SIAB Schools’ Indoor Combined Events International, Glasgow – December 1st, 2012
There were some hugely encouraging results from the SIAB Schools’ Indoor Combined Events International in Glasgow last Saturday.
The nineteen strong Welsh Schools’ party – sixteen athletes, team managers Dai Gatehouse and Joan Goldsmith, and team coach Mike Guest – made the long road journey back to Wales in buoyant mood after a long hard day of competition on the Saturday.
The event was held at the new Emirates Arena – one of a number of new facilities opened ahead of the Commonwealth Games in the city in 2014. It is sited just across the road from Parkhead, the home of Celtic, in the east side of the city, and adjacent to the Sir Chris Hoy velodrome.
All of the athletes were hugely impressed by the quality of the new facility.
From a Welsh perspective, the three athletes grabbing the headlines were year 12 pupils David Omoregie (Bishop of Llandaff), Aled Price (Maes yr Yrfa) and Katherine Morris (Bishop Vaughan), all of whom claimed individual and team medals.
Under 18 Boys – 60m Hurdles, Shot (5 kg), 200m, Long Jump, 800m
We knew that we were fielding one of our strongest ever teams but the worry – especially after the injury problems in a similar situation in 2010 – was whether everyone would stay fit and healthy through all five events. Thankfully, any worries proved groundless.
This quartet – David, Aled, Matthew Collins (Barry Comprehensive) and Luke Ward – total eight previous appearances at this fixture over the last three years at its previous home, the Kelvin Hall. In 2010, Aled was the individual u16 winner, and he, Matthew and Luke were the three scorers for the team which claimed gold at an international which had to be re-arranged from December to early February because of the wintry conditions, which made travelling unsafe on the original date.
Last year, Luke missed out on selection but David, Aled and Matthew were included in the u18 squad. David (3550) missed out on individual gold by just nine points but finished with the individual silver medal , and had the compensation of breaking Colin Jackson’s Welsh under 17 indoor 60 metres hurdles best. Aled was close behind with 3372 points, claiming third place by a single point from Nicholas Hunt (England). Although Matthew scored a new personal best, 3082 points, he found himself down in 12th place as thirteen boys scored over 3000 points. The three boy point total of 10,004 was a best on record, but placed them second to England’s 10,232.
As expected, this year’s competition started with David producing the fastest 60 metres hurdles time. His 7.97 seconds was quicker than his 8.09 seconds of last year, but slightly slower than his 7.92 at NIAC in November – and it earned him 989 points. The other trio made a good start. Aled was fifth quickest with 8.54 (851), with Luke sixth on 8.58 (841) and Matthew seventh, ducking under 9 seconds with an 8.61 seconds clocking (834).
Both David and Aled featured prominently in event 2, the 5 kg shot. David produced the longest put, 13.87 metres (720), to retain top spot on 1709 points. Aiden Davies (England) – mark his name – produced the second longest put, 13.48 metres (697), with Aled 3 centimetres behind (695), which moved him into second place (1546). Matthew’s best put was 10.66 metres, which dropped him to tenth overall on 1359, while Luke found things tough, his 7.53 metres (339) saw him down in 14th (1180).
Aled produced a fine 200 metres run of 23.03 seconds (782) to head the sixteen competitors, but Matthew was only a vest thickness slower (23.04 seconds) but sharing the points. David finished in 23.30 seconds (757) for fifth in that event, while Luke was eighth quickest on 23.82 (709).
After three events, David led with 2466 from Aled (2328) with Matthew sixth (2141) and Luke tenth (1889).
All four boys went over 6 metres in the long jump, with Aled heading the field with a leap of 6.80 metres (736), clawing 31 points back on David (6.67 metres, 736). Matthew and Luke had bests of 6.12 metres (613) and 6.17 metres (624) respectively.
With just the 800 metres to come, the order was David leading on 3202 points with Aled second (3095). Taylor Nimmo (Scotland) was third with 2950 with the first English Schools’ athlete, Aiden Davies, in fourth on 2884 – and Matthew was eighth (2754) and Luke twelfth (2513).
At NIAC in November, it was Teri Morgan-Gee (St John’s College), who set the pace. The watching spectators probably thought his run was a quick one but his time of 2 minutes 11.95 of slow compared to the top u18 boys at Glasgow. There were three sub 2 minutes 10 seconds runs, and one only marginally slower.
