South West Inter County Championships Exeter Arena Sunday 15th July 2012
An added interest to the South West Inter Counties at Exeter, this year, was the inclusion of a handful of athletes from Ghana and Swaziland as a warm up event before they head off to the Olympics.
It was a revamped competition, opened up as a South West Championship event, including the seven South West Counties. The Cornish athletes that were taking part, either to represent the County or as individuals, entered into the carnival tmosphere with the African flags fluttering amongst the County banners and flags. Rising to the challenge of a higher level of competition, they produced 13 Championship winning performances as well as nearly 40 life time 'bests' to put the overall team in second position behind Devon, it's highest placing for a few years.
Each age group from Under 13 to Seniors had their share of standing on the podium to receive their top three medal awards with the obligatory vamped up commentary but thankfully without the interspersion of loud blasts of music, which seems to be favoured at the major Championships!
There were no winners in the Senior events but had three silver medalists: Dan Rodgers lowered his best for the 5000m, Phillip Warwicker in the Triple Jump and Kathryn Barberry-Redd had a seson's best in the Javelin. It was impressive to see the combined U20 and Senior Men's team just about get their breath back from the 4x100m relay before embarking on the gruelling 4x400m event, finishing third in each!
Tom Rawet had the most painful experience of the day, clipping the top of the steeplechase barrier when well clear of the rest of the field but managed to regain his lead and just cross the line for the Gold medal in the Under 20 age group & some badly needed treatment on his bruised knees. Callum Jones lowered his best 5000m time for silver, Kieran Harvey took Bronze in the Long Jump, as did Frazer Clarke in the Javelin and shot, where he threw over 10m for the first time.
In the Under 20 Women's group, Lamorna Newman won Gold in the 200m and silver in 100m in a close finish, Kiani Pay won the shot and threw a p/b in discus for silver whilst Alice Vage took Gold in the Javelin and slver in both High and Long Jumps with p/b's in both.
There were seven gold medals for the under 17 age group, three in the Men's events. Oliver Clark is getting back to best form after injury & was close to his p/b in the Long jump at 6.06m, Jake Banevicius came close to his best for a win in the Shot at 13.66m and silver in Discus (39.39m) and Connor Swan threw 51.30m to win the Javelin. Kieran Westlake was second in the Hammer, Cory Cross second in 400m Hurdles and third in the 100m Hurdles with Sam Lane De Courtin also a silver medalist in only his second attempt at the steeplechase over 2000m.
Jordanna Morrish was the only double Gold winner for the County in the High Jump, close to her best at 1.65m then ran a p/b in the 80m Hurdles, Katie Yeomans came close to equalling this achievement, winning the triple jump in 10.86m but saw her lead of 5.22m in the long jump beaten in the last round. Maria Brett was slightly under the weather but still threw 35.24m to win the Hammer. Charlotte Cayton-Smith edged closer to the County Record in the 300m for silver in 40.53s, Emily Eddison also took silver in her first race over the 300m Hurdle distance as did Karis Harrington with a season best throw of 9.46m in the shot and Michaela Williams in the Javelin.
Sam Robins won the Under 15 Boys High Jump with a new best height of 1.81m and despite several p/b's was the only medalist in the Boys age group. Georgia Doyle-Lay was just 1cm off her best to win the Long Jump with a leap of 4.80m. Rebecca Gray, competing in the Under 17 competition, won the event equalling her best of 3.00m, adding silver in the Under 15Girls 75m Hurdles in a new best of 12.22s, Lily England lowered her 800m best for silver in a time of 2m:24.5s and Natalie Brown threw over 26m again for second in the Javelin.
In the Under 13's, Eleanor Lloyd won silver in the 70m Hurdles with a new best of 11.63s but favourite for the HIgh Jump, Beth Trevail suffered from her back and had to settle for bronze. Showing that the competition was of benefit even if not in the top three, the biggest improvement in performance came from Under 13 Jasmine Gray who slashed 10 seconds off her 1500m time at 5.20.5s