SEAA U15/U20 Championships 27th August 2011
SEAA U15/U20 Championships at Abingdon 27th August 2011
14 year old Cornish athlete, Oliver Clark had an outstanding day at the annual South of England U15/U20 Inter Counties Championships held at Tilsley Park Stadium, Abingdon, near Oxford, winning the Under 15 Boys Triple Jump & breaking a 32 year old County Record for third place in the Long Jump.
The Richard Lander schoolboy, only came to prominence after competing in the County Schools Championships in June then making an impact at the South West Schools. This time, he was part of the Cornwall County AA teams in an Under 15 Boys team which was the strongest for some years. With 16 of the 19 eligible counties from Norfolk down to Cornwall competing, the Duchy teams will always find it hard to compete against the likes of Essex, Hampshire, Surrey, etc but with an almost complete team, the boys finished 6th, also thanks to other top performances & p/b's.
With a strong wind gusting all day, there were concerns that Ollies performances would have to be recorded as 'windy' but with the wind gauge showing both of his jumps were within the legal limit of 2m/s, they can be put forward for final ratification by the County Statistician. Ollie's first event was the Long Jump where two lads cleared the 6m distance, he came close to this with a leap of 5.96m in the final round to beat the 1979 Record of Kevin Oliver standing at 5.84m. His win came in the Triple Jump where he improved on his best previous performance with an opening jump of 12.17m then improved this to 12.30m, moving him to second in the County 'All-Time' list.
Also in this age group, Patrick (Paddy) Swan, was always pushing the top end of the Discus placings in a circle made slippery by bouts of heavy rain but he launched a 35.36m throw in the final round to take second place. Earlier, his hammer throw of 31.49 earned the County another point at 8th.
Only the track finalists or top eight field score points, which is why it is so difficult for a small County like Cornwall to compete against the larger teams. Completing the Boys scoring positions were: Kieran Westlake, 5th in Shot with 13.33 & 8th in Javelin at 41.62m; Sam Robins 6th in High Jump with a new best of 1.65m; Liam Prynn 7th in 100m (11.75s), James Graule 7th in Pole Vault (2.40m) & Sam Lane De Courtin 7th in 800m (2m:14.87s in heats). Danny Old lowered his p/b in the 1500m at 9th to 4m:30.38s
The other significant County performance came in the Under 20 Hammer where 15 year old Maria Brett went beyond 30m for the first time with a second round throw then improved on this to 32.83m. This performance lifts Maria up to second in the County 'All-Time' lists for Under 17's behind Record holder Kim Rawling. Unluckiest athlete on the day was Maria's older sister Philippa, who should have been in the top three of both 400m & 100m Hurdles, she was well in control in the heats of the 400m distance when she hit a hurdle & crashed to the floor. Despite some nasty grazes & bumps, she bravely stepped up for the heats of the 100m sprint hurdles, comfortably made the final only to crash out again pushing for a front spot half-way through the final!.
This team was mainly Under 17's giving away a year or two but performing well. Charlotte Lowe was 2nd in the Pole Vault, overcoming recent back pains & only just below her best height at 2.70m; Katie Yeomans was 8th in Triple Jump with 10.37m & equalled her p/b in Long Jump of 4.93m for 9th.
Andrew Worden was the lone Under 20 male athlete and, like the girls was actually in the Under 17 age group. In a straight final of the 800m, he was always in contention at the front end & finished marginally outside his best with fourth place in 1m:56.90s.
Only Francesca Waters added to the overall scoring in the Under 15 Girls team, she finished 5th in the Pole Vault with a clearance of 2.50m.
Others taking part in the County teams were Under 15 Boys Corey Cross (80mH); Under 15 Girls: Abbie Hewitt (100m & 200m); Lily England (800m) & Claudia Carlyon (HJ)
This coming weekend will see the cumination of the athletic League programme. Cornwall AC will be all out to win the Division 1 title of the South West league at yeovil, whilst Newquay & Par have high hopes of promotion to the Premier Division of the Southern Women's League at Poole on Saturday then should repeat the celebrations on Sunday at Exeter as they try to make it a clean sweep of wins in Division 2 of of the South West League after their slip into the lower division last year.