22 June 2015
UK Youth Development League
21 June 2015
- U13/15 - Reading
fixture of the 2015 UKYDL was held inside the Palmer Park cycle track that
is home to Reading AC.
With a few late withdrawals due to illness and some absent competing for
schools, we knew the day was going to be tough. It turned out to be tougher
and closer than any one could have imagined.
After 10 events Blackheath and Bromley were trailing in 3rd behind
Southampton AC and Reading but only a few points adrift. As the afternoon
progressed Reading and Southampton swapped places, but we remained in 3rd.
After some great track results and loads of fantastic throws and jumps in
the field we briefly took the lead but soon dropped back to 2nd with only 2
relays and 2 javelin results to come in.
A few hardy supporters waited patiently while the last results were typed
into the computer, all eagerly waiting for confirmation of the final result.
Eventually the result was announced and had BB in 2nd place just five and
half points behind Southampton. We were a little disappointed but ultimately
happy with a solid result, all things considered.
However, later that evening, after the results had been double checked by
the Reading result team it seems we actually WON the match by the smallest
of margins, half a point. Scrutinising the results it seems Southampton were
initially awarded 35 points for supplying officials but should have only
been awarded 30. This highlights how important and vital our team of
officials and volunteer parents really are.
This fantastic result sees us sitting at the top of the league with one
fixture remaining. If we compete like this at Croydon on the 18th July, we
will surely be going to the National final in Birmingham on September 5th.
The U13 boys were once again up for the challenge and willing to take on
whatever is asked of them for the team.
The day started with a personal best from Jacob Byfield in the hurdles,
followed by scissoring 1.20 in the high jump and then launching himself to a
big PB of 4.44 into the sand of the long jump. Jacob completed his fine day
powering around the bend in the relay.
Archie Shipley began his busy day hurdling just outside his best then
sprinted 13.7 in the 100 and jumped 4.41 in the long jump to record two
great new personal bests. Archie’s last effort was a quick leg down the back
straight in the 4 x 100 relay.
Michael Burfoot put the shot 8.78 for a big PB and then turned a difficult
javelin competition into success with a last round throw of 18.35 to gain
valuable points for the club and another PB.
Harry Cowie continues to impress not only with his throwing ability in the
Shot and Javelin (and discus) but with his attitude towards competition,
gaining experience and getting fitter. Harry asked if there were any non
scoring events and when told “ sorry only 800m available” his reply was “yes
please I’ll do that”. Harry did indeed do the 800m, running a new best in
Sam Reardon had the difficult task of filling both Tareq and Rowan’s boots!
But Sam bravely stepped up and ran in the A string in the 200m and the
1500m. Not daunted by the task Sam held his own sprinting down the home
straight to place 3rd in the 200m before going one better in the 1500 coming
a fine 2nd. Sam couldn’t rest until he had led the relay team off on the
With Tareq being unavailable due to illness it was great that we had Leo
McCallum back fit again and keen to go as he ran just outside his best in
the 200m and the 100m before taking on the final leg in the 4 x 100m relay.
Leo was walking normally after his exploits so I’m pleased to say he is
fully recovered from his injury now.
Ethan Kitteridge had his usual day compacting two events into one slot.
Starting at the high jump Ethan got an early jump in to open his account
before jogging down the track ready to take on the tough 2 lap 800m. After
another gutsy run he crossed the line near to his best. Barely time for a
breather before jogging back to the high jump and seeing the bar had risen
to personal best height of 1.30! Not put off by this Ethan propelled himself
high into the air, sailing over the bar with a comfortable clearance. A well
earned rest and the prospect of a PB had Ethan bouncing about like Skippy in
preparation for another jump. Like a seasoned high jumper Ethan sailed over
a new best of 1.35 much to the delight of his mum and fellow supporters.
Jake Leng had a gutsy run in the 800m running close to his best and then
showed real sprinting speed as he clocked a fast time in the open 100m.
