Biggleswade Athletic Club competitors took the Bedfordshire AAA County Championships by storm last Sunday, and came away with a whopping 11 titles, including a superb treble for throws specialist Nathan Dodds, and an outstanding championship record performance from Sophie Steele in the shot.
On a packed timetable at Bedford International Athletics Stadium, Leonie Brunning led the way, taking the club’s first gold of the day in the under-15s high jump with an impressive jump of 1.56m. She would later come fourth in the 75m hurdles in 13.28sec.
Sarah Ridley took the senior 100m title in a time of 13.09, and later added a second gold in the shot put with a throw of 10.02m, and silver in the discus. Tristan Rayner and Callum Stokes were second and third respectively in the under 17s 100m, but then roles were reversed in the 200m, as Callum took gold by just five hundredths of a second from his clubmate, finishing in a fine 24.24. Not to be outdone, Tristan hopped, skipped and jumped to an excellent 10.99m in the triple jump to take that title.
Other short sprint medalists were Georgia Smith (third, U15 200m) and Sophie Forbes-Laird (third, U13 200m) – Sophie would also long jump silver thanks to a leap of 3.82m. Alicia Ward was sixth in the U13 100m, and Janice Amber fourth in the U17 equivalent, but unfortunately Janice pulled up injured in the 200m. Jessica Cooke took third in the U15 300m, while in the U20 400m, the final track action of the day, Morgan Webster held off Tom Boggon’s challenge to take silver in 52.67.
Over two laps, Sarah’s twin sister Hannah Ridley took the senior title in a superb time of 2:37.14, while the 1500m spoils went to Marcus Davey, who finished with 4:49.48, just outside his personal best. Richard Bevan was fourth in a very competitive 5,000m race, which doubled up as the Eastern Masters championship race.
Further heroics in the field were led by Dodds, who ended the day with a trio of throwing titles in the U17 javelin (46.04m), shot put (12.59m) and – in the last field action on the timetable – the discus (34.40m). Not to be outdone, Steele broke an 11-year-old championship record by over a metre on her way to gold in the U13 shot (8.62m, also a PB and club record) and silver in the discus (17.76m), while Sandra Ingham took two bronzes thanks to 21.05m in the senior javelin and 6.47m in the shot.
Great start to EYAL campaign
Just days earlier the first Eastern Young Athletes’ League track fixture of the season took place in Watford. Hannah and Leonie Brunning were among the winners – Hannah winning both U13 shot put and javelin – while Dodds took victory in the U17 javelin and Steele doubled up with wins in both the U13 shot put and discus.
Full BAC results:
Janice Amber (U17W 100m A, 7th, 16.1sec; 200m, 7th, 31.5)
Madison Ball (U13W 100m B, 6th, 15.7 PB; 800m, 6th, 3:07.0)
Hannah Brunning (U13W 800m B, 5th, 3:12.5 PB; SP, 1st, 7.36m; Jav, 1st, 14.10m)
Leonie Brunning (U15W 75MH A, 5th, 13.2 PB; HJ, 1st, 1.50m PB; LJ, 5th, 4.05m)
Jessica Cooke (U15W 200m B, 4th, 29.8; 300m, 4th, 47.0 PB)
Kareem Davis (U13 100m A, 4th, 13.9 PB; 200m A, 3rd, 28.9 PB; LJ, 3rd, 3.93m)
Nathan Dodds (U17 SP A, 2nd, 12.30m PB; Jav, 1st, 48.15m PB)
Sophie Forbes-Laird (U13W 200m B, 3rd, 29.6 PB; LJ A, 3rd, 3.77m PB)
Cameron Rayner (U15 100m A, 4th, 12.2; 200m, 3rd, 24.6 PB)
Tristan Rayner (U17 100m B, 4th, 12.0; 200m B, 4th, 24.0 PB)
Georgia Smith (U15W 200m A, 4th, 28.6, 300m, 3rd, 45.0 PB)
Sophie Steele (U13 SP A, 1st, 8.46m; DT, 1st, 20.29m PB; Jav, 3rd, 15.99m)
Callum Stokes (U17 100m A, 6th, 12.5sec; 200m A, 6th, 24.8)
Elliott Swinburne (U15 800m, 6th, 2:32.9 PB)
Casey Tyler-Woods (U13 100m NS, 4th, 16.1)
Alicia Ward (U13W 100m A, 7th, 14.8; 200m A, 7th, 30.2 PB; LJ B, 2nd, 3.62m)
The BAC team finished seventh of seven in Watford, with 167 points overall. The next fixture is at Luton on 4 June.
PB for Cooke on the Blisworth hills
The club’s road runners have also been in action, with Paul Cooke and Paul Davies taking part in the Blisworth 5 Mile race in a leafy suburb of Northampton on 12 May. “It was described as undulating,” says Davies, “that was a bit of an understatement – it was steeply up and down in parts.”
Despite the demanding course, Cooke ended with a PB of 30.21, while Davies was just behind in 30.37. Finishing places in a high quality field were 44th and 53rd respectively.
On 2 May at the Silverstone Grand Prix 10k, which takes in two laps of the world-famous motor-racing circuit, Chris Clark was first home of three BAC competitors in 49.30, ahead of Stuart Goodwin (51.33) and wife Roo Goodwin (66.27).