Medals and PB’s galore at County Championships

Athletes from Andover Athletic Club produced some fine performances at the Hampshire County Championships held at Portsmouth’s Mountbatten Centre which resulted in the club bringing home 14 medals. Although the number of athletes competing for the club was not as high as in previous years those that took part did the club proud with a large number of Personal Best performances seen over the weekend.

Erin Pinchbeck was the sole U13G competing but she produced some fine performances to pick up a silver medal in the High Jump with a jump of 1.30m plus 5th place in the Long Jump with a PB of 4.40m. Erin also reached the semi-final of the 200m after running a PB of 28.92 in the heats.

In the U15G age group Tillie McClutchie was in action in the High Jump where a PB of 1.50m saw her finish in 6th place, only missing out on a medal on countback after 5 girls all cleared 1.50m. Tillie produced another PB in the Long Jump where a jump of 4.82m saw her win Bronze. Beth Matthews was another Bronze medallist in the U15 age group taking 3rd place in the Hammer with a throw of 32.47m

In the U17W age group Abbie Mills won Silver in her first ever Pole Vault competition with a clearance of 1.80m and also produced a PB of 9.62m in finishing 4th in the Triple Jump. Victoria Butler-Clack was in PB form with a throw of 28.05m in the Discus.

It was the U20W that produced the majority of the medal winning performances with multi talented Holly Mills leading the way led the way picking up Gold and Silver medals in the sprint events. After qualifying for the 100m final with a time of 12.28s Holly then ran 12.06s to take 2nd place. On day 2 Holly then ran 25.16s to qualify for the final where she produced a winning time of 24.84s. Jasmine McClutchie was also in action in the 200m and after qualifying for the final with a time of 26.07s, she then ran 26.06s to take the Bronze medal behind Holly. Jasmine was also in action in the Triple Jump where a new PB of 10.65m secured the Silver medal.

Lizzie Butler-Clack was also a debutant in the Pole Vault and a 1.80m clearance was good enough to win the Gold medal. Another medal followed later in the day with a2nd place in the Discus with a throw of 30.20m. Elizabeth Ball was the final medallist for the U20W with a throw of 31.53m in the Hammer securing the Gold medal. Nnenna Evans was just outside the medals finishing in 4th place in the Javelin with a new PB throw of 30.63m.

Adam Robinson was the star performer for the male athletes as the U15 claimed Silver with a new PB and club record leap of 1.75m in the High Jump. Other U15 athletes in action were middle distance runners, Dylan George who finished 5th in the 800m final and Paddy Turner who finished 6th in the 1500m.

Tom Hewson was the sole medallist in the U17 age group, taking Gold in the Javelin with a throw of 54.20m. Sam Piper was in good form on both days securing new PB’s in all 3 of his events. After running a PB of 11.99s in his 100m heat he then bettered this with a time of 11.9 in the final. Piper also secured PB’s in the Long Jump (5.31m) and 200m (25.17s). Travis Carpenter was also in PB form in the 200m with a time of 24.56s and he also set a new PB of 55.61s in the 400m the following day, narrowly missing out on reaching the final of both events. William England  did reach the 400m final after running 54.66s in the his heat but couldn’t match this time in final as he finished out of the medals in 55.22s.

Finally two club athletes competed in the Senior mens 400m with both Matt Chant and Scott Barker easing through to the final in times of 50.95s and 51.14s respectively. It was Matt who came out on top in the final as a time of 49.92s saw him take Bronze one place ahead of Scott (50.18s).

The club also had a handful of athletes competing at the Wiltshire Championships held at Tidworth Oval. Kaitlyn Heard was the sole U13G competing and she ran respectable times of 15.6s in the 100m, 33.03s in the 200m and 3.06.67 in the 800m.

For the U15G Megan Galpin produced a PB throw of 35.35m to win the Gold medal in the Javelin, whilst Hazel Atkins also threw a PB’s of 19.21m in the Javelin and 7.76m in the Shot but just missed out on the medals.

Twin brothers Zac and Alex Jones were in action in the U15 age group with both picking up medals in their events. Zac won Gold in the High Jump with a 1.35m leap, took Silver in his first ever Pole Vault competition with a 2.10m clearance and claimed bronze in the Hammer with a 26.87m throw. Alex produced a PB of 37.05m in winning Silver in the Javelin and also produced a PB of 8.89m in winning Gold in the Shot Put.

