The second Lower YDL fixture took place on Saturday last at the Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham. The hottest day of the year so far, did not deter our younger athletes from producing some excellent performances with twelve first place finishes and several personal bests recorded. AVEAC finished fifth overall out of the six competing teams scoring 265 points and were only 12 points behind Mansfield Harriers in 3rd. Derby AC finished fourth on 268 points while the home team scored 382 points and managed to hold on to overall victory, ten points ahead of Charnwood.
Under 13 Boys
Gino Franco produced his second furthest throw so far in the Javelin with a fine effort of 28.50m securing maximum points with a first place finish. This was another excellent performance by Gino who has a PB of 29.75m set recently at the Moorways DADA competition. His distance on Saturday was almost 9 meters ahead of the second placed athlete. Gino also took part in the ' A' 150m and recorded a time of 23 seconds dead to finish fifth.
Joshua Bailey had a busy afternoon scoring valuable points in the 75m sprint, 800m and Long Jump. A time of 11:7 placed him fifth in the short sprint, a new PB of 2:49:50 in the 800m was good enough for fourth while his 3.73m Long Jump ensured third place. Corey Fisher had two fourth place finishes in the 'B' string 150m and 800m and took third as well in the Shot. Nicholas Driver, in his first ever competition on the track, had an excellent debut with two third places in the 'B' 75m in 11:3 and Long Jump with a distance of 3.65m. In the 1200m Max Houlton was 5th in a time of 4:44:8. To finish the day the 4 x 100m relay team of Joshua, Nicholas, Gino and Corey placed third behind Mansfield and Charnwood.
Under 13 Girls
Freya Kirby continued her excellent progress in the Javelin and like Gino Franco in the Boy's event won her competition by a considerable margin of almost eight metres. Freya's distance of 26.74m was just short of her recent 28:67m personal best also set at the DADA meeting earlier in the month. Both marks are English Athletics Grade 1 standards and rank her fifth in the UK at Under 13 level. For good measure Freya took second spot in the Shot as well with a new best of 6:08m.
In the sprints, Isla Hiscocks was third in the 'A' 75 in 10:5 and repeated the same placing in 70m Hurdles with a time of 14:4, Naiya Starbuck was fourth in the 'B' 75 in 11.5 and 6th in the 'A' 150m in 23.4. Ellie Travis won the 'B' 150m recording an excellent time of 21:4 and also won the non-scoring 75m in 10:80.
Eleanor Rigby placed 5th in the 800m; her time of 2:55:90 improved her personal best set at the first fixture by almost four seconds. She also recorded PBs and scored valuable points in the 'A' High Jump clearing 1.15m and 'B' Long Jump, with a leap of 3.32m. In the 'A' Long Jump, Ellie Travis added another PB to her 75m and 150m with a fine distance of 3:65m improving by nineteen centimetres on her previous distance at the first Mini League match.
In the 4 x 100m Relay, Naiya, Eleanor, Ellie and Isla ran 58:3 to finish second behind a very fast Notts team.
Under 15 Boys
Hugo Thomas showed excellent form in the Boy's 100m, 200m and Long Jump where the standard in all three events was exceptionally high. Personal bests of 11:9 in the 100m and 24:8 in the 200m earned him second places while a distance of 5:57m in the Long Jump placed him third. Our only other Under 15 Boy was Charlie Halford who finished fifth in both the 'A' 800m and 'B' 200m returning times of 2:46:0 in the two lap event and 31:2 in the shorter race.
Under 15 Girls
Our Under 15 Girl's squad is exceptionally strong and this was reflected with ten victories in total across the 'A' and 'B' events. Imogen Laugharne, Poppy Weller, Mae Jones and Daisy Kaye ended a great afternoon for the team winning the 4 x 100m Relay in 54:4. Individually there were nine other first place finishes. Daisy Kaye set her second personal best in the 200m in a week winning the 'A' event in 27:2 and also took maximum points in the Shot with a solid throw of 8.63m. Mae Jones won the 'A' Long Jump with another consistent jump of 4.96m. Alexa Gordon, returning to competition after injury made a welcome comeback and jumped the exact same distance as Mae to won the 'B' event.
Imogen Laugharne won the 75m Hurdles in 12:3 while Mae Jones did likewise in the 'B' event with a PB of 12:8. Other first places in the 'B' events were recorded by Katie Fitzpartick in the High Jump with a 1.40m clearance, Esme Aikman in the ‘B’ Shot throwing 7.51m and Daisy Kaye in the Javelin on 21.05m.
Poppy Weller taking part in only her second Javelin competition improved by over four metres on her previous outing throwing 21:34m to finish third in the 'A' competition. She claimed third as well in the 'B' 200m with another best performance of 30:4. There were more PBs in the 100m for Katie Fitzpatrick and Mae Jones; both were timed at 13:7 with Katie finishing third in the 'A' race and Mae taking second in the 'B' sprint. Esme Aikman threw the Discus 15.04m to finish second in the 'A' event while Imogen Laugharne cleared 1:50m in the 'A' High Jump to also take the runner up spot.
All in all it was a fine afternoon's athletics for the AVEAC team and had it not been for a few athletes missing the event due to Covid self isolation, they would have pushed for a third place finish in the overall standings. Thanks are due again to Sarah Kaye who looked after the Under 15 team and Nigel Hiscocks who team managed the Under 13s. The final Lower YDL fixture will take place at Derby on Saturday 4th September. This weekend the Under 13s and Under 15s will be joined by our Under 11s at the final Mini League match of the season at Moorways on Saturday while our older Under 17 and 20 athletes will be in action at the third Upper YDL fixture on Sunday at Burton.
Chris Kirby - Athletic Photography
For more of Chris’s images of the fixture, visit the Club’s Facebook Page.
Ella Rush added another national medal to her growing collection this year by finishing 2nd in the Girl's Senior Long Jump at the English School's Championships held over the weekend at the Regional Athletics Centre in Manchester. This years championships were run over three days rather than the normal two due to Covid restrictions with Seniors competing on Friday, Intermediates on Saturday and Juniors on Sunday. During Sunday's Junior events three of our younger athletes, Mae Jones, Imogen Laugharne and new recruit to the Club Hugo Thomas were also in action. Although not getting on the podium in their events, the three juniors all gained valuable experience taking part in one of the biggest youth athletics championships in the world.
The Senior Girl's Long Jump attracted fourteen of the countries top jumpers. Ella jumped very consistently throughout the competition with a best distance of 5.86m, her second furthest effort this season. The winner was Cleo Martin-Evans (Warwickshire) who finished eight centimetres in front of Ella on 5.94m. Taking the Bronze medal was Lucy Robinson (Greater Manchester) with a best of 5.70m. Ella who is eligible for this age group next year gained her fourth English School’s medal having previously won the Silver in the Junior Long Jump and Gold in the Junior Pentathlon in 2018 and Gold in the Intermediate Heptathlon in 2019.
Repton student Hugo Thomas who has recently joined AVEAC following the County School’s Championships in June excelled himself by finishing 5th in the Junior Boy’s Long Jump in only his third competitive outing at the event. His 5.71m distance beat his previous best mark by five centimetres. With limited coaching behind him Hugo is certainly one young athlete to look out for in the future.
In the Girl’s Junior Long Jump, Mae Jones had another consistent jump of 4.97m to finish 10th, not that far behind her season’s best standing at 5.11m.
Imogen Laugharne finished in 13th place in the Junior Girl’s High Jump. She cleared the same height, 1.51m, as the 8th placed athlete, losing out on count back due to having a greater number of failures at a lower height.
The experience gained by Hugo, Mae and Imogen will stand them in good stead for further championship events in the future. Understandably all three athletes were extremely nervous and credit is due to them for their excellent performances.
