By William Kearsey
The 20 athletes from BAC and NFJ who spared their time to represent the composite team of B/N/P deserve great praise. It will require a dramatic turn of events at the final match at Ealing for B/N/P to be promoted. Realistically, we needed to finish 2nd to still be in the hunt for promotion. Unfortunately we finished 3rd.
Four athletes, who have far greater interests in English Schools than in aiding BAC/NFJ/PR gain promotion, still chanced injury by competing in a multitude of events for the club. Special thanks therefore to Danielle Broom, Ben Dickinson, Matthew Ridge and Patrick Sylla.
Also thanks to Jamie Williamson, Tom Peters, Muiris Egan, Kevin Hodgson, Glenn Balfour, Bridget Dence, Keelan Abley, Megan Lucas and Jack Betts from BAC, and to the seven from New Forest Juniors who have given marvellous support in the three matches thus far.
The match was always going to be problematic. Due to the way athletics are organised in this country, BAC had a Wessex League match at home and YDL at Winchester the same day. In addition four BAC athletes were (quite rightly) representing their counties in school multi events at Yeovil or Reading. Luckily only two athletes who were needed at Winchester competed at King’s Park, as they could not spare the whole day at Winchester. More damaging was the absence of 5 who were injured and a couple who had other pressing engagements.
Just about everybody competed in 3 or 4 events. Glenn Balfour as always volunteered for events such as 400m hurdles, 1500m steeplechase, 400m flat and 4x100m relay despite a persistent cough and cold. Bridget Dence being a middle distance specialist, the 800m, 1500m, 100m and 4 x100m relay.
Danielle Broom exemplified the attitude many elite athletes (perhaps foolishly) take. Namely that they never want a poor result to appear against them on P of 10. She won U17 discus with 39.34m, hammer with 51.96 and shot with 11.69, followed by running in the 4×100 U20 relay which the team won.
Muiris Egan deserves mention because, as a sprinter running 100m and 200m, he also ran 2.07.9 in 800m then was part of a BAC quartet to win 4×100 U20 relay. Patrick Sylla took a rest from Long Jump to do Triple Jump and High Jump. Jamie Williamson, Ben Dickinson and Matthew Ridge faithfully turned out doing their usual various events, Matthew wisely ignoring the idiotic request by the author to also do Triple Jump.
Tom Peters made a welcome return to the team, after a forced absence due to having to work Saturdays and missing most of the season’s competitions. Apologies to Keelan Abley who could easily have done more events at Wessex in a home fixture but was stuck with just the 100m and 200m for points at Winchester.
Well done to Megan Lucas and Jack Betts. Megan made a long awaited club debut, again due to working Saturdays, making a valuable contribution filling gaps due to those representing Dorset Schools at Yeovil. Jack has only just joined the club and was keen to compete. He was 5th in 1500m U17 and running in U20 800m was 2nd. A daunting debut indeed.
A final thanks to Paula the Team Manager on the day, Lisa the volunteer driver, the officials and helpers from BAC and to the relatively small club of New Forest Juniors who certainly punch above their weight.