North Somerset AC Shine in Newport

Competing in one of the hottest June days North Somerset AC knew that they had to defeat Rhymney Valley AC in this fixture to secure a place in the promotion play off match in the middle of July.

It was clear from the first event that the top three teams in this division where up for the challenge with Team Bath AC hoping to secure first place.  However after the first ten of the 57 events it was North Somerset AC with a slight lead over their main rivals.  This lead was maintained for most of the afternoon, it wasn’t until the last few events that Team Bath AC overtook North Somerset AC and then it was a battle to see who would finish second in this division.

The club had a few debutantes in this fixture and they performed heroically alongside regular competitors to try and push the club into that second place.  During the course of the day the club had 40 PB’s evenly split across the team.  Not one athlete deserves to be highlighted as all of the team competed in not just their own preferred event but also stepping into unfamiliar territory to gain those much needed points as well as becoming cheer leaders whilst not competing.

With just the relays remaining North Somerset knew that they needed to get the baton round in the final five events to qualify for the play off final which they did in spectacular style with two wins, two second places and a third.  This left the club just 36.5 points clear of Rhymney Valley AC in second place to secure those all important league points to finish in second place in the division behind Team Bath AC.

With all the results compiled the play off final will be in Swindon on the 15 July and North Somerset AC will be competing against South Wales, Bristol and West/Mendip AC, Team Bath AC, Swindon Harriers AC, Cardiff AAC and Cheltenham and County Harriers in what could be described as a true M4 derby to try and gain promotion for the 2018 season into the Midland South/West Premier League.

Many congratulations to all the team James, Harrison, Sam P, Christian, Cameron, Lewis, Ashya, Henry, Rosie, Hannah, Stella, Stephanie, Chelsea, Connie, Alysha, Ruth, Holly A, Phoebe, Chrissie, Oliver C, Yannis, Myles, Nathan, William, Oliver H, Louie, Sam H, Ben, Mary, Olivia Y, Holly G, Keira Du, Lily, Daisy, Abigail, Keira De, Poppy and Bonita.

A huge thank you to all those that volunteered not just as officials (which did give us another 55 valuable points) but also team managers in organising their teams superbly but also to all the parents and siblings that came to support the team, with this support we wouldn’t have done so well.

If anyone has any photos from the event that they are willing to share with the club then please use our Twitter feed of @NorthSomersetAC.  Looking forward to the final in Swindon, but before then is the first Avon League fixture on 9 July which could give us a first indication of the true strength of Bristol and West and Team Bath.

 

LONDON TO PARIS CHARITY BIKE RIDE FOR HEAD COACH – JULY 19TH – 24TH 2017

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With exactly one month to go I am increasing my fundraising efforts in an attempt to raise the £1,500 that I pledged to charity. I would therefore be extremely grateful to accept any support you can offer, whether corporate or personal.

The Charity and donation page if you would like to sponsor me is:

https://www.action.org.uk/sponsor/chrismillard2017

I will also have sponsor forms with me at all coaching sessions, if you would prefer to donate this way. So please just ask me, and I will be happy to hand one over!

I am riding with a team of 36 from London to Paris, covering a distance of over 500km/300 miles with 4 days to complete the task. We have targeted a minimum amount to be raised of £50,000 for our selected charities, and we are currently standing at £43,000.

For those who do not know me…I was/am (depending on injury!) an International Sprinter, both as a senior athlete for Wales, and as a Master (35+) for Great Britain. I have won plenty of medals etc at this level, and in 2004 I decided to set up our own Athletic Club (North Somerset Athletic Club) that now boasts a membership of around 400. A year later I created North Somerset Athletics Academy (210 athletes) and have been Head Coach of both ever since.

My training, since 1993, has been based on improving my explosive ability (weights, sprints, plyos etc), so this bike ride has been a massive personal challenge due to it being ‘the exact opposite’ of the training I’ve been used to the last 24 years! I purchased a road bike for the first time since I was 14, and after my initial struggle I have managed to ‘be-friend’ it and hit some decent mileage in the last few weeks (over 100 miles a couple of weekends ago). Trying to squeeze training into a manic work schedule has been among the most difficult areas for me (6am starts some days), with the summer being ‘key athletic season’. The ride remains a massive challenge, and will test my mental and physical ability. Day One of the ride will be on my birthday… What a way to spend your big day!

