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YDL juniors start with a win

Sunday 3 May 2015

Cardiff's under 13/15 team travelled to Cheltenham yesterday for the first round of the UK Youth Development League (Lower Age Group) and achieved a great winning start.

With several athletes scoring double individual wins, Jay Morse stood out with three, winning the under 15 Discus A, Hammer A and Shot Put B. His winning discus throw of 43.73m was a club record and places him second on the latest UK rankings.

Double individual winners were: Joshua Lock (U15 200m B & Long Jump A); Thomas Hanson (U15 Discus B & Shot Put A); Carter Staples (U13 100m A & 200m A); Philip Grundy (U13 100m B & 200m B); Jessica Wadey (U15 300m A & 800m A); Sofia Vella (300m B & 800m B).

Another club record was broken, in the under 13 girls' javelin, when Scarlett Russell threw 24.55m in coming second in the A event.

Cardiff's other event winners were:

Under 15 Boys: Callum Russell (Hammer B).

Under 13 Boys: Tyler Santos (Javelin A); Ben Vincent (Long Jump B); 4x100m.

Under 15 Girls: Eliza Hill (100m B); Issie Tustin (200m B); Kiara Frizelle (1500m A); Carys Bill (1500m B); Isabel Breeden (75m Hurdles A); Anais Rowland (Hammer B); Bethan Gammon (Javelin B); Thea Willis (Shot Put A); Megan Hodgson (Pole Vault A); 4x100m; 4x300m.

Under 13 Girls: Cassey Grimwade (Javelin B).

The match result was:

1. Cardiff AAC (545 points)
2. Swansea H & AC (540.5)
3. Cardiff Archers (535)
4. Cheltenham & County H AC (421)
5. Team Bath (388.5)
6. Bristol & West / Mendip AC (251) 

The full results (final) can be seen here.

The initial results placed Cardiff second by a mere half point but, on checking, it was discovered that Cardiff had, in fact, won.

The team managers report as follows:

Under 13 Boys (team manager AJ): 

If ever a Team proved that every point matters, it was Cardiff AAC's Under 13 Boys.

Carter Staples and Philip Grundy completely dominated the 100m and 200m, to get maximum points. A whopping haul of 32 points. They were later joined by Ben Vincent and Luca Logue-Fonseca to storm to a fantastic 4x100m win.

With a time of 12.9s, Carter now has his sights on the club record of 12.5s, which has stood since 1975!

In the 75m Hurdles, Harry Owen, competing in a Cardiff vest for the first time, showed great bravery to earn the team the points in the A Race. A very nervous Matthew Register produced arguably the biggest surprise of the day for the U13 Boys, by taking an impressive second place in the B race.

In the 800m A race, an extremely brave Gethin Evans had to pull up after 500m due to illness; better days will come for Gethin. In the B race Iwan Smith pick up a very good third place to get Cardiff the points in this event. Better news from the 1500m where Ryan Edwards (still in primary school) continues to make a name for himself; with a great personal best of 5:08 minutes - the 5 minute mark will surely come soon for Ryan.

Away from the track, one performance was outstanding. Tyler Santos in the Javelin was sensational, adding almost 5 metres to his PB - 2015 promises to be an amazing year for Tyler. In the B event, it was Matthew Register again, showing great spirit to take third place.

In the Long Jump, the ever dependable Luca and Ben (both also still in primary school) took on the high school kids again and did their stuff! Luca and Ben (the Welsh Championship silver medallist) picked up 13 huge points for Cardiff.

In the High Jump, a 1.25m jump gave Harry Owen a crucial 5 points. The same height gave Matthew Register second in the B event, earning another 5 points and bringing Matthew's tally to 14 points for the day.

And then we had the Shot Put! Will Odgers, also in his first competition, picked up a very valuable 4 points coming third in the B event.

But, the last word has to go to Daniel Lacey!

In the first draft of the published results, Cardiff AAC was given 540 points, to Swansea's 540.5. At that stage it looked as if Cardiff had come second, by half a point! BUT, Daniel's mum brought to our attention that Daniel's performance in the shot put was missing. His fourth place was missing. His 5 points were missing. The results were amended. The revised tally read: Cardiff 545, Swansea 540.5. We Won!

Dan's missing throw of 5.16m made the difference, teaching us what sport is all about.

And what it means to be a Team. Fantastic teamwork boys :)


Under 13 Girls (Team Manager Alan Wadey): 
It being my first fixture as Team Manager, I started the day wondering just how things would turn out. My nerves were probably matched by all those athletes competing for the first time, or so I thought.

After a wet trip into Cardiff, I was pleased to find the coach already parked up at the rendezvous in Sophia Gardens and, having checked off a few names, we were underway and heading to Cheltenham for the first YDL match of the season. The closer we got, the better the weather until, by the time we arrived, the sun was shining. The scene was set - “let the games begin”.

