South of England Indoor U15/U17 Championships

Lee Valley 10/11 Jan 2015

Experience is something you only gain by taking on a challenge and testing your resolve and yourself against other talented individuals. Expectations for some of the Radley athletes, taking part in the indoor championships was high, based on performances achieved at the outdoor summer, equivalent, competition. For others it was a real opportunity to test themselves and their skills, seeking new PBs and preparing for the summer campaign to come.

Without exception each of our athletes taking part had a new PB (or 2!) or won a championship medal. Saturday belonged to the U17 women with Luisa Chantler winning gold in the shot with her second best ever throw. She was more than adequately supported by teammate Alice Hopkins who won silver with a new PB of 11.01 mts. Both Radley girls set English Schools qualifying marks and set the standard for the rest of the weekend. Alice had won the bronze medal in the outdoor long jump in 2014 and she duly delivered another good set of jumps to secure the indoor bronze.

Petrina Chantler and Steph Ward both ran well in the U15 girls 300 mts setting two new PBs. So day 1 ended with 3 PBs and 3 medals – despite the late hour all the girls went home content.

Day 1 was to prove difficult to follow as day 2 got off to a rocky start with both Steph and Tori Hart having tricky 60mt hurdles races. Petrina did however manage to pull out a new PB of 10.39s which was just outside a semi final qualification. Alice Hopkins was back in action winning her 60 mt hurdles heat. Rebecca Scott was next up in the u17w 200mts. She did not dissapoint and duly delivered a new pb. Alice was soon back on track and set a new pb, 9.19sec, to finish 3rd in the 60 hurdles semi-final and a final qualification. Blake Strickland Bennet and Ollie Stacey both started their u17 m 60mt hurdle campaigns well with Ollie just missing out on a semi-final place by 5/100s. Alice was quickly back in the final of the hurdles and in a very close finish came 5th with yet another pb of 9.18sec.

In a flurry of afternoon activity Blake and Ollie both had disappointing long jumps, where a medal had been a possibility, but it clashed with the 200 mts, however perversely they both ran 200 mt PB! Every cloud etc etc! Meanwhile Petrina and Tori headed for the shot where Petrina ended up 6th making the final cut. Tori had solid throws and Petrina did have 2 over 10 mts but unfortunately fouled them. Alice was back with Rebecca in the high jump and she almost completed a dream weekend with a 1.60 mt high jump but just caressed the bar off with the lightest touch as she finished with 1.55 mts. Rebecca had fallen short of her target by going out at 1.45 mts but went home content with her 200 mt PB. The final event of the day saw Petrina and Tori again, this time in the long jump. Unfortunately they both just missed the cut for the last 6 but the good news was that Tori gained the much longed for PB of 4.39 mts meaning all had something to smile about from the weekends efforts.

Onwards and upwards to the Nationals next month!!

All in all a great start to 2015. 3 medals and 8 PBs!

Pete O’Keefe

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