The athletes lit up a grey day at Bedford with a string of great performances.
One of the first events of the day, the Under 23 women’s long jump, there was a new championship best early on as Jazmin Sawyers (Club: City of Stoke, Coach: Alan Lerwill) leapt out to 6.43 before then going out further to 6.61 (1.9) in make light of the cool conditions. The silver medal went to Katie Stainton (Club: Birchfield Harries, Kelly Sotherton, 6.23) and Sarah McCarthy (Club: Mid Sutton AC) took bronze with 6.06.
There was excitement down to the final events of the day. The 100m finals often bring great excitement and so it proved once again.
With a place on the team for the World Junior Championships in her sights Imani Lansiquot (Sutton & District, Jonas Tawiah Dodoo) signalled her intent early on. She blasted a 11.25 (+1.6) in her heat for a PB and go fourth on the all-time U20 list ahead of Kathy Cook. She took the title in 11.49 (-0.5) by overhauling the fast starting Hannah Brier (Swansea, Neal Merry) who came home second in 11.65 with the bronze medal going to Alisha Rees (Edinburgh, Willy Russell, 11.83).
Rechmial Miller (Hercules Wimbledon, Ryan Freckleton) won a competitive U20 men’s 100m as he come away to win in 10.47 (-0.8). Behind Miller it was Oliver Bromby (Southampton, Gary & Sara MacDonald-Gray) who took silver as he held off Gerald Matthew (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Jane Dixon) in a tight finish with 10.52 to 10.53. Miller was one of those athletes to already have the qualifying mark for Poland coming into the championships.
Clieo Stephenson (Thames Valley Harriers, Laure Turner Alleyne) took the women’s Under 23 title with a smooth looking and PB equalling 11.73 (-0.2). Second went to Diani Walker (Birchfield, Lloyd Cowan, 11.85) with Steffi Wilson (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Graeme Gourlay) third in 12.05. Sophie Papps (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, Stewart Challis) had clocked 11.31 (+0.5) in the first heat of the U23 women’s 100m before withdrawing from the final.
Adam Thomas (Bracknell AC, Ken Spencer) and Samuel Gordon (Cardiff AC, Matt Elias) emerged in the latter stages of a close U23 men’s 100m to take the 1-2 with Thomas coming home just one hundredth of a second clear of the Cardiff athlete with a time of 10.50 (-0.5). Ronnie Wells of Yeovil Olympiads took bronze with 10.57.
But it was not just the sprints that saw the day ending on a high point. The Under 20 javelin also produced a high quality competition. Harry Hughes (West Suffolk, Mike McNeill) was the only Under 20 to have gone into the championships with the qualifying standard for the World Junior Championships in the javelin. He duly took the U20 title with his very first throw – a 71.49 which also gave him another mark above the 71m standard.
Silver went to George Davies (City Of York, Paul Wilson) who threw 66.09 and bronze was taken by Joe Harris of Manx Harriers (Coach: David Parker) who recorded 64.77.
Going into the U20 pole vault earlier in the day Adam Hague (Sheffield & Dearne, Trevor Fox) lay top of the rankings list with 5.53i (and 5.30 outdoors) with Charlie Myers (Middlesbrough (Mandale), Chris Boundy) third on the rankings with 5.25 (matching the World Juniors qualifying standard). It was Hague who took the title with 5.20 as Myers cleared the same height to ensure silver. Nathan Gardner (Stevenage & North Herts, Beth Harris) took bronze with 4.55.
Bobby Clay (Invicta East Kent, Rob Denmark) already held the championship record at 1500m as well as having a World Junior Qualifying mark to her name this year. Leading from the off she passed 800m in 2:23.8 with Sabrine Sinha (Cambridge H, Peter Mullervy) in close attention. At this point Clay poured on the pace as Sinha gave chase ahead of Harriet Knowles-Jones (Warrington AC, Paul Roden). Clay hit the bell in 3:11.02 and came home to win in 4:18.25 with Knowles-Jones taking silver with 4:22.08 and Sinha bronze with 4:26.04.
The Under 23 men’s high jump saw Chris Kandu (Enfield and Haringey, John Herbert) go clear at 1.99 before then sitting out and watching as William Grimsey (Enfield and Haringey) and Akin Coward (Shaftesbury Barnet) both had success at 2.07. Kandu rejoined and went clear at 2.15 where his clearance secured gold ahead of Grimsey’s silver and Coward’s bronze. Kandu then went on to succeed at 2.20 and raised the bar for a successful clearance at 2.24 to equal the championship best and set a new outdoor personal best before bowing out at 2.27. It was his second Under 23 title to add to his two at Under 20.
