Track and Field Review 2012

Olympic Year

Who could fail not to have been excited and uplifted by the events at the Olympics and Paralympics. We will all have our special memories, and for those of us who were lucky enough to get tickets it was an unforgettable once in a lifetime experience. Although we did not have a club member in the team, we can still be proud of our two ex-members who were – Robbie Grabarz with his superb bronze medal in the High Jump and Nigel Levine who ran in the heats of the 4 x 400m relay. Moreover no less than eighteen club members or those closely associated with the club were an integral part of the success of the games in their various roles. They are listed in the appendix. The Olympic effect has resulted in a huge influx in numbers wanting to join the club which presents both an opportunity and a challenge.

They made it! At last – they made it!

I am of course referring to the Senior Men’s Team who made it back into the BAL after numerous near misses in recent years. On 15th September, team manager Graeme Packman achieved a cherished dream when the team scored a resounding victory in the promotion match after so many nail bitingly close losses in recent years. So it is BAL time again boys, but it will need a sustained effort to remain there and progress up the divisions, though with good support there is every reason to be optimistic.

Elsewhere it was again a case of some outstanding individual performances, but variable team results. I am left with the feeling that despite the best efforts of the team managers and those athletes there on the day, that much more could be achieved. It is understandable that high aspiring athletes need to seek out high level competition and our team competitions do not always meet these requirements; however a better turnout would facilitate higher levels of team competition in future years.

The huge increase in numbers coming in at the younger end (mostly through the Beagles and Passport Schemes) should bode well for the future, but we need to harness this talent and most importantly, retain it if we are to reap the reward.

The International Arena

It was a very disappointing year on the International stage. We had no Senior, U23 or U20 internationals this year, due in part to the fact that there were very few international opportunities apart from the Olympics and the European Championships. Equally we did not have anyone gain an English Schools vest, but Tennyson James won a gold medal in each of the relays at the European Masters Championships.

Ian Roberts was again team coach to the England Schools Team.

The National Stage

The national scene is more uplifting:

Twelve athletes were ranked in the National Top Ten (Power of Ten Ranking) in their age group, six of them in the top five. Jack Goodwin and Frankie Johnson topped their rankings, the latter with an all-time Age 11 best, and Katrina Wootton won silver in the UK Indoor Trials at 3000m.

The English Schools Championships provided four medals, silvers for Danni Belbin (SG 400Hurdles) and Rebecca Murray (SG 3000m), and bronze for Josh Cox (SB 100m) and Jack Wuidart (JB Hammer).

Lauren Russell gained a silver (U15 Girls 800m), Jack Wuidart a bronze (U15 Hammer) and Kara Gibbs a bronze (U23 Pole Vault)at the England Athletics Championships.

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

16 Club Records Set (of which 9 survived) and 15 (12 survived) in the Masters.

The number of records set this year was similar to 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

As mentioned in the introduction, the Senior Men’s team excelled throughout the season, especially so in the promotion match which they won by a large margin and return to the BAL, with high hopes of moving up the divisions.

Southern Men's League Division 1- Bedford 2nd (of 16)   won 4 matches and 3rd in another.
In the joint Men’s and Women’s Southern Athletics League Division 2 NE- Bedford were 4th (of 16) won 3 matches and a 3rd (one match was cancelled due to heavy rain flooding out the electrics at the Ipswich track- we were given a statistically averaged 2nd for this "virtual" match)
Although not promoted, Bedford remain in Div 2N and were not relegated into the new Div 3. 

UK Women's League Division 2 Bedford 7th (of 8)- not recovering from a very poor start to the season where we were last by a good margin therefore Bedford are relegated into Division 3 for 2013 
Bedford Men's Vets came 2nd in the Central Division of the EVAC T&F League (winning 2 matches to Milton Keynes' winning 2 matches) and came 6th in the Final (lowest position for many years).
Bedford Women's Vets came 5th in the Central Division of the EVAC T&F League but still managed to qualify for the Final, where they came 8th.

Bedford won the McCain’s National Young Athletes League Southern Division 1 North winning two of the three matches, but despite winning two matches out of five in the Eastern Young Athletes League could only finish 7th overall, not qualifying for the Top Six Final.