First up was the 70m Hurdles. Our sole runner, Saffy Maurice ran a smooth A race and finished a credible fourth, scoring our first valuable points. Unfortunately we didn’t have an athlete in the B race; something to work on for next time – any volunteers?

Then came the High Jump, which saw Saffy competing again, this time achieving second place with a PB of 1.30m, and Lily Gregson our second competitor clearing the bar to gain valuable points.

Attention then moved back to the track with the 150m Sprints. Holly Medina gained fourth with a PB of 21.6 and Saffy, in her third consecutive event, gained an injury (which ruled her out of the relay later in the day) but still finished and gained points.

The 800m race didn’t go quite to plan due to a missing athlete, but Bethany Gold moved up to the A race at the last minute and ran a PB of 2:53. This left a gap in the B race which, unfortunately, couldn’t be filled.

Turning back to the field events, the shot put saw Cassey Grimwade and Lily Gregson in action. Cassey gained second place and a PB of 7.99m as the A competitor and Lily pulled out a throw just short of her PB to take third place as the B competitor.

The Long Jump provided the first events for Scarlett Russell and Marcy Webbe where both achieved season’s bests and valuable points.

The 75m Sprint saw Holly and Marcy back in action with Maddy Jones running a non-scoring race. Holly ran a PB of 10.9 achieving fifth place in a very bunched-up field. Marcy also ran a PB of 11.3 in her race, achieving the same finish position. Maddy finished the sprints with a PB of 11.2.

The distance then leapt to 1200m with Emily Chirighin running a PB of 4:02.0 to gain second place and Sara John putting in a creditable run as the B competitor, again achieving valuable points for the club. We didn’t have any non-scoring runners in this race, partly due to injury. If interested in this distance, let me know for next time.

The field competitions drew to a close with the Javelin which saw Scarlett and Cassey doing their best to gain points for the club. Scarlett threw a PB of 24.55m, which saw her to second place, with Cassey close behind with an season’s best of 22.91m and first place amongst the B competitors. Good throwing girls.

The culmination of the track events was the relays. There is always a lot of excitement generated by these and the noise in the stadium certainly grew accordingly. With Saffy injured, Maddy was drafted into the team to run the first leg. Next up was Marcy who kept up the pace and handed over to Scarlett, with Holly taking the final leg. The team finished a brilliant third on 57.1, with only 0.7 seconds separating the first four teams. I was glad not to be a finish line judge!

It was the first YDL for many of the young athletes and what a way to start – lots of PBs and SBs and also a team win. When it came down to the final results, they were so close that every point did count; whether a first place or a last place, it didn’t matter. Let’s see if we can do even better at the next match, after all, PB’s are there to be broken. But, importantly, let’s continue to have fun at these events.

Well done one and all. You’re a credit to your club.

Last but not least a big thank you to all the parents, especially those that helped out on the day.

Under 15 Girls (Team manager Jen Stone):

What a day!  I approached my first league match as Team Manager for the U15 girls with eager anticipation.

The field events kicked off the day with Bethan Gammon setting a new PB of 26.42m in the hammer throw and more PBs followed for Thea Willis in the javelin (28.10m) and Ellie-May Stonehewer in the long jump (4.54m). Bethan Cushion equalled her early season indoor PB of 1.40m in the high jump and Megan Hodgson won the pole vault with a height of 2.80m.

Wins and PBs continued on the track with our sprinters.  Elliza Hill set a new PB of 13.0 to win the 100m B race while Issie Tustin made a welcome return from injury to win the 200m B race.

Jess Wadey and Sofia Vella each did the double by winning their 800m and 300m in the A and B races.

Kiara Frizelle dominated her 1500m A race, taking 18 seconds off her PB to set a new one of 4:58.3. Carys Bill changed events at the last minute to compete in the 1500m B race, which she won, and then went on to run a strong leg in the 4 x 300m relay a mere half an hour later.

A special mention must go to Anais Rowland for stepping up to compete in the hammer throw after only having thrown the hammer a couple of times in practice.  She scored a win in the B event with a throw of 18.97m.

Also thanks go to Lily Gaskin who was press-ganged into filling a gap in the Long Jump at short notice and, despite never having competed in this event before, jumped 4.25.  Perhaps she has found another event?

The 4 x 100m relay team (Renee Moore, Isabel Breeden, Elliza Hill and Lana Culliford) ran a very exciting race setting a time of 51.7, setting a new club record.

The last race for the girls was the 4 x 300m relay (Sofia Vella, Lily Gaskin, Carys Bill and Jess Wadey) which they won convincingly.

