Superb showing delights Avon manager Lesley
TWO golds and a new meeting record were the highlights of a magnificent display by Avon athletes at the Aviva English Schools' Track and Field Championships in Gateshead.
Leon Reid scorched to victory in the senior boys' 100m and Lucy Bryan cleared a new record of 3.85m to win the senior girls' pole vault, in an Avon haul of nine medals that also included four silvers and three bronzes.
In addition, Avon won the senior girls' and boys' team titles for Group B counties (based on population size) and were runners-up overall across all the age groups in that category.
"I cannot remember doing any better in the past," said team manager Lesley Nunn. "It was a magnificent performance and very exciting."
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Bryan has rarely competed this summer due to injury, but she showed her class to win a competition held in appalling conditions on Friday.
"The rain was coming down in sheets – I have never seen such conditions for a pole vault," said Nunn.
The senior boys' 100m race is always one of the most eagerly-awaited of the weekend and junior international Reid became the first Avon winner since Ryan Scott in 2004 as he raced to victory in 10.64secs.
But that wasn't all. Finishing like a train, his team-mate Kwame Fordwor burst though to take the silver medal, the first time a one-two has been achieved by an Avon pair of sprinters.
There were four silver medals in total, with the others from middle-distance runners Lily Owsley and Olivia Sadler, who train together, in the senior girls' 800m and 1500m respectively, and Jacob Spence, who clocked a superb PB to finish runner-up in the junior boys' 80m hurdles.
Three bronze medals were won by the Avon squad. One was by the Avon senior boys' relay squad, in which Reid and Fordwor were joined by Elliot Prendergast and Tom Pontin, and the others came from female sprinters Bethan Wakefield (senior 100m) and Emily Wright (junior girls' 100m).
Rob Phillips twice improved his PB before finishing fourth in the 400m hurdles and Josh Evans ran a PB en route to fifth in the inter 400m.
Other top ten finishes came from Zac Tobias (senior 3000m), Floren Scrafton (senior 1500m), Victoria Kenny (senior 3000m), Hannnah Grubb and Elise Gauntlett (both senior pole vault), Eliza Reid (inter 200m) and Miranda Sadler (inter 1500m).
Dan Studley's impressive season shows no sign of slowing down. Racing in the B 1500m at the British Milers' Club Grand Prix in Manchester, the 20-year-old broke 3mins 50secs for the first time as he smashed his personal best by almost five seconds with 3mins 46.97secs.
There is a busy race programme this week, starting with the popular Yeovilton summer 5k tomorrow (www.yeoviltownrrc.com), while, on the track, Bristol & West AC stage an open meeting at the Kip Keino Stadium in north Bristol (www.bristolandestac.org.uk).
On Thursday, there is the Sundayshill 10k road race in south Gloucestershire (www.thornburyrunninigclub.co.uk) and, on Friday, it's the popular Towpath 10k in Bristol (www.greatwesternrunners.co.uk).