The composite Team Bedfordshire finished 5th in the Thames Division of the National Junior League.


2013 poses many challenges for the club in terms of:

     Quality coaching to a larger number of athletes

     Appropriate levels of competition for all our athletes from beginner to elite

     Meeting the demands of team competition

 Men’s & Women’s Senior Teams in their respective National Leagues;

 Second Senior Teams will compete as one team in SAL;

 U17 and U20 in a composite Team Bedfordshire in the senior section of the new Youth   Development League;

 U13 and U15 in the new junior section of the new Youth Development League;

 U13/U15/U17 in the existing Eastern Young Athletes League;

 The Masters in their respective Eastern Masters League.

In order to service those demands and meet these challenges we need:

More Coaches

More Team Managers

More Officials

More Volunteers, and more Helpers.

Are we up for the challenge?

(Please 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 07 November 2012

Individual Medals Major Championships - AAA, ESAA, UK School Games, CAU

Katrina Wootton Silver UK Indoor Trials 3000m

Kara Gibbs Bronze England Athletic Champs U23 Pole Vault

Danni Belbin Silver English Schools Senior 400m hurdles

Rebecca Murray Silver English Schools Senior 3000m

Josh Cox Bronze English Schools Senior 100m

Jack Wuidart Bronze English School Junior Hammer

Lauren Russell Silver England Athletics Champs Junior 800m

Jack Wuidart Bronze England Athletics Champs Junior Hammer

Tennyson James Gold European M50 4 x 100m

Tennyson James Gold European M50 4 x 400m

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

Katrina Wootton Senior Women 3000m (8), 5000m (5)

Kara Gibbs U23 Women Pole Vault (10)

Lucy James U23 Women 400m (3)

Scott Johnson U23 Men High Jump (7)

Jack Goodwin U20 Men 3000m (4), 5000m (1)

Matt Bergin  U20 Men 1500m (10), 3000m (7)

Danni Belbin U20 Women 400m Hurdles (7)

Rebecca Murray U20 Women 3000m (9)

Lottie Underwood U17 Women 80m Hurdles (6)

Lauren Russell U15 Girls 800m (4)

Jack Wuidart U15 Boys Hammer (4)

Lewis Nicholson U15 Boys Hammer (8)

Lee Johnson U15 Boys High Jump (9)

Frankie Johnson U13 Boys Pole Vault (1) & 1st all-time age 11

Bedford & County AC  Club Records set in 2012

SenW 400m Lucy James 53.84 sec         

U20W 400 Hurdles Danni Belbin 61.73 sec         

U17W 80 Hurdles Lottie Underwood 11.66 sec          

U20M 1500m Matt Bergin3m 47.90      

U20M 3000m Jack Goodwin 8m 12.86        

U20M 5000m Jack Goodwin 14m 03.65     

U20M 4 x 400 Oli Jackson; Jack Goodwin; Chris Thornley; Matt Nicholson 3m 34.6           

U20M 4 x 400 Matt Nicholson; Matt Bergin; Jack Goodwin; Chris Thornley 3m 40.5     

U17M 1500m Ryan Isaacson 4m 00.38                 

U13B Pole Vault Frankie Johnson 2.82m * UK Age 11 Best

Bedford & County AC Veterans Records set in 2012

From previous years:

M55 Javelin Bob Richards 43.72m        

M60 Discus Bob Richards 38.56m      

From 2012

W50 100m  Alison Slatcher 14.3 sec

W50 200m  Alison Slatcher 28.2 sec

W50 400m  Alison Slatcher 64.0 sec

W50 800m  Alison Slatcher 2m 48.7.0

W55 100m  Carol Alker 15.5 sec       

W60 3000m Ann Furbank 12min 44.8

M45 Hammer Dave Burrell 46.82m

M60 100m Jim Keech 14.0 sec

M60 200m Jim Keech 28.7 sec

M60 1500m Dave Laynes 5m 15.8

M60 Long Jump Dave Folgate 4.77m        

M60 Triple Jump Dave Folgate 11.16m

M55 10000m Andy Boast 40m 42.7