Day 1 Report - Senior and U20 Combined Events Champs

Jodie Smith coasted to victory by a massive 292 points in the Under 20 Women’s Pentathlon at the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Indoor Combined Events Championships in Sheffield.

Meanwhile, Ashley Bryant and Philip Kastner lead the Senior and Under 20 Men’s Heptathlons overnight.

Despite many athletes having their first outings of the season, at the first major championships of the year, the EIS arena witnessed a string of top performances and PBs.

Under 20 Women’s Pentathlon

Jodie Smith was dominant as she set two PBs and equalled another on her way to a clear margin of victory. Her 4041 tally left her just 10 points short of the championships record set by Holly Mills last year. The athlete, who was fourth in last year’s England Athletics outdoor heptathlon championships, also goes to eighth on the UK all-time rankings for the age group.

Anna McCauley (Lisburn, Toni Minichiello/Maureen McCauley) took silver with 3749 and Jenna Blundell (Bristol & West, Toni Minichiello/Julie Alexander) won bronze with 3744.

The eventual winner, from Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC, began the day with 8.93 (925) in the 60m hurdles – close to her PB of 8.82. Meanwhile, Emily Tyrrell led the way with her 8.83 (946), faster than her only previous effort at the distance.

Smith was then best in the next three events, moving to the top of the leaderboard with 1.78m (953) in the high jump – just 2cm below her best ever. The Daniel Sawyers-coached athlete then threw the shot to a lifetime best of 11.02m (596) and equalled her PB in the long jump with 5.98m (843).

The destination of the gold medal seemed a foregone conclusion but Smith made sure with yet another PB in the 800m as she came home fifth in 2:27.55. McCauley won a tight battle for the line at the front, clocking 2:21.51 (803) to the 2:21.76 (800) of Blundell.

Senior Men’s Heptathlon

Ashley Bryant leads by 98 points overnight going into the last three events on day two. The Aston Moore-coached athlete totalled 3131 after a solid return to action. Bryant was competing in his first multi-events competition since 2017, the year in which he finished 11th for Great Britain at the World Championships. The Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow athlete, who took 2014 Commonwealth silver, missed almost two years of competition due to injury, including abductor and Achilles issues.

Although his 7.28 (785) in the opening 60m left him 10th, he came right back into contention in the long jump. His 7.23m (869) was a bit down on his best but enough to be the best of the day. Caius Joseph (Basingstoke & Mid Hants, Rafer Joseph), with 6.97m (807) in the long jump, led at that stage.

Bryant closed in on the lead with a quality 14.14m (737) in the shot, ahead of Joseph’s 13.79m (715). Finally, he high-jumped 1.93m (740) to leave himself with a cushion over Joseph going into tomorrow’s 60m hurdles, pole vault and 1000m. One of the performances of the day came as Liam Reveley (Blaydon, Liane Brown) cleared 2.08m in the high jump – a 4cm PB which moved him up to third overall on 3031.

Under 20 Men’s Heptathlon

With the Under 20 men enduring the longest day of all the competitors, it is current leader Philip Kastner who will rest easiest overnight – albeit with a margin of only eight points. The Walton AC multi-eventer equalled his PB in 60m and long jump before breaking his lifetime best in the shot and the pole vault.

In the opening event, Adam Booth won the fastest heat in 7.18 (819) as Kastner clocked 7.21 (809). It was in the jumps pit that the Adrian Hemery-coached athlete then took over the lead, recording 6.98m (809). His 13.92m shot put – the best of the day – beat his PB by a quarter of a metre to earn him another 723 points.

The pole vault finished more than nine hours after the first action of the morning and resulted in a big shake-up of the lead positions. However, Kastner’s 3.93m clearance (598) was enough to register 2939 and keep him ahead of the 2931 of Callum Newby (Edinburgh, Derek Johnston).

In third overall and just nine points off the lead is Scott Brindley (North Ayrshire, Colin Sinclair/Mark Stringer/Brian Donaldson), who was one of three to vault the closing height of 4.53m (769).

The action continues tomorrow when the senior women’s pentathlon is completed in its entirety and the men’s events reach their conclusion, while walks championships and British Milers Club events also take place.

Click here for Day 2 report