The weekend saw the U13 and U15 Girls and Boys punch big at the UK Sportshall Finals in Manchester, coming home with an array of medals.
Norfolk’s Under 13 Girls are celebrating a fantastic triumph after being crowned champions at the UK Final of Sportshall Athletics at the Sportscity Manchester on Saturday 16th April, the final a culmination of Ulster and Wales and Reginal finals across the UK, beating second place Surrey by a massive 108 points.
Amy Money, Holly Harrison, Ellie Morgan and Eleanor Brown started the day by winning the first event the difficult Obstacle Relay, Eleanor then quickly won Silver in the Standing Triple Jump, while Zoe Powers carrying an injury threw the Shot 8.57m in the Standing Long Jump, Alisha Youngs jumped a PB of 2.36m coming fourth place in a high class field. Ellie not to be out done won the leg sapping Speedbounce with 88 bounces, helped by Serena Grace with 84 jumps finishing in 4th place.
On the track Serena won the 4 lap race. Alice Hill came 4th in the 2 Lap final with only a slight trip stopping her from being second. Kayley Earl, Holly, Ellie and Eleanor then won the 4×1 lap relay. In the longer races, Eden Harrison was 4th in the 6 lap with Annabelle Joynson coming 14th. Eden and Heidi Lamb after winning their heat, finished 4th in the 8 lap Paarlauf. In the last event of the day, the 4×2 relay final, no team in the UK was going to beat the quartet of Alisha, Kayley, Alice and Serena.
All was left was for Eleanor to go on the stage with all the other captains and to finish up as last girl standing in the count down. This was tremendous performance by this record breaking young team.
In the U13 Boys competition a team of 12 very excited but a little nervous lads arrived at the Nationals as best runners up, ready to take on the other 10 qualifying areas.
Jack Hardy, Josh Gostling, Alex Whall and Scott Leeder stepped up for the obstacle relay and started the day brilliantly, breezing through the qualifiers to take a super silver medal in the final. The individual 2 lap and 4 lap heats followed with the top 22 boys in each event; Zak Young, Jake Garside, Alex Mortimer and Alfie Williams battled hard and ran well. The 6 lap time trial saw two gutsy performances from Conrad Harrison and Toby Robinson, with Conrad getting close to a podium position in 5th place. The 4 x 1 lap quartet of Rio Ward, Jack, Josh & Joe Williams unfortunately had a technical error, which led to them not achieving a result that reflected their talent!
The field events were just as exciting, with Alfie becoming the National Champion in the shot putt with an enormous throw & PB of 11.98m! Other podium athletes included Jake’s massive total of 86 Speedbounces taking silver, Zak’s enormous jump of 7.23m achieving a bronze medal. Alex Mortimer’s long jump of 2.36m was big, but there was some tough opposition that pushed him into 6th place.
The last two relays of the day, were the gruelling 8 lap paarlauf where Jake & Conrad ran their socks off in the time trial and were rewarded with a bronze medal and the 4×2 lap relay where Rio, Alex M, Joe & Zak reached the final, which proved to be a nail biting fast race, where they were just squeezed out of a medal position into 4th place.
Overall these talented athletes matched the best position the Norfolk U13 boys had ever achieved, with a super 6th place. Only 23 points from being in 4th position.
On Sunday 17th April, it was the U15’s competition. Both the Girls and Boys teams qualified as best runners up and were raring to go! Hannah Mayne represented the East as the individual event Champion and she came third in the 2 lap race with a time of 21 seconds, 3rd in the speedbounce with 84 bounces and 7th in the standing jump with 2.31m resulting in a bronze medal in the individual competition overall. Katie Daniels (captain) came 18th in the individual competition helped by a PB in the vertical jump of 59cm. Lucy Koenigsberger and Isobel Holroyd also obtained PB’s in the shot, Lucy with 10.36m earning her 4th place and Isobel with a putt of 9.25cm and came 12th. Mia Hopson and Gabby Delarue completed the team with good performances earning the team a strong 7th place finish.
The U15 boys team comprised of Joel Clarke (captain), Charlie Williams, Nathan Smalls, Alex Simpson, Mason Higby, Jamie Brown and Hayden Buffham. Joel won the gold medal in the speedbounce competition with 94 bounces, jumped a PB in the standing long jump with a jump of 2.53m and came 12th in the individual competition. Speedbounce was the team’s strongest event with the team placed 1st (Joel), 5th (Alex – 85 bounces) and 12th (Nathan – 82 bounces). Charlie came 13th in the individual completion with a 4th place in the standing long jump with 2.70m and 10th in the shot putt with 11.28m. Mason was 12th in the shot putt of 10.79m. Strong performances from Jamie and Hayden gave them a 7th place finish overall. This was two very young teams who exceeded all expectations on the day and who have a great future ahead of them.
Helen Stubbs, Chair of Norfolk Sportshall League, said “All of the teams should be really proud of their incredible performances, sheer determination and excellent team spirit. They are a credit to their County and have given us and themselves a truly memorable weekend. Noisy Norfolk once again lifted the roof off the Arena at Sport City, Manchester when it was announced that the U13 Girls team had won and we were National Champions – it has been a momentous team effort. It has been a few years since all 4 Norfolk teams were selected to represent the East which is not bad for little old Norfolk! A special thank you goes to all the coaches, team managers, parents and friends who travelled to Manchester to make Norfolk loud and PROUD a long way from home!”