The fastest athlete was the experienced Alastair Stanley (Scotland) with a 2 minutes 01.67 clocking worth 740 points. Alastair was only fourteenth, with 2322 points, after four events so his final score of 3062 only moved him up to tenth. However, the second quickest, and this is where the name Aiden Davies re-appears, had a much bigger impact. Aiden ran 2 minutes 04.84 for 685 points, for a five event score of 3569 points. Behind that hugely positive run from the England athlete, David, Aled and Matthew had more modest performances. As at NIAC, David was quickest of the quartet with 2 minutes 17.40 (488), slightly slower than in November. The other three were marginally quicker than in Cardiff. Aled finished just behind David on 2:18.41 (474) with the times for Luke (2:18.61, 471) and Matthew (2:18.74) only hundredths slower. Matthew ended with 3223 for seventh, a personal best and 141 more and five places higher than last year while Luke just missed out on the 3000 points barrier, finishing 13th on 2984 points.
There was still one bit of drama. Aled, having looked to be a certainty for second place, suddenly found that his final score of 3569 ended with him in an unexpected tie situation with Aiden Davies. In that situation, the performances of the two athletes included in the tie are compared, and the one with the greater number of head-to-heads ‘wins’ takes the higher position. In the hurdles, Aled Had run 8.54 seconds and Aiden 8.78 seconds. In the shot, Aled’s best was 13.45 metres but Aiden has produced a put 3 centimetres longer. 1 – 1! Aled was the fastest boy over 200 metres, and produced the longest jump. Aiden had the faster 800 metres time, but Aled took the higher placing on a score of 3 to 2 – so Aled gained second place, with Aiden third. That success gave Aled a complete set of individual medals – individual u16 gold in February 2011, bronze on December 2011 and silver this time!
In the team competition, the three athlete total for David, Aled and Matthew was a best-on-record for a Welsh squad of 10,482 – 478 better than last year’s team silver performance – and good enough for first place ahead of England (10,270), Ireland (9472) and Scotland (8729).
Under 18 Girls –Shot (4 kg), 60m Hurdles, Long Jump, High Jump, 800m
With all four team members – Georgia Bates (Prestatyn, 3113), Katherine Morris (Bishop Vaughan, 3098), and the year 11 duo of Claire Taylor (Radyr, 3072) and Annabel Curle (Cowbridge, 3057) – having broken the 3000 points barrier at NIAC in November, there were high hopes for this squad, but there is a world of difference between competing on home soil in familiar surroundings and having to travel and compete at an international event.
Katherine will be well pleased with her competition while there will be disappointment for the other three. Claire and Annabel have a chance to re-focus on competing again next year while Georgia has to pick herself up and appreciate that ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’.
The tone of things to come was set in the first event, the shot. Emily Dixon (England) headed the sixteen girls with a best put of 9.83 metres (518). Katherine produced a 9.03 metres put (466) to rank fourth with Claire, a potential 9+ metre athlete, recording 8.66 metres (442) for sixth while Georgia was down on her personal best with 7.95 metres (396) for tenth and Annabel was sixteenth with 6.63 metres (311).
It was much the same in the 60 metres hurdles. Olivia Montez-Brown (England), the eventual winner, was quickest with an 8.92 seconds run (927). Katherine and Claire were fifth and sixth with 9.26 (856) and 9.27 (854) seconds respectively for fifth and sixth. Georgia and Annabel produced almost identical times – Georgia was twelfth with 9.76 seconds (758) with Annabel on 9.78 seconds (754).
Katherine was the only one to better the 5 metres mark in the long jump. Her 5.02 metres (565) ranked her joint third in the event, behind Olivia’s 5.49 metres. Georgia’s best of 4.80 metres (506) ranked her eleventh while Claire (4.68, 474) and Annabel (4.64, 464) were 14th and 16th.
After three events, Katherine was handily placed in fourth place (1887) with Claire (1770) joint seventh, Georgia (1660) eleventh and Annabel (1529) still in sixteenth.
There were some impressive performances in the high jump. Grace McKenzie (Ireland) cleared the top height of 1.66 metres (806), with Emily Dixon (England) and Anna Nelson (Scotland) on 1.63 metres (771) and Emma Canning (Scotland) and Jordanna Morrish (England) sharing fourth on 1.60 metres (736).
All four Welsh girls cleared 1.54 metres, finishing joint sixth with 666 points.
