When the real (men’s) team manager goes on holiday and leaves me in charge I actually enjoy it. In the main, team management is seen as a thankless task. Chasing people up to compete instead of socialise, and dreading the “night before the competition” calls from people dropping out. The senior track and field team managers job on the day however is an absolute pleasure to have. The team is a mix of under 17s keen to impress and eager to please, seniors who have operated at the top level of national track and field, phased by nothing and happy to be there, and vets or masters athletes still more than capable of earning points, competing, and sharing their wisdom. In the first match the team came fifth out of six and sat in a relegation position. This match was different. The reason we came fifth was due to not having events covered (there are 36 places available in each of the men’s and women’s team). That changed in Cleckheaton. There were only 7 spare places in the men’s and women’s teams combined (not including the pole vault) and both sections fielded 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m relay teams. The conduct of both athletes and officials was a credit to the club and a massive thanks for all involved goes out to Jill Jones and the rest of the team that hosted the match on Bingley’s behalf.
Effort and achievement have been the watchwords of the team so far this season. These are just some illustrations that epitomise the efforts gone to by families for the team: Jack Thorp, who now lives in London traveled up to compete in which ever middle distance event was going. In the week leading up to the match he requested a place in the high jump so he could compete with, against his brother Tommy, and then on the day asked if any other events needed filling. He was happy to do the triple jump, but that was full so opted to run the steeple chase! By the end of the day he had secured 2 second places in the steeple chase (10:47.2) and 1500m (4:22.0) as well as a b string victory in the high jump (he lost out to Tommy by 10cm).
Phoebe Francis changed pace from her usual 3000m to race in the 1500m. Her place in the 3000m was ably filled by her mum, Caroline Francis, (thanks Mum!).
Whilst everyone who performs achieves for themselves there were a couple of younger athletes who are making significant progress:
Eliza Findlay produced yet again for the team with another PB in the 3000m, her fourth in a row this season, meanwhile in the men’s 1500m it was two in a row for Archie Scott. Both are reaping the benefits of training on the track and showing that speed wins when it comes to track running.
In the field Abigail Allport PB’d in the long jump and Marnie Leach did the same in the hammer. Also there is a special mention here to Ed Chafer. Neither young anymore nor new to the team Ed still managed a first. I asked him if he fancied a go over the 400m hurdles, in true Bingley style he said yes. Nearer the time he climbed over a hurdle and said no, so I pulled him out of the entry list, then right before the race, enthusiasm got the better of him and I had to put him back in. He placed second, enjoyed it and has been pencilled in to do it again in the next match.
New additions to the women’s team Megan Ellis and Ruby Klarzynska both made their senior team debuts, notable Ruby in the javelin and Megan in the triple jump.
“Judge the strength of a team by its relays” they say……… well first of all we had full teams in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400m. Then Olivia Francis ran a terrific anchor leg of the 4x400m with a split of 66 seconds – giving her food for thought in terms of events to run at the next match. Jack Thorp featured again in the men’s 4 x 400, after all his previous efforts contributing to the teams victory by 15 seconds over our nearest rivals (Full Team: Archie Scott, Tommy Thorp, Jack Thorp, Oliver Robinson).
If you want to be part of the team at the next meetings (8th July and or 4th August) contact Andy Warriner (women’s team) on 07885 910017 / firstname.lastname@example.org or Colin Daniel (men’s team) on 07980 640937 / email@example.com and see if there is a space for you. The team ethos is to have more people doing less events, so there is the opportunity to specialise if there is a place on the team sheet.
Acting Team Manager