Report on a full weekend


Midland indoors, cross country and sportshall

                                        MIDLAND INDOOR ATHLETIC CHAMPIONSHIPS

Emily Thompson achieved arguably the perfect weekend, when capturing the Midlands under fifteen 800metres indoor title on Saturday.  Then following up next day playing a big part for Banbury Harriers in sealing the sports-hall girls title in that age group.

 The Championships staged in Birmingham’s National Indoor Arena , this being her first ever indoor meeting found her taking on the cream of her age from across the Midland counties. The 13year old Warriner School pupil produced an emphatic victory in the final with a new personal best time of 2minutes 22seconds.

 In her heat earlier in the day, she had been drawn against a strong field, including Jazzmin Kiffen of Charnwood, the fastest girl on paper going into the event. Thompson ran an intelligent race, easing to victory ahead of Kiffen without excerting, in a time of 2minutes 28seconds which saw both girls qualifying for the final.

 The final brought the best out of Thompson, who took the lead from the start and seemed determined to push on to a fast time. She opened a big gap between her and the rest of the field on the second and third laps of the NIA’s 200m indoor track. Despite the best efforts of Kiffen and the rest of the field, Thompson produced a final lap of blistering pace to win by over 3seconds, secure the title and bring her best ever time over the 800m distance.

 The next day also produced a medal winning performance at the championships for Banbury Harriers. This time thou it was the same distance, but by Luke Sherlock in the under seventeen boy’s age group.  In a straight final he gained an excellent silver medal, this also his first run on the boards.

  The story of the race found Sherlock in handy fourth place after the first lap. He moved to the front at 400metres and stayed there, thou not able to shake off the chasers.  Into the last lap he still held onto first place, they entered the final 50metres and then Niall Geraghty of Halsowen pulled alongside and edged passed to deny Sherlock the gold medal.  Needless to say it was an excellent silver medal and summer season could produce more.

     The Chiltern cross country league staged this season’s final fixture at The Campbell Park Milton Keynes. The course saturated with mud and water plus strong winds, made for tough going.

 This said Banbury Harriers produced a number of medal winning performances, with a number ringing gold.

 Tim Wright produced his best performance of the winter, winning the senior men’s race thus taking the overall gold for the series. Tom Offord also ran with great credit to capture third place on the day and veteran 40 Simon Pritchard finished 14th of 140plus field to win overall gold for his age group.

  The Senior Ladies also gained gold medals, taking the overall veteran team gold. This was without leading lady Ros Kelling at this final fixture owing to a virus infection. This did not stop her from picking up the overall gold medal for her age group.  In her absence Michelle Bartlett led the line finishing in fourth place and also gaining gold in her vet 40 age group. The two ladies received great support over the series to capture team gold, from Rebecca Biegal, Lisa Ansell, Kerry Clarke and Sandra Smith.

 Skip Snelson also collected a medal, the young under eleven as had an excellent winter in both this league and The Oxfordshire and ran races most weekends. His reward in this league despite finishing sixth on the day was good enough for a bronze medal overall.

  Two records fell to Banbury Harrier young athletes at the fourth fixture in the Oxon Sports-hall Athletic league on Sunday at Kidlington.

  The all unstoppable under- fifteen girl’s lowered the 4x2lap time with a foursome of Rebecca Scott, Paige Cooper, Abbey Anson and the previous days hero Emily Thompson.  The foursome plus Naomi Anderson and Helen Dubber have now so far clear in the league, the final fixture at Wheatley will be a formality.

  The second record went in the under eleven boy’s 4x1lap relay, this was a fine all round team effort but certainly Ollie Clamp’s last leg was amazingly fast. This was typical of his performances all afternoon in each of his three individual events.

 Other highlights Lauren Washburn an outstanding in her events all afternoon in the under eleven girl’s age group. In the under thirteen age group Felix Noble the best in both 2lap and standing long jump and Victoria Harte just one bounce less of her record breaking ninety in thirty seconds.        


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