Thornbury youngster emerges as top athlete
A 12 year old boy from Thornbury is emerging as a top young athlete.
Luke Ball, who is a member of Yate & District Athletic Club, is ranked in the country’s top ten athletes at his age in three different events.
In high jump he is currently ranked number one in Britain. Luke has won every high jump competition that he entered and his personal best jump of 1.65m was a club record and an Avon Schools record. He also broke the Youth Development League record, the Castle School record, the Avon Track and Field League record and the South West Championship record. He is ranked thirteenth in the British all-time list.
In long jump, his performances have been almost as good. Club and school records have fallen to him as well as the league and south-west records. His personal best jump of 5.21m makes him the third best athlete in the country. There is also a jump of 5.29m to take the Castle School record, which is unofficial. In fact he now holds Castle School records in 75m hurdles, 100m, 200m, high jump, long jump and triple jump.
He also hurdles well enough to rank ninth in the country and he is Avon and South West champion and has broken league and county records.
With performances in such diverse events it is hardly a surprise to find that he is the second best pentathlete in the country. The pentathlon involves competing over 75m hurdles, 800m, high jump, long jump and shot.
The list of his championship wins is outstanding; Luke is Avon Champion; Avon Schools Champion; South West Champion; and Midlands Indoor Champion.
Luke is now an under-15 athlete and will have to compete against boys nearly two years older than him. A few of them have jumped a good deal higher than Luke’s 1.65m but his coach, Jeremy Dale, has high hopes for him.
Luke himself is aware that there are six athletes currently better than him in the under-15 age group but he has his sights firmly set on overhauling them. Another target is the English Schools qualifying height of 1.72m.
Luke palns to compete at multi-events through the indoor season. The South-West championships are held in Cardiff. A win there would set him up for the national championships in Sheffield.