The team showed great spirit throughout the day, producing tremendous results.  This ethos was further evidence by Annwen Gammon who, despite being injured, volunteered to officiate, gaining us valuable points which all contributed to the magnificent first win of the league.


Under 15 boys (Team Manager AJ):

The Under 15 boys came to Cheltenham in force, and they brought their A game! Even missing recent Welsh Champion, Thomas Britt, there was plenty of talent on display.

In breaking with tradition, we shall start with the throws - the heavy throws. Three athletes, between them, scored 48 out of 48 points.

There were maximum points in the A and B competitions for the Hammer, Shot and Discus.

It may have been Daniel Lacey’s points that got us over the winning line, but it was Jay and Callum who left the competition standing at the start line!

It all began with the very first event of the day as Jay Morse re-captured his fondness for the hammer with a 32.33m PB throw to win the A event. His team mate, Callum Russell, produced the biggest surprise win of the day, in the B event, and surpassed all expectations with an excellent throw of 17.46m

In the shot put, enter Thomas Hanson. Tom was a cut above the rest in this competition and his win was never in doubt, without having to be anywhere near his best; and Jay Morse’s PB throw of 11.66m comfortably won the B event. Thomas Hanson went on to throw 28.62m in the discus, to win the B event, again with distance to spare – he is an extraordinary talent, currently ranked number two in the UK.

In the Javelin too, Henry Gauntlet, throwing for Cardiff for the first time in the YDL, looked at home with the year 9s. Tough conditions meant that Henry was just below his brilliant best, but still captured second place and 7 points in in the A event. Thomas Hanson capped off another good day with second place in the B event.

And if that wasn’t enough, step forward Jay Morse again (with discus in hand this time please)…!

Having re-written the club’s record book a week before, Jay added almost another metre to his own record. A PB throw of 43.73m leaves us all wondering what does 2015 hold for Jay!! Three events, three PBs. Well done Jay!

On the track, Evander Lewis looked at home at this level of competition, running a great PB time of 25.1 in the 200m to take third place in a high quality A race. New comer Joshua Lock, competing for the first time in a Cardiff vest, made an instant name for himself by winning a thrilling B race with a time of 25.3. Josh had already secured a fantastic win in the long jump earlier in the day with a huge 5.55m jump, taking him to number one in the Welsh Rankings. Great debut Josh! Welcome to Cardiff AAC! Also in the long jump, the ever popular Jonathan Gibson inched his way back to his best, with a 4.73m jump, his best in almost a year!

It was not such good news in the 100m. An illness forced the extremely talented Evander to go home early. Step up Seth Kelly and Louis Spencer. The ‘endurance’ runners gave it their all, with Seth recording an impressive 12.7s time, and Louis running a PB in the B race.

In the Hurdles, it was Ryan Lane and Callum Russell who bravely filled in and grabbed five points in this event. Cardiff AAC won this match by 4.5 points so you can do the maths yourself. Thank you Ryan and Callum. Great efforts.

Before his heroics in the 100m, Seth Kelly, produced another PB run in the 800m to take second in the A race. Alfie Davies, a little off his best, was still good enough to take second place in the B race. Better days to come for Alfie!

Running the 300m for the first time was Daniel John. A very good 40.4s time gained him second place. It was a great run by Dan who we all know will be out to get the win next time. In the B race was Ryan Lane, in his more favoured event, and a  PB of 44.6s produced further points for the team.

Another favourite amongst the athletes, coaches and team managers is Morgan James. Having run in a Welsh vest a few weeks ago, he took almost 20 seconds off his PB in the 1500m, to clock an incredible time of 4:35.5. Morgan’s amazing year continues. Another PB for year 8 athlete Louis Spencer in the B race gave the team big points in the endurance events.

The toughest event for the boys proved to be the high jump, with Jonathan Gibson getting the points here.

As always, the day ended with the relays and, after Evander’s unfortunate departure, we had to look elsewhere for his replacement in the 4x100m. Coming forward was a young man proving again what a team player he is. Joining Josh Lock, Thomas Hanson and Daniel John was Henry Gauntlet;  and it was to great effect! The boys finished narrowly third against two full strength high quality relay teams. We’ll get them next time boys!

The day ended with a very good third place, and another 6 points, in the 4x300m, with Alfie Davies, Ryan Lane, Jonathan Gibson and Seth Kelly bringing the team home! They too will look to go one (or maybe two) better next time!

From the huge haul of points in the throws, to the bravery shown by the hurdlers, or the great team spirit of the relay teams, one way or another these boys meant business. The win for Cardiff AAC was a great reward for their effort.


This is an excellent start to the series and Cardiff is more than capable of winning the 2015 series and qualifying for the national final. Let's go for it.

Well done.