Both Mae and Imogen along with Ella Rush can now look forward to the the English School’s Combined Events Championships on 18th and 19th September in Bedford.
Alex Knibbs ran his best 400m Hurdles race to date on Saturday when he finished fourth in the final at the European Under 23 Championships held in Talinn, Estonia. Just missing the bronze medal by three tenths of a second the Loughborough student had the satisfaction of running a new personal best of 49:37. His time was the seventh fastest all time by an Under 23 athlete in the U.K. and also ensured that he beat the 49:60 qualifying standard set by England Athletics for next Summer's Commonwealth Games.
Alex had to contend with a heat and semi-final to ensure his passage to the final. He won his first round race on Thursday in a time of 50:27 ahead of German athlete, Emil Agyekum. Introducing a new stride pattern for the first 200m of Friday’s Semi Final, he ran a controlled race, conserving energy to finish 2nd in 50 seconds dead behind Alessandro Sibilio (Italy), the pre-race favourite.
Alex’s second place ensured a favourable Lane draw for the final. The race proved to be very quick with the first five finishers all running personal bests. Sibilio dominated and took the Gold medal in a new championship record of 48:42, ahead of Agyekum, who had upped his game from the previous rounds returning a time of 48:96. Dutch athlete Ramsey Angela took the bronze a couple of metres ahead of Alex while Alistair Chalmers, the other British athlete in the final, finished 6th in a season’s best time of 49:84.
Alex improved upon his eighth place finish at the 2019 Championships and in an interview with British Athletics after the event he commented, “That race was fast. I am amazed with that PB. I gave it my best , so I am happy with the PB”
Now coached by Nick Dakin at Loughborough, Alex’s potential was first nurtured over the long hurdles by Club Coach, Julie Feeney. That potential began to be realised when as a fifteen year old he finished fourth in the U.K. School Games in 2015 and two years later went on to won the English School’s Senior title. The games in Tallinn were Alex’s third major European Championship at Under20 and 23 level. He has also appeared in the World Junior Championships in 2018 gaining a bronze medal in 4 x400 Relay. He will now take a well earned rest before turning his attention to gaining selection for the Commonwealth Games next August in Birmingham.
There was a positive start for AVEAC athletes at the first Mini League match in almost two years at Moorways Stadium, Derby on Saturday. Despite the atrocious wet weather, there were excellent performances all round with several of the young athletes experiencing their first ever outdoor competition and thoroughly enjoying the experience in the process. The fixture catering for athletes Under 11 to Under 15, has always been seen as first step into competitive athletics and down the years the fixtures have provided a platform for many to go on to won regional and national titles as well as competing internationally. Our first ever Olympic athlete and British Champion Jessica Turner and World Under 20 Heptathlon Champion, Niamh Emerson both started their athletic journeys at the Mini League.
Five of our youngest athletes took part in their first ever competition and performed exceptionally well. Pride of place must go to Isobel Weller who won one of the three 80m sprints in 13:61 and then went on to run an outstanding race in the longer 600m, recording her second victory of the day. Her time of 2:12:37 was over 13 seconds faster than the next best placed athlete. Young Suri Ghai also took part in the 80m and recorded a time of 15:61.
Three of our Under 11 Boys competed with Alfie Ray winning the 150m in a time of 24:89 and Jack Heslop also doing well in the same race finishing in 26:47. Alfie also ran the 600m in 2:14:24 while Jack recorded 2:17:36. Alfie's brother Ethan recorded times of 15:30 in the 80m and 2:36:76 in the 600m.
Five Boys and seven Girls took part in the Under 13 match. In the Boy's events Ryan Ghai showed good sprint speed with two 2nd places in the 75m Hurdles in a time of 15:02 and then in one of the 100m races crossed the finish line in 14:72. Joshua Bailey was also runner up the second 100m race timed at 14:95. Corey Fisher's time in his 100m was 15:50. In the 200m Joshua and Corey returned times of 31:61 and 32:66. Joshua then went on to complete a busy morning running the 800m in 2:50:89; Max Houlton also ran well in the 800m with a 2:54:68 clocking. Corey taking part in his first ever High Jump cleared 1m.
In the Girl's match Isla Hiscocks recorded a double winning her 100m race in a super time of 14:43 and having never attempted the 70m Hurdles in competition before also finished in pole position in 14:59. Ellie Travis and Jasmine Shore were both 2nd in their 100m sprints with times of 14:88 and 14:84. Both girls repeated the same placings in the 200m races with almost identical times again of 30:98 and 30:90. Lucy Rowcroft also showed good form in the short sprint finishing in 15:75. In the 800m Eleanor Rigby broke the 3 minute barrier for the first time running 2:59:25.
Freya Kirby who so far this season has shown excellent progress in the Javelin turned her attention this time to the Shot and her debut throw with the round ball of 5:78m was good enough to claim 2nd spot. In the Long Jump AVEAC had six girl's in action in a large field of 23 competitors. Isla Hiscocks finished 3rd leaping 3.60m, Ellie Travis was 4th with 3.46m. Naiya Starbuck placed 5th on 3.38m. The three other girls taking part and their distances were; Eleanor Rigby (3.19m), Jasmine Shore (3.09m) and Lucy Rowcroft (2.97m)
In the Under 15 category, there were excellent victories in the 100m sprints for Daisy Kaye and Katie Fitzpatrick. Daisy's time in her race was 14:03 while Katie was marginally slower in Race 2 with a new best ever time of 14:27. Cam Cammack finished 2nd to Katie and also recorded a new personal best of 14:74. In the 200m, Poppy Weller was our sole representative and showed good form with a 2nd place finish and another PB of 30:60.
In the Field, Imogen Laugharne cleared 1.50m to won the High Jump ahead of Katie Fitzpatrick on 1:40m. All rounder Daisy Kaye taking part in her first Discus competition this season threw a personal best of 18.14m for second place. In the Shot Imogen Laugharne added two centimetres on to her previous best throwing 7.36m to place 3rd. Other Shot performances were recorded by Esme Aikman (7.14m), Poppy Weller (6.67m) and Katie Fitzpatrick (3.91m)
Sebastian Banks was our only Under 15 Boy in action and he came away with three personal bests in the 200m (30:28), Long Jump (3.66m) and 80m Hurdles (17:32).
The club fielded three Relay teams with the Under 13 Girls finishing 3rd, the Under 11 Boy's placing 2nd and the U15 Girls winning their race ahead of Chesterfield.
A big thank you is due to Team Managers, Anna Fitzpatrick, Damian Banks and Andrew Shore and all the officials for turning out and allowing the event to take place. The next Mini League match will be on Saturday 24th July at Moorways. Watch out on the Club’s Facebook Page for programme details.
A small group of our Under 17 and 20 athletes took part in the second upper Youth Development League fixture at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, Loughborough last Sunday, hosted by Charnwood Athletic Club. Like the first fixture, the programme of events was restricted due to Covid guidelines issued by the League. Several athletes recorded personal bests and stepped outside of their comfort zone to tackle events which hitherto, they had limited experience of, ensuring that as many points as possible could be achieved. The team finished with a score of 99, finishing fifth overall, not that far behind near neighbours Derby who scored 110 points; Charnwood scored 212 points to won the match, consolidating their top spot in the league following both opening rounds.
Amelia Banks made a welcome return to competitive athletics scoring valuable points in the Hammer and Discus. Finishing 2nd in the A Discus, her 20.83m throw was a PB. In the Hammer a distance of 32.34m left her 3rd and was not that far behind her previous best from two years ago. Sienna Grant was fourth in the A 100m in a time of 13:8 while Charlie Yates's second place in the B sprint was marginally quicker in 13:7. Charlie was second, as well , in the Long Jump with an effort of 4.60m. In the 800m, Fran Howett ran a season's best time of 2:41:60 to finish fourth. The 4 x 100m relay team of Charlie, Sienna, Amelia and Under 17 athlete, Katie Potts ran Derby close, finishing second in 52.5 just a tenth of a second behind their local rivals.
