Thank you to all those who made the trip to Guildford on a very hot day, for the third match of the YDL Upper season. The trip was complicated by a large traffic issue on the A3 which caused mayhem for both athletes and officials alike. The start of the match even had to be put back an hour to allow for late arrivals.
Despite the heat and the confusion around event start times, there were some great victories, personal bests and some nail-biting finishes. Alongside that there were some new faces competing for the first time for Walton.
As ever, Jacob Thomas and James Skeet kicked off WAC proceedings with the long jump. Jacob (U20) finally crashed through six metres, at 6.31m he took the top spot. James in the U17s leapt to an equally respectable 4.54m, also securing top spot. A fantastic start for the day!
WAC’s multi-eventer (U17) Tobi Aderoju was next up, in the women’s shot with an 8.46m throw, securing second spot. Adding further points to the club’s tally later in the day Tobi got a PB by throwing 14.20m at javelin; finally she secured third place in the 100m with a speedy 14.56 seconds.
Track events kicked off with the 400m hurdles and Malo Sandow (U20) powering his way to second place at 71.23 seconds. He later featured in the 100m, winning the ‘B String’ with a PB of 11.73 seconds. Malo concluded his day with his first outing at 200m, and a very credible 23.56 seconds.
The timetable then moved to 1500m – in blistering heat. Callum Campbell-Curd (U17) carried WAC’s hopes with a 5:06 finish which, given the conditions, was very credible.
In both the men’s and women’s 100m, WAC has a highly impressive field. In the U20s, mention has already been made of Malo’s performance. The ‘A String’ entry was Jacob, following his high-jump PB with another PB of 11.65 for 100m, and third place. As our non-scorer, Kaan closed his account with the club with a 11.96 result. Unfortunately, Kaan moves to America imminently and will be a sad loss to the squad.
In the U17 category, a first place for WAC in the shape of Xavier Taylor is almost guaranteed and he did not disappoint with a new PB of 11.11 seconds, which I understand sees him edging ever closer to a club record. Fingers crossed for the next YDL Xav! Mason Lynch was a one of our new faces and, with a superb time of 12.55 seconds, he was the top B string runner with promising future in a WAC shirt. He later went on to cement his debut with a great 25.34 seconds in the 200m (still to be confirmed on the official results sheet).
Due to a holiday, I was unable to do a Match Two report. If I had, I would have surely mentioned the emergence of a fantastic stream of U17 women. Mia-Louise Howard, Gabrielle Wapshott, Sophia Webb and Mia Jennings made impressive debuts in Match Two, and cemented that promise with appearances at Match Three. In the 100m alongside Tobi, both Mia-Louise and Gabrielle significantly improved their PBs 14.91 seconds and 14.70 seconds, respectively. I hope to be writing a similar story for Match Four.
In the 400m event, Sean Salter stormed to victory with almost two seconds to spare at 54.61 seconds. It was a great run-out for his first time at this distance.
In the women’s competition, WAC fielded Frida Blackwood in the U20 field who crossed the line in third with a very respectable 65.79 seconds at 400m. In the U17 equivalent, women run 300m rather than 400m, and the team’s competitor was Jimena Stynes who ran the distance for the first time and also secured third place with 45.34 seconds.
Proceedings for the club then focussed on jumps. First up was Sophia Webb making her high-jumping debut. Her top clearance was 1.40m; had the incremental increases been 3cms rather than five, I am sure Sophia would have easily cleared 1:43m. Attention then moved to Cyrus Khan on the triple jump. He secured second spot with a great leap of 11.30m.
All athletics events are tough, but 3000m in the heat seemed particularly punishing. With no thought for that, Alfie Pyke represented WAC in this event. He secured second position with 10:30 minutes, smashing his PB by four minutes, a huge achievement!
The event timetable then moved onto the 200m. I have already covered Malo in the U20 bracket. As already alluded to, there has been some confusion over the official men’s U17 runners and times – which I am trying hard to resolve. On paper, it would seem that James secured A String third place with 24.45 seconds, and Mason did the same in the B String with a time of 25.34 seconds – for both athletes this was their first time competing for WAC in this event. In the women’s U17 we had another WAC athlete new to competition – Charlotte Gallagher. Jimena led the way with a gritty third place at 29.18 seconds, Gabrielle crossed the line at 31:00 seconds and Charlotte had a great first run at 29:79 seconds, as a non-scorer.
Having won the 800m at district sports a day or two before, Mia-Louise was very hopeful of a great performance. However the heat on the day was unbearable and the race was difficult. She came home in 3 minutes 17 seconds so her assault on her PB will have to wait for another event and (hopefully) more forgiving temperatures.
Because of the rich seam of U17s women’s talent coming through, WAC nearly had enough athletes to field two women’s 4x100m relay teams. Unfortunately, it was not to be, so the one team fielded was Sophia, Mia (Jennings), Esme Clarkson and Lily Francis who crossed the line at 59.50 seconds. It was Esme’s first outing as a competitor, and as with all the new faces, I hope to see them again.
In respect of helpers at the event, I wanted to say a huge thank you to Andrew, Martin and Jonelle on the track. Alongside that, a thank you to Line and Gwendoline who held the fort in the stands whilst I officiated.
And of course to avoid any unnecessary pain, thank you also to my wife Marie, for her help on the track!
Next match, is the big one on 30 July at Walton. Details to follow!