We mustn't become complacent, says Bristol team boss Knibb
BRISTOL & West AC team manager Cy Knibb has challenged the club's athletes to finish the job and win the British Men's League Division Four title after another rousing performance.
On their return to top-level club athletics, the club made it two wins out of two on home soil at the Kip Keino Stadium, Stoke Gifford, to ensure that, at the halfway point of the competition, they lead the table.
"It is all about consistency and not being complacent now," said Knibb.
"It would certainly be nice to go up as champions and that is definitely possible, but we are there to be shot at by Reading and Nene Valley (Peterborough), who will chase us all the way to the finish."
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Saturday's victory, after a tremendous battle with Reading, puts Bristol & West AC in pole position going into the third and penultimate match later this month with 12 points, ahead of Reading on ten and Nene Valley on eight.
"The next match is in Bournemouth on July 28, when Reading will be the greatest barrier to us gaining promotion for the second year in a row," said Knibb.
"Our continued success will depend on us holding on to the athletes who did so well on Saturday and the return of the club's outstanding sprinters who have been sidelined by injury and other calls.
"We have set our standards high and I'm not interested in us finishing second now."
The loss of the club's top sprinters with injuries meant Knibb had remained very cautious before the match and initially his fears looked well-placed as, after the first seven events, B&W were lying fourth out of six teams.
But the club started picking up points and, by the finish, Bristol & West had 238 event points to beat Reading by 16 points with Nene Valley on 210.
"It was a very close call," said Knibb.
There was an outstanding haul of 40 points from University of Bristol athlete Will Hartley, who, coincidentally, is coached by Knibb. Hartley tackled six separate events throughout a busy afternoon.
Other winning individual performances included a new divisional pole vault record of 4.60m by Tony Hillier, a family double by Simon and Liam Biddlecombe in the A & B discus and another double victory in the 3000m by Dan Studley and Oli Mott.
More wins included John Brierly in the 400m hurdles, Richard Peters in the 800m, Charlie Maclean in the 1500m, Caspar Eliot in the 400m hurdles, Will Hartley in the javelin, James Diamond in the long jump and Luke Bailey in the pole vault.
British Men's League Div IV, Kip Keino Stadium, Stoke Gifford – teams: 1 Bristol & West AC 248; 2 Reading AC 230; 3 Nene Valley Harriers 216; 4 Mansfield Harriers 194; 5 Cambridge Harriers 176; 6 Bournemouth AC 170.
B& W performances: 100: 6 Andrew Dean Young 11.5; B: 6 John Brierly 12.0; 200: 6 Alex Fields 23.8; B: 5 Casper Eliott 23.6; 400: 2 Dean-Young 50.3; B: 1 Brierly 51.2; 800: 2 Dave Bishop 1:56.9; B: 1 Rich Peters 1:52.2; 1500: 2 Andrew Woods 4:03.7; B: 1 Charlie MacClean 4:06.8; 3000: 1 Dan Studley 8:37.1; B: 1 Oli Mott 8:41.4; 400H: 3 Will Hartley 57.2; 110H: 2 Hartley 16.0; B: 2 Brierly 17.0; HT: 3 Matt Spicer 43.63; B: 3 James Preston 28.42; DT: 1 Simon Biddlecombe 43.09; B: 1 Liam Biddlecombe 42.35; JT: 2 Robin Danaher 56.46; B: 1 Hartley 43.58; SP: 2 Liam Biddlecombe 13.97; B: 2 Preston 12.25; LJ: 4 Hartley 6.20; B: 1 James Diamond 6.18; TJ: 6 Paul Weston 11.59; B: 5 Hartley 10.30; HJ: 4 Hartley 1.75; B: 4 Luke Bailey 1.60; PV: 1 Tony Hillier 4.60; B: 1 Bailey 4.00; 4x100m relay: 4 B&W 46.3 (Dean-Young, Brierly, Eliot, Fields); 4x400m relay: 2 B&W 3:21.7 (Eliot, Bishop, Dean-Young, Fields).