Two fantastic reports from the 3rd Upper age group YDL from team managers Ian Firla (Boys) and Tim Soutar (Girls)

Watching the results come in from the 3rd YDL match of the season from the wonderful new facilities in Woking on my phone while sitting in the stands in Crawley watching the regional combined events champs, the depth and strength of our club really struck me again.

Not only did we see some outstanding individual performances in very challenging and blustery conditions but we saw the spirit of the club shine through as athletes stepped forward to fill gaps left by their colleagues side-lined by Covid or injury. This willingness to step up for the club and fight for extra points was also highlighted by parents and supporters who covered for the coach not turning up by filling every spare seat in their cars to ensure that everyone got to the match – special mention to Ken Daniels who, all joking aside, exemplifies the club spirit that ensures we are having fun while bringing in the results.

On to the results: we won by another wide margin. That’s 3 wins from 3 matches.

In the u20 100m, Zac Nwogwugwu won the A race and Clayton Jacinto came a close 2nd in the B. Zac followed this up with a 2nd place in the 200 partnered by Bailey Marks-Beacon scoring a 4th. The blustery conditions rendered the times relatively meaningless so this was racing in its purest form producing absolutely magnificent results.

In the 400s, Michael Uzozie and Bailey both came 4th in their races. Rules around the volume of the starting gun and the blowing wind made it incredibly difficult for all the 400 runners in the outside lanes to hear the gun. This impacted all of the athletes and is perhaps the one area that Woking might need to address.

Thomas Sugden, once again, comfortably won his 800m heat while Callum Horton, coming back from injury in his first race of the YDL season, ran solidly to come 2nd in the B race. There’s going to be much more to come from Callum as the season goes on.

George Shaw and Callum both ran solid races in challenging conditions to come 2nd in the A and B races in the 1500.

Regan Lawrence who had been stuck in traffic arrived moments before the 110mH start and has patented the new warm up technique of blocks to the first hurdle which netted him a PB and 2nd place in the race.

George Shaw stepped in to run the 400mH with a strict instruction to take it easy and save his legs for the 1500 and 4×400 race. He dutifully jogged round to a 2nd place!

Josh Healey, a U17 athlete who has been struggling with injury and form this season, volunteered to do a jump in the LJ to ensure that he is eligible for the squad for the national finals in September when, hopefully, his form and fitness will have returned.

Ben Platt, fighting seriously windy conditions in the PV managed to come a joint 2nd and followed up those points with a 3rd place in the Javelin.

Our throwers Dillon Claydon and Brydon Duncan delivered the results again. Dillon came 2nd in the A string for the Shot and the Discus while Brydon won the B string in both the Shot and Discus and came 2nd in the hammer.
Finally, on the u20 side, our 4×100 relay squad of Sam Mowa (u17), Clayton Jacinto, Adam Islam-Medeaux (another athlete returning from injury) and Zac Nwogwugwu won comfortably from the other teams. And the 4×400 squad of Bailey, George, Thomas and Michael cruised home, unopposed in a rapid 3:34.

The u17 men were equal to the mark set by their older colleagues.

Joseph Cope (3rd in the A string) and Issah Abdulkarim (2nd in the B race) ran terrific 100m races.

Sam Mowa and Marley Byfield both came 2nd in the A and B string in the 200.

Chris Barrett fought the issue of the silent gun and the blustering wind to come 2nd in the 400m A race while Harry Fage ran solidly to come 5th in the B string.

Arthur Starvis fought to a 2nd place in the 800m A race and James Barnes demonstrating his versatility across the middle distances comfortably won the B string.

Training partners Lewis Brook and Mark Constable worked together to secure a 3rd place in the A string for Lewis and a 2nd for Mark in the B String. A great example of team work.

James followed his B string win in the 800 with an A string victory in the 3000.

Rayhan Mourtada was narrowly edged into 2nd place in the 100mH while Harry Fage put in a solid effort to secure 2nd in the A race of the 400mH.

Lewis Brook ran his 2nd 1500 of the day, this time over the barriers, and secured another 2nd place for the team. His SC is improving as he gains experience in what’s a new event to him and as his form over the barriers gets better, we are going to see some much improved times from him.

