Brecon Athletics Club juniors have been hitting the heights in recent weeks with a string of excellent performances.

Report by Derek Osborne

At the Welsh Schools Championships in early July there were medal-winning performances from Tristan Cumberland, Eifion Holder and Ruby Herdman as well as a handful of other strong results, which contributed to an excellent overall performance by Powys schools.

Tristan won the senior boys 1500m after a tussle with two other leading Welsh athletes. Ruby finished second in the middle girls 1500m steeplechase in a personal best time. Eifion took bronze in the junior boys discus.

Also competing for Powys were Joe Murphy, Toby Bennett and Keira Owen. Joe was edged out of a steeplechase medal after a thrilling finish. Toby also ran well in the steeplechase while Kiera battled well against strong headwinds in both the 100m and 200m.

Ruby was subsequently picked for the Welsh Schools team to compete in Grangemouth in Scotland two weeks later, which was somewhat remarkable given that this is her first season at ‘chasing, and she has never really been a hurdler. The international was a challenge but Ruby ran very positively and almost managed another personal best. This will be excellent experience for next year when she is still in the same age group.

Tristan gains automatic selection for a five-way international match to be held in Cardiff in late August.

Joe Murphy has just become the third athlete from the group to gain international selection this summer after an excellent run in the Welsh Junior Mountain Running Championship. This trial took place last Saturday in Penygroes, Gwynedd in weather conditions that caused most sports to be cancelled.

Joe Murphy
Joe Murphy in action (Image supplied)

Joe had a strong run throughout and was just pipped for second place (by the same Cardiff athlete who outsprinted him in the steeplechase three weeks earlier). The first three are automatically selected for the Welsh U17 team to compete in Peebles, Scotland in September, where Joe will be making his international debut.

Joe joins a long list of former Brecon AC members who have competed in this event and on one occasion the club provided all four of the Welsh U17 girls team - and they beat Scotland and Ireland!