Only two girls ran sub 2 minutes 30 times for 800 metres in the final event – Niamh Quinn (Ireland) with 2:26.87 (733) and Emma Canning (Scotland) at 2:29.52. Katherine produced a real gutsy run to clock 2 minutes 32.03 (668), for third quickest and helping in her overall position. Claire ran 2:41.65 (554), with Annabel not far behind, 2:44.09 (527) but Georgia was slower, 3:00.87 (357).
For Katherine, there was real joy. Her hard work was rewarded with third place and a new personal best of 3221 points. Claire’s total of 2990 gained her seventh place while Annabel moved up to thirteenth (2772) and Georgia was one place lower with 2616 points.
There are times in team competition when you can be lucky, on other occasions, not so. As one of our officers frequently reminds us ‘you can only compete against the athletes who are there’. England took the top team placing with 9742 points with Scotland second (9261). The Irish girls placed eighth and ninth, just behind Claire, but had real problems with their other two athletes. One was injured and did not start the 800 metres while the fourth athlete completed all five events but, unusually, was disqualified in the 800, scoring 0 points in the event and ending with a total of 2578 points. With Ireland only mustering 8507 points, the Welsh quartet easily claimed the bronze team medals with a score of 8933.
Under 16 Boys – 60m Hurdles, Long Jump, 200m, Shot (4 kg),800m
Year 9 Harry Hillman (St Teilo’s) got off to a super start in the hurdles, scorching to an 8.58 seconds clocking – a new Welsh u15 best, 0.08 seconds quicker than his run at NIAC in November. That time ranked him joint third with 841 points. His year 10 team-mates all featured at the slower times end of the spectrum. Tom Trotman (Cowbridge) was twelfth overall with a 9.20 seconds time (702), Nikita Neary (Dyffryn Taf) placed fourteenth with 9.42 seconds (656) and Ryan James (Radyr) was fifteenth on 9.45 (650).
Two boys produced long jump performances in excess of 6 metres. Tom was the highest placed Welsh athlete, his 5.92 metres performances placing him third and earning 569 points. Harry ranked ninth with his 5.65 metres best (512) while Nikita was 14th with 5.35 metres (451) with Ryan on 5.00 metres (382).
The 200 metres was a better event for the Welsh quartet. Ryan used his experience in the sprints to good advantage, clocking the joint second fastest time of 23.84 seconds for 707 points. Tom was fifth with 24.09 (685) and Harry sixth (24.22 seconds, 673). Middle distance runner Nikita was a little slower, on 24.64 seconds (637) for tenth.
The placings after three were Harry, fourth on 2026, Tom, seventh on 1956, Nikita, fifteenth on 1774, and Ryan, sixteenth with 1739.
There were some very impressive performers in the shot. The best put was a huge 15.30 metres, and there were three more boys over 12 metres. Tom was the best of our four, his 11.53 metres ranked him fifth with 578 points. Nikita’s best of 10.84 metres (536) placed him eighth in the event, with Ryan claiming eleventh (10.37, 508) and Harry having to settle for 8.87 metres (418).
The last event saw a fastest 800 metres time of this competition from one of our Welsh four. Nikita roared around the four circuits of the track to record 2 minutes 06.34 for 660 points, one of only two sub 2 minutes 10 second times. Harry and Ryan produced very similar runs – Harry on 2:13.35 (548) for seventh and Ryan eighth with 2:13.58 (545) – but Tom, like may combined events athletes, finds the endurance event tough. He ranked sixteenth with 2 minutes 30.75 (313).
Harry headed the team in the final standings, finishing eighth on 2992 points. Nikita’s 800 pushed him up to 2940 points and tenth. Tom will have been happier than at NIAC, finishing twelfth on 2847 while Ryan, who has made arguably the biggest improvement in the last nine months, will have learned from his international appearance, finishing fourteenth (2792).
The team competition was a bit like the one experienced by the under 18 girls. England, with their quartet taking a clean sweep of the top four places, won with 9943, and Scotland’s 9015 placed them second. Ireland, with the two lead scorers in sixth and ninth places, also placed fifteenth and sixteenth – and that tipped the balance. The Ireland three athlete score of 8730 was not enough as Wales claimed bronze with 8779.
Under 16 Girls – Long Jump, 60m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot (3.25 kg), 800m
Jodi Beynon (Ebbw Vale), winner of our junior outdoor and indoor under 16 titles, again made encouraging progress while Abigail Bowers (Welshpool) and Lauryn Davey (Maes yr Yrfa) both improved their points scores from NIAC in November, and Sarah Williams (Welshpool) was on a par with November.
