There was no let up of action on the second day of the England Athletics Age Group Indoor Championships, as two more British records were broken to cap off a sensational weekend of action.
After yesterday’s unbelievable World Best 2.22 performance in the high jump all eyes were on Dominic Ogbechie (Club: Highgate Harriers, Coach: Marius Guei) in the U17 Men’s Long Jump. After already setting the Age Group Best performance with a 7.22 jump earlier in the year, could he go further still, or would yesterday’s series of record breaking jumps have taken their toll on the 15-year-old athlete? The crowd didn’t have long to wait for their answer as Ogbechie produced a giant British record breaking opening jump of 7.53m in the first event of the day, much to the astonished delight of the crowd and himself upon seeing the distance revealed on the board. As the competition progressed it seemed apparent the only person likely to beat that target was Ogbechie himself with his 3rd round attempt reaching 7.36m and unbelievably pulling out another monster jump in the 4th round matching the same 7.53m distance as he had set earlier on. Archie Yeo (Club: Scunthorpe & District AC, Coach: Martin Bishell) had a good event earning himself a new PB and silver medal with his jump of 6.87, while Joseph Harding (Club: Basildon AC, Coach: Stephen Peaty) gave a solid performance in jumping 6.81 to take away the bronze. It was fine margins in the U20 Men’s category with just 2cm separating eventual winner Alessandro Schenini (Club: Giffnock North AAC, Coach: David Watson/Ryan McAllister) from runner up Henry Clarkson (Club: Lasswade AAC). While Alfie Bugg (Club: City of York AC, Coach: Karen Buck) took the U15 Boys title after smashing his PB in recording a 6.38 mark in the sand.
One of the highlights of the day was without doubt the U17 Women’s Triple jump where Jazz Sears (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet, Coach: Craig Andrew) broke her own British record set at Lee Valley earlier this year. The Southern Champion reached 12.23 on that occasion but produced a sensational 12.34 metre 2nd round jump to the booming applause of the crowd inside the EIS arena to claim the title. It was personal bests all around as Midlands champion Iris Oliarnyk (Club: Halesowen ACC, Coach: Dominic McNeillis) leaped just 1cm short of the 12 metre mark with her 6th round effort taking the silver medal, while Diane Mapamboli (Club: Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC, Coach: Alf Vickers) smashed her PB with her jump of 11.65. Jade Oni (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: Mark chapman/Gary Gallagher) set the leading mark of 12.12 in the U20 Women’s triple. Claudimira Landim (Club: Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC, Coach: Kelvin Richards) took silver with 12.02.
Charlie Dobson (Club: Colchester Harriers AC, Coach: Steve Garnham) displayed sublime running technique in the U20 Men’s 200m race, he attacked the bends seamlessly on his way to a huge personal best of 21.02, along with the championship title. Oshay Williams (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Andy Paul) a finalist in yesterday’s 60m proved his quality as a 200m runner racing ahead of the field to a 22.58 winning time in the U17 Men’s race. In the U20W 200m race Georgina Adam (Club: Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club, Coach: Denise Timmis) set a new indoor 200m PB last weekend, and was in fine form again this weekend earning the gold medal in 24.11, she certainly had to work hard for it though as Hannah Kelly (Club: Bolton United , Coach: Les hall) pushed her all the way from lane 6 clocking 24.22. Kiah Dubarry-Gay (Club: Victoria Park Harrier, Coach: Alf Vickers) secured the U17 Women’s title after powering around the bend and through the line in 24.45 seconds, not unexpected after her hot performances in the earlier rounds. Alicia Regis (Club: Enfield and Haringey AC, Coach: Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun and John Denford) came through in 24.75 for 2nd, followed by Holly Mpassy (Club: Blackheath & Bromley Harriers, Coach: Jay Galley) who took bronze.
In the U15 Girls 200m it was clear from the earlier rounds that Alyson Bell (Club: Giffnock North AAC, Coach: Christine Donaghy) and Ava Jones (Club: Doncaster Athletics Club, Coach: Veronica Boden) were going to be the main contenders for the gold with both winning their respective Semis. The final went according to form with Bell powering down the home straight in a strong lead before stumbling moments before the line. Somehow Bell regained her composure and managed to get across the line first in 25.45 seconds, followed closely by Jones with 25.64 and Ashley Nemits (Club: Warrington A C, Coach: Trevor Painter) in 3rd. In the U15 Boys race it was a huge personal best time of 22.51 for Remi Jokosenumi (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Ty Holden) to secure his place on the top of the podium and consequently his placing of 4th in the UK All-Time list. George Sudderick followed up yesterday’s superb 300m British record with a silver medal, coming home in 22.58.
