First national champs of 2018 this weekend

First national champs of 2018 this weekend

This weekend, 6-7 January sees our first national championships of 2018 - the  England Athletics Indoor Combined Events and Race Walking championships. Sunday will also host a series of BMC Indoor races as the action takes place at the EIS in Sheffield.

Entry is £3 by purchasing a programme for the weekend.

Online results will be at during the weekend.

Heptathlons and Pentathlons

The EIS will host our Senior and Under 20 indoor combined events, with a two day heptathlon for the men and a one day pentathlon for the women (U20 on Saturday and Senior on Sunday).  The first events will be 10.30am on the Saturday and 10am on the Sunday.

A healthy number of competitors have entered. The Under 20 events continue to grow with almost double the number of entrants this year compared with the 2012 champs. Most of the 2016 podium placed athletes are returning to defend their crown or to make that step to the top, although with a good number of U20 Men moving up from the U17 competitions last year there are also likely to be new names to the fore.

Senior Women's Pentathlon

Last year's champion Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester) will be returning to Sheffield to defend her title, but also entered are Elise Lovell (Club: Havant AC, Coach: Stephen King) who took the silver then, and Lucy Turner (Club: Gateshead Harriers & AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) who will be looking to improve on last year's 4th indoors.  The Commonwealth Games bronze medallist was last summer's England silver medallist in the Heptathlon.  However, Jo Rowland's (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Antonio Minichiello) indoor Pentathlon PB is not far behind and she in fact won the Scottish equivalent last year.  Both Jessica and Jo have long jump PBs over 6m, shot put over 13m and have run a sub 2.15 800m.
Lucy was 3rd in the 2017 outdoor Heptathlon, closely followed by Elise. 

Strong in the high jump and with indoor Pentathlon points in the high 3700s are Lucy Chappell (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) and Laura Voß (Club: LT DHS Köln - Germany), and Loughborough Student Diane Marie-Hardy has long jumped over 6m and completed 800m in 2,11 so there should be good competition throughout all the events.

Senior Men's Heptathlon

It's a strong field entered in the Senior Men's Heptathlon with six sub-7.2-seconds sprinters, fifteen sub-9-second hurdlers, four men having cleared 2m in the high jump, five long jumped over 7m, four vaulted beyond 4m50, four 13m+ shot putters and at least half the field able to complete 1000m in less than 3 mins after all their exertions of the weekend.

Last year's 3rd and 4th placed athletes who were also gold medallists at the outdoor Decathlon in 2016 and 2017 respectively are entered; Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) has the highest PB at 5512 for an indoor Heptathlon, and James Finney (Club: Leeds City AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) who is in the above listing for all events except shot put.  Last year's silver medallist in the Under 20s Howard Bell (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Iain McEwan) moves up to his first season as a Senior, and is a strong high and long jumper.  Eight others have a points PB over 5000, including Andrew Murphy (Club: Kilbarchan AAC) who has vaulted 4m84, and shot put 13m36. 

Just last month Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: David Hull) was crowned Southern AA indoor Heptathlon champion and Harry Kendall (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: Mike Corden) took the silver - both scoring 3 individual event PBs. Other high scorers to watch include Welshman Curtis Mathews (Club: Cardiff/Cardiff Met Uni, Coach: Lawrence Moore) who is an excellent all-rounder and ranked 5th in Britain for Decathlon but has not shown his colours in a Heptathlon for a couple of years.  Harry Maslen (Club: Ilkley Harriers AC) is also one in the mix who is currently home from studying and competing in the USA where he recently scored his new PB and broke the 5000 point barrier.

U20 Women's Pentathlon
In her debut at the U20 indoor Pentathlon, 2017's English Schools' champion and 2016's EA U17 Heptathlon winner and SIAB Schools indoor Pentathlon champion Jade O'Dowda (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Marcia Marriott) will be one to watch on Saturday.  Our 2017 U17 Heptathlon champion Jessica Hopkins (Club: Chelmsford, Coach: Steve Mitchell) is also entered and has a 14m+ shot put PB.  Last year's bronze medallist Grace Bower (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Mike Holmes) is also entered. 

Commonwealth Youth Games and last year's U17 and SIAB International Schools indoor Pentathlon Pippa Earley (Club: Kingston AC & Poly Harriers)is also the England hurdles champion indoors and out and represented England at last year's Commonwealth Youth Games.  Joining the entrants is U17 national indoor high jump champion Ashleigh West (Club: Medway & Maidstone AC, Coach: John Bancroft) who cleared 1m76 at our indoor individual champs last year, and Commonwealth Youth Games gold medallist and England long jump champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover AC, Coach: James Coney) making her return to combined events after 5 years.

U20 Men's Heptathlon

Last year's U17 indoor champion, and English, Scottish and British outdoor Heptathlon, Octathlon and Decathlon champion Joel McFarlane (Club: Arbroath & District AC) returns to Sheffield to try to add the U20 title to his name.  He is joined by a number of others stepping up to this age group after successes at Octathlon and Decathlon including Robbie Farquhar (Club: Aberdeen AAC, Coach: Kenny Lyon) and Matthew Chandler (Club: Central AC, Coach: Iain McEwan) who shared the indoor podium with him last year and also performed well at the outdoor Decathlon, and Cameron Darkin-Price (Club: Charnwood AC), an English Schools' Octathlon medallist with a high jump PB of 1m90.  With a 4700 PB for indoor Heptathlon, Caius Joseph (Club: Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, Coach: Rafer Joseph) is also one to watch; he has clocked a 7.28 sprint, vaulted over 4m, and shot put 12m54. Daniel Ryan (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: Garry Power) competed last year and although he didn't compete on Day 2, he was lying in 2nd at the end of Day 1.


Indoor Walks

In the 3k - which covers a number of age groups - most of the 2017 champions are returning to defend their titles; Callum Wilkinson (Coach: Mick Graham, Club: Enfield & Haringey/Leeds Beckett Uni), Tom Partington (Coach: Steve Partington, Club: Manx), Gemma Bridge (Coach: Mark Wall, Club: Oxford City/Leeds Beckett Uni), Ana Garcia (Coach: Brian Adams, Club: Sheffield & Dearne), Sophie Lewis Ward (Coach: Noel Carmody, Club: Cambridge Harriers).  The 1k walk sees the defending U15B champion Faris Alkhamesi (Club: Nuneaton), and last year's U15G silver medallist Lara MacColl (Club: Sheffield & Dearne, Coach: Brian Adams) each aiming for the top of the podium.

BMC indoor meeting

Our championships also host the BMC indoor meeting with the promise of some exciting battles; "There promises to be some classic contests to bring in the new year, with England selection an added incentive." explain race organisers Stephen Green and Tim Egerton.  English winners of the event will be considered for England selection for the indoor internationals in Bratislava and Vienna later in the season.

The 3000m is set to be the stand-out event of the meet, with Andrew Heyes leading the entries. The 7:55 man has been in superb form on the roads this year, including running 29:22 in the Leeds Abbey Dash.  The Hallamshire athlete will face a tough test from fellow sub-8:00 men Adam Clarke, Richard Weir and former European under-23 cross country champion Jonny Davies. The women’s 1500m also promises to be a top contest, as 2011 world silver medallist Hannah England takes on former English 1500m champion Stacey Smith and Irish international Claire Tarplee also on the comeback trial.  The men’s 800m could be a close affair as 1:46 man Jamie Webb heads a field which contains no fewer than six athletes who have run under 1:50 including BUCS 800m champion Jonny Monk. In the women’s event Jacqueline Fairchild will face a stern test from Swedish athlete Anna Silvander, with both having run 2:02.

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