Thank you to Rachel for both games-making, and writing another super match report.
Home fixture! With the Christmas festivities, it’s been two months since the last round and we were ready to race. And from the moment you walked into the hall you could feel the bottled up excitement. Ellie & Macy were demonstrating the obstacle event, which they attacked with the determination that we would see for the next four hours, matched only by the enthusiasm of the crowd.
This report comes from the unlikely viewpoint of having had a seat at the finish line for much of the afternoon, as one of the judges. It’s a bit of a cliché to say a happy club is a family affair, but in this instance we had athletes, coaches, athletes’ parents, coaches’ parents and other halves and even coaches’ children helping to make sure the afternoon ran smoothly. Particular shout out to the high pressure speed bounce counting volunteers!
The ferocity of the obstacle races were such that we saw several athletes take a tumble but with great spirit they were back up on their feet instantly and finishing. The girls U11s were the first to take to the floor, followed by the U11 boys, both winning their heats, as did the U13 boys in a straight head to head with Bicester.
Next up were the sprints, where Alex unofficially broke the U13G 2 lap record – with two rounds left surely we will see this go officially.
And into the first field event session. U11Gs put in a great team effort to come second in the speed bounce, with a combined total of 174; and U11 boys going one better to win with 171 including a PB from Davidson. A score of 87 secured top spot and a new PB for Edie in the U15G, and Thea also recorded a new PB of 74. U13s are clearly naturals in the triple jump with both boys and girls winning their event and recording the two top jumps.
An opportunity for a quick drink and nipping to the loo, and it was back for the longer distance races to mark the midway session – often a quieter interlude though no less exciting for that. Back to the field for a clutch of PBs in U13G speed bounce (Lacey, Lottie, Mercy & Jess), Ellie in U13 long jump and Felix in U13 triple jump; and then onto the high octane finale. Owing to the great turn out for this event, Lily and Edie were finally able to make their long awaited U15G paarlauf debut, holding their own against the U15 boys in some style, and both the U13 paarlauf pairings finished first.
Relays on home turf and the crowd went wild. Squad after squad thundered up and down the hall, and while there were some ‘challenging’ baton handovers, as Verity said “hey, it happens to Olympians”.
A cracking turnout, with over 50 athletes giving their best, and what sounded at times like a hall full of Witney supporters. With the U11s in second, the U13s and U15girls in first, and the U15s turning out a great show, we move on to Wantage. For those who remember Wantage two years ago, bring your coats. For those who remember Wantage last year, go to the right venue… Let’s show them what Witney can do.