NO less than 22 out of the 24 members of the Buckinghamshire team for the South East U11 Sportshall Championships were from Marshall Milton Keynes AC, and they did the club proud.
So the long trip south to The Triangle, Burgess Hill, was very much a club affair, but unfortunately it was made longer by a ‘temperamental’ coach (motor coach not athletics coach!).
Arriving a little late, and with little time to warm up properly, the first event was the girls obstacle race and it did not start well, with Isobel Blake stumbling after the speed bounce element. But she recovered well to allow the rest of the team – Millie Handley, Abi Fittton and Evie Jarman – to take 2nd place.
From then on things improved as both teams performed strongly, with Tamzin Hill, Emily Crofts, Jada Braithwaite and Jemima Copeman winning the hurdles relay, while Phoebe Bailey and Eve Arnal ran together in the over/under relay and the grand prix.
Although the highlight of the day were the brilliant performances in the javelin as Hannah Weatherley and Jemima Copeman finished 1st and 2nd respectively.
Jasmine Trapnell finished joint 1st in the balance test with the optimum score of 60, with Abi Fitton 2nd in the standing triple jump with a clearing 5.80m, closely followed by Tamsin Hill in 3rd with 5.70m.
Meanwhile Mia Blennerhassett was 3rd in the vertical jump with 0.43m, and Jada Braithwaite was 2nd in the standing long jump with 2.08m.
For the boys team, Kortei Clottey, Ethan Wiltshire, Jacob Ballinger and Hugo Wallace won the hurdles relay as the six lap paarlauf was won with pure grit and determination by Charlie Sanders and Jacob Ballinger.
There were also 2nd place performances in the 2x2 relay, over/under relay and grand prix races courtesy of Ned Stevens, Oliver Berridge and James Palmer. Also despite a bad baton change over, the 4x1 relay team still managed 3rd.
Spectators and competitors were held in suspense as the results were announced in reverse order and to everyone’s delight the boys finished an excellent 3rd and the girls took home brilliant gold medals. Although there was not a combined result, the girls and boys from Bucks would have won the overall competition as well.
Unfortunately on the journey home the coach broke down altogether, and after a lengthy delay a replacement arrived, this one fitted with a DVD player, so at the kids got to watch Ice Age 4 at the end of a long day out.
>> Two of the club’s members contested the Wellingborough races where over the 15k course David Hall (M45) finished 15th, taking 64m 23s (pictured) and over the 5k distance Tanya Taylor finished 7th overall and as 2nd female in exactly 22 minutes.
>> The club will once again be hosting the Milton Keynes Festival of Running in aid of the CLIC Sargent Children’s Cancer Charity on March 10. See www.mkac.org.uk for more details about the event.