It was a tactical affair in the U20 Men’s 800m as William Crisp (Club: Swindon Harriers, Coach: Bryan Clinton) fresh from his 5th placing at last weekend’s British Athletics championships kept things comfortable for the first 2 laps, before injecting a sudden surge of pace during the 3rd lap that gave him what proved to be an unassailable lead on his way to victory in 1.54.55 seconds. It was a photo finish between Psalm Roberts-Nash (Club: Wolverhampton & Bilston, Coach: Claudio Albanese) who was awarded Silver, and bronze placed Michael Parry (Club: Colwyn Bay AC, Coach: Philip Oliver) who both clocked 1.55.51. In the Under 20 Women’s 800m race the current indoor and outdoor England 800m champion Isabelle Boffey (Club: Enfield and Haringey A C, Coach: Doug Stone) produced a commanding performance to lead from gun to tape in a time of 2.07.41. Olivia Vareille (Club: Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Coach: David Lothian) took silver in 2.11.30 and Elise Thorner (Club: Millfield School, Coach: Alan Richardson) took bronze. Adam Saul-Braddock (Club: Wolverhampton & Bilston, Coach: John Abbiss) did a fine job of stretching out the field early on in the U17 Men’s category, executing his race plan perfectly to lead from start to finish in a time 1.56.13. While in the under 15 girls 800m final Ruby Simpson (Club: Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Coach: Steven Marshall / Adam Simpson) pushed the tempo early on with a quick opening lap, and as her challengers sat on her shoulder and looked ready to pounce it was Simpson herself who kicked away on the penultimate lap and showed great strength to hold off Zakia Mossi (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: Phillip Kissi ) and take the win in 2.14.36.
Hannah Foster (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Craig Andrew), emerged as the quickest qualifier in yesterday’s U17 Women’s 300m heats, positioning herself as the frontrunner going into the final. Already the Outdoor England Athletics and ESAA Champion, Foster showed her experience in powering through the 300m final in a PB time of 38.77 seconds to take the Gold medal ahead of Orla Brennan (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Coach: Neil Dodson) who clocked 39.56 to take Silver, and Gemma Jones (Club: Corby AC, Coach: Bill Boyd) in bronze.
Other notable performances came from Alex Haydock-Wilson (Club: WSEH, Coach: Earl Herbert) who looked very impressive in the U20 Men’s 400m final running powerfully to a gold medal in a time of 48.05, while Molly Canham (Club: Exeter Harriers, Coach: None) came through strongly in the home straight to take the U17 Women’s 1500m title in a time of 4.37.99
An exciting U20 Women’s Sprint Hurdles event developed during the course of the day. The Semis saw two head to heads that were decided by a whisker with yesterday’s Long Jump Champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover AC, Coach: James Coney) just edging Pippa Earley (Club: Kingston and Poly, Coach: John Shepherd/Long Jump, Lloyd Cowan /Hurdles) in the opening Semi, while Anastasia Davies (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: John Blackie) just shaded Molly Scott (Club: St Laurence O’Toole AC, Coach: Deirdre Scott) in the second Semi. In the final it was Davies that kept her cool to win with a time of 8.51, just ahead of Earley who clocked 8.52. Holly Mills added another medal to her weekend collection with bronze. In the U20 Men’s event Ethan Akanni (Club: Bexley AC, Coach: Jerzy Maciukiewicz) the SEAA indoor and outdoor champion, secured the National title hurdling to a sub 8 second (7.96) victory, ahead of the U17 English Schools’ gold medallist Joshua Zeller (Club: Bracknell Athletic Club, Coach: Ken Spencer) who secured silver in 8.04 seconds. Mayowa Osunsami (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Coach: Tony Jarrett) took home the bronze just one hundredth of a second behind. Emily Knight (Club: Enfield & Haringey A C, Coach: Brian Hopkins) displayed superb technique in the U15G category gliding over the hurdles and to victory in 9.09 seconds. While Freddie Fraser (Club: Nene Valley Harriers, Coach: Alan Sims) took the Boys title in 8.49 seconds. While It was the Midlands Champion Victoria Johnson (Club: Charnwood AC, Coach: E. Binks) who took the U17 Women’s Hurdles title with an impressive 8.54 timing enough to see off Marcia Sey (Club: Millfield School, Coach: Alan Richardson/ Lorna Boothe) the Southern champion who clocked 8.61.
