26.May.12 Hot competition in sunny Bedford for Combined Events day 1
Glorious conditions greeted the athletes in Bedford on day one of the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Combined Events Championships incorporating the Midland Counties, the Northern Athletics & Welsh Championships.
The competition was as hot as the weather, with a multitude of lifetime bests going down.
Dean Showler-Davis started how he meant to go on, winning the senior men's 100m in 10.89, and maintained his lead all day thanks to a 7.22m effort in the long jump and lifetime best of 48.70 in the 400m to give him a 68 point lead over Edward Dunford.
Karla Drew got off to a flyer with double wins in the 100m hurdles and high jump with 14.39 and 1.71m respectively. But it was Crawley's Jo Rowland who topped the senior women's leaderboard after day one, just eight points ahead of Drew thanks to a strong performance of 13.04m in the shot and a solid 200m.
In the under 20 men's category, David Hall made his speed count with 11.38 in the 100m, before completing a consistently strong series. He finished the day as he started with a personal best of 50.22 to set the fastest time in the 400m, giving him 3,636 after day one and a sizeable lead over Mark Cryer in second.
The under 20 women's heptathlon saw Leeds' Katy Marchant take the early lead with a 14.51 win in the 100m hurdles where half the field ran quicker than they ever had before. Emma Bucket, though, finished day one with a personal best of 26.12 in the 200m to lead going into day two.
With the weather for Sunday forecast to be just as good, there is likely to be more hot competition as the athletes, no doubt inspired by the exploits of Jessica Ennis in Gotzis, enter the business end of the proceedings in Bedford.
You can follow results throughout the event as soon as they are published at england.athletics-uk.org. You will find points totals and can click on headers to see event by event results. These are then also being be posted at england.athletics-uk.org/260512.asp
England Athletics Online store
Click here to visit the Official England Athletics online store.