British Athletics League 10 in 100 Cup - 2007
Semi-Final, Copthall Stadium, Barnet, 21 July 2007.
With the aim of completing 10 events in 100 minutes, the revamped cup competition was more aptly named than we realised. With many athletes preferring to miss their specialist events prior to the UK Champs & World Trials, or travelling to Solihull for the BMC races, it seemed that only 10 in 100 athletes wanted to take part.
Highlights for Belgrave were the return to 400 hurdling of Ryan Dinham after injury - he won comfortably - and a masterly 3000m win from James Kelly.
A couple of months ago Ryan was undergoing surgery to sort out his problems but although he was disappointed with his time here at Copthall, he actually looked pretty smooth over the hurdles and got in his intended stride pattern. Times will come with a few more races. He celebrated his turn to BAL athletics by lobbing out the discus for a couple more points and anchored the relay team.
James Kelly was content to let Medway's Mike Coleman take up the pace for three or four laps, sitting at the back of a bunch of four ... and then three ... as the laps ticked away. Then, moving into the lead just after half-way, James increased the pace until only Coleman was left in contention and slipping a few strides astern at that. A cloudburst over the last lap heralded the Belgrave man's final push for a clear win.
Late arrivals had those holding the team sheet fretting. Mark Humphrey arrived just in time to to line up for the 800m - and proceeded to run a season's best - while Set Osho was too late to warm up for the 400m and we thanked our lucky stars that Ian Deeth was there to step into the breach.
Cameron Johnston, with a late start to his season, looked comfortable at 4.40m in the pole vault and young guns Kwesi Menyah and Melvyn Anukam welcomed the chance to step up from Southern League competition. Jason Hussain filled in at shot minutes after completing the 200m, to ensure that we had a full team, but unfortunately we were not even near a qualifying position for the final.
Men. 100m: 6 M Anukam U17 11.74/-1.3. 200m: 3 J Hussain 22.54/-3.6. 400m: 4 I Deeth 50.06. 800m: 6 M Humphrey 2:02.84. 3000m: 1 J Kelly 8:34.11. 400mH: 1 R Dinham 53.37. TJ: 7 K Menyah 11.74. PV: 2 C Johnston 4.40. SP: 7 J Hussain 5.27. DT: 7 R Dinham 18.84. Medley Relay: (400, 200, 200, 400) 2 Belgrave 2:27.71 (S Osho, Ian Deeth, J Hussain, R Dinham).
Teams: 1 Enfield & Haringey 87; 2 Thames Valley H 68; 3 Belgrave H 59; 4 Woking AC 58; 5 Kingston & Poly H 54; 6 Medway & Maidstone AC 46; 7 Bexley 29; 8 Dartford 25.
Men go through but the women are out
The BAL Cup entered its third and most revolutionary format this year – renamed 10 in 100 and with a minimum of eight athletes to be provided in the individual events by each team. The idea is to create a snappy meeting where the ten events plus relay are completed within 100 minutes, with men’s and women’s matches to be scored separately. Failure to provide eight athletes – even if the match is won – means no progression to the next round and therefore a late or non-arrival by a competitor could wipe out the team. Events will change to a certain extent from one round to the next and a negative point is that due to the time constraints the competition will not include a 5000m or 10000m.
Providing eight individual athletes proved to be the difficulty in round one as the Bedford International Games, BMC Nike Grand Prix and English Decathlon Championships depleted the stronger clubs. For the smaller outfits, getting athletes to come along to do just the one event, possibly not their speciality, to ensure that enough athletes made up the team was another problem. It was too much for two clubs in our own match who didn’t show up at all – but the problem was worse in a second sequence of matches held at the same venue later in the day where two competitions had to be combined to make the competition meaningful.
Matt Douglas trebled up
All this made things interesting for the team managers who had to scout around to fill out the teams. For the men’s squad a decision was taken to get Matt Douglas to treble up as he was the only available man who could hurdle and, at a pinch, high jump. Unfortunately all Matt’s events took place at the beginning of the meet – and when he wasn’t around twenty minutes before the first race, pulse rates went up a bit. But of course he made it, and after a ten-minute warm-up placed 2nd in the high hurdles, went straight to the high jump where he flopped over for to gain a single height and then lined up for the 800m. Considerably less than two minutes later Matt was allowed off duty for an hour before leading out the relay team! It all made for a good training session though, and Matt was well pleased with his first 800 in 15 years which resulted in a personal record by around 10 seconds.
Sarah our first winner
But it was Sarah Gailey who provided Belgrave’s first win of the day as she tagged along behind the leader for the first lap of the women’s 800m and then went to the front along the back straight. She never quite broke away but had enough strength to ensure that nobody could get back to her. Vicky Goodwin had run in Manchester the previous night and tackled another 1500m here while Helen Arbuthnot took care of both throws, but with such a depleted team the Belles cup run was over early.
Set Osho tackled his first 400m of the season out of the blocks and just missed out on a win and then junior Luke Sargeant, drafted into the first team for the 200m, was delighted with his best ever time for yet another second place.
By now the javelin was coming to a conclusion and one has to applaud the courage of James Everard, due into hospital soon for yet another knee operation, who twice sent his spear over 60m and had all six throws measured well beyond the next best thrower. Halfway through the match then – and the men held a narrow lead over Blackheath & Bromley.
A final flourish clinched the match
Thirty-five year-old Kwadjo Adjepong enjoyed being pulled into the team to tackle the short sprint and he took full advantage of a wind variously reported as +5.4 and +2.4 to gain 4th spot. And then to the longest race of the day where Will Cockerell, whose racing diary recently featured the London Marathon, here gave the impression of sprinting flat out for a full 1500 metres.
Four hundred metre man Michael Peacock gamely filled in at shot putt to keep all events covered as Blackheath moved ahead in the match, but a final flourish by Richard Danso in the long jump, where Gary Wilson also excelled, and a win from the medley relay squad meant that the Bels clawed back the win.
Onwards and upwards, then, to the “semis”.
Men. 100m: 3 K Adjepong 11.58w/2.4. 200m: 2 L Sargeant U20 22.73/1.6. 400m: 2 S Osho 48.23; n/s I Deeth 50.87; M Peacock 54.39. 800m: 2 M Douglas 1:55.74. 1500m: 4 W Cockerell 4:20.01. 110mH: 2 M Douglas 15.35/-1.2. HJ: 4 M Douglas 1.60. LJ: 1 R Danso 6.83; n/s G Wilson 6.88. SP: 4 M Peacock 9.22. JT: 1 J Everard 62.49. Medley Relay: (400, 200, 200, 400) 1 Belgrave 2:28.80 (M Douglas 50.6, I Deeth, L Sargeant, S Osho 52.5).
Teams: 1 Belgrave H 83; 2 Blackheath & Bromley H 80; 3 Bexley 62; 4 Medway 55; 5 Highgate H 52; 6 Dartford 48.
Women. 800m: 1 S Gailey 2:18.43. 1500m: 4 V Goodwin 5:24.99. SP: 4 H Arbuthnot 8.10. HT: 2 H Arbuthnot 32.78.
Teams: 1 Blackheath & Bromley H 89; 2 Dartford 76; 3 Bexley 75; 4 Medway 63; 5 Belgrave H 28.