In the Junior Men’s 3000 Paulos Surafel (Enfield & Haringey, Craig Winrow) hit the front as 2k was passed in 5:45. He was followed by Gus Cockle (Aldershot Farnham & District, Mick Woods) who in turn attacked at the bell and pulled clear over the last 200 to win in 8:20.35. Surafel took silver in 8:24.40. Bronze medallist was Alasdair Kinloch (Tonbridge, Mark Hookway), an Under 18 who ran in with 8:29.14 which gave him another performance inside the European Youth’s Qualifying time.
Phil Crout (Shaftesbury Barnet, George Harrison) enjoyed a battle with Abel Tsgay (Invicta East Kent, Peter Mullervy) in the U23 5000m. As Tsgay hit the front after at 2k was passed in 5:45 Crout followed before hitting the front with three laps to go and leading through 4K in 11:25.7. Tsgay attacked again to hear the bell at 13:07.05. But Crout unleashed a kick on the back straight to win in 14:06.13 to Tsgay’s 14:07.68. Ellis Cross (Aldershot, Farnham & District, Mick Woods) claimed the bronze with 14:20.02.
Harry Lane (Bristol & West, Tom Watson) clocked a 25 second PB, went under 9min for the first time and claimed the the Under 23 men’s steeplechase with a 8:59.90. He came home ahead of Alex Howard (Tonbridge, Mark Hookway, 9:02.48) and Daniel Jarvis (Liverpool Harriers, Mick Woods, 9:05.55). In the U20 race Will Battershill (Erme Valley Harriers, Kirk Salmon) won in 9:06.86 from John Millar (Ipswich, Stephen Hicks, 9:09.54) and Billy White (Brighton Phoenix, Jon Bigg, 9:20.37).
Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Leeds AC, Matt Barton) made it three in a row for his England Athletics Under 20 titles with a 7.43 winning leap in the long jump. Silver went to Alexander Farquharson (Coventry Godiva, Andy Vincent, 7.37) and bronze to Sam Talbot (Exeter Harriers, Eldon Lake, 7.18).
Earlier in the day the last round of the under 20 men’s hammer had looked like it was going to bring a twist as Adam King (Iveragh AC, Sean Egan) threw out to 69.70 to take over from long-time leader Under 18 athlete Jake Norris (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow, Paul Dickenson). Norris, who is ranked number 2 Under 18 in Europe, responded with 70.79 in his last throw to add another turn to the plot and ensure he took gold. Third was Jamie Kuehnel (Newbury, Bob Broadbridge) with 63.15.
The Under 20 men's shot final saw George Evans (Shaftesbury Barnet/ Inverness Harriers, Colin McCulloch) unleash a big PB to go over 18m for the first time with 18.05, a big improvement on his 17.17 previous best. Daniel Cartwright (Birchfield H, Jan Aarre) claimed silver with 16.66 as the top three places were all filled by the top three ranked athletes with Robbie Shaw (Nene Valley Harriers) taking bronze with 15.88.
Amy Holder (Windsor, Slough Eton & Hounslow, Neville Thompson) who has been U20 champion at discus for the past two years continued winning ways upon her move up to U23. She recorded a 53.10 to win from Phoebe Dowson (Bournemouth AC, William Bushnell) who threw 48.57 and the 45.08 of Rachel Forder (Havering AC).
There was an Irish record in U20 women’s shot for Michaela Walsh (Swinford AC, Margaret Walsh) as she won with 15.15. In second was Sophie Merritt (Southampton AC, Dave Callaway) whose 14.03 was just enough to take silver ahead of Divine Oladipo (Blackheath & Bromley, John Hillier) who recorded 14.01.
In the Under 20 pole vault Jessica Robinson (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow, Ellie Spain) won with a 3.90 from Jessica Swannack (Preston Harriers, Matt Cullen) who also went clear at 3.90 and Tamsin Campbell (Crawley AC, Alan Richardson) 3.60.
Naomi Ogbeta (Trafford AC, Tom Cullen) jumped out to 12.92 to take the U20 women’s triple jump as Emily Gargan (Gateshead, Sam Stanislaus) took silver with 12.36 and Laura Zialor (Marshall Milton Keynes, John Herbert) secured bronze with 12.21.
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