unopposed to take the win in 2.52.97, some 11 seconds clear, placing them 6th in England this year. The U17 boys finished 2nd in the 4x400 with 3.42.24.
(Photo: U17 Boys 4x400m Team)
(Photo: U17 Girls 4x300m Team)
Overall we finished 3rd on the day but overall 2nd in the Division to our main rivals Team Avon. We remain in the Premier Division for 2025 - a fabulous result from a great team of athletes with many competitions still to go this season!
Well done to everyone and thank you to those who stepped into events to score points. It's much appreciated and the team have all been an absolute joy to be with on these VERY long days!
A big Thank you to all those for their time officiating, often without the designated track breaks and without children to support!

Good luck for the rest of the season, there are many more races ahead in Senior League, MSO, Avon League and Nationals. I very much look forward to next year!