Ralph Baker is returning to form in the jumps and secured a 2nd place in the LJ A string and 2nd in the TJ B string. Issah Abdulkarim stepped in to earn 3rd in the B string LJ while Marley Byfield has followed up his Schools Cup TJ results with a 4th in the A string.

Our Pole Vaulters, Oscar Witcombe and Finn Kitteridge earned 2nd in the A string and 1st in the B string. I’m told the conditions couldn’t have been more difficult with the wind blustering as much as it did so these were particularly good efforts.

Our u17 throws squad was significantly depleted but held up by Felix Mcardle Hodge who won the A string in the Jav with a huge throw of over 57 meters.

Tired legs notwithstanding, our u17 4 x 100 squad composed of sprinters, pole vaulters and hurdlers (Rayhan, Marley, Oscar and Joseph) ran a solid race to come 2nd.

Likewise, our u17 4×400 team of Chris, Marley, Harry and Sam overcame fatigue to put in a commendable result of 3:38 and come 2nd in the final race of the meeting.

Congratulations to everyone and a special thank you to Nic Corry for taking over the clipboard duties from me on the day and for his amusing social media posts to keep us all informed and entertained.

Ian Firla

We arrived at Woking a more divided team than normal as a result of the coach failing to turn up and various folks therefore having to return swiftly to their cars and fill them with as many athletes as they could. Exams and a regional multi-events competition, as well as the inevitable injuries and illnesses, meant the team wasn’t what it might have been. (‘Is it ever?’, you may well ask. To which the response should be ‘Hopefully, for the Final!’) But the sun is shining (and a stiff breeze blowing) and we sit atop the League Table with the opportunity of booking our place in the aforesaid Final, with a match to spare.

In the U20s, pride of place goes, just, to our throws squad, led by our U18 European Championship selection, Cleo (Agyepong), who celebrated with a new PB, breaking the 15m barrier in the shot, ably supported by Rianna (Rennie), who won the B string. We also had a double win in the javelin courtesy of Peanut (Meekings) and, once again, Rianna. In the discus, Cleo finished 2nd with Gypsy (Nash) winning the B string, having already finished 2nd in the hammer. The sprints and middle distance were equally impressive, with Tianna (Haynes) doing the 100m and 200m double (Emily (Kerr) and Zak (Mossi) taking 2nd in the respective B strings) with Zak and Cameron (Kelly-Gordon) taking maximum points in the 400 and Lara (Mannes) and Lily (Meers), in the 800, and Ailbhe (Barnes) and Hannah (Clark) in the 1500 then repeating the feat. The jumps proved our Achilles heel, with the absence of the multi-eventers felt most keenly in these events. We finished the meeting off in style with wins in both the 4x100m (Molly (Savage), Tianna, Achieng (Onoko) and Emily) and 4x400m (Kelsey (Pullin), Lily, Cameron and Zak).

The U17s had their own moments to savour too: Nina (Whitter) and Indiana (Marshall) took both wins in the 100m and Nina and Zara (Okoroafor) were 2nd in the 200s as were Gabi (Martin) and Emily (Deveney) in the 800s; Jodie (Self) continued her unbeaten run in the 80mH and Emily (Algeo) took 3rd in the 300mH; Megan (Slattery) and Olivia (Magee-Brown) both took 2nd in the 1500 and 3000, respectively, before Amber (Cockburn) and Carys (Firth) won both strings of the 1500s/c; in the jumps, we still had no pole vaulters, but Emily took 2nd in both LJ and TJ, with Emily (Hayden de Carbonniere) winning the B string TJ, and Eleanor(Duncombe) and Islay (Pearson) taking 2nd in the HJ, a position Islay repeated in the shot (and Amber did in the javelin). Again, the match was rounded off with a fine win by Jodie, Indiana, Nina and Zara in the 4x100m (although we couldn’t make up a 4x300m team to challenge WSHE, who managed almost to lose to themselves in a field of one by dropping the baton!).

Provisional match Result:
1. BBHAC 620 pts total league pts 18
2. WSHE 502 pts 15
3. Reading 416 12
4. SBH 382.5 9

Provided we turn up for the last match we’re in the Final!

Tim Soutar