Bury AC welcomed teams from Blackpool, Border Harriers, Horwich RMI, Southport, St Helens and composite M60 and North Cumbria teams to the opening fixture of the Youth Development League (Upper). The Upper League is for athletes in the Under 17 and Under 20 age categories and will GCSEs and A levels looming most teams field depleted teams and this was the case for Bury despite the benefit of the home fixture. However, what the team lacked in numbers and experience they made up for in spirit. It was also excellent that so many volunteers turned out to support the club in setting up the track for the meeting, officiating and keeping the athletes well fed in the club house canteen.
Bury finished a solid 4th place with several athletes producing excellent performances in events they were not familiar with.
Making his debut for the club, Kamili Bell ran out as a powerful winner in the under 20s A 400m, recording an impressive time of 53.5. Kamili clearly has the potential to go faster and is now applying himself to training. He also took 3rd in the A 800m race in 2.10.7. Hashim Shah completed his usual sprint double, taking 6th in the 100m (11.8) and 4th in the 200m (24.7). James Howard also made his debut for the club taking 2nd in the B 100m (13.0) and 3rd in the javelin (17.55). Oliver Kirby took 2nd in the B 400m (59.2) before combining with James, Kamili and Hashim to give Bury 4th in the 4 x100m relay (51.2).
Jenna Allen-Cartwright and Teegan Brady ran the A and B under 20 200 and 400m races. Jenna took two second places (28.1 and 64.9) and Teegan 2nd and 1st (28.1 and 69.6). Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth and Amy Garroch both stepped up age group to support the under 20’s, taking 2nd in the long jump (4.41) and 4th in the javelin (18.27), which were personal bests for both athletes. The Bury team ran out as winners in the 4 x 400m relay.
Brandon Quinton produced the stand out performance for the under 17 men. In his first year in the age group Brandon bravely front ran the 3000m, quickly breaking up the field apart from one Blackpool athlete who was able to hang on. The fron running in the cold and windy conditions finally took their toll and Brandon was unable to match his rival’s sprint finish. He was however rewarded with an excellent time of 9.18.8 in his debut at the event. He also scored points in the javelin, taking 4th place (8.63). Brandon Wilson took 7th in the A 100m (12.3), Oliver Donnelly 3rd in the 1500m (4.55.9) and another debutant, George Croft, took 5th in the 800m (2.24.3).
The under 17 women had the best turn out in numbers and displayed an excellent team spirit. There were individual wins for Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth (300m hurdles in a 51.8 pb); Katherine Towsend (A long jump 4.43), Amy Garroch (B long jump 4.31), Daisy Worthington (B 80m hurdles 13.6) and Heledd Rimmer (B javelin 26.36). Hattie Vaughan took second in the pole vault, her 3.30 best vault indicating the challenge of the cold and windy conditions. Charlotte Larkin took 3rd in the A 100m (13.4) with Ruby Stanley having a very busy debut competing in the B 100 (6th in 15.5); A 200m (6th in 33.4) and A 300m (5th in 56.9). Katherine had a busy afternoon in the field events, over and above her long jump she took 2nd in the high jump (1.30) and 2nd in the discus (23.25). Hannah Mayle also made a busy debut for the club taking 2nd in the B discus (12.80), 3rd in the B shot (5.72) and 4th in the A hammer (19.76). Daisy Worthington took 2nd in the A shot (9.83) and 3rd in the A javelin (27.79) with Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth finishing 2nd in the 800m (2.32.7) and Amy Garroch (3rd in 80m hurdles in 13.2) scoring vital points. The highlight of the afternoon was the 4 x 300m relay with Ruby and Hannah keeping the team in contention over the first two legs before Charlotte moved within striking distance of the M60 team before Daisy totally dominated the last leg changing a 10m deficit into a 20m lead by the end of the race.