Under 20 and Senior Indoor Combined Events Champs Day 2
Following a hotly contested day one, day two of the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Indoor Combined Events Championships promised much and delivered even more, with a string of outstanding performances leaving spectators thoroughly satisfied. A first indoor national title for Commonwealth bronze medallist Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Mike Holmes) and Liam Ramsay (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Mike Corden) moving to 4th on the UK all-time list in the senior men’s heptathlon got the 2017 indoor athletics season well and truly under way.
Senior Men Heptathlon
Local man Ramsay had led the senior men’s heptathlon overnight following a close battle with Ashley Bryant (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Coach: Aston Moore) that saw the two athletes separated by just six points. However, with Bryant, the Commonwealth silver medallist, not contesting day two, after the first event of the day Ramsay maintained a lead over John Lane (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) following a 60m hurdles that saw the former clock 8.28 to the latter’s 8.27 and it was those two who would contest the title.
It was all change following the pole vault, however, as Lane managed to go clear at 4.91m, not far off his personal best, while Ramsay was below his best, managing 4.41m.
It came down to the 1000m with Lane holding a 43 point lead over his clubmate, but, with the title up for grabs, Ramsay’s body held together the best as he crossed the line in 2:38.86, the second fastest time of the day and worth 886 points. UK indoor record holder Lane’s 2:54.14 was good for “only” 723, meaning that the title was Ramsay’s with 5832, the 4th best ever haul by a UK athlete.
Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) took a well-deserved bronze with 5401 points after a close battle with training partner James Finney (Club: Leeds City AC, Coach: Sam Stanislaus).
Senior Women Pentathlon
She took silver medals in 2012 and 2015, but it was gold at last for Jessica Taylor-Jemmett, who secured her first indoor national title to sit alongside the outdoor crown she took last year. The Commonwealth heptathlon bronze medallist, who now competes under her married name following her September wedding, ran the second quickest 60m hurdles of the day, with her 8.61 equating to a strong 993 points to start the competition.
That time was bettered only by Marilyn Nwawulor (Club: Harrow AC, Coach: Lloyd Cowan), but she was unable to continue after her strong start, leaving the way clear for Taylor-Jemmett to take the lead after a 1.63 high jump and it was a lead that she wouldn’t relinquish, with her 12.87 the best put of the competition and her 2:23.58 the fastest 800m. Indeed, 5.94m in the long jump was bettered by only one athlete, eventual silver medallist Elise Lovell (Club: Hastings AC, Coach: Stephen King), resulting in a 4090 point total overall for the champion.
Lovell moved from 9th after the first three events up to third after her strong long jump and she took the silver with 3778 points ahead of Wigan’s Danielle McGifford (Coach: Sharon Walls), who had a consistent day, never dropping lower than 5th in the standings, who scored 3765.
Taylor-Jemmett was, understandably, pleased with her start to the year: "It's really great to get the indoor title to go along with my outdoor title from last year and is always great to compete with such a lovely group of girls."
She now moves on to international competition full of confidence: "Hopefully I can represent GB in Prague in a few weeks' time and improve my PB. As ever, I couldn't do all this without my coach, Mike Holmes."
U20 Men Heptathlon
The overnight leader in the U20 men’s heptathlon was Joseph Hobson (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Mike Corden), who had led from event one from Dylan Carlsson-Smith (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Ian Grant) and Howard Bell (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Iain McEwan).
Day two would be no different, as the Sheffield athlete replicated the performance of his senior club mate, maintaining his lead after each of the 60m hurdles (8.45), high jump (1.96m) and 1000m (3:02.51), to take the title with a personal best 5109 points.
Behind Hobson was a close battle for the silver medal. 17 points was the difference between Carlsson-Smith and Bell at the start of the day, a margin that stayed the same as both athletes recorded times of 8.56 in the 60m hurdles. It was close, but marginally superior performances in the high jump and 1000m meant that Bell ultimately outscored Carlsson-Smith 4999 points to 4967.
In addition to the combined events action, the EIS in Sheffield also hosted open race walks, the highlight of which was Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield & Haringey AC, Coach: Mick Graham) clocking 11:35.0 in the 3000m, a UK Under-23 record and the fastest time under any conditions by a British teenager.
Gemma Bridge (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Mark Wall) took the women’s race in 13:41.33.
Full results can be found at http://resultsengland.athletics-uk.org
Thanks, as ever, to all officials and volunteers who contributed to the staging of the event. England Athletics very much appreciates their efforts.
Photographs Andy Chubb www.peverilphoto.com. Bottom image by VWJ