YDL – Opening Win for Lower Age Group Team

Eighteen younger athletes from Grantham Athletic Club competed at the Youth Development League against five other athletic clubs at the Grantham Meres track on Saturday. This year we were delighted to be part of a composite team, joining athletes from local clubs Bourne, Sleaford and Newark. This enabled us to have a strong team of over 40 athletes competing under the name of Notts Lincs Alliance.

Athletes had the opportunity to compete in a maximum of four events, one of them being a relay. The day began in glorious sunshine as we welcomed all athletes, eleven female athletes and seven male athletes from Grantham.

Track events began with U13 female athlete Megan Tremain competing for the first time at YDL and taking on the challenge of 70m Hurdles, a new discipline for her. She put in fantastic effort clearing all hurdles and finishing in fourth place with a time of 18s. Mazel Brown was next to compete in the 150m coming home with a time of 25.3 in sixth position. She also competed in her more-suited distance of 1200m with fellow athlete Ffion Trundell. Both girls ran well with strong performances, Mazel finished very comfortable in first place with a time of 4:29.8 and recovering from her jet lag Ffion finished first in the B race with a time of 4:42.6. Athletes Rachel Justice took on the 75m with one of our new GAC athletes Molly Scaum. Both athletes pushed hard for the finish line against five other athletes, Rachel came home second with a time of 10.9 and Molly came home first in the B race with a time of 11.8 and with the biggest smile of the day. 75m race saw Erin Crook representing Grantham, new to competition Erin was nervous but put everything into the B race and came home second with a time of 12.7 Field events for the U13 Girls saw Rachel Justice throw the Shot 6.32m giving her first place and Molly Scaum jumped 3.20m in the Long jump gaining 4th place.

Five U15 Girls did themselves proud at the competition. In her first year at this year category, Mary Justice took part in four events in both track and field. First she ran the 200m in 29.8 gaining her fifth place, 100m saw her run 14.2 gaining fifth place again, her last event before the relay was shot where she threw 6.22m giving her 5th place, a positive start to the season. Fellow athlete Amy Crook who like her sister is new to competition, overcame her nerves and ran the 200m and gained fourth place with a time of 34.8 in the B race and then took on the 800m where she ran 3:02.4. a great effort from Amy. With the 100m race being popular, relative newcomer to Grantham Erin Disdel ran the 100m in a non-scoring race, she did an amazing job running against U13 boys and came home in 13.9 s which would have got her fourth in the A race. She finished her day fourth in the Long jump where she jumped 4.33m. Sophie Hamilton who was competing in this age category for the first time took part in four events, her best performance of the day was Discus where her last throw reached 22.32m, dashing off between throws she managed to gain 2nd place in the 800m B race with a time of 2:55.2. and Javelin saw her throw 22.37m gaining fourth place, a great start to the season and coping with two events at once is not an easy task! Helen Braybrook also had a great start to her season, she ran a comfortable 800m and came home first with a time of 2:30.8, then went on to the 300m where she ran a time of 46.6 narrowly missing first place.

An exciting start to the season for all the female athletes and lots more to come I am sure. Their attitude and determination was brilliant to watch.

Male competition for Grantham saw U15 athlete Harry Denton step up on the day and take the place of an injured athlete to run the 80m Hurdles, not one of his events, however he had a fantastic clear race and came home first with a time of 15.4, his face at the end said it all. Harry then went on to compete in the 200m with a time of 29.5, fourth place. Discuss saw him throw 13.85m gaining 3rd place over all.  A great competition for Harry who showed great spirit competing in two events that are out of his comfort zone. New comer to the club and competition, Tom Glendinning had a great debut. Tom threw 23.48m in the Discuss winning the competition comfortably and then took on the 200m B race and won with a time of 26.7 The 100m then saw him run a time of 13.0 gaining him first place in the B race. What a great start for Tom. This year saw Ewan Rodell compete in the U15 age category, he began the day in the 800m finishing in second place with a time of 2:27.2, just behind him, fellow athlete Peter Braybrook finished in 2:27.8 a great race. Ewan then went on to race the 100m in 14.2 gaining third place, he then threw 6.77m in the Javelin, Peter also threw Javelin and came third with a respectable 11.42m. His last event was the 300m where he ran 48.7 and came 4th. Rori Rodell tackled the 1500m and shot, he came 1st in the B race in a time of 4:51.7 which was 3rd overall, a determined effort and threw 5.93m gaining 3rd place in the shot.

Two U13 boys Alex Cole and George Scaum competed for the first time on Saturday and did themselves proud despite their nerves. Alex Cole threw Javelin and made a sterling effort gaining himself second place with a throw of 16.07m George took on the popular 100m finishing in a time of 16.9 in 6th place. His most successful event was the shot where he achieved second place with a throw of 4.97m a great start to their competitive season.

Bringing the event to a close was the 4×100 relays and the 4×300 relays. Many of our athletes who took part in these events had little, if no experience in relays and some of them had never met before, so the results all considered where superb. 4x100m U13 girls team consisted of Molly Scaum, Rachel Justice, Megan Tremain and Erin Crook, they ran their hearts out and came home 4th with a time of 64.6. U15 Girls 4x100m team saw Grantham athlete Amy Crook joined by Molly Peel, Eleanor Peel and Grace Tidman from Bourne, a tough race for these girls but they never gave up, a time of 63.6 brought them home in sixth place. U15 Girls also raced in 4×300 relay, Sophie Hamilton, Mary Justice and Helen Braybrook where joined by Elin James from Bourne. A tough distance to race but they gave it their all and came home with a time of 3:25.0 in second place. Ewan Rodell was joined by three Bourne athletes Connor Ely, Max James and Mathew Colman for 4×100 relay, they had a determined race but excitement got the better of them and they unfortunately got Disqualified, I am positive they will not let this happen at the next YDL. The 4x300m relay was the last race of the day and saw Harry Denton, Peter Braybrook and Tom Glendinning joined by Alex Evans from Newark. They can home in a time of 3:07.0 in first place. A great way to conclude a fantastic athletic event, that produced great performances, fantastic team spirit and a thirst to improve. All your hard work at training and your determination to do your very best was inspiring to watch, you never failed to give it that little extra at the competition and it’s something you should be very proud of.

So now for the results … Notts Lincs Alliance were delighted at the end of the match to discover that they had won the competition, beating teams from Burton AC, Derby AC, Mansfield Harriers, Sutton-in-Ashfield Harriers AC and Worksop Harriers AC and are looking forward to competing again next month. It would be great if more U15 and U13 athletes could join the team and take part in the second round at Sutton in Ashfield on Saturday 20th May. Please look out for the sign-up sheet on the notice board. I would also urge all athletes that competed to take the opportunity at training sessions to practice your events and if you saw events at the match that you like the look off, why not try them at training and enter them at the next YDL.

I would like to thank all the parents, grandparents and friends that supported the event and helped during the day. I know these events take commitment and with the busy schedules, we all seem to have these days, it is much appreciated. Going forward we will be asking for more parent help on the day, anything from raking the sandpit on long jump too collecting the javelins! This help means that our coaches and officials get the opportunity to support the athletes they coach every week and perhaps even have a lunch!

Fantastic result everyone, here’s to a great season and if this event gave you a taste for more competition make sure you sign up for the County Champs. Check out the website for details or speak to your Coach.

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