New champions were crowned in a scintillating second day at the Under 17 and Under 15 Combined Events Championships in Manchester, which can count a new championship best performance among its many highlights.
U15 Girls’ Hexathlon
It was double joy for Erin Lobley (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Joe Frost) in the U15 girls’ event as she produced a masterful championship best performance to add the outdoor title alongside the indoor title she claimed earlier in the year. Lobley was defending a lead that she had established throughout yesterday’s schedule and opened her Sunday session in style in the shot, as she delivered a whopping 13.15m throw to substantially extend her position at the top of the leader board. In the same event clubmate Chloe Bagshaw (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Paul Ttereve) solidified her status as Lobley’s main challenger with the second farthest throw of 10.83m. However, further daylight was to be put between the two athletes after the high jump event as Lobley produced another accomplished performance in being one of two athletes to clear 1.58m. This gave Lobley what proved to be an unassailable lead of over 500 points going into the final 800m event, in which she pushed herself throughout the two laps to earn the second quickest time of 02:31.22s. This ensured she broke through the 4000 point barrier (4018) to add the championship best to her gold medal. There was to be no changes to the top three that started the day as Bagshaw claimed the silver medal with 3,430 points whilst Patricija Nemanyte (Derby Athletic Club, Martin Bishell) took the bronze medal with a total points haul of 3,320.
U17 Women’s Heptathlon
Another sublime display of athletic prowess from Abigail Pawlett (Stockport Track & Field, Joe Frost) saw her clinch the under 17 women’s championship gold, to add to last year’s silver medal. Pawlett’s final points score of 5,324 saw her move up to second behind Morgan Lake (5,474pts) on the UK all-time list for U17s.
Pawlett, the overnight leader, got off to a great start on day two leaping to a mighty 6.03m in the third round of the long jump opening event. The mark was not to be beaten, however the impressive second-placed Ella Rush (Amber Valley and Erewash AC, Michael Baker) ensured she maintained momentum of her own with her very next jump of 5.72m proving to be the closest to Pawlett’s mark. Next up was the javelin which was another good points builder for Pawlett, thanks to her third-highest ranking launch of 30.27m taking her 448 points clear of Rush with just one remaining event to come. Another contender who enjoyed success in the javelin event was third placed athlete Katie Burr (Victoria Park City of Glasgow) whose throw of 31.74m earned her 510 points to boost her podium chances further.
Pawlett’s leading points margin going into the final 800m event meant victory was always looking like a formality, and she kept her composure to go through the two laps in 02:38.59s to make certain of the championship title while bringing her final points score to that sensational 5,324 mark 300 points clear of silver medallist Rush. The battle of third place proved to be tight as a valiant 02:20:00s effort from Pawlett’s fellow club mate Emily Misantoni (Stockport Track & Field, Joe Frost) saw her finish just 22 points behind Burr who claimed the bronze.
U15 Boys’ Octathlon
The U15 boys’ event saw indoor title holder Sammy Ball (Reading AC, Michael Dyer) take home the outdoor gold medal during a superb display from the day one leader. Number 1 ranked athlete Ball got off to a perfect flying start in the 80 metres hurdles opener – registering a personal best clocking of 11.64s which proved to be unmatched, allowing him to extend his overnight lead to 194 points. Ball’s closest competitor, Finn O’Neill (City of Derry AC, Matthew Spain) clocked the second quickest time on the track (12.23s) to ensure he retained some pressure on the Reading athlete. Ball followed this up with a composed discus throw of 28.84m, the third highest ranking mark in the field, to put some extra breathing space between him and O’Neill going into the penultimate pole vault event.
A clearance of 2.97m in the pole vault once again displayed Ball’s class as he moved 411 points ahead of his nearest competitor O’Neill, who was closely followed by Kresten Calvert (Wirral AC, Pamela Green) who was 51 points behind in third position.
Ball claimed the gold medal comfortably after another strong performance in the 1000m, his time of 02:58:20 being the third fastest of the group. A rapid 2:51:00 from O’Neill ensured he took the silver medal, while Calvert retained the final podium position.
U17 Men’s Decathlon
There was delight for Adam Hoole (Team East Lothian, Jamie Bowie) in the U17 Men’s Decathlon as he took home the championship title with a total points score of 5,504.
Sprint specialist Hoole began the second day’s proceedings in a similar fashion to how he kicked off the first, hurdling his way to a blistering leading time of 13.73s to pick up a bumper points haul of 831 to overtake George Asprey (Aldershot Farnham & District, Adrian Weston) in what was unfolding into an intriguing and highly entertaining two-way battle. The next event saw Asprey regain the top spot thanks to what proved to be an unmatched discus throw of 35.45m, taking his total points score of 4,361 – 43 points ahead of Hoole, who had third placed athlete Sam Coupland (Southport Waterloo AC, Ron Scott) gaining ground on him with his mark of 30.33m. The ongoing head-to-head battle between Hoole and Asprey was cut short at this point in proceedings due to the latter retiring prior to the pole vault event. Coupland emerged as leader, Hoole’s main challenger moving up to second place with his clearance of 3.07m, 146 points behind Hoole. In the penultimate javelin event Hoole extended his lead at the top thanks to his second-highest ranking throw of 42.12m taking him up to 5,094 points. There was a jostling of positions behind Hoole as Kyle McAuley (Victoria Park Glasgow, Alan Forbes) moved up to second position with his launch of 40.53m, meanwhile Coupland was temporarily overtaken in the final podium spot by Alister Mackay (Ross County Athletics Club, Andrew McFarlane) going into the last event of 1500m.
Hoole confirmed his title win on the track with his time of 05:27:83s meaning he finished 181 points clear of silver medallist McAuley, while a strong run from Coupland ensured he took home the bronze with a final points tally of 5,315.
In the Senior Men’s Decathlon International England’s Elliot Thompson (Greg Richards) broke the 7,000 point barrier (7,025) to take the gold medal, while fellow countryman Caius Joseph (Rafer Joseph) took silver with his final points score of 6,933 being the highest ranking performance from an under 23 athlete this year. The bronze medal was claimed by Scotland’s Scott Connal (Iain McEwan).
In the Senior Women’s Heptathlon event it was Katie Stainton (David Feeney) who took the title while amassing an impressive 5,989 points. Adrianna Sulec (Poland) took the silver medal with 5,894 points as Scotland’s Holly McArthur (Iain McEwan) took home the bronze (5,485pts).
Photo by Paul Halford