Our two male representatives were Stan Dickenson and Henry Knighton. Stan finished 3rd in the 1500m in a respectable time of 4:37:4 which also was a new personal best while Henry cleared 1.80m in the High Jump placing 3rd as well.
Nicole Bonser continued to show improvement in the A Long Jump with a second place finish, jumping a new best effort of 4.71m and adding 5 centimetres to her previous mark set at the recent Derbyshire School's Championships. She also came 3rd in the B 100m returning a time of 14:5. Katie Potts, struggled with her Long Jump run up, however she did enough to won the B event with a distance of 4.59m.
Cecilia Smyth faced a strong head wind in the 80m Hurdles and a time of 14 seconds dead meant that she took maximum points; she also ran 13:8 in the 100m in fifth pace. In the B hurdles race victory went to Isabelle Hays in her second ever run over the barriers in a time of 16 seconds. In the longer 300m Hurdles Maddy Fahy finished 2nd with a personal best of 57:6. In the non-scoring events, Grace Robinson had a fine effort of 4.32m in the Long Jump and 14:7 in the 100m. Grace joined Cecilia, Nicole and Maddy to finish fourth in the 4 x 100m relay in a time of 55:2.
In the Under 17 Men's match Joe Bennett continued his recent fine form in the Javelin winning the A event with another good throw of 33.15m. George Reynolds ran a personal best in the 200m finishing 3rd in 24:8 seconds and running the 400m for the first time, he clocked 58 seconds for a fifth place finish. Completing a busy afternoon, there was a further PB in the Shot for George; his 9.36m throw ensured third place. Corey Tatum attempting his first 400m paced himself exceptionally well and was rewarded with a good time of 56:5 in fourth place in the B race. For good measure he also returned a season's best of 25:9 in the 200m placing fifth.
Overall those athletes who turned out for the club on the day are to be commended for their efforts. A big thank you is due to Team Managers Jayesh Dave and Karen Yates for their continued support of the athletes. The next fixture will take place on Sunday 25th July at Burton and will return to a full programme of events.
Imogen Laugharne put together an excellent set of performances at the Midland School's Combined Events Championships, held at the Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton on Sunday last. Her overall points score of 2693 across the five disciplines that make up the Pentathlon resulted in a well earned silver medal for the Queen Elizabeth's student. Imogen representing Derbyshire was joined by Mae Jones who finished sixth overall on 2311 points and Daisy Kaye, representing Nottinghamshire was ninth scoring 2205. Jasmine Ellis had also been selected for the Derbyshire team and unfortunately missed the competition due to a Covid incident in her bubble at school.
The three young athletes were taking part in the Junior Girl's section and between them put together some fantastic performances including several personal bests. The 75m Hurdles started the morning’s proceedings and Imogen got a fantastic start recording the fastest time overall; her hand timed 11:9 was a new best performance. Mae also recorded a PB in 12:9 while Daisy didn't get the best of starts having difficulty with her rhythm between the hurdles and returned a time of 16:3.
The Shot was next up and Daisy bounced back from her hurdles with an exceptional throw of 9.41m, beating her previous best by over 70 centimetres while Imogen and Mae also broke new ground with throws of 7.34m and 6.96m. On to the High Jump and there was a real treat in store for Imogen who sailed over 1.59m adding 4 centimetres to her previous best. Daisy taking part in her first High Jump for almost two years was also in excellent form and added 9 centimetres to her personal best with an excellent leap of 1.50m; Mae cleared 1.35m.
Performances in the penultimate event, the Long Jump were affected by a strong head wind. Mae was the best of the trio jumping 4.86m, Imogen's distance was 4.54m while Daisy ended up with 3.85m. In the final 800m, the three athletes ran consistently despite feeling tired after completing the four previous events in just under three hours. Daisy was the fastest of the three crossing the finish in 2:45:2, Imogen's time was 2:47:7 and Mae ended up on 2:54:4.
The Pentathlon also included a team event and Imogen and Mae along with Alicia Wells from north Derbyshire who finished fifth overall took the gold medal ahead of Oxfordshire and will now go on to represent the county at the English Schools Combined Events Championships at Bedford in September.
It was a good week for the two young AVEAC Derbyshire athletes with confirmation on Monday that they both had been selected along with Ella Rush for the County School’s team to take part in this years English Schools Championships in Manchester on the weekend of the 9th to 12th July. Imogen will take part in the Junior Girl’s High Jump, Mae in the Junior Girl’s Long Jump and Ella, taking part in her fourth English Schools will go in the Senior Girl’s Long Jump. It is indeed a great honour for the three athletes to gain selection as the entry qualification in each event this year is restricted to sixteen athletes due to Covid protocol.
As we go to publication our Upper YDL team performed well at last Sunday's second league fixture in Loughborough. The results have not been confirmed yet, however, the Team Managers report that several personal bests were recorded by our Under 17 and 20 athletes. A fuller report on the fixture will follow in due course.
This Saturday the first Mini League fixture for almost two years will take place at Moorways, Derby. Team Managers, Anna Fitzpatrick, Andrew Shore and Damian Banks are hoping for a good turn out. Some of our younger athletes will be taking part in their first ever outdoor competition and we wish them well. The action kicks off at 10.00 am and those taking part should try to arrive at the Stadium in good time and report to the Team Managers.
Photo acknowledgement - @jmccolgan
The latest edition of the newsletter is available to download HERE For our younger athletes, in both recreation and transition groups - you should be aware we are starting our Wednesday evening sessions on 7th July! - full details in the newsletter, along with a competition to win one of our brand new style Track Jackets in the size of your choice (hint-some of the answers are hidden on the website)
The sheer exhilaration as she crosses the line to take the Women's 400m Hurdles title at the Muller British Championships says it all. In that instant Jessica Turner's dream, as a young athlete, to one day compete at the Olympic Games had been realised. History was created as Jess had just become the first athlete in the twenty two years since the club formed in 1999 to gain selection to the biggest festival on the sporting calendar in the world. Her victory capped a fantastic weekend for AVEAC athletes with Alex Knibbs also taking the silver medal in the Men's 400m Hurdles and seventeen year old, Ella Rush just missing out on the bronze medal in the Women's Heptathlon by a mere eighteen points finishing fourth.
Jess set her stall out during Friday evenings heats comfortably winning her race in 56:96; the second fastest of the four heat winners. The other heat winners, Jessie Knight (Windsor, Slough, Eaton and Houslow), Lina Neilsen (Shaftsbury) and Meghan Beesley (Birchfield), like Jess had also achieved the Olympic qualifying standard prior to the championships making Saturday's final that much more exciting with only three Olympic places on offer. It was Jess, however, who dominated the final, starting strongly out of the blocks she had a commanding lead by the 200m mark. She kept her form and pace through the third 100m and had pulled away even further as she entered the home straight. Crossing the finish line in 54:83, she had almost a second to spare over runner up Meghan Beesley on 55:80 with Jessie Knight a further metre back on 55.91. Jess's time was her fourth race in a row in which she had beaten the Olympic standard and ensured that she would be on the plane to Tokyo.
