SAL Match 4 Braunton - Devon (Promotion)

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Looking for their fourth win on the trot, Bracknell Athletic Club were disappointed to finish second in their match last Saturday. Beaten by local rivals Woking, Which meant that Bracknell also relinquished their hold at the top of the Southern Athletic League. Their victors leap frogging above them, to lead Division Two West.

The match took place in Braunton, North Devon, a 380 mile round trip. It was commendable therefore that both clubs had such a high turnout of Male and Female athletes. Woking tallied 222 points, a mere nine points ahead of Bracknell who scored 213 points. Host side North Devon came third with a tally of 157 and Yeovil were fourth scoring 119 points.

The Bracknell Men easily won the field, events, scoring 53 points from a maximum total of 64. Under 17, Charlie Ashdown-Taylor, improved his best performances in both the Shot and Discus, to finish second “A” string and first “B” string respectively. The second place in the “B” string Shot, was taken by sprinter Jake Hatfield. A commendable performance, as this was his first outing in the event. Team Captain, Jan Drzewiecki gained two season best throws, by winning the “B” string Hammer and taking second place in the senior Discus.

Ben Russell, and Peter Marlow notched up five double wins in a row, in the High Jump. Then in the Pole Vault, Ben achieved a new personal best height. Accompanied by Nathan Stanley, the partnership took double second places. The first Triple Jump double since July of last year was achieved by Robbie Wilde and Harry Henson. Robbie having earlier, won the senior Long Jump.

The male team were invincible in the sprints. South of England Senior Champion and National U23 Champion, Adam Thomas, could not be caught in either of the senior short sprints. Finishing almost a second ahead in the 100m, Adam finished a massive 1.2 seconds in front of the Woking athlete, the second man home in the 200m. Indeed time wise, Adam’s nearest rival was team mate Sam Collins, who won both of the “B” string events. Such was the dominance of Bracknell in the short sprints that even their non scoring athletes ran faster times, than Bracknell’s competitors.  Under 17 Matt Buckner and Under 23 Jake Hafield equaled their PB’s in the one gasp dash, then in the 200m, Matt set a new best time.

Conor Breslin finished over a second and a half in front in the 400m. The same sort of distance, that his team mate Matthew Collins, won the “B” string event. Harry Henson won the senior 400m Hurdles by over three seconds. Then not to be done out, partner Calum Wesley running his first Hurdles race for many a year, won the “B” string with a five and a half second advantage.

Ryan Brackstone set a new PB in the 800m, allowing his partner Harry Digby, to win the “B” string race. Iliias Hadeq raced into third “A” string place in the metric mile, establishing a new personal best time. Then in the 3K races, Alex Mouradian and Jake Hatfield gained some useful points for the team.

Moving onto the Ladies. On the track, there were double wins for Connie McCafferty and Ella D’Abreo in the 400m.  Connie and Emma Haines in the High Jump and Ivana Koynarova and Emily Spencer-Jones, in the Hammer.

Rebecca Watkins took maximum points in both of the senior short sprints and Emily Read won the senior 800m. Whereas Emily MacDonald won the senior Pole Vault. Marie Halliday took second place in the “A” string 400m Hurdles, allowing her partner Jessica Elliott to win the “B” string event.

Useful points were scored by Emilia Rakoska in the 100m and Sophie Poole in the 1500m.

On the field, close runners up, were Rebecca Watkins and Tanya Grosvenor in the Long Jump and in the Throws, Yasmin Bryan, took second places in both the Shot and Discus.

The last races of the day are the relays.  Bracknell won three.  Emili Read, Ella D’Abreo Emily Spencer-Jones, and Connie McCafferty finished over 22 seconds of their nearest rivals in the 4 x 400m relay.  

The male quartet of Adam Thomas, Matt Buckner, Calum Wesley and Sam Collins, were nearly five seconds ahead of their nearest rivals the 4 x 100m sprint relay.  Then in the 4 x 400m, Conor Breslin, Matthew Collins, Ryan Brackstone and Calum Wesley, brought the baton home, in the 4 x 100m, to win by over seventy metres.

Despite coming Second the results elsewhere worked in our favour. We go into the last match at Perivale with a 3.5 point advantage over the next team, sufficent to secure pronotion to Division one for next season.

Well done to Graham, Cath and Suzanne the team managers.