Report by Abielle Hallas, covering match 2 of the Midland League.

Abingdon Athletics Club at Alexander Stadium

 For our second match in the Midlands League, we headed off to Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. We were a small but determined squad and rose to the occasion with great performances throughout the day. Many athletes competed in events for the first time, and others stepped up to do events they wouldn’t normally.

Sprints

A wet start to the track events saw some soggy athletes competing in the hurdles. There were several debut performances here, with Kira Lincoln racing the 400mh for the first time, and both Kira and Abielle Hallas debuting in the 100h a little later on. Jack Gavin and Andrew Caruana put in strong performances to come third and fourth in their respective 400mh races. There were some fast competitors later on in the women's flat 400m, but Charlotte Salt and Abielle gained valuable points for the team. In the men's event, Benji Davys ran a PB and Aric Klukowski equalled his.

Tiffany Cox ran strong races amongst a competitive field in the 200m (at 50m to go the athletes were pretty much in a straight line!) and 100m and Scarlett Herold came second in both of her races. Isobel Scott ran a PB in the non-scoring 200m, Loick Bazzi ran a PB in the men’s 100m, while Luke Chown won the 100m and finished a close second in the 200m despite a recent injury!

Endurance

It was a successful and PB-filled day for our men’s endurance squad. We achieved a clean sweep in the men’s 800m, with Josh Beech running a PB to win by 0.1 seconds, and Adam Ede cruising to a comfortable victory in his. Strong performances in long-distance resulted in PBs and solid points in the 3000m steeplechase for Josh and Owen Stepney, and in the flat 3000m for Jack Shayler and Kie Francis.

The women’s endurance team was small but mighty, with Cordelia Parker putting in a sterling effort to run in the 800m, 1500m, and 3000m! Charlotte stepped up to run the 800m and achieved a PB.

Field

The pole vault was moved to the indoor track due to water on the run-up, so Carine Muir and Athena Chown stayed dry whilst vaulting to third and second in the A and B striking respectively. Pete placed fifth in the men's event, and William Barrett added 10cm to the U17 club pole vault record on his first time doing the event.

There were strong performances in the high and horizontal jumps, with Lyran Bazzi achieving PBs in the high and long jump, and Joe coming fourth in both horizontal jumps. Malte Wilhelmsson jumped close to his PB in the high jump. Clara Wells and Kira braved the downpour to compete in the long jump, despite it being neither athlete's main event.

Marc Juffkins and André Oliveira finished strongly in all four throwing events, with André throwing PBs in the shot and javelin, and Marc in the discus, despite pulling his calf just five days before the match. Katherine Mitchell and Fatimah Jammeh Kinteh also put in strong performances in all four throws, and both finished second in the shot and discus A and B strings.

Relays

Relays are always an exciting end to the day, and drama in the 4x100 races meant they did not disappoint. A shock non-finish from Birchfield saw our women finish fifth, but an illegal baton change over meant our men's team was disqualified. Both our 4x400 teams were tired but powered through to get valuable points, with the women's squad seeing debut 400m performances from both Scarlett and Clara.

Officials

Thank you to our officials - Colin, Nikki, Steve, Adrian, John, and Jemma - for all their work throughout the day, and to coaches, family, and friends who came to support us. Overall we finished fifth, only 23 points behind Tamworth, which is a brilliant result considering our small team. Our next match is 7th of July at Tamworth and a strong team is needed to raise us out of the relegation zone.