Track and Field Review 2011

Whilst a number of individuals achieved high levels of success, I think it is fair to say that we are not punching our weight in terms of team performance. A club of our size and strength with a coaching team which is the envy on most other clubs in the country, should be finishing higher up the leagues and moving up into higher leagues. It is not the fault of the team managers, not of those athletes who turn out, often doing more events than is good for them. It is understandable that athletes have individual goals which may conflict with team goals; but if we want to get better team competition, we need to win promotion into higher leagues, and therefore we need more of the athletes more of the time.

The International Arena

Lucy James starred for Great Britain at the European Under 20 Championships, where she finished 7th in the final of the individual 400 metres, and was part of the 4 x 400m team which won the Gold Medals. Ros Gonse returning to Heptathlon after being sidelined for three years with a debilitating illness, was selected to represent England in the Home Countries Heptathlon International, where she finished second. Jake Devereux represented England Schools in the Schools International in Cardiff where he claimed second place in the Pole Vault. Peter Benedickter claimed gold and silver medals in the 400 hurdles and 400m respectively at the European Masters Games, whilst Lance Croft made it a full set for Bedford & County by taking bronze in the 800m at the same meeting. Ian Roberts was again team coach to the England Schools Team.

The National Stage

Fourteen athletes were ranked in the National Top Ten (Power of Ten Ranking) in their age group, eight of them in the top five. One of whom, Frankie Johnson, is top of the all-time list for Under 11 Pole Vault.  Mark Draper took the bronze medal in the 3000m steeplechase, at the UK Championships, whilst Lucy James took 400m silver at the England Athletics Under 20 Championships.  

The English Schools Championships provided another four medals, with Gold for Matt Bergin in the SB 3000m, and silvers for Daniella Hankins (Senior Girls High Jump), Jake Devereux (Inter Boys Pole Vault) and Josh Conroy (Junior Boys High Jump)

Daniella Hankins also gained a bronze in the England AA U20 National Indoor Championships, whilst Matt Bergin and Jack Goodwin took silver and bronze respectively in the CAU Inter Counties 1 mile for Senior Men.

Many more athletes gained medals at the South of England Championships.

17 Club Records Set (of which 11 survived) and 7 (5 surviving) more in the Masters

The number of records set this year was again down on previous years; however one must not forget that each time the standard is raised it makes it harder to beat the next year. The standard of our records is really very, very high indeed - most of our all-time records would rank in this year’s top ten performances, so it takes something special to break them.

Team Successes and Disappointments

The Senior Women having done so well over the past five seasons, when they have climbed to the UK Women’s League Division 1(the second tier, given that there is a Premier Division above Division 1) fell from grace in a disappointing manner. It was not that they were not good enough, but that they simply could not put enough bodies on the line, when it mattered. This meant that despite the heroic efforts of those who were there, there were unfilled events and lost points. Let us hope that they regroup in Division 2 next year and go back up again.  

The Men had a frustrating season. Having dropped through the BAL Divisions over the past few years for much the same reasons as the women this year, they fought back in the Southern Men’s League. Despite less than full strength teams, they finished 4th in Division 1 and went into the BAL Qualifying match with a good chance of promotion. However for the second year running they finished third, missing out on going into the BAL by one place.

In the Seniors-only Southern Women’s League Division 1, the team finished 5th or 6th (depending on the outcome of a points review); whilst the men’s B team were 2nd in the Southern Men’s League Division 2 and would have gained promotion to SML Division 1, but for the A team failing to win   promotion out of Division 1 and blocking their way (no club can have two teams ion the same division.

The Eastern Young Athletes League we tied on match points for 2nd place with Havering and Chelmsford, finishing 3rd overall when team points were considered. In the EYAL Top Six Final we were 5th. The team finished 8th in the Southern Premier West Division of the National Young Athletes League.

The composite Team Bedfordshire finished in fourth place out of six teams in the Thames Division of the National Junior League.

In the Masters competitions, the Men were second in the Final of the Eastern Vets League (consisting of the top 8 teams from across the whole region) having placed second in the Central Division of the EVAL League. The Women who were fifth in the Central Division did not make the final.

(Note: This review cannot detail every achievement, but attempts to provide a broad review of the club’s activities on the Track & Field. Also this review covers only Track and Field and first claim members only. A separate review will be written for Road and Cross Country.)

With apologies for any errors and omissions, Dennis Johnson 15 October 2011.

