Since Christmas the athletes of Yate & District AC have been busy: some over the country and others indoors. The pinnacle of the indoor season are the regional and national championships. Yate high jumpers have been particularly prominent this year.

February 10th is a date that high jump coach, Jeremy Dale will remember for a long time. In Cardiff, David Thomas jumped third in the under-23 men’s high jump. His jump of 1.78m was below his best but good enough for the bronze medal.

In Birmingham, where the Midland Championships were held, three Yate high jumpers were in action. All three finished top of their categories. Fiona Barkley won the under-17 women’s event with a jump of 1.60m. Luke Ball took the under-15 boys with 1.80m; and Adam Brooks won the under-23 men’s event with 2.00m, a height he now regularly clears.

So – three golds and a bronze for the same coaching group on the same afternoon.

But Luke and Fiona weren’t finished there. The National Indoor Championships were held in Sheffield and both Yate youngsters headed north to try their luck. Fiona, in her first year as an under-17 woman, finished fourth, tying with a couple of other girls. Luke, however, jumped a personal best of 1.83m, which catapulted him to the gold medal and a place at the top of the UK rankings. He has another full year as an under-15 boy, so the future is looking very bright.

Meanwhile, on the country, the top challenge for young athletes is to be selected for their county team in the English Schools cross county championships. Normally, selectors would have a good guide to local contenders, but the South West championships were snowed off, so only the Avon Championships were there for selectors to see.

The Avon teams have included fourteen Westbury Harrier athletes in the teams to go to Leeds later in the spring. These runners will compete for Yate once the summer comes, so we wish them all the best. Leading the Senior Boys team is Abdi Hasan and the under-15 boys team is headed by Seamus Robinson – both of them leading the rankings in the Gwent League also.