A fine weekend at both Championships for Andover athletes, which will hopefully bode well for the summer season ahead.

Presentation Evening




Andover Athletic Club’s annual presentation evening will be held on Monday 6 February. 

Awards will be presented to athletes for achievements during the 2016 season.

The awards will be presented from 6:15pm in the gym at the club – please stick around when you come to drop athletes for training. Hot drinks will be available.

Please could any athletes who still have trophies drop them back to the clubhouse as soon as possible.

Martin Allen (MISRM) Sports & Clinical Massage

Highly recommended!!

Martin Allen (MISRM) Sports and Clinical Massage

Andover Therapy – Andover Leisure Centre

Martin is an enthusiastic therapist with a level 5 diploma in Soft Tissue Therapy, gained at Oxford School of Sports Massage. His soft tissue skills include a range of techniques to assist with increasing range of movement and reducing pain and dysfunction. He is qualified in postural and injury assessment and advice, kinesiology taping, and has experience of working with a variety of able bodied and disabled clients, undertaking a variety of sports/ occupations.

Martin has been an active member of Overton Harriers and AC, assists the junior coaching team at the club and has been the Race Director of local events including the Hurstbourne Tarrant 5 Mile Race. Having previously worked in an office and with an interest in gardening, he is aware of the range of muscular issues caused by overuse in sport or everyday life.

1 hr appointments usually £40 (£25 for 30 minutes), although currently offering the first appointment for £30 (25% reduction).

To book an appointment please contact Martin on:

Telephone/ Text 07779337264

Presentation Evening

Help required!

Andover Athletic Club desperately needs some more volunteers!

Please speak to one of the coaches or come along to our AGM on Thursday 13 October at 7:45 in the Clubhouse at Charlton to find out more about what we do and how you could support the club.

We know people are busy – please don’t be put off even if you can only offer a small amount of your time.

The 401 Challenge

Ben Smith with Jean Taylor

The car park outside the club house was heaving on Thursday morning. Everyone was preparing to run. It was just like the start of any road race. People had come from far and wide to run at Andover to run with Ben Smith on his 395th marathon on the 395th day.

This was the second time Ben (and followers) came to Andover to run the marathon route of two laps planned out and sign posted by Jean Taylor, the Club’s Endurance Coach.

It was great to see so many people all wishing to run all or part of the route with Ben. When they started off it was like watching the Pied Piper leading everyone off.

A new challenge has been set up for all runners:

The Marathon 401 Virtual Challenge

Join in the fun and celebrate Ben’s final marathon by running with him virtually anywhere in the world. Sign up and pay £26.20, with 100% of your payment being donated to charity. Run either a marathon, half marathon or 10k anytime between Sunday 2nd October and Sunday 9th October to get yourself a Marathon 401 medal.

Can’t run that distance in one go? You can spread it throughout the week.

Annual General Meeting

Notice of AGM

Thursday 13 October 2016

7.45 pm


Critical posts are vacant including Chair and Welfare Officer. If you are able to support or join the committee please speak to Mark Bradford or the Kelvin Mason who can give you further details of what is involved.

There are also vacancies for general committee members to help with the running of the club. If interested, please add you name to


401 Challenge

On Thursday, 29th September 2016 Ben Smith will once again be in Andover as part of his 401 Challenge. He is attempting to run 401 marathons in 401 consecutive days. Andover will see marathon number 395. Ben ran marathon number 66 in Andover back in November of last year.

The 401 Challenge is being undertaken to raise money for and awareness of anti bullying initiatives. Text BEN to 70660 to donate £5. The gol is £250,000.

It can be pretty lonely running solo for the Challenge so Ben loves to have people join him on the run. A couple of miles of companionship can make all the difference. You don’t have to be speedy either – Ben will run at the pace of the slowest.

The course around Andover is very pleasant taking in footpaths, country lanes and parks as well as industrial and residential areas. It is a two loop course which is easily accessed from the town so it is possible to join in or drop out more or less anywhere.

If you cannot run with Ben then please come to see him off at about 10.00 am outside the Andover Athletic Club in Charlton Park (West Portway end).