Individual Medals at Major Championships (AAA, ESAA, UK School Games, CAU)

Lucy James Gold  European U20 Championships 4 x 400m

Ros Gonse Silver Home Countries Heptathlon International

Peter Benedickter Gold European Masters Games 400m Hurdles

Peter Benedickter Silver European Masters Games 400m

Lance Croft Bronze European Masters Games 800m

Mark Draper Bronze UK Senior 3000m Steeplechase

Lucy James Bronze England Athletics 400m

Matt Bergin Gold English Schools Senior 3000m

Daniella Hankins SilverEnglish Schools Senior High Jump

Jake Devereux Silver English Schools Inter Boys Pole Vault

Josh Conroy Silver English Schools Junior Boys High Jump

Mat Bergin Silver CAU Championships 1 mile

Jack Goodwin Bronze CAU Championships 1 Mile

Daniella Hankins Bronze England Athletics U20 Indoor High Jump

Athletes ranked in the Power of Ten Top Ten (not including Masters)

Mark Draper Senior Men 5000m (5); 3000m Steeplechase (5)

Ros Gonse Senior Women Heptathlon (10)

Scott Johnson U23 Men High Jump (7)

Jack Goodwin U20 Men 5000m (3)

Matt Bergin U20 Men 3000m (6)

Lucy James U20 Women 400m (2)

Daniella Hankins U20 Women  High Jump (i) (5) High Jump (9)

Josh Cox U17 Men 100m (=2)

Jake Devereux U17 Men Pole Vault (i) (8): Pole Vault (5)

Lemarr Jean-Jaques U17 Men Triple Jump (10)

Olivia DaCosta  U17 Women Javelin (7)

Josh Conroy U15 Boys High Jump (2)

Lottie Underwood U15 Girls  75m Hurdles (7)

Frankie Johnson U11 Boys Pole Vault (1st All Time); HJ (2); Shot (3)

Bedford & County AC  Club Records set in 2011

XX/09 Club 2000 S/C Nicola Sykes 6m 55.22 UKWL Bedford 04.07.09

01/11 Club M 5000m Mark Draper 13m 34.63 Mt Sac Relays California 15.04.11

02/11 U15 B High Jump  Josh Conroy  1.86m NYAL Reading  08.05.11

03/11 U20 M 3000m Matt Bergin 8m 19.59 Open Meet Watford 8.05.11

04/11 U17W Javelin Olivia DaCosta 40.81m Charnwood OM Loughborough 16.04.11

05/11 U17M Pole Vault Jake Devereux  4.30m Biggleswade Open Sandy  16.06.11

06/11 U20W 400m Lucy James 54.26 sec UKWL  Swansea  04.06.11

07/11 Club W 400m Lucy James 54.26 sec UKWL Swansea  04.06.11

08/11 Club W 400m Lucy James 53.99 sec AAA U20  Bedford  26.06.11

09/11 U20 W 400m  Lucy James  53.99 sec AAA U20  Bedford  26.06.11

10/11 U20 M 1500m Matt Bergin  3 m 50.47 AAA U20  Bedford  26.06.11

11/11 U20 M 3000m Matt Bergin  8m 19.45 English Schools Gateshead 02.07.11

12/09 U20 M 5000m Jack Goodwin  14m 28.83 BMC  Solihull  09.07.11

13/11 Club W 400m Lucy James  53.87 sec European U20 Tallin  21.07.11

14/11 U20 W 400m  Lucy James  53.87 sec European U20 Tallin  21.07.11

15/11 U15 G 75m Hurdle Lottie Underwood 11.35 sec English Schools Gateshead 02.07.11

16/11 club M 3000m S/C Mark Draper  8m 42.89 UK Trials  Birmingham 31.07.11

17/11 U17 M Pole Vault Jake Devereux  4.31m EYAL  Bedford  24.07.11

18/11 U13 B Hammer Will Kerr  27.80m Hammer Circle Bedford  08.10.11

Bedford & County AC  Veterans Records set in 2011

V01/11 M60 1500m Dave Laynes 5m 16.1 EVAC Bedford 04.05.11

V02/11 M40 400 Hurdles Peter Benedicter 58.32 sec CAU Bedford 30.05.11

V03/11 M60 800m Dave Laynes 2m 33.8 sec EVAC Cambridge 01.06.11

V04/11 M40 Hammer Darren Kerr 47.18m SML Colchester 04.06.11

V05/11 M40 Hammer Darren Kerr 49.28m British Masters Birmingham 26.06.11

V06/11 M35 10000m James Lawler  31m 22.2s Open Meeting Sandy 14.07.11

V07/11 M40 400 Hurdels Peter Benedicter 58.2 sec SML Bedford 13.08.11



VX/08 M40 Discus Dave Burrell 35.79m EVAC Cambridge 06.08.08

VX/09 M45 Discus Dave Burrell 38.42m EVAC Milton Keynes 03.06.09

VX/10 M45 Shot Dave Burrell 12.45m BAL Bedford 03.07.10

VY/10 M45 Discus Dave Burrell 38.88m BAL Bedford 03.07.10

VZ/10 M45 Hammer Dave Burrell 46.33m EVAC Sandy 07.07.10

This is not necessarily a comprehensive list as there may have been other records set of which I am not aware.

Dennis Johnson  28.09.11      

First claim members may set records in any bone fide competition. Second and Higher Claim members may only set records when competing for Bedford & county AC in Team competition.