Three girls bettered the five metres mark in the long jump – with year 10 Jodi taking third spot courtesy of her 5.03 metres best (567). Abigail placed seventh with 4.85 metres (519) with Sarah tenth (4.75, 492) and Lauryn twelfth (4.68, 474).
Abigail, our junior 75 metres hurdles champion at last July’s Nationals, made her mark over the shorter indoor distance, sharing the fastest time of the group on 9.17 seconds (875). Jodi ranked joint seventh with a time of 9.76 seconds (758) while Sarah was twelfth (9.83, 744) and Lauryn recorded 9.88 seconds for fourteenth (735).
The top end of the high jump competition was a real quality affair. Two girls cleared over 1.60 metres, with another six over 1.50 metres. At NIAC, this was not a good event for our Welsh quartet but they upped their performances here. Jodi went over 1.50 metres, finishing ranked equal fifth with 1.54 (666). Lauryn cleared 1.48 metres (599) with Sarah on 1.39 (502) and Abigail improving to 1.36 metres (470).
After those three events, Kierra Barker (England) headed the field on 2275 from two Irish athletes. Jodi was fourth (1991), with Abigail ninth (1864), Lauryn thirteenth (1808) and Sarah fourteenth (1738).
Lauryn produced our best shot performance. In a competition in which three girls produced 9 metres plus puts, her best was 8 metres (399), which ranked her tenth. Abigail produced a best effort of 7.67 metres (378), with Jodi on 7.42 metres (362) and Sarah finishing with 7.41 metres (361).
Many of our girls struggle with the last event – the 800. At NIAC, the fastest u16 girl recorded 2 minutes 36.99 seconds – and she was not one of the selected athletes. Here the fastest time was 2 minutes 20.69, and there were a further five girls under 2:31. Abigail was the quickest of our quartet, slashing ten seconds off her NIAC time with a 2 minutes 33.11 clocking (654) to rank eighth. Jodi was not far behind, finishing in 2 minutes 34.87 (633) in ninth. Sarah and Lauryn produced very similar times – Sarah on 2 minutes 40.00 (573) and Lauryn with 2 minutes 40.72 (565), ranking eleventh and twelfth.
Kierra Barker (England) claimed the individual gold with a score of 3541 but athletes from Ireland – Elizabeth Morland (3446) and Niamh Kelly (3242) – filled second and third places.
England (9763) gained a third team gold with Ireland (9643) just over 100 points behind. In the battle for third place, the Welsh trio score of 8654 was not enough as Scotland (8873) claimed the higher placing.
Congratulations to all sixteen athletes!
It was a delight to place our two under 18 boys in first and second places. David Guest won this event in 2007 and 2008 but we did not have another athlete in the top three in either of those years. Paul Bennett (Penglais) and Jamaul Whyte (St Teilo’s) finished second and third in 2009, and we claimed the top team placing with 9929 points.
This year’s u18 squad bettered that total by over 500 points. Aled has now accumulated an individual medal at each colour – gold at u16 in February 2011, individual u18 bronze in December 2011 and silver this time – while this u18 boys quartet struck gold at u16 in February 2011 and again now, and David, Aled and Matthew claimed u18 team silver last year.
Katherine gained reward for her progress over three appearances at this international with individual bronze – the first time that one of our under 18 girls has featured in the top three since Lauren O’Reilly struck silver in 2007 with 3262 points.
Our u18 girls and u16 boys matched the bronze team medals that they achieved in 2011.
Looking ahead, we lose six very experienced and talented year 12 pupils. We very much hope that they will go on to make their mark as senior athletes, possibly in combined events but more likely in an individual event. The 2014 Commonwealth Games may come too soon for them, but it would be wonderful to see them in action for Team Wales at the Gold Coast Commonwealths in 2018.
Welsh Schools would like to record its gratitude to:
- Scottish Schools, for organising the event
- The sixteen athletes who competed
- The management team of Dai Gatehouse and Joan Goldsmith
- Coach Mike Guest
- The parents and family members who made the long journey north to support the athletes
DATES FOR 2013
These are the (provisional) key dates on the pathway to Glasgow next year:
Saturday, June 15th – Joint WelshCombined Events championships – Newport
Following this event, the top twelve pupils in the Welsh Schools’ junior and middle championships will be invited to compete in the u16 and u18 sections on November 3rd.
Sunday, November 3rd – Joint Welsh Indoor Combined Events at the National Indoor Athletics Centre at Cyncoed
Saturday, December 7th – SIAB Schools Indoor Combined Events International – Emirates Arena, Glasgow
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