Senior Track & Field Meet 1 – Churchill Track
The combined Blyth/Wallsend team started their track and field season (division 3E) at a sunny but blustery Churchill playing fields. Despite several late call offs and people not turning up we were able to field athletes in most events. Steven French got the proceedings under way with his first ever Hammer competition and promptly threw a club record. Several people were out of their comfort zone with events but that didn’t stop Daniel N’Jai, Jake Jansen and Steven French getting points in the Discus, Javelin and Shot Putt respectively. Calum Storey did the Long Jump and Triple Jump double and won the “B” event in the Triple Jump, while Daniel N’Jai just missed out on a club record in the “A” Triple Jump. A rather nonchalant Chris Lillico actually won the High Jump completion using the straddle technique and just missed out on equalling his PB with the more orthodox Fosbury Flop.
On the track, Blyth had several victories and performances of note. In the 100M, Dave Swalwell pulled up just as he crossed the finishing line and that curtailed his activities for the day, Chris Lillico won the “B” 100M and finished third in the 200M, with Chris Laidlaw finishing second in the “B” race, this was after literally finishing third in the 1500M. Calum Storey then proceeded to erase a long standing club record as he won the “B” 3000M Steeple Chase. It was hard work for the 5000M runners in the warm sun, but Jake can be well satisfied with a time of 17:53. Trying another new event, Steven French stormed to victory in the 400M hurdles “A” race, while Daniel N’Jai took second place in the “B” race, Daniel was also second in the 110M hurdles (which are remarkably high!) . Jon French turned up expecting just to run the 400M (which he did finishing second in the “B” race), but also had to run the 800M as well.
Despite the blustery winds, Charlotte Ramsay proceeded to obliterate the opposition and club records in the 100M and 200M and just failed to take the Club Triple jump record as well. Phillippa Baxter probably found the distance too short as she ran both the 400M hurdles and 400M, husband Ian was there supporting and was highly appreciative of the athletics talent that was on display. Indeed, notwithstanding the Blyth athletes there were several notable performances – Lydia Turner with an outstanding run to win the 3000M and go to the top of the U17 Girls UK rankings, Chloe Price and Danielle Hodgkinson (Wallsend) had two ding dong races in the 800M and 1500M, with Chloe taking the shorter distance and Danielle getting her revenge in the longer race. Helen Morris ran a steady 3000M and picked up valuable points, while Bethan Sproat improved the club record in the 100M hurdles as well as taking second place in the Long Jump and winning the “B” Triple Jump. Belying her slight frame, Adele Lonsdale just missed out on a Club record in the Shot Put and threw the discus a canny distance as well.
The last events were the Relay races, where all the Blyth runners ran at least one race and gained more points for the team. This meant that Blyth/Wallsend finished in second place – 14 points behind the winners Middlesbrough/Cleveland (another 2-3 ladies could have made the difference).
Steve O’Gara did the commentary and like the BBC, kept the crowd entertained, amused and informed – although I’m not sure Emma from Wallsend appreciated him telling everybody it was her first track victory in 25 years.
Next meeting is at Middlesbrough on June 9th, anybody interested let Steve Walker know as soon as possible.