It was a tense morning as Team Norfolk travelled to Tonbridge, Kent, for the fourth and final National Youth Development League athletics match of 2013 to fight for their right to be promoted into the Premier Division 1 next year. Despite winning the previous three matches the athletes knew that working as a team was imperative, a much deserved promotion and the opportunity to claim the title of being Premier Division 2 winners.
All the athletes did everything that they could, competing in the maximum number of events available to them;. Pole vauler Ed Boorman and international hammer thrower Callum Brown even competed in the harrowing 2000m steeplechase in intense heat finishing a respectable 4th and 3rd in order to claim those all important points.
On the track Team Norfolk pulled together with many athletes competing in their non-specialist events. At the start of the track programme, Grace Ashworth stepped into the spotlight as an U17 running in the U20 400mh securing 2nd place and setting a sense of team work for the rest of the day. Later in the day Mabel Beckett tackled the 3000m securing first place and maximum points, as well as going on to win the 1500 Steeple Chase. In the U20 mens events, Daniel Wong (U17) stepped up to the sprints gaining a comfortable second in both the 100m and 200m. Scott Greeves and Tom Hook both went on to win the 800m (A and B string) and securing second place over the 1500m. Matthew Bailey also gained a comfortable win in the 110m Hurdles by a large margin, securing maximum points for Team Norfolk. Against an extremely strong line-up, both U20 and U17 women worked hard to ensure no gaps were left in the sprints, gaining valuable points for the team. This included, Katie Clark showing her strength over the 300m hurdles taking the win by a large margin.
As a team, Team Norfolk showed to be a very strong in the U20 throwing events, with Callum Brown gaining maximum points in the Discus, Hammer Throw, Javelin and Shot Putt, alongside Michael Painter in Hammer, Discus and Oliver Bradfield in Javelin. The girls also proved to be a forced to be reckoned with in the throwing events with Gemma Thrower and Gemma Vickery dominating the Discus, Hammer and Shot Putt. Hannah Maher, who as an U17 stepped up to compete in the U20 Javelin alongside Gemma Thrower. Additional field events showed Katie Vickery dominating the Long Jump as well as taking second in the Triple Jump.
The U17 athletes continued to show Team Norfolk’s worth in the field events with Daniel Howe securing a second place in Discus. Jack Halliwell won the Javelin with maximum points and took a second in the Shot Putt. Jordan Harry claimed a well-deserved first place in the Long Jump with Tom Lake taking 3rd place in the Triple Jump. Jerry Dasaolu secured maximum points in the High Jump in his debut for Team Norfolk. Once again Grace Ashworth proved to be an asset to the team gaining second place in the Long Jump, with Katie Pursehouse securing maximum points in the Triple Jump. Megan Rushmore showed why she is one of the highest ranked athletes in the Hammer Throw as she annihilated the opposition taking the win.
At the end of the day all that was left were the relays, which once again showed the team work within Team Norfolk as throwers, jumpers and runners came together in order to finish the day on a high. The U17 womens 4×100 consisted of Clark and Pursehouse, joined by Jessica McNaughton and Alice Gill, to take a good 3rd place. In the U20 women 4×100 thrower and jumper Vickery and Vickery were joined by Catherine Manning and Tayla Benson as they finished is a respectable 5th place. The mens U17 4×100 team showed incredible form as Green, Dasaolu, Harry and Wong dominated the field to take first place and once again securing maximum points. The U20 mens team (Borrmann, Bailey, Craig Brooks and Malcom Wandera) came together to take a well-deserved 3rd place in the relay. Next up on the track was the 4×300 U17 womens team who managed to secure second place, setting the standard for the rest of the long sprint relays. The U20 womens 4×400 team fought well, and managed to secure a well-earned 4th place, as the U20 men placed third in a tight race. To end the day, The U17 boys took to the track for the last event, the 4×400 relay. The team of Tom Lake, Sam Green, Ashley Waterson and Bruce Beckett worked hard together to dominate the relay and to finish in first place gaining maximum points and ending the day on an incredible high.
Overall, Team Norfolk accomplished their goal of winning the match with an impressive margin; making it the fourth match out of four that they had won. Promotion to the Premier division next season was assured