Biggleswade Athletic Club’s Euan Dickson-Earle continued his rapid progress at senior level by taking a quarter of a second off his personal best at the Loughborough International on Sunday. The prestigious meeting is one of the pillars of the track and field calendar and featured a host of Olympics and Team GB athletes.
Euan, a finalist at the 2013 World Youth Championships, took fifth place in a strong guest 110m hurdles field, where the winner went below 14 seconds. Having set a PB of 14.67sec at the BUCS Championships on May Day, he took exactly 0.25sec off that time – despite hitting the first two barriers hard – to post 14.42. Not just a huge PB, but also well within the qualifying standard of 14.50 he was looking for to be eligible for the European Under-23 Championships in July.
With current senior international hurdlers Andrew Pozzi and Euan’s former junior rival David Omoregie competing in the match race – where both posted World Championship qualifying times – the meeting proved valuable experience and sets him up superbly for the remainder of the outdoor season.
Soaking wet for SAL in St Albans
BAC’s track and field squad took six victories in the second Southern Athletics League fixture of the season. The meeting, at St Albans’ Westminster Lodge, saw extremely changeable weather, with torrential rain hampering a number of events.
Sarah Ridley led the way on the day with three wins, in the 100m, shot put and discus, while Tristan Rayner (400m B race), Josh Watson (high jump) and Morgan Webster (triple jump B string) took one apiece. Meanwhile Daniel Steel put in an astonishing one-man performance to earn 31 points for the team across a staggering nine events.
In the 100m A race Rayner was third in 11.9sec, while Bradley Strong was fourth in the B string in a time of 12.7. Morgan Webster put in a strong performance in the 200m to pick up third spot in 23.4 while Callum Stokes came home in 24.1 in the B string. Webster also ran in the 400m later in the day and took a brilliant second place with a time of 52.7, with Rayner’s victory in the B string coming in 59.5.
Sarah Ridley continued her run of success after her brace of golds and a silver at last week’s County Championships with a winning time of 13.2 in the 100m, while Janice Amber came in 3rd in the B string with 14.4. Amber followed up second in the 200m in 30.6, while Faye Young took the runners up spot in the B race.
By the time of the 800m, the heavens opened and blasted the runners with heavy rain. Undeterred, club coach Paul Davies posted a fine time of 2:33.3 to take fourth place, followed by fourth in the 1500m B race. In the A race of the latter, Marcus Davey took third place with 4:46.2. Davies’s respite from the showers was shortlived, however, as he was utterly drenched during his longest outing of the day – the 3000m – but he kept his cool to register a very respectable fourth place in a time of 10.40.7. Charlie Arnold took third place in the B race with 12.05.2.
Club secretary and SAL newcomer Hannah Broom embodied the team spirit with excellent debut performances. She said: “Running my first track event for around 22 years was somewhat of a daunting prospect and I had set my sights on coming a firm last. As I stood on the start line of the 800m the old ticker was going like the clappers.” Her fifth place in the 800m (2:42.8) and a sterling third in the 1500m (5:47.9) yielded a valuable six points for the team’s overall tally. ”
I was a bit more race-aware in the 1500m and hide behind a nice older lady for the first two laps before overtaking her for my final lap,” she said. “Being cheered all the way round was brilliant and I felt like a celebrity. I didn’t care where I came in either race as I had quickly worked out I had all my team-mates’ support anyway.”
Meanwhile multi-event specialist Steel was plugging almost every gap in the team sheet. He took a highly entertaining fourth place in the 110m hurdles (32sec dead), second place in the B string high jump (1.60m), fourth in the pole vault (2.85m), third in the long jump (5.79m), second in the triple jump (12.16m), fifth in the B-string shot (8.31m), third in the B-string discus (24.99m), fifth in the hammer (13.51m) and fourth in the javelin (32.76m). While he later expressed disappointment that he was unable to give his best in some of his favoured events due to his heavy workload, his versatility shone through.
Cybil Laobena placed third in the mens 400m hurdles in a time of 82.0, and would later claim third in the B string pole vault despite matching the runner-up’s height of 2.05m. Faye Young took second in the 100m hurdles (20.6) before adding third place in the 400m equivalent. She would later add another third spot in the triple jump (7.38m).
Wrapping up other matters in the field, Josh Watson dominated the high jump, his winning height of 1.95m fully 19cm clear of the nearest competition. Morgan Webster’s B-string triple Jump victory came courtesy of a best jump of 11.89m.
In his first SAL for the club Darren Janssen took part in three events – he earned fourth place in the shot with 8.71m, third in the discus with 27.58m and another third in the B string javelin thanks to a throw of 29.75m.
On the ladies’ side Bev Strong, also in her first SAL match, picked up fourth in long jump with 2.02m. Sarah Ridley’s victory in the shot came with an effort of 9.75m, while her win in the discus came courtesy of a throw of 28.59m. Sandra Ingham placed second in both the B-string shot (6.01m) and discus (12.8m), and added third places in the A-strings of the hammer (9.12m) and javelin (18.87m).
Rounding things off in the relays, BAC’s men’s quartets placed third in both the 4x100m and 4x400m.
Despite the weather’s determination to hinder the event Biggleswade placed third overall out of six clubs, and the squad now focus on the next fixture, in Braintree on 17 June.
Press team thanks to Alison Ridley for her report from St Albans