On Saturday 13th August the BRAT track & field senior team went up to Stoke for the final league meeting of the season.
Our task was to finish in the top three on the day – if we did so we would be guaranteed promotion back to the top flight for the first time in a decade. However, we wanted more, we wanted to go up as champions especially after all the hard work everyone has put in this season.
The biggest problem we faced wasn’t so much the heat but our lack of available athletes – we went without 18 regular competitors due to work, holidays and a fixture clash with the Midland Under 17 championships!
By hook and crook, we somehow managed to get enough competitors to fill the majority of the events and throughout a scorching hot afternoon the BRAT athletes fought for every single last point they could in order to pull ourselves up into third place.
That wasn’t the end of it though, as I said earlier, we wanted to be champions…
With Cannock winning on the day they finished on 20 league points, our third place also meant we were on 20. It therefore came down to overall individual points scored across all four meetings.
BRAT accumulated 1399 points whilst Cannock ended up with 1357 – therefore BRAT win the division two title!!!!!
The gap of only 42 points just goes to show how important the contribution everyone has made this season. Divide those points across the four meetings and it’s only 10.5 points per meeting! Win the A race and you receive 9 points, finish 6th in the B race and it’s a single point. Effectively if we had missed just one event at each meeting this season we wouldn’t have won, it was that close! And I mustn’t forget the officials points – you need six officials per match (a timekeeper, track judge and four field officials), you lose 10 points for every missing official. BRAT have had a full officials team at every meeting, a very big thank you to all of you – we are one team regardless of what activity you are undertaking on the day.
In addition to thanking all officials and athletes, I mustn’t forget the parents who navigated their way up the M6, sitting in various traffic jams along the way in order to get the team there in the first place.
Our winners on the day were; Chris Pickering in the A 800m and Henry Brocklehurst in the B 800. Henry went on to do the double by taking the 3000m steeplechase A race – his first race over the barriers!
Dan Robinson and Mike Burgess completed the A and B double in the men’s 5000m, Mike’s win came by virtue of a dramatic lunge towards the line which put him ahead of the Stoke athlete by the thickness of his vest.
Dan’s win in the A race means that he has won all four distance races this season, a tremendous effort.
Zuhair Tameem won the B high jump event, Poppy Close won the B 800m, Maisie Scamp won the women’s B high jump, and another double came in the women’s javelin with Lillian Smith winning the A string and Katie Collis the B string.
A quick mention for Mike Bull who came into the team at the last moment and managed to set new club records in the V50 category for both shot and discus.
I should also mention the relay teams – all four teams (4x 100 and 4 x 400 for both men and women) came second in their races. Unfortunately the women’s 4 x 400 team copied the England team at the Commonwealth Games by being disqualified and the end of their race – bad luck girls, tremendous effort nonetheless.
The final league table –
1st BRAT 20 points (1399)
2nd Cannock & Staffs 20 points (1357)
3rd Coventry 19 points (1351)
4th Telford 10 points (938)
5th City of Stoke 10 points (906)
6th Abingdon 5 points (385 points)
BRAT and Cannock are promoted, Stoke and Abingdon relegated.
Onwards and upwards – Division One in 2023…
Track & Field Team Manager