IT was another successful weekend across several disciplines for the Carmarthen Harriers Athletics club, where athletes & parents made long trips up the M4 motorway to Bristol & Cardiff (March 2nd-3rd) as youngsters finished the cross country and indoor season on a high.
Thankfully, there was no repeat of 2018 where both these events were cancelled this time last year due to the “beast from the east” and snow that hit the country hard.
Welsh Athletics’ busy schedule of indoor competition came to an end on Sunday (March 3rd) with the 2019 edition of the Welsh Athletics Under 20 Indoor International.
A season that has hosted events such as the Junior & Senior Indoor Athletics Championships and the Cardiff Met Grand Prix, the National Indoor Athletics Centre in Cyncoed Campus, Cardiff provided an ideal venue for producing an excellent end-of-season competition featuring top class athletes from both countries.
The International match, back for the first time since 2017, saw Junior teams from Wales and England compete and they were joined by a haul of guest athletes who were also invited to compete in specified events.
Welsh Athletics’ Under 20 team was selected last month and included a strong team of over 30 junior athletes full of club and international experience.
Harriers’ Lili Church and Beca Roberts deservedly received their Welsh International call ups to the team, despite the two still being under 17 athletes.
They are used to competing on the big stage by now, having had the experience of travelling to Scotland for the SIAB Schools and Celtic Games International last summer.
The Schools International will surely be another event for them to aim for over the next few months when it arrives in Swansea in July 2019.
Back in Cardiff, Roberts was the first to put on the vest in the women’s triple jump at midday. The event featured three athletes including two of England’s best triple jumpers in Sears and Hughes.
Beca produced six legal jumps on her way to a best of 10.74m in third which was just shy of her personal best this year.
Throughout the competition, she also went to 10.52m, 10.66m, 10.67m and 10.70m and was one of the first athletes to score for Wales.
Towards the half way mark in the afternoon and as the competition was hotting up, the high jump bed made an appearance at the end of the 60m straight.
This is where Lili Church aimed to test herself in a high quality women’s high jump field. Again, England were first and second individually with Church clearing heights of 1.51m, 1.56m and 1.61m on her way to fifth and a positive result.
Third member Osian Roberts was also in action. He was invited to participate in the combined under 15 boys and girls triple jump development event which went off at the same time as the women’s match competition, following the regional development day in Cardiff last year.
Eight athletes went in this one with Roberts winning the overall competition with a leap of 9.66m performed in the opening round.
All three have been in fine form over the 2018 & early 2019 indoor season in the high jump, hurdles, combined events and triple jump including gold medal winning performances at the West Wales Indoor Athletics Championships and Welsh Athletics Junior Indoor Championships recently.
This rounded off a great year for the trio, and will look forward to getting going in summer training with their coach Dorrien Thomas.