Jess has trained diligently over the years since the early days when she joined the club as a ten year old in 2006 when Amber Valley, as it was known then, was based at the Charles Hill Centre in Loscoe, Heanor. Now coached by Nick Dakin at Loughborough University, her potential was first nurtured by Jim Feeney and her Dad Dave Turner during her formative years at the Club. In 2011, Club hurdles Coach, Julie Feeney took her under her wing and began to develop that potential. Her first season as an Under 17 year old specialising in the longer hurdles resulted in a bronze medal at the English Championships. Moving on to Loughborough more national medals followed, culminating in a fantastic silver medal at the 2017 European Under 23 Championships. It is worth mentioning, as several of our youngest athletes take their first tentative steps at competition at the Derbyshire Mini League this weekend, Jess's first experience of competing was in that very same league in April 2006 when she ran the 100m in 14:9 and long jumped 3.43m in the Under 13 age group. In just over three weeks time she will set foot on the track at the new National Stadium in Tokyo taking part in the biggest race of her life.
Alex Knibbs clocked 52:06 and looked comfortable winning his 400m Hurdles heat on Saturday setting himself up for an interesting final on Sunday afternoon against his old rival Alastair Chalmers (Guernsey) and the current British number one, Chris McAlister (Thames Valley). In Sunday afternoon's final the threat from McAlister never materialised and it was Alex and Alastair Chalmers who battled for the top honours with Chalmers just edging it down the home straight, holding on to take the gold medal in 49:98, a couple of metres in front of Alex on 50:33. On Wednesday, Alex received the welcoming news that his performance had earned him selection alongside Chalmers in the British Team for the European Under 23 Championships taking place between 8 - 11 July in Tallinn, Estonian. Alex is also coached by Nick Dakin at Lougborough and his early days racing over the Hurdles was also under the watchful eye of Julie Feeney. Like Jess, Alex started at the Mini League and would go on to be English School's Champion in 2017. He has represented GB at Under 20 and Senior level in the Hurdles and 4 x 400m relay and last year showed his exceptional flat speed when he lifted the British 400m title.
Ella Rush experiencing her first senior championships performed well in the Women's Heptathlon and just narrowly missed out on a Bronze medal. Her final points total was 5083, just short of her personal best of 5166 achieved when taking the silver medal at the English Under 20 Championships. Ella had the satisfaction of recording three personal bests in the seven event contest with a time of 14:79 in the 100m Hurdles, a throw of 28.96m in the Javelin and an 800m best of 2:23:31. Next up for the talented young athlete will be the English Schools Championships on the 9th July where she will compete in the Senior Girl's Long Jump against the top young event specialists in the country.
Jess Turner @jessturner Instagram
Alex Knibbs @ralphknibbs
Ella Rush @britishathleticsTV
The Müller British Athletics Championships will start this Friday evening at the Manchester Regional Arena and continue throughout the weekend. The event which is one of the biggest on the British Athletics calendar has attracted the majority of the UK’s top stars, many of whom will be vying to secure qualification for the Tokyo Olympic Games. Three AVEAC athletes, Jessica Turner, Alex Knibbs and Ella Rush have been invited to take part in the showcase event. Jess and Alex are seasoned campaigners at this level of competition having competed at the championships for the past few years while seventeen year old Ella, on the other hand, will be making her first appearance at the premier event.
Jess and Alex will be competing in the 400m Hurdles. Both athletes are on top form at the moment having recently posted their quickest ever times over the barriers. As reported a few weeks ago, Jess ran the Olympic qualifying standard at a European meeting in Oordegem, Belgium when she clocked 54:77. Since then she has had two more scintillating runs inside the Tokyo qualification mark recording times of 54:89 in Samorin, Slovakia on June 2nd, followed by a terrific third place in Florence at the Wanda Diamond League meeting on June 10th when she was timed at 54:79. Jess will renew her rivalry with fellow GB team mate Jessie Knight (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) who marginally heads the British rankings ahead of her with a time of 54:74. Britain’s third Olympic 400m Hurdler qualifier, Lavai Neilson (Shaftesbury Barnet) who has a best time of 55.27 will ensure that the race will be hotly contested and it should be a close run thing between the three.
Alex Knibbs is also going through a purple patch at the moment having achieved the European Under 23, 400m Hurdles qualification. Alex dipped under the magical 50 second barrier for the first time recording 49:83 when winning his speciality at the Flanders Cup match in Belgium on June 5th. Like Jess, he too currently ranks second in the U.K. just behind Chris McAlister (Thames Valley Harriers) who has run 49:18. Also in the field at the weekend will be another close rival of Alex’s, Alistair Chalmers (Guernsey) who has a best time this year of 49:95; both athletes have been running very close races against each other for the past few seasons and no doubt it will be tight at the finish this time round as well.
Ella Rush will line up in the Heptathlon and will compete against some of the U.K.’s top multi-eventers. The field is limited to eight athletes which includes Katie Stainton (Birchfield Harriers) and Ellen Barber (Yeovil), both of whom have scored over 6000 points and are
coached by former AVEAC athlete David Feeney. Ella earned her place following her Silver medal winning performance at the English Under 20 Championships. Currently ranked 4th in Europe at Under 18 level, she will be all out to beat her personal best which stands at 5166 points, aiming for a total 5250, the European Under 20 Championship qualification target. If she can achieve this total, it may get her considered for selection for the games that take place in Talinn, Estonia from 15th to 18th July. Ella is in good form at the moment and last weekend secured two bronze medals at the England Under 20 Championships in the High and Long Jumps.
The BBC will be showing live action on BBC 2 on Friday from 6pm – 9pm & BBC 1 on Saturday from 1.15pm – 4.30pm with extended coverage available on the Red Button.
For events outside BBC airtime, clips and full races will be posted across the British Athletics website and social media channels as follows:
The timetable of events for the three AVEAC athletes is as follows:
Men’s 400m Hurdles Heats – Saturday, 14.35; Final – Sunday, 14.30
Women’s 400m Hurdles Heats – Friday, 17.05; Final – Saturday, 15.00
Women’s Heptathlon – Saturday, 100mH – 10.00; High Jump – 11.00, Shot – 15.33, 200m – 17.18; Sunday, Long Jump – 11.35, Javelin – 14.10, 800m – 15.55
Jess Turner - @jessturner - personal collection
Alex Knibbs - @AlexKnibbs - personal collection
Ella Rush - @photographybyjonty
Ella Rush came away with two more national medals in the High and Long Jumps at the England Athletics Under 20 and 23 Championships that took place at Bedford International Arena over the weekend. A dip in the recent spate of good weather meant that conditions were not ideal with intermittent showers and cross winds, nevertheless Heptathlete Ella, showed that she could mix it with the best event specialists in the U.K. by winning bronze medals in the Under 20 High and Long Jumps.
Performances in the High Jump which took place on the Sunday morning were hampered by the rainy and windy conditions affecting the heights achieved by the jumpers. Ella’s first time clearances up to 1.68m meant that she held on to the bronze medal position behind Halle Ferguson (Trafford) and Sara Tyas (Stockport) who both cleared 1.73m. In the afternoon’s Long Jump competition, she produced a consistent set of jumps over 5.80m with a best of 5.87m, to claim her second bronze behind Molly Palmer (Charnwood) and Emily Tyrell (Bath). Next weekend 17 year old Ella will compete for the first time at the British Senior Championships in Manchester in the Heptathlon.
On Saturday Tamsin McGraw followed on from her Silver medal winning performance at the Northern Senior Championships a week ago with a fifth place finish in the Under 23 800m final in a time of 2:11:51. There was a fifth place finish as well for Jessie Brown in the Under 23 Javelin. Another good throw of 41.21m was marginally down on her personal best set at last weekend’s Midland Championships, suggesting that it won’t be too long until she breaks into the mid 40 metre range.
The Club’s British International 400m Hurdler, Alex Knibbs tested his speed over the flat one lap sprint and won his heat in 47.08. Using the race as his final preparation for next weekend’s British Championships, he withdrew from the final. Interestingly Alex’s heat time was marginally quicker than the winning time in the final.
