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BAL Cup semi-finals/BMC inc. UK Challenge - updated

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While the weather played havoc nationwide, the women’s triple jumpers set the hottest pace in the chase for UK Challenge points during the BAL Cup semi-finals on Saturday 21 July.


UK Challenge triple jump leader Nadia Williams won at Copthall Barnet with 12.56m (with no wind reading taken). It is not among her ‘fantastic four’ jumps that count towards the UK Challenge Final at Crystal Palace next month, but it helped Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers win the women’s match with 83 points ahead of: 2 Blackheath & Bromley 76, 3 Herne Hill Harriers 71, 4 Herts Phoenix 69, 5 Crawley AC 64.


But Yasmine Regis (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow) went out to 12.66m at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre to help her club home with 96 points ahead of: 2 Woodford Green with Essex Ladies 87; 3 Team Southampton 71; 4 Reading AC 65.


There was also an encouraging javelin win at Copthall for teenager Jade Dodd (Herne Hill Harriers), who threw 47.25m to add to the confidence she gained by being named one of the major prize-winners at the UK Challenge ThrowsFest in Birmingham recently.


The other semi-final on a windy day at Copthall ended: 1 Enfield & Haringey 90; 2 Bexley 75; 3 Dartford 74; 4 Woking AC 69; 5 Kingston 10.


The women’s result along the M42 at Tamworth was: 1 Birchfield Harriers 95; 2 Tamworth AC 63; 3 Coventry Godiva 52; 4 Cardiff AAC 34; 5 Notts AC 18. Whilst at the Blackpool Stanley Park Arena, the women's result was: 1 Trafford 110; 2 Binley 76; 3 Cannock 40.


Among the men, Tom Carey (Shaftesbury) improved his chances of reaching the UK Challenge 400m hurdles final by winning his race at Copthall in 53.47 seconds, his third-fastest time in this summer’s series. The match finished: 1 Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers 82; 2 Blackheath & Bromley 73; 3 Newham & Essex Beagles 72; 4 Crawley AC 54; 5 Herts Phoenix 53; 6 Herne Hill Harriers 43; 7 Stevenage AC 35.


The other men’s semi-final at Copthall finished: 1 Enfield and Haringey 87; 2 Thames Valley Harriers 68; 3  Belgrave Harriers 59; 4 Woking AC 58;5 Kingston and Poly AC 54; 6 Medway and Maidstone 46; 7 Bexley 29; 8 Dartford Harriers 25.


One of the UK Challenge’s most loyal supporters, Emeka Udechuku scored a discus / shot double (59.40m / 18.29m) to help Woodford Green with Essex Ladies to victory at the Thames Valley Athletics Centre with 99.25 points ahead of: 2 Windsor Slough Eton and Hounslow 69.25; 3 Exeter Harriers 67.25; 4 Team Southampton 58.25; 5 equal Reading AC and Bournemouth AC 28 each; 7 Aldershot Farnham and District 25.


In Blackpool, there was a notable performance from North Down's Brendan McConville, who scored the type of double only a decathlete could, in winning the 400m hurdles (56.40) and pole vault (4.40m).  It was only enough to earn his club second overall though as they finished 11.5 points adrift of Trafford, who accrued 84.5.  Result: 1 Trafford 84.5; 2 North Down 73; 3 Bolton 71.5; 4 Blackpool 60; 5 Cannock 52; 6 Bingley 48.


The men’s result at Tamworth was: 1 Birchfield Harriers 94; 2 Cardiff AAC 77; 3 Tamworth AC 63; 4 Coventry Godiva 57; 5 Notts AC 52; 6 Rugby and Northampton 19.


Meanwhile, the British Milers Club enjoyed a small pocket of decent weather in the Midlands in Solihull for the third Nike Grand Prix meeting of the summer and another of the UK Challenge series of events.  There was an outstanding run from Laura Finucane, who left a quality field in her wake in the women's 800m A race to win in 2:01.73.


There was also a splendid PB of 9:16.55 from Alexa Joel (Basildon) to win the women's 3000m A race from Faye Fullerton (Having Mayesbrook) and Vicky Gill (Chorley).  The men's 5000m A race was won by the youngest man in the field, Jon Pepper (Enfield & Haringey) won in 14:20.76, the fastest time by a GB U20 this year.


For a full update of UK Challenge rankings, click here after noon on Tuesday.