The weather put a quite literal dampener on proceedings at Footes Lane for yesterday’s Intertrust Track & Field Challenge fixture. Sam Wallbridge and Hannah Lesbirel (above) turned out the highest quality performances but plenty of others battled the cool winds to post strong times and distances.
Wallbridge was first up, and 24 hours after recording a 54.78sec time over 400m hurdles in London for his higher claim club, Birchfield Harriers, he went sub-55 again with 54.98. In what has been a frustrating season for the Island Games silver medallist, performing that well in an effective time-trial in the damp and windy conditions should give cause for optimism.
Arguably the race of the day followed, in the form of the 300m hurdles. Officially an U17 distance – there was still an island record up for grabs and all three of the girls ended up dipping inside the mark held by Emma Batiste. The race itself was an intriguing battle of speed and technique against endurance – as sprint hurdlers Rhiannon Dowinton and Abi Tardivel took on middle distance athlete Eliza Mason. It was ultimately the latter who triumphed after surviving a late charge from Dowinton off the final hurdle – indeed they were only separated on the photo finish by thousandths of a second, both clocking 49.51sec. Tardivel was third in 49.58 in what was an extremely close finish between the three girls.
Rhiannon Dowinton was also arguably the star of the field events as she leapt to a new PB in the long jump of 4.89m, and an Island Games Development Standard. Unfortunately the youngster will only be 14 when the Games begin and not the required minimum 15 years old. The performance does stand to highlight that the sprint hurdler does have serious multi-event potential.
Elsewhere in the field, there was a very competitive discus competition which saw the U13 boys of Alex Brouard and Josh Avery split by U15 girl Daisy Whiteman with the 1kg implement (19.45, 18.91, 18.58).
Alastair Chalmers went in the 200m and sneaked inside the 23sec mark with 22.98 (-1.3m/s) – the headwind in the home straight and on the majority of the bend making faster times impossible. This highlighted the quality of Hanah Lesbirel’s performance over the same distance – as she went inside 26sec again with 25.92 (-2.1) following her wind assisted 25.43sec on Wednesday at Lee Valley. It rounds off a very encouraging 200m campaign for the 20-year old who could be in contention for the medals at next year’s Island Games if she can continue to progress this winter. She and Chalmers did not contest the 100m later on – a race which was severely compromised by the wind and saw Reese Jackson the fastest with 13.13 (-1.9). Abi Galpin was fastest of the female athletes with 13.20 (-1.9).
Richard Bartram is a youngster who could find himself at the Island Games following his attainment of the Development Standard earlier this season. He was unable to quite repeat it yesterday but ran a sensible race in the conditions and won in a confident looking 2:01.99 with Joe Yeaman putting in a very credible performance behind him in second place.
Full results are below. Power of 10 results are here.
Photo courtesy of Lesley Chalmers, video courtesy of Chris Chalmers