Next weekend will be another busy one for AVEAC athletes. Three of our athletes will be competing at the Muller British Championships - watch out for a preview blog on our athletes who will be taking part. The Midland School’s Combined Events at Nuneaton will feature three of our younger Under 15s while our Under 17s and 20s will compete at the second Upper YDL fixture at Loughborough.
Last weekend six of the Club's Under 20 and Senior athletes contested the Midland and Northern Championships at the Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton and Leigh Sports Village in Lancashire producing several good medal winning performances in the process.
At the Midland event Loughborough based athlete Alex Arbon, took the Gold medal in the Women's Under 20 Javelin with a fine throw of 37.76m. Charlie Yates also competing in the Under 20 age group won the Bronze medal in the Triple Jump with a distance of 10.41m. That means Charlie has now won Midland Championship medals at Under 15, 17 and 20 level.
Jessie Brown, taking part in her first ever Senior Championship peaked at the right time in the Javelin event throwing a new personal best performance of 42.02m. It was great to see an athlete of Jessie's calibre making the breakthrough to senior ranks. She has been with the Club since the age of 11 and started off in Mini League matches; a great role model for our younger athletes.
At the Northern Championships, Tamsin McGraw secured the Silver Medal in the Senior Women's 800m. Returning to something like her old form she crossed the finish line in 2:09:72, just over a second behind her lifetime best. Brother Jethro made a welcome return to championship racing finishing fourth in the 1500m with a time of 3:58:44. In the 100m Emily Coope battled her way to the final where she finished sixth in 12.62, marginally slower than her Semi Final time of 12.53.
This weekend the England Athletics Under 20 and 23 Championships will take place at Bedford International Arena. At Under 23 level, Jessie Brown and Tamsin McGraw will be trying to improve on their performances at Nuneaton and Leigh in the Javelin and 800m while in the Under 20 age group, Heptathlete Ella Rush, will take on event specialists in the High and Long Jumps. Good luck to all three.
After a lapse of a year due to the Pandemic, it felt like near normality had returned again with the annual county School's Championships in Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire taking place at the Moorways and Harvey Haddon Stadiums on Saturday. In glorious sunshine, both events were superbly organised and were a credit to both County School's Associations and the army of teachers and club volunteers who saw the completion of the events by mid afternoon. Many AVEAC athletes took part, representing their respective school's and at the end of the proceedings there was a sizeable number of medals gained across the Junior and Intermediate age groups.
Junior - School's Years 8 and 9
At the Derbyshire Championships, Esme Aikman (Friesland School) set the ball rolling at the opening session on Saturday morning, winning the Shot title with a new personal best throw of 8.31m. Within the hour she had also gone on to take the 100m gold medal in 14.26. In the 100m, recent new recruit to the Club, Cam Cammack, (The Ecclesbourne School) held on to take the bronze medal by one hundredth of a second in 15.19.
There was a double victory as well for Imogen Laugharne (Queen Elizabeth's Grammar School) in the High Jump and 75m Hurdles with consistent performances of 12.43 in the former and 1.50m in the latter. Katie Fitzpatrick (St John Houghton Academy) took the silver medal in the High Jump clearing a new PB with very respectable height of1.45m. In the Long Jump there was a one, two for Mae Jones (The Ecclesbourne School) and Alexa Gordon (Derby Moor Academy). Mae had a series of consistent jumps over 5m with a best of 5.11m while Alexa recovering from recent injury made a welcome return to competition jumping 4.83m. In the Javelin Poppy Weller (The Ecclesbourne School) threw 17.13m to earn herself a bronze medal and personal best as well.
In a very large field in the 1500m Charlie Halford (Belper School) finished outside the medals recording a PB of 5:30.41, an improvement on his previous best by over a second.
Meanwhile over at the Nottinghamshire event, Multi-eventer, Daisy Kaye (George Spencer Academy) was also in double winning form lifting the Javelin and 300m titles. Her effort in the Javelin, 27.52m, was a new best performance with the heavier 500g implement while a time of 44.1 was just outside her previous best from last season in the longer sprint.
Intermediate - School's Years 10 and 11
In the Intermediate girl's competition, there were gold medals for Cecilia Smyth (Swanwick Hall) in the 80m Hurdles and Lucy Fitzpatrick (St John Houghton Academy) in the Triple Jump at the Derbyshire event while at the Harvey Haddon Stadium, Millie Walster (Nottingham High School) took the Javelin title. Cecilia's time was 13.84 while Lucy, who last competed indoors in March 2020, jumped 10.04m. Millie who has been putting together a pleasing set of performances recently, threw another best ever distance of 33.05m.
The Girl's Long Jump was one of the best competitions seen at the championships for a long time and both Katie Potts (Belper School) and Nicole Bonser (Heanor Gate Science College) recorded personal bests in a high class field that included two former national medalists from 2019. Katie finished 3rd jumping 5.22m, improving her previous best by 41cms while Nicole in 5th added 18 cms to her PB with a distance of 4.67m. Nicole then went on to take the bronze medal in the 100m finishing with a time of 14.57. Maddy Fahey (Belper School) and Isabelle Hays (Belper School) picked up bronze medals as well; Maddy in the 300m Hurdles and Isabelle in the 80m Hurdles with both athletes recording personal bests of 58.99 and 16.18 respectively.
Ryan Rawlinson (St Thomas More School) was on good form in the Intermediate Boy's group winning the Triple Jump and 100m Hurdles, setting personal bests in both. He hopped, stepped and jumped 11.76m, while in the sprint hurdles his winning time was 15.52. George Reynolds (Lees Brook Community School) took silver behind Ryan in the hurdles and then went one better in the Long Jump with a gold medal winning leap of 5.94m, adding a centimetre to his recent PB set at the YDL match a few weeks ago.
There was a bronze medal as well for Joe Bennett (Friesland School) in the Javelin. Joe had a consistent throw of 32.49m, not that far behind his recent PB at the Burton AC Championships where he competed as a guest.
All in all it was a good day for AVEAC athletes and it had it not been for the current situation with Covid, those of them who finished first and second would have been selected for the Derbyshire School’s team for the Inter County Mason Trophy which in pre pandemic days usually took place the week after the county event.
Only RECREATION and TRANSITION groups should attend - other groups/bubbles will be unavailable due to athletes and coaches attending Competitions
It was great to see the yellow vests of our younger Under 13 and 15 athletes out on show at Snobnall Athletics Track, Burton on Saturday last for the first Lower Youth Development League match of the season. The competition involved five other local clubs including the hosts, Burton as well as Derby, Mansfield, Notts and Charnwood. The programme of events like the Upper YDL League match the previous weekend was restricted to fit in with current Covid secure guidelines. The reduced programme did not take away from the enjoyment of the competition which was well organised by the Burton officials. The Bank Holiday weekend and the school half term holiday did have an impact on the numbers of AVEAC athletes available to take part and this was particularly noticeable in Boy’s section with only one club athlete participating.
Our five Under 15 girls managed to cover all the events in their age group. All performed magnificently and in the process recorded several personal bests.
Daisy Kaye won the 300m by quite a margin recording a good time of 44.3 seconds. She also recorded 13.3 in the 100m eclipsing her previous best by 0.4 seconds. Daisy was well supported in the ‘B’ sprints by Jasmine Ellis who finished third in both with times of 14 seconds dead in the 100m and 47.7 in the 300m; both performances were personal bests.
Imogen Laugharne bounced back from a mediocre performance in the High Jump at the recent Charnwood Open meeting to equal her personal best with a 1.55m clearance. She also tackled the Discus and finished second in the ‘A’ group throwing 14.49m. Mae Jones competing in the same events as Imogen, was second in her 'B' High Jump with a height of 1.40m and in the 'B' Discus was also runner up recording 13.74m. Esme Aikman placed second in the ‘A’ Shot with a new best effort of 8.12m, bettering her previous PB by almost a metre. She also broke the 14 second mark for the first time in the non-scoring 100m finishing in 13.9 seconds.
