NECAA Track and Field Champs 2015
The championships began with glorious warm and sunny weather, although conditions were blustery, and unwanted problem that has affected every T&F event so far this season! We had a Blyth representative in the very first race of the day, and we came away with our first medal! Congratulations to Ellie Morris, who took bronze in the U13G 70m hurdles. She narrowly missed out on a silver, and her time of 12.80s was impressive into a headwind.
It didnít take long for our second medal to arrive thanks to multiple-award winning Josh Fiddaman in the U15B 1500m. Last year josh was competing as an U13 and took the 800/1500m double at this event. This year, as a first year U15 Josh was up against boys mostly a year older. He ran an incredible race, to clinch bronze in a stunning PB of 4:28.72. Credit has to go to Josh and his coach Steve Walker for this great result.
Jake Masterman looked nervous on the start-line ahead of this U17M 400m race. He ran a controlled race, although looked out of contention in 4th place coming off the final bend. However, he put in a stunning final 100m to surge through and steal 2nd place in a new PB of 54.49. This result shows that hard work pays off, with Keith Wilshire working Jake very hard in training/races throughout the last 7-8 months.
Charlotte Ramsay, a multiple medallist in previous years was up next in the 200m. Against an extremely high class field, she ran 27.15s which was just shy of the medal placings.
Completing the day was Adam Swalwell in the U15B 300m. Under the watchful eye of his Dad, he has been in superb form of late, and confidence was high going into the race. Adam put in another great run, claiming another PB of 40.37s, however he just missed out on a medal as he finished in 4th. Despite the disappointment of missing out on a medal, Adam seemed to thrive on the championship set-up and it was great to have him back supporting the team on Sunday.
Those arriving early at Gateshead on Sunday were greeted by cool conditions and a very wet track. Fortunately, Keith Wilshire had young Jake & Liam out with the stadium roller & brush drying the track and infield, and they did a superb job! First up on track was Ella Mae Wood, who had decided to enter the U17F 300m hurdles, despite having only run her first hurdles race the week before. Despite Ella being quite clearly very nervous, she ran a sensational race to claim silver in 54.22s, smashing her PB by nearly three and a half seconds and demonstrating genuinely good hurdling technique. I think of all the medal winners over the weekend she had the proudest smile on her face, and quite rightly too.
Whilst Ella was winning her Silver, we had Hannah Ross-Knight and Ellie Morris competing in the high jump. Hannah took bronze in the indoor championships earlier this year, and showed total commitment in the competition. After an excellent clearance at 1.15m, she needed to clear 1.20m to claim a medal. However, she narrowly failed at this height and finished 4th on countback. However, her attitude and effort have to be commended. Ellie has been in great form, and only needed 2 jumps to win the competition. She then went on to achieve something quite special. First she jumped 1.40m for the first time ever, before going even higher to clear 1.43m, a huge PB. She then attempted to beat the championship record by going for 1.47m, however, this was just beyond her on this occasion. A fully deserved gold, and AAA grade 1 performance for Ellie.
Just as the high jump finished, my race started, the senior menís 400m hurdles. Disappointingly neither of the two other entrants made it to the start line, so I ran with the U20ís. The race wasnít perfect, but I managed a new PB of 59.25s to take gold.
Fresh from her exams, Alice Dungworth finished 5th in the U17F 300m. Alice was somewhat disappointed, and conceded that recent exams had meant her preparations hadnít been perfect. Charlotte Ramsay finished 4th in the U20F 400m in 63.67s, and was unfortunate to miss out on a medal. Hannah & Ellie both ran in the U13G 100m heats, and whilst they both failed to qualify for the final they both ran big PBís of 15.35 & 14.86s respectively. Alice then finished 4th in an incredibly close U17F 100m race. Her time of 13.29s was just 0.02 shy of a bronze. Finally, Josh ran in the U15B 800m final, having looked comfortable in his heat earlier. He gave it his absolute all, but fell just shy of the medals to finish 6th in 2:14.71.
So we finished the championships with 6 medals, matching last yearís total. What was great to see was how all the younger athletes fully embraced the weekend. Whether it was getting sports massages, helping out, supporting, suffering call-room nerves, buying souvenir clothing, or giving it all out on the track. Finally thanks to Keith and the officials/volunteers for a brilliant event.