Proud coach Spicer sees his Yate foursome make the top eight

The Crew: Coach Matt Spicer (centre wearing cap) and his team of talented hammer throwers

COACH Matt Spicer and his hammer throwers enjoyed a special day at the England Athletics Under 20 Championships.

Owen Merrett duly won the national title and launched a personal best of 69.93m; not a bad way to celebrate his 18th birthday!

But Merrett wasn’t the only medallist for Spicer and his group from Yate & District AC.

Toby Conibear took bronze with a best throw of 59.56m and James Viner finished fourth after throwing a PB of 58.32m.

Also making the final and taking eighth place was Dylan Menhennet with 49.50m. So four hammer thrower in the top eight, including the champion and bronze medallist, represents a superb achievements for Spicer and his group.

Additionally, Maisy Harvey threw 42.34m to place a very respectable eighth in the under 20 women’s hammer.

The only slight disappointment was that Merrett missed the qualifying standard for the World Junior Championships in Columbia by just seven centimetres.

Merrett wasn’t the only gold medallist from Yate either as just a week after lifting the English Schools’ senior boys’ title Luke Ball was crowned under 20 men’s champion. What a great week for him and coach Jeremy Dale.

Two other local champions were also crowned and both from Team Bath AC.

John Howorth won the under 23 men’s 1500m and Jake Burkey took gold in the U23 long jump. For both 22-year-olds it was their first national title and on their final appearance in the age group so a terrific reward for persistence and hard work as both have been in the sport since youngsters.

There was also a bronze medal for Bristol & West AC’s Sophie Hamilton in the under 20 women’s javelin with clubmate Jessica Lewis fifth.

In the U20 long jump the club’s higher claim athletes Eleni Francis and Delleah Belgrave finished a respectable eighth and 10th respectively.

England Athletics U23 and U20 Championships, incorporating the World Junior trials, Bedford

U23 men – 1500: 1 John Howorth (TB) 3:51.74; 2 Remi Adebiyi (Bath Uni) 3:52.24; 8 Jack Gumm (TB) 3:54.17; LJ: 1 Jake Burkey 7.35 (+1.1w).

U20 men – 100 s/f 1: 6 Ed Wilson (B&W) 22.12; 110H (+0.6w); 6 Jake Cover (TB) 14.40; HJ: 1 Luke Ball (Yate) 2.10; Hammer: 1 Owen Merrett 69.93 (Yate) (PB); 3 Toby Conibear (Yate) 59.56; 4 James Viner (Yate) 58.32 (PB); 8 Dylan Menhennet (Yate) 49.50.

U23 women – 100 ht 2: 6 Natalie Isherwood (B&W) 12.52; 7 Khia’aama Kofi (B&W) 12.53; 100H (+1.2w) 1 Jenna Blundell 13.55; 400H ht 1: 5 Mia Bates 66.76; ht 2: 3 Joely Bytheway (B&W) 66.52; PV: 4 Esther Leong 3.70.

U20 women – LJ: 8 Eleni Francis (B&W) 5.48 (SB); 10 Delleah Belgrave (B&W) 5.42; Hammer: 8 Maisy Harvey (Yate 42.34; Javelin: 3 Sophie Hamilton (B&W) 43.38; 5 Jessica Lewis (B&W) 41.27

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