2019 indoor season starts with a bang - senior and U20 combined events weekend

The 2019 indoor season starts with a bang this weekend. Our Senior and Under 20 Combined Events championships take place at the EIS in Sheffield with almost capacity entry numbers.

Female athletes will compete in an indoor pentathlon and male athletes a two-day indoor heptathlon. In addition there will be walks events and BMC races over a number of distances. These events are also a selection opportunity for athletes to represent England at an international indoor competition in the next few months. The weekend also includes trials for a British Athletics combined events team.

Senior men’s heptathlon

The senior men’s heptathlon includes last year’s U20 indoor champion Caius Joseph (Club: Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, Coach: Rafer Joseph), ready to take on the seniors, and also Benjamin Gregory (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Aston Moore) the outdoor champion. We also have Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: David Hull) entered who won the Southern (SEAA) competition last month and was 2nd nationally last year, and Andrew Murphy (Club: Kilbarchan AAC) - last year’s bronze medallist. A number of the athletes are known to be on form, with 7 of the top SEAA athletes (including all three medallists) also entered to compete again in Sheffield. John Lane (Club: City of Sheffield and Dearne AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) is also on the start list; he is the British record holder and has competed in two Commonwealth Games for England.

Under 20 men’s heptathlon

With last year’s Under 20 men’s heptathlon champion now a senior, silver medallist Joel McFarlane (Club: Arbroath & District Athletics Club, Coach: Ian McFarlane) will be looking for the top spot. However Rory Howorth (Club: Team Bath Athletic Club, Coach: Julie Alexander) was the U17 octathlon champion last year and second in the U17 indoor heptathlon and is now an U20. Up against them are the top seven of the SEAA finishers ready to make battle once more. 4th placed Philip Kastner (Club: Walton AC, Coach: Dr. Adrian Hemery) also took 4th in the U17 decathlon last year.

Senior women’s pentathlon

60 athletes have entered the women’s events. Marilyn Nwawulor (Club: Harrow AC, Coach: Kaspars Kazemaks) will defend her senior title, but may have to contend with recent Southern champion Sarah Connolly (Club: Harrow AC), outdoor champion Jade O'Dowda (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) who came 2nd in last year’s indoor U20 event and also competed in the IAAF World U20 Heptathlon Championships in Finland and the IAAF combined events multistars challenge in Italy along with Ellen Barber (Club: Yeovil Olympiads AC, Coach: Peter Grosjean) and Ashleigh Spiliopoulou (Club: Enfield and Haringey AC, Coach: David Feeney). 2017 champion and Commonwealth Games bronze medallist Jessica Taylor-Jemmett (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: Joe Frost) is also entered. With a lot of strong competitors this looks like being a very exciting competition.

Under 20 women’s pentathlon

The Under 20 pentathlon also has a strong entry list. Defending champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover AC, Coach: Laura Turner-Alleyne) scored a Championship Best Performance last year, and Mia Chantree (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell) has moved up to this age group and already has an U20 SEAA gold medal under her belt. Also in the mix are last year’s U20 bronze medallist Pippa Earley (Club: Kingston AC And Poly Harriers, Coach: John Shepherd), plus last year’s U17 silver and bronze medallists Abigail Pawlett (Club: Stockport Harriers & AC) and Iris Oliarnyk (Club: Halesowen ACC, Coach: Dominic McNeillis). 2018 English Schools’ U17 champion Jessica Hopkins (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell) is also entered.


18 athletes are entered in the 1k and 3k walks; with last year’s silver and bronze medallists Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway and Maidstone AC, Coach: Andi Drake) and Tom Partington (Club: Manx Harriers, Coach: Steve Partington) hoping to up their game this year in the 3k event. Last year’s 4th placed Ana Garcia (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Mark Wall) will be looking for a podium place this year in the women’s race.