So please sponsor me if you can! If you have already, then many thanks for your support, it’s very much appreciated…

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE!!

Chris Millard

North Somerset AC Keep Pressure on Rhymney Valley AC

In difficult conditions for the second YDL fixture in Hereford on Saturday, North Somerset knew that they had to finish in the top two to keep alive their hopes of making the promotion play off final.  There was a great team spirit around the track as there was early successes to put the pressure on the other teams.

During the day there was an impressive 12 individual winners these being James Gentile (100m A String), Christian Albon (200m B String), Sam Payne (80m Hurdles B String), Lewis Hembrow-McKinkey (Shot A String), Rosie Hall (200m A String), Tilly Smale (200m B String), Phoebe Gooch (High Jump B String), Chrissie Becker (Discus A String), Oliver Chilman (Long Jump A String), Mary Loughlin (75m A String), Poppy Adams (1200m B String) and Keira Devereux (Long Jump B String).  There was also 2 wins in the Under 15 Boys and Under 13 Girls 4 x 100m relay.

Wherever you looked around the venue PB’s were being set with a total of 44 being set during the day with another 2 being equalled.  The following athletes posted PB’s James Gentile, Christian Albon, Ollie Lock, Lewis Hembrow-McKinley, Harrison Garland, Tilly Smale, Steph Brooks, Chelsea Kenn, Holly Avery, Ella Johnstone, Alysha Forsbrook, Phoebe Gooch, Stella Rhodes (equalled), Oliver Chilman, Myles Taylor, Louie Brunsdon, Will Maine (equalled), Sam Holloway, Nathan Rhodes, Mary Loughlin, Lily Whaley, Keira Duncan, Keira Devereux, Maisie Speakman, Mary Hemmings and Poppy Adams.

Throughout the afternoon the updated scores were close between Forest of Dean AC, Team Bath AC, North Somerset AC and Rhymney Valley AC and it came down to the final few events and number of officials that each club had to decide the overall match score.

With Team Bath AC eventually winning the second match they look like certainties to make the play off final, however a strong second place for North Somerset AC now leaves us on level league points with Rhymney Valley AC but slightly behind on match scores.  The final fixture is on Sunday 18 June and North Somerset AC just need to beat Rhymney Valley AC to qualify for the play off final.

Records Tumble at County Championships

North Somerset AC had a successful day at this years County Championships last weekend at Yate.  In difficult weather conditions for all athletes the club came away with 1 championship record, 6 club records, 49 medals (14 gold, 21 silver and 14 bronze) and numerous personal bests.

Ada’ora Chigbo broke the championships record by clearing 1.75 metres and winning the Under 20 event.  Club records were broken by Esther Leong (Long Jump – Senior Women, 5.08 metres), Alys Withers (400m – Senior Women, 66.98 secs), Emma Bakara (Javelin – Under 17 Women, 34.78 metres), Natasha Statham (Javelin – Under 15 Girls, 24.63 metres),  Sam Gentry (800m – Under 17 Men, 2.02.64) and Henry Cox (Javelin – Under 17 Men, 38.63 metres).

Congratulations to the following Gold Medalists:

Keira Deveraux (U13, 1500m), Rosie Hall (U15, 100m), Tilly Smale (U15, 200m and Long Jump), Isabell Hellings (U15, Discus), Caroline Walder (U17, Pole Vault), Emma Bakare (U17, Javelin), Esther Leong (U20, Pole Vault and Long Jump), Ada’ora Chigbo (U20, High Jump), Sam Payne (U15, 80m hurdles), Lewis Hembrow-McKinley (U15, Long Jump), Tim Leong (U17, 400m) and Henry Cox (U17, Javelin).

