Heart of England League – A Crushing Victory For BRAT Juniors

Heart of England League – A Crushing Victory For BRAT Juniors

It’s that time of the year again. Our first BRAT junior track & field league outing…and you know what that means….an opportunity for me to put together my usual protracted write-up for the website. As always, I start with my usual caveat that I can’t mention everyone, but rest assured, I have a close eye on all of you both during the event itself and via the results. I will be chatting with all our athletes at some point, hopefully! Taking a step back from results and performances for the moment, there are a few things that underpin our (fantastic) results:

  • Officials (timekeepers, starters, track judges, field event helpers). I’m starting with officials as it our #1 most important point. In all honestly, officials are one of our most limiting factors when it comes to developing as a club. To host our own events, we need many more. A big thanks to Ian, Kirsty and Nick for track judging, Chris for timekeeping and Richard, Nigel, Helen & Charlie for field judging. We scored maximum points for officials (yes, we score points for providing officials!). If you want to help with officiating, contact me.
  • On the day help & support. This is just a quick one from me to thank coaches, parents and the athletes themselves. To my knowledge, no-one missed any of their events (although, some of them tried! Haha!) and everyone turned up in plenty of time to get warmed up and ready.
  • I say this every time, so rather than break tradition, I’ll say it again. Our team spirit, support and friendliness between athletes is the envy of the other clubs. When we see our youngsters supporting each other, going off in groups to warm-up together and, in the case of the u13 boys, just generally running around wasting their energy between events, it’s a great sight. This is what removes the pressure and lets the juniors be themselves and perform their best.

Drumroll please, onto the results…..WE WON!

This isn’t an achievement to be taken lightly. We earned promotion last year from division 3 to division 2. So, this is a completely new challenge, better teams, higher standards. With that in mind, to say it is pleasing would be an understatement. We absolutely destroyed the competition. There are 2 main reasons why we won so comprehensively:

  1. We had lot of high place finishes. The higher you finish, the more points you score.
  2. We had 2 athletes in the vast majority of events. There were a number of athletes that were tackling events for the first time or that were trying to compete in events that were taking place at the same time. This is what league athletics is all about. Getting stuck in for the team and giving it a go. Well done to those that were competing in these challenging circumstances.

As you can see, a victory of 250 points overall is something quite special. Well done everyone!

As I said earlier, I can’t mention everyone, but here are few that caught my eye during the event:

  • Elliot improved on his recent LJ PB to record 3.97. Getting towards 4m as an u11 is something special. Charlie threw 36m in the howler too, winning by some 8m. Great to see George and Peyton making their team debuts too.
  • I won’t forget seeing our two BRAT athletes (Alice and Kitty) running together to the line ahead of everyone else in the NS 600m. It looked like an emotional race, but hopefully the first of many.
  • A special mention to the new u13 hurdlers. Leanna, Erin, Will & Eben all putting in great efforts to complete what is a daunting race when doing it for the first time. Good job.
  • Anna’s v close finish in the u13g 800m with an impressive time of 2:44 for a first outing (and followed up by a PB in the LJ too).
  • Robert for breaking the 5m barrier in the LJ for the first time.
  • Jai, winning both the shot and discus (both A) having only joined the club a handful of weeks ago!
  • Kenyah on an impressive 100m and 200m double in the A race in both. Impressive times on rubbish lane draws.
  • Niamh for “crushing the discus”. A throw of 18m was a good 3m clear of 2nd place!
  • Derick, breaking 12s for the first time with 11.8s in the 100m (don’t worry, we won’t mention the long jump…!)
  • The u17s/u20s endurance group gets a special mention. Dylan followed up on his main event (1500m) with a 200m just half an hour after (no idea how Panu sold that to you!). Niklas, doing the classic event combination of discus, 1500m & high jump. Niklas managed to wrangle his spot out of the relay, giving 800m/1500m runner Panu the ‘opportunity’ to run leg 1 of the 4x100m relay. George running a 400m less than an hour after racing the 800m. The points picked up by this gap filling makes a huge difference, good job guys.
  • Ben, having to run the 400m in trainers as simultaneously competing in the discus. 2 third place finishes in the throws and a 2nd place in the 400m is big points scored.
  • In the u17/u20 girls. Bonheur for running 2 sprint hurdle races (re-run due to incorrect hurdle placings), Nancy for an impressive 200m win and a v close 2nd in the 100m, Molly winning the shot (A) and 2nd in the discus (A). A special mention to Tilly too for tackling the high jump for the first time (1 training session), discus (never tried) and 300m (never attempted before). After May’s strong 2nd place in the A race, Tilly won the B race.
  • The relay highlight goes to the u11s team who won by a large margin. Amazingly, all relay teams finished successfully, but a special mention to the u17s team for the worst changes I’ve ever seen. It takes a special effort to be so bad, great job! Haha!

To anyone I haven’t mentioned, it’s only because there are too many of you. I will chat to you at the track at some point soon!

Where to next and what is our aim?

The next Heart of England league meeting is on Saturday 17th June in Banbury.

Now we know that winning the league and gaining promotion is very much within our grasp, we want ensure that that happens. If we are promoted in 2023, we will be up against the really strong teams from across the midlands in 2024 in the top division.

The team selection will again be largely based on what I have seen in competition and I’ll be looking to put out our strongest possible squad. If you are looking for upcoming competitions to enter and gain selection, read this e-mail I sent a few weeks back.

Finally, the full results are here and photos (some fantastic shots, courtesy of Toby Gosnall) are here.

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