Flying High! – EAL
EAL – April 2017 – Peterborough
So while some people were pounding the streets of London 35 plus Junior and senior members headed across to Peterborough for the First East Anglian League Meet of the year in slightly chilly but stunning sunshine (last year at the same fixture it snowed). To be honest we are probably one of the smallest clubs in the league batting against some well-funded and equipped teams so we always have the motto go enjoy yourself.
With Nick in London the reigns for managing the Track & Field this year have transitioned to me and for anyone who thinks we just turn up and do our stuff, assembling a squad across age group and genders has given us an idea of how much work Nick does. A month of planning finally came together and wow what a day. Signs were good with positive results at the Beds Open a couple of weeks before but with some juniors girls moving up to u17 and being classified senior women, last minute decisions to come by Chris Dimmock, Ben Corfield coming down from Sheffield and Will Ponissi, myself and Alex Killick we had the resemblance of a senior squad.
If you haven’t done track and field before trying to keep juniors engaged for 6 hours all were tasked with doing 3 events for the day. As Brucie you to say ‘what do points make’, yep EAL points that what. The adults in classic LBAC style chip in all over the place. Chris decided to do the classic 800m, 1500, and 200m combo, Ben the classic combo and 400m (although due to technical issues with British infrastructure he arrived just as Chris took his place as A string runner in 800m and despite his best efforts to run the 100m to get to the start line they alas didn’t wait), Will (Will also reliving his youth and doing Long Jump), myself and Alex chucking things.
So enough waffling and down to business. Day started amazingly with the U15girls high jump taking max points in both A and B string, which then continued with the u15boys taking A string win and the u17girls/SW taking the A string win as well (note the athlete in this had just done the 100m and post celebrating ran across to Javelin to get one throw in and score – that is dedication). There were also some debuts in HJ and although the bar wouldn’t stay up they finished with a smile on the face. I am still looking through the stats to see the last time we had such big wins in High Jump.
Hurdles saw some debuts at this event and some cracking results in the 13 boys and girls race (bearing in mind this is early season and we have had minimal prep outside).
Rest of the day continued like this where we had athletes in events. The 800m and 1500m junior races saw some cracking battles between our athletes let along the competition (the u15girls 800m recorded the same time as the battled each other along the final straight). Some nervous juniors battled through in some races and events as recorded some great results. With some moving up age group this year was always going to tough but was great to see hammer throws from u15 and 17 girls at least one athlete in each age group in the girls throwing (Boys we need to work on a bit). Discus seems to be what we are good at though and the season looks promising at u15 girls.
The 4 u11s who came along didn’t disgrace themselves and put in some battling performances in the Long Jump, Shot, 80m and 600m and given them a feel of competition in front of a crowd.
As for the seniors Chris Dimmock probably ran faster than he has in years and recorded an impressive time in the 800 and 1500. Ben cracked out a warm up 400m race just before the 1500m and was well in the mix at the tape. The 200m was just a warm down for these elite athletes. Throws wise, Will was let loose in competition for the first time and has confirmed I am now a B string thrower. Some of those records are definitely going to fall. Alex kept battling away and recorded a javelin PB. Slight scary moment in discus (like I had with no throws) but still hit near her best and I think for the first time we were not the last throwers in the events (winter training and new technique paying off).
End of the day we managed teams in all the 4x100m relays except u17boys and Senior men (maybe next time on that one) and great support from the u11 girls who stepped up to do the 4×100 in the u13 girls team. We also managed 2 teams in the u15 girls (we used to struggle to get one team).
Results wise compared to the same fixture last year we still came 5th out of 6th overall but scored 92 points more (this is equivalent of winning 8 events on the day so shows how many more good results we had). When mixed with the other matches that took place on the same day it should put us in a higher position after match 1. Age group wise, u15 boys came 3rd which is an excellent result, U13B 4th, SW/U17W 4th, SM & U15G 5th, U13G 6th.
The main thing is this was all done with a smile on the face. If you have seen the photos you will see what I mean
As well as the athletes (and I have to say some amazingly well behaved juniors) big thanks go to Warren and James for sorting officiating on the day, the parent helpers who supported them, parents for getting the athletes to the bus/event on time and anyone who came along and shouted support.
Next match is back at Peterborough on June 11th. We would love more support, even more athletes. There are some T&F training dates coming and also we are training down at the school Tuesday and Thursday night.