An entertaining battle commenced in the U20 Men’s High Jump competition as Joel Khan (Club: Worcester AC, Coach: Deirdre Elmhirst) attempted to go one better than last year’s silver medal placing. To do that however he would need to overcome a strong challenger in Thomas Hewes (Club: Chelmsford Athletic Club, Coach: John Herbert). Both were competing in their first event of the year but there appeared to be no signs of rust as they both cleared 2.07m at the first attempt. Toni Ademuwagun (Club: Thames Valley Harriers, Coach: Carol Jackson) also cleared at that height on his 2nd attempt, earning himself a bronze medal and a new PB in the process. Khan and Hewes both seemed to be relatively comfortable when impressively leaping over the the 2.10 and 2.13 heights. In the pressured latter stages Joel Khan delivered getting a deserved rapturous applause from the crowd after superbly clearing 2.17m, a World Junior qualifying height and furthermore, a new PB. Hewes made valiant attempts at the height but couldn’t match his competitor on this occasion, earning a silver medal. Khan was still hungry for more however, going onto an unbelievable 2.20m clearance at the first time of asking, and then going agonisingly close to nailing the 2.23 height only for the bar to fall at the feintest of touches. A thrilling Under 17 Women’s High Jump contest saw Molly Hole (Club: City of Salisbury, Coach: Marcus Hole) and Temitope Ojora (Club: WSEH, Coach: Alan Hewson) produce superb performances in what is remarkably their 1st competition of the season. 14-year-old Hole edged a fantastic encounter by clearing the 1.79 at the 2nd time of asking, while Ojora cleared on the third try to ensure they both walked away with PB’s alongside their respective gold and silver medals. Abby Ward (Club: Wakefield district H and AC, Coach: Ian Hill) took the Women’s U20 High Jump title with her 1.79m clearance.
Nicholas Young (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Neil Donbavand) took the Men’s U20m Shot title thanks to his huge 16.58m effort also gaining him a PB. Sarah Omoregie (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: Gareth Lease) came into the competition off a 4th placing in the British Champs last weekend. The confidence that gave her was evident as she went on to throw 14.75 to take the Gold in the U20 women’s Shot. Gaia Osborne (Club: City Of Portsmouth Athletic Club, Coach: Bronwin Carter) threw a new PB (13.67) to take the Silver. In the Under 17 Men’s Shot Andrew Knight (Club: Morpeth Harriers & Athletic Club, Coach: Paul Reed) saved his best throw until last, launching the shot 15.74 metres to secure a new PB and the Gold medal. Lewis Byng (Club: Stratford Upon Avon AC, Coach: Sandy Green) was 11cm behind with his best throw of the day, David Koffi (Club: Stevenage & North Herts AC) produced a 14.32 PB to claim the bronze.
In the U20 Men’s Pole Vault Frankie Johnson (Club: Bedford & County AC, Coach: Simon Eastwood) lived up to his billing as one of the favourites with a 4.80 clearance ensuring the gold medal was his. Emmanuel Thomas (Club: Croydon Harriers, Coach: Allan Williams) and Dylan Thomson (Club; Pitreavie AAC, Coach; Eamon Fitzgerald) were joint silver medallists on 4.60. In the U17 Women’s Pole Vault Sophie Ashurst (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester) coached by her 1986 Commonwealth Games winning father Andy, cleared 3.81m on her way to claiming the championship title along with a new PB. Harriet Vaughan (Club: Bury AC; Coach: Matt Cullen) secured silver with her 3.50 performance, with the same mark being reached by Jade Spencer-Smith (Club: Harrow, Coach: Ellie Spain) in third. Lazarus Benjamin (Club: Sale Harriers) set a new PB (3.71) in the Under 15 Boys category to take his place at the top of the podium. William Foot (Club: Chesterfield & District AC, Coach: Jono Baker) cleared 3.41 to take the silver, while Aidan Brindley (Club: North Ayrshire Athletics Club, Coach: Brian Donaldson) grabbed the bronze at 3.31.
Photos by David Griffiths, www.fotoccompli.com