There was a very welcome return to the YDL Lower age group league competition at Mile End Stadium hosted by VPTH AC, which ironically was at the same stadium where this competition last took centre stage almost 2 years ago.
Woodford’s first fixture of the new “hybrid” NAL season took place at Lee Valley on Sunday. As the sport of Athletics eased back into high level competitive Club competition for the first time since August 2019, there were just four of the NAL Premiership clubs at this fixture with the others of the 16 clubs in this top division being at three separate fixtures. Woodford’s fixture included Harrow, NEB and SBH. For this season only team results have been placed on the quality of performances, akin to how multi-events are scored but using different points tables. Although far from an ideal system as weather conditions (especially wind direction) can be quite different from one venue to another as can the tactical or otherwise nature of longer races it does allow some comparison to be made across the whole division. Woodford’s team consisted of some of our experienced BAL/UKWL athletes and many younger athletes who were making their debuts at this level. Based on the scoring system in use Woodford’s three highest points scorers in their individual events were Youcef Zatat, Will Grimsey and Ciaran Wright, with Yemi Mary John the next and the highest scoring woman with a fine personal best and European Junior qualifying mark over 400m. Whilst Woodford finished 3rd in this match at Lee Valley only 3 other Clubs from the other matches around the country scored more points under this format to leave after the first round Woodford in 6th place of the 16 teams in the Premier Division. Points scores for the top 8 Clubs (subject to further scrutiny); TVH 569, Birchfield 544.5,SBH 532.5, Harrow 505.3, Blackheath & Bromley 479, Woodford Green w EL 465.3, Trafford 460, Sheffield 433.3.
Meeting photos from Eva Gilbert Photography
Matt Williams' photos on Twitter @JumpingBackward
This weekend on Sunday will see Woodford Green w EL undertake their first NAL fixture of the season. The first since the old BAL and UKWL were merged after end of the 2019 season with no NAL fixtures taking place in 2020. Fixtures this season will be very much of a “hybrid” nature with teams grouped on a local basis within division and then performances compared across the four fixtures for each division. Over the past couple of weeks several Woodford athletes have put in high class performances including GB debuts for Will Grimsey and Phil Norman and Olympic qualifying marks for Dan Rowden, Cindy Sember and Tiffany Porter