Thomas Penlington showed real form and maturity as he ran a well paced 1500m
race near to his best and also showed great speed alongside Jake in the open
With only 9 U13 boys covering all events they did superbly well and were a
credit to the club as they supported all events throughout their long day.
This extremely tight result emphases the importance of every single point
and this was highlighted at Reading in many ways, from our top class U15
shot put and javelin thrower Eloise Locke taking on the gruelling 800m, when
asked to, as no one else was available, Shakanya Osahon also doing the 800m
at short notice, Eleanor Barrett pushing herself over great heights in the
pole vault but ending the day with a cast on her foot, sprinter Katie
Woolcott dipping hard at the line to secure second but pulling a ham string
“Adam Gemilli style” in the process, Zoe Austridge dipping at the finish to
secure 5th place given the same time as 6th but gaining the extra point.
Every athlete did their bit and their best and each securing valuable,
valuable points. Well done all a superb team effort.
Blackheath and Bromley HAC are lucky enough to have some of the best track
and field officials around but they always need additional help, either
raking a sand pit or collecting a discus or measuring the javelins. So it
was great to have Archie’s dad Adam and Jake’s dad Paul jumping in to help
out in the field (I think they even enjoyed it!)
Next fixture is the final Kent league match in two weeks time on the 5th
July, at Erith Stadium.
YDL Match 3
What a day to spend father’s day! Cameron wasn’t well so I knew I was facing
a day out on my own with the BBHAC U15 team trying to get the boys to
deliver another day of top quality performances to help the club get into
the YDL finals in September.
Arriving at the club house prompted lots of questions but I had my team
manager head on – get the boys to the venue, give them numbers and pins and
unleash them on the opposition. And boy, they did me proud.
On a day when there were no less than 18 personal best performances (or at
least equalling them), boys running or jumping national qualifying standards
for the various championships, team management was easy.
There were so many outstanding performances it is hard to call them out.
However, in the field we were almost unstoppable with James, Nathan and
Charlie making huge contributions in the throwing events. Equally, Ben,
Myles, Lewis and Caelan were amazing in the jump. I do to make special
mention though of Pedro who arrived as the javelin was starting and combined
this with the high jump where we added a massive 9cm to his personal best.
Equally impressive was George who is now eligible for the nationals after
improving his best in the pole vault to 3:00 to move him to 12th on the UK
Angus had yet another outstanding day. When he arrived I pulled him to one
side and said all I wanted him to do was the best he possibly could and to
compete with a smile on his face.
Three hours later he had moved to 20th on the UK rankings for javelin and
24th for the 1500 . . . . and he told me he thought his 1500 was pretty
Conditions were tough for the sprinters in that this is probably the
strongest division in the country. All I can ask is that the boys run the
best they can and Vishnu, Robert and Ben all ran personal bests in their
events. In the sprint hurdles Ben ran yet another best with Caelan proving
an inspired selection slicing a huge 0.5 seconds off his best time to move
into the top 100 in the UK. Not bad for someone with another year at the age
In the longer races Henry and Ben B ran strong 300m races and we dominated
the field in the middle distance events whilst Peter and Robert showed our
strength in depth in the 800 with equally strong performances. In the 1500,
as mentioned above, Angus dominated from the off, a little disappointed that
Zak M was missing, and ran away with a strong and mature performance. Keir
ran his normal gutsy race to support in the B string.
For me, one of the highlights of any match is the relay. After a couple of
DQs Nigel worked with the team and produced probably our best changes of the
season for a good 4th spot.
You will all know that there are a couple of records I am hoping the boys
break this season. Windy conditions resulted in us not running as quickly as
I had hoped but we ended the day with yet another exciting race winning by
at least 50m.
Finally, a big thank you from me to all of the athletes. You are a joy to
support and a credit to yourselves. A big performance in the final match in
Croydon will qualify us for the final in Birmingham.
Let’s go for it!
from Jay Galley