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Juniors struggle in the rain

Monday 27 July 2009

On another typical athletics day in Cardiff (continual rain), Cardiff's National Junior League team, already weakened by illnesses, managed only 7th place in the fourth and final match of the year yesterday, Sunday 26 July. A number of good performances could not overcome gaps in the team; which will be competing next year in a regional division of this league.

Team manager Debbie Bull has made a fantastic effort to support this team over the past 5 or 6 years and has enjoyed mixed success. She explains that the men's team could hold its own (scored separately it would have come fifth on Sunday) but that there are simply too many gaps in the women's team. This is underlined in the results where the men counted 5 individual event winners whereas the the women could not manage any, despite winning the 4 x 100m relay.

The club should not be too despondent, however, as the highly successful Young Athletes League league team should be able to provide a stronger Junior League team within the next year or two. We must also say well done to all the Junior team members who have turned out loyally and done their very best.

The Junior (under 20) age group has always been the most difficult as it is the time when young athletes go to university or start work and find that athletics has to take a lower priority in their lives. The Junior league was formed especially to try to bridge this gap between the junior and senior levels in the sport and has been partially successful in this. Nevertheless, the long timetable and excessive travelling demanded of teams (one team had to leave at 5.30am in order to be in Cardiff for the first event at 11.00am) needs to be addressed if the league is to continue to appeal to this age group.

Individual event winners for Cardiff were:

Chris Howe (100m B);  Tom Knight (200m A);  Konstantinos Karras (800m B);  Alex Obiako (Triple Jump A);  Callum Stout (Triple Jump B).

Match Result:  1. BIrchfield (472);  2. West Wales (465);  3. Notts AC (431.5);  4. Charnwood (394);  5. Cannock & Staffs (388);  6. Chesterfield (368);  7. Cardiff (355.5);  8. Mansfield (345).

Final League positions:  1. Birchfield (32);  2. Notts AC (24);  3. Cannock (21);  4. Charnwood (21);  5. Mansfield (16;  6. West Wales (15);  7. Chesterfield (10);  8. Cardiff (5).

To view the complete results click on RESULTS.