Age group titles up for grabs

This weekend sees our last major track and field championship of the summer with the England Athletics Under 17 and Under 15 championships (which includes our Disability Athletics Age Group championships) taking place in Bedford. There have been over 1300 entries from over 1000 athletes so it should be a busy and competitive two days.

U17 Men

The race of the day is likely to be a head to head in the 100m Hurdles final from Commonwealth Youth Games U18 110m hurdles gold and silver medallists Sam Bennett Basildon AC and Jack Sumners (Club: Stratford Upon Avon AC, Coach: Paul Bearman), but they may well be up against up against sub-13 second men Joshua Zeller (Club: Bracknell AC, Coach: Ken Spencer) and clubmate Oliver Cresswell who are ranked 2nd and 3rd nationally and the top medallists at the English Schools' champs.

The 400m Hurdles is also likely to see an exciting final with ESAA English Schools' and also SIAB champion Ben Lloyd (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Stanley Madiri) in the mix with Midlands Champion Ben Higgins (Club: Charnwood AC, Coach: Eliska Binks).

Over the longer distances, the 3000m sees Joshua Cowperthwaite (Club: Middlesbrough AC (Mandale), Coach: Martin Peevor) who is an ESAA and SIAB medallist and Thomas Keen (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Coach: Mark Vile) who has had a breakthrough year and won at both those events. Luke Duffy (Club: Mansfield Harriers, Coach: Richard Massey) clocked 3.49.7 at the Commonwealth Youth Games and that puts the CBP (3.49.4) set in 2012 at risk.

The 800m CBP mark has been beaten on paper by Max Burgin (Club: Halifax Harriers & AC, Coach: Brian Burgin) so could be under threat but he'll get a run for his money from two athletes in their second year at the age group; Oliver Dustin (Club: Border Harriers & AC Graeme Mason) who is the ESAA champion, and Joshua Hulse (Club: Ipswich Harriers, Coach: Eric Phillips) who is current indoor champion.

In the field, it's likely to be an exciting Long Jump; Long Jump New U17 Decathlon champ and record holder Joel McFarlane Arbroath & District AC has a 7m+ PB and Jack Sumners who also goes in the hurdles but is the indoor long jump champion too. Also doubling up is Dominic Ogbechie (Club: Highgate Harriers, Coach: Marius Guei) - can he go under 22s in the 200m and over 2m in the high jump? Dominic was too young for the Commonwealth Youth Games team but had already cleared the 2m07 standard for that last January.

U17 Women

The High Jump looks set to be a close and exciting competition. Indoor champion Ashleigh West (Club: Medway & Maidstone AC, Coach: John Bancroft) will be hoping to add the outdoor title, but there's a plethora of other quality athletes entered including recent U17 Heptathlon gold medallist Jessica Hopkins (Club: Chelmsford AC Steve Mitchell, bronze medallist Mia Chantree (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell) and indoor bronze medallist Danielle Hopkins (Club: Worcester AC, Coach: Deirdre Elmhirst), and UK ranked 7th Emily Race (Club: Worksop Harriers, Coach: Peter Anthony Fendley).

The 100m also includes a quality field, with four athletes entered having PBs under 12 seconds.
English Schools' AA, indoor champion and defending champion Amy Hunt (Club: Charnwood AC, Coach: Joseph McDonnell), if running at her peak and the weather is favourable could re-write current CBP, but also competing will be Maisey Snaith (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Coach: Mick Graham) whose PB was set just last month, last year's silver medallist Trinity Perruzza-Powell (Club: Manchester Harriers & AC, Coach: Kez Salmon), and Leonie Ashmeade (Club: Wakefield District H & AC, Coach: Susan Taylor) who has clocked 11.99 in the ESAA heats last month. Over 200m it might well be a head to head between indoor silver medallist Amber Anning (Club: Brighton & Hove AC, Coach: Stephen King) and Kiah Dubarry-Gay (Club: Victoria Park Harriers & Tower Hamlets AC, Coach: Alf Vickers) who jointly top the rankings with identical PBs.

In the field there are two 15m+ shot putters entered; with the defending champion now an U20, will the ISA National Champion and EA indoor champion Serena Vincent (Club: City Of Portsmouth AC, Coach: Bronwin Carter) beat the SIAB International winner and English Schools' silver medallist Hannah Molyneaux (Club: Lincoln Wellington, Coach: AC Malcolm Fenton).

