Congratulations to all team members and supporters on a stunning third place in Saturday’s BAL Premiership fixture in Swansea, the Club’s best result in 133 BAL fixtures going back to 1986. In any sport, promoted teams are favourites for relegation so to produce such a great result is beyond expectations.
There were many highlights on a warm sunny day in West Wales. Damaine Benjamin opened the track programme with third place in the 400m hurdles with his second best ever time (53.78) while Max Schopp clocked his second PB in a week, winning the B string in 53.46.
Ben Waterman’s Club debut produced a good third spot in the A 800 while a front-running Rasmus Kisel took second in the B string. Solid points in the 100 metres, by Jahde Williams (10.83) and Omar Grant (10.92), were followed by two 4th spots, and two PBs, for Ross Connor and Declan Traynor in the steeplechase.
Miguel Perera continued his high quality spring hurdling with second in the A string in a fast 14.10 while Jack Kirby (15.42) took second in the B string. Our 400 metres injury and illness crisis (Ollie, Ben Maze, Roy and new member Andy Smitherman) meant that Damaine and Max doubled up in the flat 400, with Damaine clocking an impressive 48.93.
A tactical 1500 produced disappointing results but Neil Johnston (filling in for the injured Damian) ran a fast 3000 metres (8.29.12) just 40 minutes later. Jahde clocked a legal PB of 21.47 for third in the 200 while Omar moved through the field in the B string to take second spot. Depleted relay teams both finished 6th.
In the field, it was great to welcome back former English Schools champion Efe Uwaifo, who placed second in the triple jump with a superb 15.46, the second best mark in Club history and just one centimetre shy of Richard Philps’s 40 year old Club record. Luca Stanisci-Brown produced his third PB of the summer to take second in the B string with 13.51. Efe also took third spot in the long jump with 6.98.
Tom Nichols placed third in a good quality high jump field with 2.05 while Hisham Sempala was third in the B string (1.90) on his BAL debut. Owen Heard was fourth in a high quality pole vault competition with his BAL PB of 4.40. Peter Cassidy made an excellent Club debut, taking fourth in the hammer with 56.88, while former Commonwealth Games star Iain Park was third in the B string.
Angus Lockhart was over 14 metres in the shot despite an injured putting hand. Dewald Moolman’s BAL debut produced disappointing marks in shot and discus but he will only get better. Dave Sketchley, on his 55th Club BAL appearance, placed fifth in the javelin. Saoirse Chinery-Edoo stepped in to cover injuries and unavailability, scoring good points in the long jump, pole vault and javelin and featuring in a hot discus competition (14 athletes over 40 metres).
The next BAL fixture is at Barnet Copthall (Allianz) on Sunday 9 June, when our UKWAL team will also be in action.