South of England Combined Events - Oxford

julianstarkey's picture

Last weekend Ben Russell, Nathan Standing, Charlie Ashdown Taylor, Sam Russell and Connie McCafferty traveled to Horspath Athletics Track, Oxford to compete in the South of England combined events championships and dominated them wearing the mighty Bracknell vest with pride. All except Ben had competed a couple of weeks ago in the Regional round of the English Schools combined events. Building on all of the positives from that competition between them they picked up 3 South of England medals, 5 Berkshire medals, achieved 19 personel bests, 5 seasons bests and 3 new club records. In the heat and swirling winds it was clear example of how well all these athletes had prepared them self's not only over the weekend. But in the weeks leading up to this event working with the various coaches in the specialist events.  Another clear example of how effective team work is.

Before any gun had been fired on the first day the atmosphere amonst the athletes and their parents was electric.

We all took shelter in the stand to stay cool and out of the direct sunlight . ( not the rain which we have become used of over the past few weeks)

Ben Russell (Our most experienced muliti eventer )  competining in the Senior Men's Decathlon and in his 1st season as a Senior had   a perfect weekend, being plagued over the years  with injury. Ben took on the challenge of throwing heavier  weight implements in his stride. Acheived a massive pb in the Discus with 26.57 metre , vaulted like a pole vaulter  and ended up with a well deserved 3.10 metre another pb , picking up seasons best in the 100 metre ( running into a head wind ),  400 metre , Long Jump and Javelin ended the weekend with a total points score of 4928 not only a personel best but a club record and come away injury free as well as the Berkshire Champion  .

Charlie Ashdown Taylor who as we all know is a under 17, was keen to do a decathlon so competed in the Under 20 Decathlon competition. Throwing all the heavier weight implements and jumping the higher hurdles and wearing a new hat which seems to appear at the muliti event comps he competes in. Like all of our other athletes Charlie was relaxed and really up for the challenges that would be put in front of him.  Charlie could nt of started better, he  had a lovely transition in the 100 metre which earned him a pb of 11.77 sec's, on the 3rd event of the day the Shot Putt Charlie was on fire , using the  rotational technic , completely dominated the competion, his 2nd throw he through a massive 13,18 metre nearly adding 1 1/2 metre's to his pb, added pbs in the Javelin 40.86, Discus 36.02, 110 Hurdle 18.12  finished the weekend with a total pb of 5370 another pb , and club record. As well picking the South of England Bronze medal and Gold in the Berkshire .

Nathan Standing was Charlie's partner in the Under 20 decathlon. Nathan like Charlie competes in the English Schools National Championships in Exeter in September . Nathan had a really great weekend  had probably his most confident pole vault competition ending with a very well deserved pb of 2.60, all the work he has done in the shot reaping rewards with a pb of 9 .69 metre, the hurdles being a very high points earner small technical improvements can  add many points to a athletes overal score, through more technical sessions Nathan earned his 3rd pb of 20.21 sec . Nathan ended the weekend with a final score of 3971 another PB, as well as picking being the Berkshire silver medal.

Sam Russell just back from holiday. Was well rested and could not wait for the 1 st event to start.

Sam's had probably best hurdles performance of the season hurdling with a slight lean over the hurdles and the trail leg landing quicker than ever before. Unfortunatley as well as it being very hot over hot on both days the athlets  were running into a head wind  in the home straight. Which ment the times did not always to reflect the performance.  Sam had really good acceleration on his approach on the Long Jump hitting the board consistantly on all of his jumps which earned him a well deserved pb of 5.61.  What a 1500 Sam went stride for stride with the athlete from Cardiff through out the 3 3/4 laps both running in the hottest part of the day and having to deal with the swirling winds, Sam finished with a impressive 5.15.23 . Sam ended the day with a total points score of 3526 and becoming the South of England and Berkshire Champion.  

Connie Mccafferty competing in only her 2nd Hepthalon having falling in love with the event at the English Schools Regional Round.

From the start like all of our other athletes Connie had come not only enjoy herself but to apply herself and transfer all the work she does in training into her competition performances .

Connie who is always pleased to get the hurdles out of the way, like Sam her hurdling is getting better all the time picked up her 1st pb clocking a time of 14.51 sec,  acheived a equal pb in the High Jump of 1.46 , improved her old pb in the Shot twice ended with a new pb of 8.97 metre.  Ended day 1 winning the 200 from the inside lane using blocks for only the 2nd time. With only the 800 left Connie was lying in 4th position. Connie new what she had to do and what time she wanted to acheive the time she had set herself from the beginning of  the day. From the start Connie and the athlete that evently won the competition left the other athletes behind letting them fight out the 3rd spot. It was turned out to be one of the best 800 metre races I have seen for many years by athletes of any age, both athletes glided around the track shoulder to shoulder when one athlete went up a gear the other did the same, they were still doing  the same when they finished.  Despite the heat and winds Connie acheived what she set out a pb of 2.28.24. This performance gave Connie a point score of 3935 not only a pb and New club record. Earned her the South of England silver medal and Berkshire gold.

You should all be very proud of what you have acheived this weekend.

The way you competed , the way you kept out of the heat except when you were competing , well hydrated  ,  eating the right things at the right time and most importantly the way you recovered on Saturday evening  ready to come back relaxed for day 2.

As well as the way you all encouraged and supported each other.

As always are athletes got tremendous support and encourage ment from their parents and our officials .

Andy Hughes

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