A full list of results can be found at avon-aa.org.uk.

 

Training on Saturday 13 May

Due to the Avon Track and Field Championships being held this Saturday training will be as below:
Clevedon Session 8.30am – 10.30am – Cancelled
Clevedon Session 10.30am – 12.00pm – Cancelled
Priory Session 10.30am – 12.00pm (Primary Group) – STILL ON
Priory Session 10.30am – 12.00pm (Secondary Group) – Cancelled

Just the 5 Events in the One Day Then!!

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Stephanie Brooks, Alysha Forsbrook and Phoebe Gooch competed for North Somerset AC in the Somerset Schools AA / County AA & Open Combined Events Championships junior girls pentathlon held on Sunday April 30th it was their first attempt at a pentathlon and all 3 performed admirably and all 3 girls are bottom of the age group .

With the weather predicted to be very wet and windy the girls lined up for their 75 hurdles facing a stiff head wind but sunny conditions all 3 coming through without too much trouble so a good start to the day.  Next up was the shot put which all 3 girls were in the same pool so could support each other.  Phoebe put herself under a little bit of pressure with 2 no throws but managed a respectable 5.72M with her 3rdattempt to just edge out Stephanie with 5.69M and Alysha with 4.78M meant all 3 girls set new personal bests for the event.  Next up was high jump (albeit 2 hours later) and the weather changed markedly.  The rain came……… the temperature dropped and the wind picked up and what can only be described as atrocious conditions with the rain coming in horizontally.  Stephanie set a new PB with 1.27m matching Phoebe who also had 1.27m.  Alysha jumped 1.09m and all 3 girls were cold wet and miserable by the time they got back to the tent.  At this point of the competition Phoebe and Stephanie were neck and neck with only 36 points separating the girls with Alysha close behind.  With the high jump going up in 3cm steps it took an hour longer than anticipated with the winner eventually clearing 1.60m.  Onto the long jump where the girls were in better spirits having had some food and a change of clothes.  With 2 rounds complete Phoebe and Stephanie were still neck and neck with Phoebe having jumped 3.55m and Stephanie 3.48m.  Stephanie had a no jump which looked a lot further than her previous attempts and Phoebe hit the board perfectly to set a new PB of 3.98m.  Alysha jumped well recording 3.16m a little below her best but still valuable points gained.  To show how things changed with this jump Phoebe turned a 36 point deficit into an 89 point lead going into the last event the 800m.

With the last event being graded after the 4 events meant the girls would run against those around them and with 12 points per second available it turns the race into something meaningful as each competitor is close to you in the overall standings.  With this in mind Alysha set off in the first race and stuck with the leaders of her race when with 300m to go struck out and went for home and built up a lead over her rivals.  With 100m to go she was still in the lead but  a fast finishing girl just pipped at the line but finished with a superb time of 2m 53s just 3 seconds off her personal best scoring well over 400 points.  In the next heat were both Phoebe and Stephanie and it was clear from the start that Stephanie meant business and was in second place at 400m with Phoebe a little way back.  With 300m to go Stephanie (with a little parental encouragement) went for home and won the heat in 2m 42s just outside her PB scoring a massive 548 points, Phoebe came home in 3m 21s which is a new PB scoring 189 points.

In the overall completion Stephanie finished in 36th with 1689 points, Phoebe was 48th with 1407 points and Alysha was 51st with 1141 points.  All 3 had a great time despite the conditions and are looking forward to the next competition.

We had 1 junior boy (representing Kings of Wessex school) Lewis Hembrow-McKinley 14.42(80mH) 10.56 (Shot) 4.84 (LJ) 1.66 (HJ)  2:35.86 (800m) 2106 points, Lewis came 7th out of 33 finishers in the event.

A Tale of 3 Cities in One Weekend

Last weekend saw the club represented in three cities in three very different events and competitions.