In the 4 x 100m Relay, the quartet of Imogen, Daisy, Jasmine and Mae finished second behind a very fast Burton team recording a highly respectable time of 54.1 seconds.
Our five young Under 13 athletes were experiencing this level of competition for the first time and it was fitting to see them all enjoying themselves and in the process putting into practice the skills learned at recent coaching practices.
Isla Hiscocks followed up on her recent good performances at the Sheffield Open by improving her personal best in the Long Jump with an excellent leap of 4.19m. She also finished 4th in the 75m sprint in a time of 10.5 seconds. Naiya Starbuck was 2nd in the 'B' Long Jump also recording a personal best with a distance of 3.45m. Jasmine Shore came second in the 'B' 75m crossing the line in 11.4 seconds and after only one previous practice at the Javelin managed 10.76m to claim fourth place. Eleanor Rigby making her debut over the longer 1200m showed a lot of determination and placed 6th overall. The four girls ended their afternoon's busy schedule by teaming up together in the 4 x 100m Relay finishing 3rd in 61.6 seconds.
Our sole Boy representative was Gino Franco who in his second ever Javelin competition improved his PB to 21.16m, over a metre ahead of his previous performance set at Stretford, Manchester last Summer. He also ran 11.6 seconds in the 75m, another PB.
A big thank you to Sarah Kaye who managed both teams and was ably assisted by a number of parents who stepped in to act as Officials. The second match, in the three match series, will take place on Saturday 17th July at the Harvey Haddon Stadium, Nottingham. It is hoped that more club members in these age groups, particularly Boy’s, will put their names forward to take part.
Photos in the collages courtesy of Sarah Kaye and Burton A.C.
The Club’s Under 17 and 20 athletes took part in the first Upper Youth Development League Match on Sunday last at Moorways Stadium, Derby. The programme of events was reduced as a way of reintroducing the league again in a Covid secure environment; last year all fixtures were cancelled due to the Pandemic. The club finished fourth overall out of the five competing clubs which as well as AVEAC also included Derby, Notts, Charnwood and Burton. Due to the pandemic several of the athletes were competing for the first time since the 2019 season and there were many excellent performances recorded including several personal bests.
Pride of place in the Under 17 age group must go to George Reynolds who produced a magnificent effort of 5.93m to won the Long Jump and in doing so, set a huge personal best jump that was a metre more that he achieved two years ago as an Under 15. George has managed to get some good quality training under his belt recently and it certainly paid off on Sunday. His first outing over the 100m hurdles also resulted in a respectable debut with a time of 15.6. In the Under 17 'B' Long Jump Corey Tatum finished 2nd with a distance of 4.97m and for good measure recorded his fastest ever 100m in the 'B' race with a time of 12.3. In the 'A' race Ryan Rawlinson broke the 12 second mark for the first time finishing 3rd in 11.8, behind the winner Jamie Carrott (Charnwood), the son of former British international sprinter Andy Carrott. Ryan also took part in the Discus and won his category with a throw of 16.32m.
In the Girl's Under 17 Match, Millie Walster won the Javelin with another fine performance of 30.52m. Cecilia Smyth managed two personal bests in the 200m timed at 28.4 and in the Shot with a throw of 7.25m. Having not competed since 2017, it was good to see Grace Robinson don her spikes again in the 200m where she returned a time of 30.7.
In the Under 20 category, the ever reliable Stan Dickenson, running the 800m for the first time since 2018, had a fantastic race and was rewarded with a PB of 2 minutes exactly, finishing behind Derby's Jack Davis on 1:58:7. Henry Knighton, better known as a High Jumper, showed that he could sprint a bit as well and he too produced a PB of 12.2 in the 100m.
In the Women's Under 20 Match our two representatives, Charlie Yates and Sienna Grant produced good early season form with Charlie winning the Triple Jump with a distance of 10.45m and finishing 2nd in the High Jump clearing 1.50m. Sienna tackled the 400m for the first time and was rewarded with a time of 68.6.
This Saturday several of our Under 13 and 15 athletes will tackle their first YDL fixture at Burton, taking part against Burton, Derby, Charnwood, Notts and Mansfield. The next Under 17 and 20 Match will take place at Loughborough on Sunday 27th June. Athletes wishing to compete in this match should contact Team Managers, Jayesh Dave and Karen Yates.
Photo acknowledgement - Roy Reynolds
Jessica Turner created a little bit of history last Saturday at the IFAM Meeting in Oordegem, Belgium and in the process could become the first AVEAC athlete to compete in the Olympic Games. She ran the race of her life in the 400m hurdles and bettered her personal best by almost a second returning a time of 54.77, well inside the Olympic qualifying standard of 55.4. Jess was a clear winner of the race ahead of Belgium athlete Paulien Couckuyt who finished on 55.37. The fantastic run moves her up to 8th in the UK all-time list and according to the current World Athletics rankings places her as the 6th fastest long hurdler in 2021.
Jess's race plan to execute each hurdle as well as possible and to be aggressive right through to the end, certainly paid off. In an interview after the race for AVEAC she said, "when I crossed the line and saw the time flash up on the electronic score board, I couldn't believe it. I was expecting to run 55 but when I saw 54.77, well under the Olympic qualifying standard, I was ecstatic! "
Next up for Jess will be a race in Slovakia on Wednesday and she will be hoping to run well there too. She then has a few more races abroad before the British Championships in Manchester on 26th and 27th June.
Combined Events National and Regional Medals for AVEAC Athletes
Two AVEAC athletes, Ella Rush and Scott Ram competed at the English Open Senior and Under 20 Combined Events Championships held at Bedford's International Stadium over the weekend. Both athletes performed exceptionally well and came away with medals.
Ella gained Silver in the England Under 20 Heptathlon scoring 5166 points. She put together a pleasing set of performances over the two days which included personal bests in the 100m Hurdles (14.88), Shot (11.40m) and Javelin (28.94m). Her other marks were; High Jump (1.71m), 200m (25.34), Long Jump (5.73m) and 800m (2.26.41). The event also incorporated the Midland Championship and Ella’s points total ensured a Gold medal in the regional event.
Scott Ram competed in the Senior Men's Decathlon and finished 9th overall scoring a personal best of 5683 points, bettering his previous performance by over 300 points. Considering that he has had limited technical training in several of the Decathlon disciplines due to Lockdown, this was quite an outstanding achievement by the second year Loughborough student.
The Senior event also included the English Under 23 Championship and the Northern Regional title was up for grabs as well. Scott finished fourth best in the Under 23 championship and his grueling two days of fierce competition was rewarded with a silver medal at Northern level.
Doncaster Open Meeting
On Saturday, three AVEAC athletes competed at the Doncaster Open Meeting held at the Keepmoat Stadium. Young Isla Hiscocks continued her good early season sprinting form by recording personal bests in the U13 100m and 200m. She was timed at 14.25 in the shorter sprint finishing 2nd while a clocking of 30.94 in the half lap event was good enough for 3rd.
In the Senior Women’s Javelin, Jessie Brown had a fantastic throw of 41.85m just short of her lifetime best. She won the competition ahead of AVEAC’s Alex Arbon, the Loughborough based athlete, who threw 37.73m.
In the U17 Javelin, recent newcomer to the Club, Millie Walster, set a new personal best with a fine throw of 32.12m. Millie has recently moved to the area and previously competed for top London Club, Woodford Green and Essex Ladies.
