Wimborne Athletic Club

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Ben is triple SW England Champion as Charlotte and Caitlyn leap to victory – 9 January 2016

Ian Kennedy reports from National Indoor Athletics Centre, Cardiff

The full tally of medals won on the day was as follows:


Abbie Lovering 800m U15G
Michael Johnson 800m U17M
Michael Johnson 1500m U17M
Caitlin Rogers 800m U17W


Matthew Lissenburg 1500m U13B


Ben Butcher 60m U13B
Ben Butcher 60m hurdles U13B
Ben Butcher long jump U13B
Charlotte Ayton long jump U17W
Caitlyn Hooper triple jump U17W

Eight Wimborne athletes travelled to Cardiff for the South West England Indoor Championships.  Of our athletes only Ben Butcher had previous experience of an indoor meeting.  The weekend brought torrential rainfall and despite our lot being hardy souls, they must have been grateful of a roof over their heads for once!  Not all venues we compete at are in tip-top condition, but this one was a real wow.  There was a busy schedule of events with lots of athletes – the officials ran a tight ship.  How would our guys cope, what with their lack of experience indoors, plus the fact that all bar two (Ben Butcher and Caitlyn Hooper) were competing at the bottom of their age-groups?

The first event of the day was the under-13 boys 1500m and we had Matthew Lissenburg representing us in this one.  What we saw certainly dispelled any fears that our guys would be overawed by the environment, in fact quite the opposite!  Matthew led his heat for much of the race and ultimately had to settle for second place.  He won a silver medal in the South West England Championships in his first ever 1500m race – indoors or out!  This performance certainly raised spirits within the camp.  Matthew’s was the first of many WAC medallists on the day.

Ben Butcher (U13B) did have previous indoors experience.  ‘Klondyke’ Ben was a one-man gold rush.  He took the top spot in the South West Champs for 60m (a new PB of 8.68), 60m hurdles (new PB 11.34) and long jump.  Three events, three gold medals and two PBs.  ‘Tidy’, as they say in this part of the world!

WAC’s jumps coach Lorraine Winton was in attendance to watch not just Ben, but also Charlotte Ayton in the U17W long jump and Caitlyn Hooper in the U17W triple jump.  Her athletes delivered her a hat-trick of jump gold medals.  Charlotte having taken gold in the long jump, then competed in the 60m for the first time and was second in her heat with a time of 8.43.

Also out in the field was Abbie Lovering who threw a 6.84m shot putt.  Abbie’s main events are on the track, and it was there that she got amongst the medals.  As is often the case, she provided us with a thrilling spectacle in her track race, taking a heat win in the 800m by a tenth of a second.  Abbie claimed a bronze South West England medal for this performance.

Jack Moss-Willcox was drawn in a tough heat in the U15B 800m.  The formbook and recorded PBs for those he was racing against suggested that he would be at the back, but as so often happens, this proved not to be the case.  Jack came within tenths of improving on his PB over the distance - he clocked 2:36.58.

Michael Johnson can go home with his head held high too.  Two South West England U17 bronze medals (800 & 1500) and a brace of new PBs to go with them!  His times were 2:15.31 and 4:34.14 respectively.

Caitlin Rogers doubled up in both 800 and 1500 also.  Her 800 heat was a thriller.  Having led all the way she was passed coming off the final bend, only to re-take the lead on the home straight.  Caitlin claimed a South West England Indoor Championships bronze medal for that performance; she was just outside the medal positions for her 1500.

It had been a hugely successful and enjoyable day in Cardiff with every single one of our eight athletes able to take something positive from the experience.  

Full results from the South West Indoor Championships can be found at




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