On Saturday it was the opening fixture of the Lower Age Group (U13’s and U15’s) YDL.  After the disappointment of relegation the club are looking to bounce back with promotion to the Midland Premier South/West League at the first time of asking.  With the top three of our league facing the bottom two clubs after three fixtures in a final winner takes all in Swindon in July, it was imperative that NSAC got off to a flying start.  All the teams were depleted, due to a number of other commitments, however the athletes who turned up did themselves and the club proud with their achievements.  For some it was also their first event on an athletics track and provides the team managers with difficult selections in the remaining fixtures.  The provisional results have NSAC third on 402 points.

The club finished with over 40 top three finishes and 14 first places from Mary Loughlin (75m), Olivia Young (75m and 150m), Rosie Hall (150m), Will Maine (200m), Harrison Garland (800m), Poppy Adams (1200m), U13 Girls 4x100m relay (Olivia Young, Daisy Manners-Lolley, Kiera Duncan and Mary Loughlin), Yannis Richards (Long Jump), Lottie Milnes (Long Jump), Daisy Manners-Lolley (Long Jump), Hannah Bolt (Shot), Isobel Hellings (Discus) and Bonita Williams (Shot).

Thanks to all parents for their support, but special thanks to the team managers of Mel Callas and Rich Brunsdon and Martin Fisher (Lead Official) for their efforts on the day.

Also on Saturday saw the first day of competition in the National Sportshall Athletics UK finals in Manchester.  Tim Leong, Lewis Hembrow-McKinley and Christian Albon were part of the seven strong Avon U15 Boys team that finished an agonising 17 points short of third place but can all be proud of their achievements at such a high quality event.

On Sunday it was the turn of the Under 13’s with the club represented by five athletes.  Sam Payne led the way for the club by securing 2nd place in the Speed Bounce which helped Avon to 2nd place in the team competition just behind Berkshire.  In the girls competition Tilly Smale came 3rd in the Standing Long Jump and with the support of Steph Brooks, Phoebe Gooch and Millie Rosenior helped Avon to 6th place overall.

From the speed and explosive nature of sportshall athletics to the other end of the spectrum and the club had four athletes representing them at this years London Marathon.  First to cross the finish lane was Sam Gentry, who was competing for the South West U15 boys team in the British Athletics Road Championships which is raced over the last 5km’s of the marathon course.

In the main event NSAC had three competitors, first to finish was Josh Davis in a time of 2:36:41, he has also won the admiration and demonstrates the spirit of the club by helping a fellow athlete across the line (I am waiting for permission to use a photo to attach to this report).  Second to finish was Abbi White in 3:23:01 while Club Secretary Andrew Ballentine finished in 4:04:23 raising over £500 for Children’s Hospice South West.

If any athlete, parent , carer has any pictures it would be great to share these on the clubs Twitter pages, please use @NorthSomersetAC.

Sam Selected for South West Team

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U15 Sam Gentry has been rewarded for his successes this winter with selection to compete for the South West region at the London Mini Marathon later this month. All the top junior endurance athletes throughout the UK will be competing against each other in this high profile annual prelude race to the London Marathon.

Sam has had a remarkable winter season in the Country, culminating in a fantastic 22nd place in the English Schools Cross Country Championships Inter Boys race a couple weeks ago. Competing as a bottom age athlete at this event, he’ll have another crack in the same age group next year and who knows where he’ll finish!

A week prior to wrapping up the Individual U15 Boys title in the Gwent Cross Country League, Sam also appeared (along with many others representing the club) at England’s premier Club National Championship event in Nottingham. Finishing just 2 seconds shy of the 3rd placed athlete and a podium finish, his superb 5th place was a sure sign that Sam is a top athlete to be reckoned with in the Country discipline.

We all wish him well for London, and look forward with relish to watching Sam repeat his winter feats on the track this summer!

Top 10 for James at Cardiff 10K

James Rodgers finished as top local runner at the Cardiff 10K on Sunday with a superb 6th place. James fell short of his PB by just 6 seconds in a  time of 31mins 22secs.

Training is going well for road specialist James and he’ll no doubt be looking forward to the Bristol 10K early next month. The club should have a fair few men running the race this year and it’ll be interesting to see how we fare in the team event.