Youth Development League - good start for AVEAC
As we go to publication the results of Sunday’s first Upper YDL match at Derby have not yet been uploaded to the Power of Ten results database so a fuller report will appear in next week’s blog. Both team Managers, Karen Yates and Jayesh Dave were pleased by the athletes performances which included several personal bests. George Reynolds was in particular good form and long jumped 5.93m in the Under 17 event, a huge improvement on his previous best which suggests that it won’t be too long until he breaks the 6m barrier.
This Saturday will see our Under 13 and 15 athletes take part in their first Lower YDL fixture at Burton where they will face opposition from the host club plus Derby, Charnwood, Notts and Mansfield.
Jess Turner - @jessturner
Ella Rush and Scott Ram - @jmccolgan
Ella Rush's final preparation competition before next weekend's national Under 20 Heptathlon Championship couldn't have gone better when she added four centimetres to her previous best ever performance in the High Jump, clearing 1.75m at the Birchfield Senior Open Meeting held at Nuneaton last Sunday. The seventeen year old entered the competition at 1.55m and had first time clearances right through until the bar was raised to 1.70m. Clearing that height on her third attempt, the bar was then set at 1.75m; new territory for Ella whose previous best was 1.71m, achieved when winning the Danish Under 18 Heptathlon last Summer. Again it took three attempts to clear the new height and the sheer delight of securing her best ever performance to date was perfectly captured on camera by sports photographer Jonty Mitchell. The magnificent effort left her runner up in the competition on faults behind Zara Tyas (Stockport) who was recently selected for the British Under 20 Team to contest the Loughborough International.
To round up a perfect afternoon's competition, Ella also recorded a legal Personal Best in the Women's 100 metre hurdles dipping under 15 seconds with a 14.99 timing and she finished off the afternoon with a 200m time of 25.34, just under a tenth of a second behind her all time best.
Alex Knibbs, Jessica Turner and Emily Coope were also in action at Nuneaton. Alex taking part in his second 400m Hurdles race of the season clocked 50.82 finishing in 2nd place behind his arch rival Cameron Chalmers (Guernsey). He was marginally close to achieving the European Under 23 Championship qualifying standard of 50.50. This week it was announced by the Europeans Athletics Federation that the championships which were due to be held in Bergen, Norway from the 8th to 11th July, have now been postponed to later in the season, giving Alex a bit more time to dip under British Athletics entry requirement.
Jess Turner also had her second outing over the longer hurdles and like Alex finished 2nd behind fellow International Jessie Knight (Windsor, Slough and Eaton). Her time of 57.30 was marginally slower than her previous competition at the Loughborough mid week meeting on 12th May when she crossed the finish line in 56.85.
Emily Coope contested the 100m, where athletes took part in two graded rounds. The former U.K. School Games Silver medalist returned two respectable times of 12.44 and 12.56 and with a few more races behind her, will be hoping to get back to the form she showed a few years ago when she dipped under the 12 second barrier.
The second Charnwood Open took place on Wednesday at the Paula Ratcliffe Track, Loughborough. Three AVEAC Under 15 athletes took part in the action packed evening. Daisy Kaye continued her early season's good progress running 13.80 in the 100m and 28.49 in the 200m and completed a busy evening winning her Shot Put category with another fine effort of 8.42m. In the High Jump, Imogen Laugharne cleared 1.45m while Mae Jones equaled her previous best, clearing 1.40m.
Javelin trio at Burton Club Championships
Three of the Club's Javelin throwers competed as guests at Burton AC's annual championships held on Thursday evening. Pride of place must go to young Freya Kirby, competing in her first ever Javelin competition. She came away with a victory by over eight metres ahead of the second placed athlete. The Under 13 year old's throw with the 400 gram Javelin was an excellent 25.21m and as the season progresses young Freya will be chasing the Under 13 Club record of 28.74m currently held by Daisy Kaye.
In the Under 17 Men's category, Joe Bennet recorded a personal best with the heavier 700 gram implement throwing a distance of 33.70m while Jessie Brown in Senior Women's competition had a seasons best effort of 38.81m when finishing second to training partner and Nottingham University student Nicky Bell.
Ella Rush photos by Jonty Mitchell @photographybyjonty
Javelin throwers by Chris Kirby/ Athletic.Photography
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Jess Turner gained a Bronze medal in the 4 x 400m at the World Relay Championships as part of the Team GB squad, held over the weekend in the Polish city of Chorzow. Although Jess did not take part in the actual final race on Saturday, her last leg stint in Heat Three on Friday evening brought the British quartet across the line in pole position. Jess ran a solid leg and despite a fast finishing German, held on to take the team through to the final. The three semi final races were very competitive with the British team in fifth overall recording a time of 3:28:83. As well as Jess the other Semi Final team members were; Ama Pipi, Zoey Clarke and Jessie Knight. Laviai Neilsen and Emily Diamond were brought in to replace Jess and Zoey in the final. Weather conditions on Saturday took a turn for the worse affecting the times throughout the various finals. The British team clinched third spot behind Cuba and Poland in a time of 3:29:27 and ensured bronze medals for the the seven athlete squad.
Round up of Weekend Opens
AVEAC athletes have taken the opportunity at the weekend to avail of opportunities to compete at Open Meetings at Nuneaton and Sheffield. On Saturday 1st May, the Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton was the venue for another early season Opener. The Triple Jump event during the morning session saw three of our athletes in action. Daisy Kaye recorded a distance of 9:19m, Charlie Yates broke the sand at 10:09m and Ryan Rawlinson showed a lot of promise by jumping 11.21m, a Personal Best by nearly 40 centimeters from his previous competitive attempt at the event last Summer. Daisy went on to record another Shot PB, hurling the 3.25kg ball, 8:61m, adding almost 20 centimeters to her previous best set at the Birchfield Young Athletes meeting a fortnight ago. Imogen Laugharne opened her season's High Jump account with a very respectable 1:50m clearance and getting some endurance based work in for later season Pentathlons, she also ran a very gutsy 800m to cross the line in 2:45:57; another best ever performance. Corey Tatum finished 2nd in his Long Jump pool and had the satisfaction of also jumping over 5m for the first time with a distance of 5.15m. In his graded 100m sprint, Corey recorded 13.02 into quite a strong headwind of -1.9.
In the Senior Women's events Ella Rush continued her preparation for the English Under 20 Heptathlon Championships with a 15:28 time in the 100m Hurdles while a debut 400m outing returned a time of 58:86.
At the Sheffield Run, Jump, Throw Open at the Sheffield's Woodbourne Road Stadium on Bank Holiday Monday, atrocious weather conditions with continuous heavy rain were the order of the day. Two AVEAC athletes braved the elements and recorded respectable performances despite the conditions. Mia Franco ran her first ever 300m hurdles returning a time of 54:67 to finish 2nd behind City of York athlete, Kathryn Clague. In the Open Women’s Long Jump Katie Potts struggled with her run up and only registered one legal jump measured at 4.52m.
A big shout out as well to Club Official James Franco who spent eight hours at the Sheffield meeting as race starter throughout the down pours and wintery conditions.
The weekend before Cecilia Smyth competed in the 100m at the Loughborough Spring Open and in a blistering dip finish came out the victor with a time of 13:81 in her graded race. At the same meeting, Decathlete, Scott Ram recorded a time of 4:29:42 in the Senior Men’s 1500m.
There were PBs as well for young Isla Hiscocks a few weeks before at the first Sheffield Open on 18th April. Isla recorded times of 15:09 in the 100m and 33:02 in the 200m at Under 13 level.
