NECAA Indoor T&F Champs
The confined environment of the Gateshead indoor track always adds to the tense and exciting nature of the NECAA indoor championships, and 2015 proved to be no exception with the 4 Blyth athletes all having weekends that will stay long in the memory.
Saturday was field event day, and started out with myself competing in the senior menís triple jump in the morning. In a very close event I managed to pull out a final jump new PB of 12.01m to just snatch the silver medal. The highlight of the day came in the afternoon as two of our very talented juniors, Hannah Ross-Knight and Ellie Morris were making their championship debuts in the U13 high jump. Ellie had been in great form coming into the event, but struggled a bit with nerves and did not jump at her best. 4th place is still something she can be proud of, and she will have far better days ahead this season based on her undoubted talent. Hannah was competing for the first time this winter, and this was simply going to be a learning event. However, she exceeded all expectations by first clearing 1.15m on her final attempt to show great character, and then sailed over 1.20m on the first attempt to not only set a huge personal best, but win the bronze medal. In the long jump I managed an indoor PB, which still placed me last in a strong competition.
Sunday saw the entrance of the sprinters and the hurdlers and the indoor track was full to the rafters with athletes and spectators. The hurdles started the day, and Hannah was back in action with her first ever indoor 60m hurdles. Having been working on a 3-stride technique in training, she executed this skill superbly in the heats, to qualify for the final. In the final she made a great start, and again managed to maintain her technique to finish 5th in a PB of 11.8s. Meanwhile, I took part in the senior menís hurdles, I managed a clean race, and for the first time in competition demonstrated a basic hurdling technique and was able to finish 2nd and win the silver in 9.44s. In the flat 60m sprint Hannah ran sub-10 in her first ever race over this distance, to finish a weekend that she should be proud of.
Dave Swalwell as expected provided the icing on the cake, and brought home Blythís only gold of the weekend. In the veteran menís race Dave stormed away like a steam train to win in 7.63s. Dave also ran in the senior menís race, and was on course to run even faster before an injury niggle slowed him on the approach to the finish. His recovery from injury less than 6 months ago has been spectacular.