For more details go to:



Hampshire Road Race League begins again next month (September). The first race is Overton 5. This is a good opener being within easy reach and in the afternoon.

This year’s race has a new course which we are told is faster than the old. It’s bound to be because it doesn’t have those awful hills!

Let’s have a good turnout from Andover AC to get off to a super start in the league tables. Get your entry in soon as it’s filling up fast.

Don’t forget you will need to run in FULL Andover kit: blue and white striped vest and RED shorts (or longs).

For a full list of the league races see the Events Calendar.

European Youth Champion

Andover AC’s Holly Mills has become the first Andover athlete and also British athlete to be crowned European Athletics Youth Long Jump Champion at the inaugural Championships held in Tbilisi, Georgia.

Team GB had sent a strong team to Tbilisi with many of the athletes ranked in the top 5 in Europe so to even make the team was a huge achievement for Holly. With several girls ranked above her in Europe Holly knew that competition was going to be strong so her first target was to make it through the qualifying round and into the final. With 25 athletes competing the girls were split into 2 qualifying groups with the top 12 progressing to the final.

Although the morning temperature was reaching 32* there was a blustery breeze that was making conditions challenging for the athletes but Holly opened with a jump of 6.07m to take the lead in her group and followed this with a jump of 6.12m. Although her final jump was a foul her previous jumps were good enough to win her group and progress to the final.

Speaking after the Qualifying Round, Holly, who won bronze at the recent British Championships said “I’m so happy – I wanted to jump further and get automatic qualifying (6.20m), but it was a case of getting used to the runway as its so fast.”

“My last jump was big, but a no jump, so I will have to save that for the final, from my original marker, I’ve already gone back six or seven pigeon steps, which is a lot, so I may have to go back a few more for the final,” Holly explained.

The final took place the following day and the temperature in the stadium was 38* come competition time. However, like the previous day there was a blustery breeze but this time much stronger with the athletes running into a headwind.

Unfazed by the strong headwinds ranging from -1.2m/s to -6.5m/s, Holly showed her composure producing an impressive series of jumps. After two rounds of jumps Holly was lying in second place just 2cm behind the leading jump of 6.08m. However, she produced what turned out to be the winning jump in round 3 with a leap of 6.19m to take the lead at the halfway stage of the competition. At this point the final was reduced to the top 8 athletes who would get 3 further jumps with the leader jumping last in each round.

In round 4 Holly produced another 6m+ jump with what would prove to be a crucial leap of 6.09m. There were no changes to the leaderboard in round 5 so the title would be decided with the last 8 jumps in round 6. There were some nervy moments for Holly when the favourite for the competition, Maja Bedrac of Slovenia matched Holly’s jump of 6.19m with her final jump, but consistency won on the day with Holly’s second best jump of 6.09m two centimetres better than her Slovenian counterpart.

Holly said: “I’m so happy, I can’t even explain it. I came in ranked third and I can’t believe I ended up coming away with the gold medal.

“On my practice jumps it wasn’t going right (with the headwind), but when I jumped the 6.19m, I felt safe and knew I could go for it. When the Slovenian (Bedrac) had her last jump, I was so nervous then but luckily on countback I got it by a few centimetres.

“I feel like a changed athlete, it’s my first time abroad and I feel like a proper athlete now. Having now won that medal I feel a really big part of the British team.”

“I would also like to say a massive thanks to BDZ Holdings Ltd and their MD Bob Rae for their continued support that enabled my parents and sister Abbie, plus my coach James Coney to travel to Tbilisi to support me.”

Coach James Coney said; “Despite challenging conditions Holly showed why she was one of the first names on the Great Britain team sheet demonstrating total professionalism throughout. From the first round it was evident that the competition wasn’t going to be won with a big jump as most of the girls were well below their seasons bests due to the extreme heat and strong head winds, Holly seemed unfazed by this and simply did what she has done all season, jump well round after round. Her consistency was what won on the day and it reminded me of current World, Olympic, European and Commonwealth Champion, Greg Rutherford. “

“Having coached Holly from primary school to a full GB international it was very emotional to see her stood on the podium with the national anthem playing in the background. This competition has shown that Holly has the ability to compete at the international stage and start to be considered as world class.”