The Club's athletes are busily training again with event specialist groups meeting on Tuesday and Thursday evenings and the general club session taking place on Saturday mornings and at last some normality is beginning to return to the Club. The Youth Development League will start soon with the older athletes in the Under 17 and 20 age group having their first fixture on the 30th May followed by the younger Under 13 and 15 group the week after that. Derbyshire Athletics have also announced that there will be two Mini League fixtures in July and County Championships in Mid September.
Nuneaton Open - Sarah Kaye
Sheffield Open - Antoinette Franco
Well, what a long Winter it has been! COVID meant that all indoor competitions were suspended this year, coupled with the closure of the track and the seasonal weather, it seems like a long time since our athletes had the opportunity to display their skills in a competitive environment. With the easing of Lockdown, COVID secure competitions have returned in the last few weeks with training also resuming at Rutland Sports Park.
Sunday 11th April saw the first Open meeting take place at the Pingles Stadium, Nuneaton. Any wish for a bright sunny Spring day were severely dented with weather that resembled mid- Winter, with cold winds and the appearance of hailstones at intervals throughout the afternoon's competition.
Ella Rush opened her 2021 campaign with a good solid opener in the Long Jump of 5.73m winning her pool, involving athletes across various age groups. Now Under 20, Ella will be using the early season to get used to new weights in the Heptathlon throwing events and her first outdoor effort at the 4kg Shot registered a PB of 10.63m.
Mia Franco and Mae Jones were the only other AVEAC athletes in action. Mia who has found time to get some track work done over the Lockdown at the Mansfield, finished a creditable 2nd in her 300m race and in the process clocked a new best ever time of 47.19 seconds behind Tipton athlete Shaya Lewis. A really good start by Mia, who bettered her previous best of 47.83 set at a Charnwood Open Meeting in July 2019. Struggling with the headwind conditions in the Long Jump Mae Jones jumped a respectable 4.40m with several marginal fouls landing well in excess of this distance. She also took part in the Shot, registering a throw of 6.19m, slightly down on her best ever of 6.36m.
The following Sunday, Nuneaton was the venue again, for the Annual Birchfield Harriers Young Athletes meeting which in previous years has been held at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham, currently being rebuilt for next year's Commonwealth Games. Five of our Under 15 Girl’s were in action and all acquitted themselves admirably. Four of the five took part in the 100m with Alexa Gordon winning her graded race in 13.79 seconds. In the same heat Imogen Laugharne finished a few places behind her team mate in 14.06. Mae Jones was timed at 14.33 seconds in her heat finishing 2nd while Jasmine Ellis recorded 14.95 a few metres behind Mae. Jasmine ran the 200m as well clocking 30.86 seconds while the fifth member of the quintet Daisy Kaye also took part in the half lap sprint returning a time of 28.67.
Turning their attention to the field events, Daisy, Imogen and Alexa all recorded PBs in the Shot. Daisy’s throw was 8.32m, Imogen’s distance was 7.29m and Alexa was just below 7 metres with a best effort of 6.97m.
In the Long Jump, Daisy was credited with a jump of 4.86m, a distance which she felt was measured wrongly being 43 centimetres further than her best jump from last Summer. She queried the distance with the Officials on duty and asked for the jump to be remeasured, only to be told that the mark where she had broke the sand had been filled in, so the distance recorded by the electronic measuring device stood.
Mae Jones improved by 20 centimetres on last week’s performance at the first Open with a leap of 4.60m, Imogen was just behind Mae on 4.53m and Jasmine’s effort of 3.93m was just seven centimetres down on her personal best.
Ella in fine form at the University of Birmingham Open
On Wednesday evening past, Ella Rush took part in a Senior Women’s three event, Run, Jump, Throw contest and ran out a convincing overall winner. Competing for the first time over the Senior Women’s 100m Hurdles, she had a very fine start to the higher obstacles running a solid time of 14.90 seconds. In the second discipline, the Long Jump, a magnificent effort of 5.85m was almost a metre further than her nearest rival. The final event of the three, the Javelin, saw Ella record a distance of 28.07m with the heavier 600 gram implement. Ella will now compete in a few more open meetings before lining up for the England Athletics Under 20 Heptathlon Championships at Bedford on 29th and 30th May.
The Birmingham meeting under the auspices of the University attracted some of the country’s top athletes particularly in the British Milers Club Gold standard races which saw Jessica Judd run a very fast 3000m race in 8 mins 52.73.
It was good to see a number of AVEAC and former Derbyshire officials involved in the running of the event, with James Franco and Sarah McGraw acting as Track judges and the Club’s former Chairperson, Mel Naylor, also helping out on the track. Club Senior athlete ,Jethro McGraw, was also involved in the meeting acting as a pacemaker for one of the BMC graded races.
Jess called up for GB at World Relays
Jess Turner who has kept her preparations on track for a hopeful selection for this years Olympics over the 400m Hurdles received the good news on April 12th that she has been included in the eight athlete women’s squad in the 4 x 400m World Relay Championships to be held in Silesia, Poland next weekend. As well as being involved in the Women’s relay, Jess is likely to also be included in the Mixed 4 x 400 event. Jess is ideally suited to relay racing and will be hoping to emulate the fantastic leg she ran in the Semi Final of the World Championships in Doha, two years ago where her third leg stint was timed at 51.6 seconds.
An ENORMOUS THANK YOU TO OUR WILLING VOLUNTEERS!!!
In anticipation of our training sessions starting again this next week, more than 20 volunteers came along and put in two hours of hard graft clearing, cleaning 🧹 and chopping back overgrown foliage as well as brushing sand off the long jump runways and litter picking. The whole area looks completely different and ready for training to start again next week. The ‘get on with it’ spirit was typical of the club that I have always experienced, since it was formed back in 1999.
Many thanks again and we look forward to seeing the athletes back next week and if you normally bring your youngsters down and then collect them later, why not stay and help out in one of many different ways - we can always find things for you to do!!! The club relies on volunteers - we really would love to have you join us!
Thanks and stay safe,
Athletes, coaches and supporter volunteers
The track is reopening next week and thus our sessions will start, as planned, next Tuesday 13th April. Please ensure you have been contacted by Janine as to which bubble you are in. If you have not been contacted please contact Janine yourself.
We are having a clean up session this Saturday, 10th April, from 9.30 to 11.30, all volunteers are welcome to help out!!! Please enter via the bottom gate near the long jump pit and we will sort out the various tasks.
We look forward to seeing everyone and hope to have some good sessions and also look forward to getting back to something like our normal way of working.
To all athletes
We know you have been back to school for a short period, but now the Easter break is nearly upon us and we hope that this will give you the time to do a little general fitness work, so that when we hopefully are able to commence training sessions again you will not be starting totally from zero! Just a bit of jogging/running and a few exercises will be really helpful and ensure you are able to get more out of the sessions, once we are able to start. We are still hoping this will be the week commencing 12th April. Watch this space!!!
As per last week, many thanks to those who have volunteered to help, whether it be with cleaning the track, coaching, supporting coaches, team managing or helping in other ways; we do still need more VOLUNTEERS, so don’t be shy, do please come forward and help.
Bob Boyd, Chair
Thank you to all those who have already volunteered to help out with a track clean up when we get the go ahead to have access for this.
We also have had some others indicating that they are prepared to become involved on the management side of the club - all really, really appreciated, BUT to ensure the club continues to thrive we are still looking for more people to come on board for various roles to guarantee a continuous upward spiral for the club.
Please come forward to volunteer and help us!
You can contact existing coaches or committee directly or you can just pop an email to email@example.com - and your email will be forwarded to the correct person. Please ask ANY questions / queries - we are keen for all volunteers to come forward!
The committee are in regular contact with Rutland and very much hope that we will soon be able to announce the restarting of our training sessions. All athletes should have received information about these sessions and potential bubbles; if you have not then please contact Janine Bonser
Keep fit and stay safe,
Bob Boyd, Chair