By William Kearsey

As Ian Graham has already reported on events at Bedford and Bracknell, I will start my report with the main action for BAC athletes this weekend, which was at Exeter.   BAC provided a good number of athletes to represent Dorset at the South West Schools Regional Championships.

Giving priority to Championship winning performances, means starting with Danielle Broom who won both the discus and hammer (Inter Girls). Jack Howlett won shot and was 2nd in discus (Inter Boys). Ben Dickinson won Inter Boys javelin. Rosie Wootten won Senior Girls high jump. None achieved PBs, but the main thing in championships is to beat the opposition in front of you and hopefully to get in the habit of doing so at different venues and different conditions.

Those fine achievements were closely followed by Madeleine Smith who came 2nd in Inter Girls triple jump with a slight improvement on her PB to 11.04m.

Further good performances were by Matthew Ridge who came 3rd in shot and 4th in discus (Senior Boys). Cameron Cooke (recently returned to BAC) came 2nd in hammer with a PB of 39.01m and 6th in discus (Junior Boys). The fresh west-country air did Dorset newcomer Jamie Williamson a power of good as he sailed over the bar to come 2nd with 1.83m in Senior Boy’s high jump. Muiris Egan proved continued his consistently high standard coming 2nd in Senior Boys 400m. Lewis Sainval, making his debut at regionals level, gained a bronze medal coming 3rd in Inter Boy’s 800m with 2.02.60.

Gemma Kennard came 4th with a PB of 12.81secs in 100m and 8th in high jump (Junior Girls). Olivia Galloway was 4th in 80m Hurdles and 11th in long jump (Inter Girls). Amelia Dobson was 6th in long jump and 6th in her heat for 75m Hurdles (Junior Girls). Verity Cowell came 6th in high jump (Inter Girls). Holly Lowther was 4th in her heat of 75m Hurdles (Junior Girls). Also finishing 4th in a heat for Inter Girl’s 100m, was Izzy Wedderburn.

Over at Erith on the Kent/London border, Iona Sheerin was representing Hampshire in the 80m hurdles and high jump. Iona found the competition too hot to handle, coming 2nd in both of her events. However she, along with Verity and Olivia will be competing in their respective Schools Regional Multi Events Championships next weekend which we hope to report on and wish them the best of luck.

Not being at an event makes it difficult to comment fully. However from past personal experience as an official, I know going from King’s Park at county level at a busy Exeter venue, with 7 teams each of 100 or more athletes, with stricter (stranger) officials, 2 parallel jumping pits, and people running beside you, etc. can be a very challenging experience. Hopefully the younger ones who may not have done quite as well as they hoped will be back next year having learned a bit from Saturday’s trip.

At the time of writing the Dorset Team selection has not been made public, but the standard seems to be gradually getting higher year by year. The selectors have a thankless task which they do not take lightly.

Patrick Sylla chose not to compete at Exeter and hoped to improve on his PB in U20 Long Jump at Bedford U20 UK Championships to try to be selected for World Junior Championships in Columbia. Unfortunately at this level you need to be 100% fit. Patrick failed in his attempt but hopefully can swap his Spanish phrase book for a Geordie one for the trip to Gateshead rather than Cali.

As Ian has already reported on Bedford and Bracknell I shall turn to Cheboksary where the European Athletics Team Championships Super League was held.

Ex-BAC sprinter Sven Knipphals represented Germany and came 3rd in Men’s 100m with 10.50 secs. He also ran in Germany’s 4x100m Men’s relay where they came 4th.

Finally in the 35OC heat in Castres (France), Sarah Kearsey represented SA Toulouse University Club, continuing her steady comeback after illness. She came 2nd in both 400m hurdles and 400m in the Midi-Pyrenees Regional Championships with SBs in both events.