By William Kearsey

It was a great day for the BAC athletes, and those from Poole Runners and New Forest Junior AC, who competed in the thoughtfully named BNP composite team at Portsmouth on Saturday 16th May.

There were over FIFTEEN PBs set by BAC athletes in the match.  PR and NFJ athletes also achieved many PBs.

In U20 men, Kevin Hodgson won the U20 100 and 200 meters A string races, with Ben Arnold winning the two B string races. They both set PBs in both races; Kevin with 10.8 secs and 21.6 secs and Ben with 11.1 secs and 22.2 secs.

Muiris Egan won 400m U20 in 50 secs dead, maintaining his strong form this year.

Ben Dickinson, still and U17 athlete, competed in the higher age group, coming third in U20 discus.

James Glynn made a very welcome return to competition after nearly a year out of athletics due to various injuries. He finished first in HJ B string and third in LJ A string, despite being U17. Jamie Williamson came first in HJ A string and second in LJ B string.

In U17 men, the versatile Cameron Hale set 3 PBs, coming fourth in 100m and 100m hurdles, and third in LJ.

Brandon Meredith came first in the gruelling 3000m and second in 800m.

Jack Howlett was probably the outstanding BAC athlete of the day. He won all 3 of his events and set PBs in all of them. His winning distances were 44.13m in the discus, 45.16m in the hammer and 14.68m in the shot.

Ben Dickinson won U17 Javelin with 54.59m.

Alex Paul made a welcome debut and gained valuable points coming third in triple jump and fourth in HJ.

In U20 women, U17 athlete Verity Cowell competed in the higher age group and won HJ A string and came third in A string shot. Verity also came 6th in U17 A string 200m

Angel Kerin came 3rd in LJ A string with 5.28m and won the triple jump with 11.35m. Both were impressive PBs achieved after recent illness.

Olivia Galloway won U20 LJ B string and came second in the U17 javelin.

U17 women saw Iona Sheerin come second in A string 100m, second in 80m hurdles and first in HJ with 1.65m.

Danielle Broom couldn’t quite match her fantastic achievements of the 1st match, but still put in strong performances, winning the discus and the shot.

BAC’s athletes participated in the victorious U17 women’s and U20 men’s 4x100m races. They also contributed towards the 4×100 U17 men’s team finishing 3rd.

The efforts of our fellow composite team members also deserve to be mentioned. Poole Runners contributed 4 athletes to the team and New Forest Junior AC, 6. Broadly speaking, but not solely, they filled the many places in distances of 300m and upwards. New Forest Junior provided 2 young ladies who gained near maximum points in U17 1500m steeple chase, hardly a cushy event.

To summarise, B/N/P amassed 575 match points on the day behind Winchester who had 593. If it were not for last minute injuries to two BAC athletes, B/N/P could have possibly won the match.

After 2 of the 4 matches Winchester lead with 15 points, Hillingdon are 2nd with 14, B/N/P are 3rd with 13 and Ealing are 4th with 10. The other 4 teams are unlikely to be able to gain promotion. We need to win 1 and come no lower than 2nd in the remaining 2 match to ensure 1 of the 2 promotion places.

As YDL Upper Manager can I appeal to all U17 and U20 athletes to try and be available for the two matches on Sunday 28th June at Winchester and Sunday 26th July at Ealing. The 28th June fixture clashes with Wessex League which is at King’s Park. There is no promotion or relegation irrespective of BAC finishing 1st or 20th in Wessex League (BAC normally finish about 15th). Nikki Hannibal the Wessex League Manager agrees it is beneficial to represent B/N/P (BAC) in YDL and gain promotion rather than compete in the Wessex match. In addition a few BAC multi eventers are understandably opting to compete at regional schools heptathlon events, their absence making it all the more important BAC athletes be available if possible for YDL.

Well done to all athletes, coaches, officials and helpers at Portsmouth.