Bedford & County AC

Track and Field Review 2013

Post Olympic Depression?

Sport often suffers from a bit a of a depression after an Olympic Year, especially one as exhilarating as the London Olympics, but  this was far from the case here in Bedford. Our numbers have remained at a high level and there were successes across the board both individual and team.

Most notably the Senior Men gained promotion from BAL Division 4 at the first time of asking and now sit amongst the top 32 clubs in the country, whilst the Senior Women finished third in the UKWL to maintain their place in the top 32.

On an individual front, athletes enjoyed many successes. Although we had no Senior or U23 Internationals this year, Josh Cox excelled to make the final of the European U20 Championships, having previously won the National title.  We should also take great pride in the exploits of three of our ex members, Robbie Grabarz (8th in World Championships and 6th in the Diamond League), Nigel Levine (European Indoor Silver and relay gold, and a semi finalist in the World Championships) and Deji Tobais (who won a silver in 100m and a relay gold at the European U23 Championships, and was in the sprint squad for the World Championships).

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 holidays and injuries intervene and 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.

We, in common with most other clubs need to improve but also need to be better at retention of athletes, if we are to prosper in future.

The International Arena

Josh Cox crowned an exceptional season with 6th place in the 100m and 5th in the 4 x 100m relay at the European U20 Championships.

Tennyson James showed that age does not wither him with three silver medals at the European Masters Indoor Championships (200m, 400m and 60m hurdles).

Will MacGee won M40 Silver (100) and Bronze (200) at the World Masters.

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

Allen Adamson a Team Coach for the England Team at the Loughborough International.

The National Stage

Many athletes performed well on the national stage:

Fourteen athletes were ranked in the National Top Ten (Power of Ten Ranking) in their age group, six of them in the top five. Frankie Johnson topped the U13 Pole Vault ranking with a performance which was 3rd on the all-time list.

The National Championships provided eight medals: Mark Draper won bronze in 3000m steeplechase; Josh Cox gold at the U20 Championships in the 100m and a silver at the English Schools Championships; Matt Bergin a bronze in the U23 5000m; Lauren Russell a silver in the U17 800m; Lottie Underwood a bronze in the U17 80m hurdles and a silver at the UK School Games and Frankie Johnson a silver at the U13 Indoor Championships in the Pole Vault.

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

12 Club Records Set (of which 9 survived) & 29 (22 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.


This year we decided to accept Indoor Performances as club records if superior to outdoor performances and to do so retrospectively, the first of these being the being a sub 4 minute mile by Mark Draper in 2010 –  a significant one for those of us who remember Roger Bannister running the first sub four minute mile.


If anyone knows of any other such indoor performances, please inform Dennis Johnson. (dennisjohnson@ntlworld.com)


In the Masters age groups, there was an epidemic of record breaking by Leanne Buxton, Jo Wilkinson and Alison Slatcher, all entering new age groups, which kept the statisticians busy.

Team Successes and Disappointments


The Senior Men’s team excelled throughout the season, gaining promotion at the first time of asking up into Division 4 of the BAL – the top 32 clubs in the UK.


The Women maintained their position in the top 32 clubs in the land finishing very creditable third in Division 3 of the UKWL and should be strengthened considerably by athletes coming up from the U17 age group.


The joint Men’s and Women’s Senior Team won the Southern Athletics League Division 2 N and gained promotion to Division 1


Bedford Men's Vets won their division of the EVAC T&F League and in a nail biting finish came from behind to lift the trophy in the EVAC Final. Bedford Women's Vets had a poor season, with depleted numbers resulting in them not qualifying for the final.


There was a complete overhaul of the competition structure for the young athletes, with the National Young Athletes League being replaced by an new Youth Development League, with Lower section for U15 and U13 Age Groups and an Upper section for U17 and U 20 Age Groups. The latter arousing such controversy that its future and our participation in it is still uncertain. As for results we were 2nd in our division of the YDL Lower age group, missing out on promotion to the Southern Premiership 2; whilst a composite team (with Luton and Biggleswade) finished 5th to remain in the Southern North 1 Division.


The Young Athletes (U17/15/13) ended the season on a positive note, finishing 2nd (to Stevenage) in the Eastern Young Athletes League and then  winning the EYAL Top Six Final from Nene Valley with the Girls taking the trophy as top U15 Team.


Challenges for 2014


We met successfully met many of the challenges we faced in 2013, but we face similar challenges in 2014.


We increased the number of coaches and coaching helpers to 33 and 5 respectively and improved their qualifications, but we need still more, particularly in certain areas, so that we have quality coaching for an increasing number of athletes.


- To provide appropriate levels of competition for all our athletes from beginner to elite.


- To meet the demands of team competition across by filling all events with athletes who are properly prepared for them and not just filling in.


- To meet the demand for more qualified officials and helpers to fulfil our commitments to the various competitions.


- To have more team managers to lessen the strain on the existing ones.


- To have more volunteers to fill a variety of roles within the club.

 

These are the challenges we face and the success of the club depends on how we meet them.