The Long Jump should also provide a close competition; many of our top multi-eventers are strong jumpers and all of last year's medallists are now in the Under 20 age group. While World Schools' record holder, Commonwealth Youth Games 4th placed, and indoor silver medallist Pippa Earley (Club: Kingston AC & Poly Harriers, Coach: John Shepherd), Scottish indoor champion an ESAA silver medallist Megan Busby (Club: Carlisle Aspatria AC, Coach: John Birkett) and last year's U15 ESAA champion and this year's U17 medallist Funminiyi Olajide (Club: Thurrock Harriers, Coach: Geraldine Heapy) have all jumped beyond 5m80, we also have three of the top four U17 heptathletes entered in the long jump as well as the high jump; .Emily Race , Jessica Hopkins, and Mia Chantree.

U18, U16, U14 Disability

Women's Long jump, 100m and 200m EFDS Typhoo National Junior Athletics champion and World Para-Athletics Junior Champion Esme O'Connell (Club: Dacorum & Tring AC) will be hoping to add the T20 England titles to her name as well and in the T35 classification 12 year old Grace Greenwood (Almost Athletes, Jersey) currently ranked 4th will be taking on U18 Daphne Schrager (Club: Bristol & West AC) whose big chunks off her 100m and 200m PBs in Switzerland recently moved her up to 8th in the World Rankings. In the F41 throws, Dwarf Sport champion at all three throws Abigail Birch (Club: Cornwall AC, Coach: Mo Pearson) will be competing in Shot, Discus and Javelin. The T54 wheelchair race entries include 11 year old (competing as U14 Anya Waugh (Club: Stockport, Coach: Rick Hoskins) who is ranked in the top 11 for all age groups in 100m, 200m and 400m and will be up against experienced racer Doaa Shayea (Club: City of Plymouth AC, Coach: Keith Reed) and fellow youngster and Mini London Marathon winner Shauna Bocquet (Club: Craughwell AC, Ireland). Watch out also for 16 year old Eve Walsh Dann who is T36 100m and 200m gold medallist at the Para World Juniors and is already ranked 3rd ni the world over those distances.

There is a good number of entries in the men's wheelchair racing (covering U20, U18 and U16 age groups) from T34 and T54 athletes, including the top 2 UK ranked Craig Boardman pictured (Club: City Of Portsmouth AC, Coach: Paul Smith) - who won gold at the recent World Para-Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland, and whose time therewas also a (senior) European Record and took him to World number 3 - and Isaac Towers (Club: Blackpool Wyre & Fylde AC, Coach: Peter Wyman) - who was a bronze medallist at London 2017 in the 800m - entered in the 100m, 200m and 400m sprints, and T54 Graham Spencer (Club: Weir Archer Academy, Coach: Jenny Archer) competing as an U18 who has had recent successes at the BWAA Grand Prix and came 3rd at the mixed age group Anniversary Games. Another up-and-coming young racer is Zien Zhou (Club: Coventry Godiva Harriers , Coach: Job King) who won the EFDS Typhoo National Junior Athletics last month in the T34 400m and there could be some close head-to-heads with Jamie Edwards (Club: Weir Archer Academy, Coach: Jenny Archer) over the various wheelchair race distances.

In the ambulant sprints, T20 Karim Chan (Club: Peterborough AC (Club: Femi Akinsanya has a wind assisted PB of 11.73 and has a long jump PB over 6m, and won gold at the recent World Para-Athletics Junior Championships in Switzerland.

Under 15

Our Under 15 boys and girls will also be hoping to win medals over the weekend and a number of our younger Combined Eventer medallists and high scorers will be back to test themselves in individual disciplines. One worth noting is U15 Middlesex 1500m and XC champion Mohamed Ali (Club: Hillingdon AC, Coach: Idris Hamud) might be challenging the 3000m Championships Best Performance held by Mohamed Farah; his PB set last month is 3 seconds faster than Farah's 8.47.48 set 20 years ago.

Sponsors New Balance will be at the event, plus there's a chance for you to win an NB Bike (Saturday) or a NB Performance Pack (Sunday) with timed cycle trials - fastest time to complete 10 laps wins! Prizes must be collected in person at 3.30pm.

Neuff Athletic Equipment will also have a shop on site over the weekend.

Coming to support?

Parents, friends and spectators are welcome and tickets can be bought on the day at the spectator entrance, which is situated to the left of the Main Stand. Ticket Prices are Per Day Adult: £5, Concession: £3. Weekend Adult: £8, Concession: £5. Car Parking: £3. Event Programme: £3

Licensed Coaches, Physiotherapists and Media can still gain free entry if they complete the Accreditation form by midday on Friday

If you can't make it to Bedford, there will be live streaming from Vinco, and you can follow the action on social media.