BAC’s Men’s BAL Team Make a Statement at Derby

The BAC Men’s BAL team came second in their third round BAL Division 3 match. This superb result against the seven other teams now places them 3rd in the table with one match to go. The team did not let a few late withdrawals and some transport difficulties get in the way of what turned out to be their best result this season so far.

James Lelliott had a superb day covering a maximum allowed seven events. At one time he was competing in three events concurrently and then was immediately a late substitute into the B-String 200m which he won by a country mile in a PB of 22.58s. He had only minutes before thrown a season’s best of 59.00m in the Javelin to win that event too. James had earlier in the day just missed out in winning the LJ (7.04m) and he later anchored the 4x100m squad home to 2nd place in 42.79s along with Muiris Egan, Kevin Hodgson and Ben Arnold – a time less than 0.2s outside of the club record.

Lewis Sainval (U17) who has had a superb season smashing his personal bests in the Dorset County Champs was drafted into the team at late notice to cover the 800m. Lewis bravely attacked the 800m B string and showed pure maturity towards the front of the field for much of the race. His reward was yet another outstanding PB of 1:59.37 to earn valuable points for the team. To finish the day he helped the 4x400m Relay team, along with Muiris Egan, Kevin Hodgson and Karl Welch finish in 4th place in a good time of 3:28.66, with Lewis having taken around 5s off any previously recorded 400m time.

Alex Cox was back on form coming 3rd in the A string High Jump in a superb 2.05m with Jamie Williamson winning the B string with 1.85. Andrew Brown won the B string Javelin in 55.55m with Adam Nash scoring valuable points finishing 3rd in the B string Long Jump.

Dan Brunsden make a welcome return to BAC to score superbly in the heavy throwing events. He won the A string Discus in 41.75 in what proved to be a very slippery throwing circle, causing a fair few difficulties (James Lelliott was 2nd in the B string). Dan then went on to win the Shot Putt by well over a metre in 14.01m.

Back on the track Kevin Hodgson and Ben Arnold scored good points finishing 3rd and 4th in their respective 100m races and it was great to see Nigel Hayman return to score good points in the A string 110mH. Muiris Egan set a new PB in the 400m A string coming 3rd in a time of 49.93s shortly before Kevin Hodgson finished 3rd in the A string 200m in a time of 22.09s.

Another BAL debut was by Josh Nevin who finished 5th in the A string 3000m Steeple Chase in a superb PB of 10:15.15. Roy Long helped earn valuable points in the B race. Josh then joined David Long in the 1500m, with David gaining good points in the A string with 4:04.36

Karl Welch had earlier taken a superb Season’s Best in the A string 800m in a time of 1:55.84 and Peter Mitchell helped gain valuable points in the 110mH, 400mH and TJ

One of the day’s highlights was a showdown between Steve Way and Rob McTaggart in the 5000m. Rob decided to take it out at a good pace whilst Steve decided to start a little more conservatively. As the laps progressed it started to seem that Steve would perhaps catch Rob and it made for an exiting final two laps. Rob held off the challenge however earning a good 4th place in the A string with Steve Way 2nd in the B string.

BAC go into the final match of the season in four weeks time sitting in 3rd place in the division (the top two get promoted). Whilst promotion is still possible it would have to mean a poor result by Bedford contrasted by another superb BAC result to happen. We now know for sure that there is no chance of relegation this season.

Team Manager, Tim Hughes, was once again delighted with the performance of his team. “The performance of the athletes at Derby was outstanding. They really strive for success and because of that they get it. The morale of the team has been very high ever since Match 2 of 2014 when we started believing we could go somewhere – that resulted in promotion into Div 3 where we are now, but the guys want more – and so do I”.

“It just goes to show what can happen when you gather a bunch of committed athletes. We have the depth of athletes to go to higher positions already and I am keen to improve the team in our weaker areas”.

Tim was particularly impressed with some individual performances at Derby “The whole team performed fantastically and it was great to see a number of PBs during the day. Whilst every single person played their part and got those valuable points it’s difficult to single people out. I do however have to especially point out Lewis Sainval who competed in the BAL as an U17 but acted like the more mature athletes he was competing against. His PB in the 800m was superb and well deserved.”

Tim has a key goal for the next match “Whilst promotion is a possibility it would have to take a poor performance by Bedford to allow us to get that. We cannot influence or control what they do, only what we can do.  Myself and the guys want a win at Yeovil – and that’s what we aim to go and do”.