With apologies for any errors and omissions


Dennis Johnson, 15 November 2013


(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.)









Individual Medals at Major Championships

(AAA, ESAA, UK School Games, CAU)




Mark Draper

Bronze

England Athletics Champs 3000m SChase

Jo Wilkinson

Gold

CAU 5000m

Scott Johnson

Silver

CAU High Jump

Matt Bergin

Bronze

England Athletics U23 Champs 5000m

Josh Cox

Gold

England Athletics U20 Champs 100m

Josh Cox

Silver

English Schools Senior 100m

Lauren Russell

Silver

England Athletics Champs U17 800m

Lottie Underwood

Silver

UK School Games 80m Hurdles

Lottie Underwood

Bronze

England Athletics U17 Champs 80m Hurdles

Frankie Johnson

Silver

England Athletics Indoor Champs U15 Pole Vt

Tennyson James

Silver

European M55 Indoor Champs 200m

Tennyson James

Silver

European M55 Indoor Champs 400m

Tennyson James

Silver

European M55 Indoor Champs 80m Hurdles

Will MacGee

Silver

World Masters M45 100m

Will MacGee

Bronze

World Masters M45 200m




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




Mark Draper

Senior Men

3000m Steeplechase (4)

Scott Johnson

U23 Men

High Jump (10)

Matt Bergin

U23 Men

5000m (4)

Rebecca Murray

U20 Women

5000m (6)

Josh Cox

U20 Men

100m (5)

Jack Swain

U20 Men

Javelin (8)

Lottie Underwood

U17 Women

80m Hurdles (4)

Lauren Russell

U17 Women

800m (10)

Emily Cartledge

U17 Women

High Jump (10)

Josh Conroy

U17 Men

High Jump (4)

Lee Johnson

U17 Men

High Jump (8)

Joe Rogers

U15 Boys

Hammer (6)

Frankie Johnson

U13 Boys

Pole Vault (1) and 3rd all time

Alfie Johnson

U13 Boys

High Jump (7)

Club Records set in 2013







Men Club

1 Mile

Mark Draper

3min56.80 (i) 2010

Men Club

3000mS/C

Mark Draper

8m41.56        

U20M

100m

Josh Cox

10.38sec   

U17G

100m

Lottie Underwood

12.2sec

U17W

80 Hurdles  

Lottie Underwood

11.60sec          

U17W

80 Hurdles

Lottie Underwood

11.5sec           

U17W

80 Hurdles

Lottie Underwood

11.40sec         

U15G

Hammer

Shannon Keegan

11.55M

U15G

Hamm

Shannon Keegan

13.57M

U13B

Pole Vault

Frankie Johnson

3.01M

U13B

Hammer    

Frankie Johnson

30.14M

U13G

Hammer

Cliona Blackwell

13.71M

U13G

Pentathlon

Elena Bowles

1396 points (i)


60H – 11.65; HJ – 1.15; Shot – 5.69m; LJ – 3.49m; 800m – 3min 11.97s





Veterans Records set in 2013






W35

100mH

Leanne Buxton

16.7sec

W35

100mH

Leanne Buxton

15.83sec

W35

400mH

Leanne Buxton

67.0sec

W35

High Jump

Leanne Buxton

1.41M

W35

Shot

Leanne Buxton

11.13M

W35

Discus

Leanne Buxton

28.65M

W35

Javelin

Leanne Buxton

29.95M

W35  

Heptathlon

Leanne Buxton

4271 pts

  100H 15,83s; HJ 1.41m; Shot 11,77m; 200m 27.51s; LJ 5.23m; Javelin 29.18m; 800m 2m31.08





M35  

3000m

Luke Humphreys

8m49.61

M35

3000m

Huw Lobb

 8m49.0

M35

10000m

Darren Deed

30m02.52

M35  

Decathlon

James Danobrega

 4862 points

                       100m – 12.78; LJ – 5.61m; shot – 8.60m; HJ – 1.63m; 400m – 56.07s;

                       110H – 19.04; Discus 28.91; PV – 3.20m; Jav – 32.52m 1500m – 5m02.78





W40   

800m

Jo Wilkinson

2m17.2

W40   

1500m

Jo Wilkinson

4m44.8

W40

1500m

Jo Wilkinson

4m37.7

W40  

3000m

Jo Wilkinson

9m40.27

W40

3000m

Jo Wilkinson

9m31.53

W40

3000m

Jo Wilkinson

9m25.13

W40

5000m

Jo Wilkinson

16m54.66





W50  

100m

Alison Slatcher

13.7 sec

W50

100m

Alison Slatcher

13.4 sec

W50

200m

Alison Slatcher

27.4 sec

W50

400m

Alison Slatcher

63.2 sec

W50  

Long Jump

Caroline Wright

3.54M

W50  

Long Jump

Caroline Wright

3.91M





W55  

Shot

Brenda Russell

6.92M

W55  

Hammer

Brenda Russell

31.21M





M55

100m H

Tennyson James

16.18sec

M55  

100m H

Tennyson James

15.1sec