Under 15 and Under 17 athletes ready for indoor combined events this weekend
This weekend sees our final indoor track and field competition - the Under 17 and Under 15 Combined events championships - take place at the EIS in Sheffield.
Our young athletes, no doubt inspired by Katarina Johnson-Thompson's Gold medal at the World Indoors in Birmingham last week, will be vying for their own medals.
Taking place is a the Under 17 Men's Heptathlon (60m, High Jump, Shot Put, 60m Hurdles, Long Jump, Pole Vault, 1000m), and an indoor Pentathlon for the Under 17 women, and Under 15 Boys and Girls (60m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, Long Jump, 800m).
Events begin at 10am, entry is by programme on the door. Click here for more information and entry lists.
Under 17 Men
With last year's medallists all now under 20, 4th placed Theo Adesina (Club: Thurrock Harriers, Coach: Karl Sumun) has his chance to mount the podium; with a 1m87 High Jump, a 13+m shot put and a Long Jump PB well over 6 metres, plus a 60m sprint time of 7.29, he is indeed a strong all-rounder. However, also entered are last year's Under 15 silver medallist and outdoor Octathlon champion Ben Hillman (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: Fran Baker/Helen James), and Murray Fotheringham (Club: Giffnock North AAC, Coach: Dudley Walker / Simon Dear / Brian Donaldson) who was one place behind Ben both indoors and out and has already gained the Scottish silver medal. U17 heptathlon Gold medal winner at the Emirates stadium last month Scott Brindley (Club: North Ayrshire Athletic Club) is also entered. A good High and Long Jumper who recently came 5th in the individual championships, Rory Howorth (Club: Team Bath Athletic Club, Coach: Julie Alexander) was in the top 10 last year and is also in the mix.
Under 17 Women
With a field of fifty athletes entered, it's going to be a tough competition for the Under 17 women. A third of last year's U17 indoor competitors are returning and another third moving up from competing last year in an England Athletics U15 Combined events championship, so it's an experienced field vying for top spot in Sheffield. As well as last summer's U15 Hexathlon silver and bronze medallists Emily Misantoni (Club: Stockport Harriers & AC, Coach: Joe Frost) and Daisy Worthington (Club: Bury Athletic Club, Coach: Joe Frost), also entered are the U17 Heptathlon bronze medallist Mia Chantree (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell), and the defending champion Jessica Hopkins (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Jess Taylor-Jemmett) - all of whom will be up against Hannah Barnden (Club: Derby Athletic Club) who won the Scottish indoor Pentathlon last month, and Steph Driscoll (Club: Liverpool Harriers & AC, Coach: Joe Frost and Steve Carroll) who came third there. With a 6+m long jump, 1m75 hgh jump and 11.84 PB in the shot put, Emma Sherwood (Club: Dudley and Stourbridge Harriers, Coach: Paul Harrison) could also upset the books.
There's been a healthy increase in entry numbers - up 64% on last year for the boys and a small increase for the girls where numbers are traditionally much higher. This should provide an excellent competition for both the young male and female athletes wanting to make their mark across a number of disciplines, and to set themselves up for the summer season.
With last year's boys' indoor champion not entered and the other 2 indoor medallists and last summer's top 2 Octathletes having moved up to compete in the U17 Heptathlon, the podium is waiting for new occupants.
A quarter of last year's U15 girls return for another go, and the silver and bronze outdoor U15 hexathlon champions are now in the U17 age group with last year's outdoor winner and indoor silver not entered. Again this leaves the competition wide open for a new champion.