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A very good year

Thursday 17 November 2016

With the annual presentation evening taking place tomorrow, it is a good time to look back over the track and field season.

2016 was a very good year for Cardiff AAC with many successes for both teams and individuals.

The highlight was Jake Heyward winning the European Under 18 championship 1500m gold medal (hopefully the first of many) but let's not forget Bethan Davies who dominated British women's walking and was unlucky not to have been selected for the Olympic Games in Rio.

Four Cardiff athletes did make it to Rio and we are proud of Aled Davies and Steve Morris (Paralympians) and Kevin Seaward and Charlotte Wingfield who represented Ireland and Malta respectively.

Rhys Williams also should have gone to Rio after a strong season which saw him come fifth in the final of the 400m hurdles at the European Championships and end the season as Britain's number two in his event.

All the club teams competed with distinction, with the senior men's BAL team gaining promotion to Division one of the British League, the UK Youth Development League (upper age group) team reaching the UK national final, the UK womens' league team maintaining its position as one of the best in Britain, the UK YDL (lower age group) team just missing out on a repeat visit to the national final and the Welsh Junior League team retaining its title as the best in Wales.

And as soon as the track season was over, the senior men beat Swansea to win the UK national six stage road relay and the women's team took the four stage bronze medal.

Individually there were also successes and a good test of the club's standing is to see how many of its members appear in the UK top ten as shown by the Power of Ten ranking system.

Standing on top of the mountain in number one positions were Bethan Davies (senior women - 20k walk) and Sarah Omoregie (Under 17 women - shot put). Close behind, in second places, were Rhys Williams (senior men - 400m hurdles), David Omoregie (senior men - 110m hurdles), Brett Morse (senior men - discus), Tom Hanson (Under 17 men - shot put) and Evie Wong (Under 13 girls - 70m hurdles).  James Vincent was ranked third in the under 17 men's 1500m and Jay Morse was also third, in the under 17 men's discus.

The full list of top ten UK rankings is:

Senior men: Rhys Williams (400m H - 2nd); Brett Morse (Discus - 2nd); David Omoregie (110m H - 2nd); Elliot Slade (800m - 9th); Tom Marshall (1500m - 10th); 4x100m team (overall 5th/2nd club team).

Senior women: Bethan Davies (20k walk - 1st); Charlotte Arter (half marathon - 9th); 4x400m team (9th club).

Under 20 men: Kristian Jones (200m - 6th & 100m - 7th); Jake Heyward (1500m - 6th & 800m - 10th); Ciaran Lewis (3,000m steeplechase - 6th).

Under 20 women: Melissa Roberts (400m - 7th).

Under 17 men; Tom Hanson (shot put - 2nd); James Vincent (1500m - 3rd); Jay Morse (discus - 3rd); Kieran Grimwade (hammer - 7th).

Under 17 women: Sarah Omoregie (shot put - 1st); Lauren Evans (high jump - 9th); Ffion Palmer (hammer - 10th).

Under 15 boys: 4x300m team (6th).

Under 13 boys: Ben Vincent (long jump - 7th); Jacob Reynolds (1500m - 10th).

Under 13 girls: Evie Wong (70m H - 2nd); 4x100m team (10th).

Paralympics: Aled Davies (F42 shot put - 1st & F42 discus - 1st); Steve Morris (T20 1500m - 1st).

Back home in Wales, Cardiff athletes dominated the rankings and, just considering the senior men and women, the following gives a flavour of the quality of Cardiff athletes.

Senior Men:

Ranked No. 1: 100m - Sam Gordon; 200m - Kristian Jones; 400m - Owen Smith; 800m - Elliot Slade; 1500m - Tom Marshall; 110m hurdles - David Omoregie; 400m hurdles - Rhys Williams; High Jump - Jonathan Bailey; Discus - Brett Morse; Javelin - Jason Copsey; 4x100; 4x400m.

Ranked No. 2: 3,000m & 5,000m - Mike Ward; 3,000m steeplechase - Ieuan Thomas; Marathon - Mike Kallenberg; Pole Vault - Ryan Grimwade; Shot Put - Brett Morse; Hammer - Jac Palmer.

Ranked No. 3: 3,000m steeplechase - Ciaran Lewis; Long Jump - Curtis Mathews; Triple Jump - Gage Francis.

Senior Women:

Ranked No 1: High Jump - Lauren Evans; 20k walk - Bethan Davies; 4x400m.

Ranked No. 2: 1500m - Ffion Price; 2k & 3k steeplechase - Emily Brown; Long Jump - Rebecca Chapman; Shot Put - Lucy Griffiths;

Ranked No. 3: Half Marathon - Gina Paletta; 4x100m.

With all this success, the club was rewarded by being declared the Welsh Athletics club of the year.

If there are any mistakes or omissions, please let us know.