Athletes raise the bar at the England Athletics Indoor Champs

Day two of the England Athletics U15, 17 & 20 Indoor Championships saw more impressive performances both on the track and in the field.

In the Under 20 men’s pole vault British Junior Record Holder & European Junior Champion Adam Hague (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: Trevor Fox) added a Championship Best Performance and another England title to his achievements. Having secured gold with his successful attempt at 5.35 Adam raised the bar to 5.45 and his clearance meant he rewrote the championship record from Luke Cutts’ 2007 mark. In silver medal position Charlie Myers (Club: Middlesbrough AC, Coach: Chris Boundy) cleared at a season’s best 5.25. Joel Leon Benitez (Club: Millfield School, Coach: Alan Richardson) was the bronze medallist with 4.95.

It was gold for Abby Ward (Club: Wakefield, Coach: Ian Hill) in the Under 20 women’s high jump. Abby who holds the world youth lead at 1.89 cleared 1.82, as did Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley AC, Coach: David Feeney). This mark meant Niamh equalled her PB and she also achieved the European Youth Championships qualifying standard, taking silver on countback. Holly Smith (Club: Kingston Upon Hull, Coach: Ian Hill) set a PB of 1.76 for bronze.

Defending champion Rory Dwyer (Club: Stratford Upon Avon AC, Coach: Paul Bearman) put some nerves on edge when he took three attempts at his opening height of 2.03. But normal service was then resumed. He went on to clear 2.12 and take gold as well having near misses at 2.17. Rory Holden (Club: Darlington H, Coach: Angela Richings) went clear at 2.03 for silver and Lewis McGuire (Club: Pitreavie, Coach: Bryan Roy) took bronze with 1.95.

On the track there was a highly competitive Under 20 men’s 200m final. The 60m champion Oliver Bromby (Club: Southampton AC, Coach: Sara MacDonald-Gray) was perhaps unsurprisingly out the blocks quickest and had no issue with holding his form. However, Toby Harries (Club: Brighton Phoenix, Coach: Jon Bigg) edged past to claim the title in 21.26 to Oliver’s 21.36. The battle for the medal positions saw Cameron Tindle (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Henry Gray) home third in a new Scottish Record of 21.46, beating the previous mark set by Ian Horsburgh of 21.50.

Finette Agyapong (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Coach: Coral Nourrice) was away fast and maintained her pace on to clock a sub 24 second time (23.98), claim the Under 20 women's 200m title and go top of the rankings. Second was Kristie Edwards (Club: City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, Coach: Veronica Boden) with 24.26 as Ebony Carr (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes, Coach: Mike Leonard) took bronze in 24.72.

Jona Efoloko (Club: Sale Harriers, Coach: John Smith) glanced across as he came off the final bend and ran through the line to ensure he took the Under 17 men’s 200m title, stopping the clock at 21.87 with Ben Paris (Club: Cardiff Archers, Coach: Jeff Harwood) taking silver in 22.08 and Charles Hilliard (Club: Halesowen, Coach: Dominic McNeillis) bronze with 22.11.

Amy Hunt (Club: Grantham AC, Coach: Coach: Ian Richards) completed a sprint double adding the Under 15 200m title to her 60m gold medal. After a fast start she always looked to be in control and off the last bend was running smoothly to cross the line in 25.22.

The Under 15 Boys 200 saw Saturday’s 300m bronze medallist William Andoh (Club: Bishop Challoner, Coach: Mike Whittaker) move down a distance to take gold in 23.02, 0.8sec clear of Edward Sheffield (Club: Burton, Coach: Phil Smith) with bronze going to Louis Albrow (Club: City Of Norwich AC, Coach: Mike Utting) in 24.40.

The Under 17 women’s 800m was a high quality race. The top two on the all-time list lined up against the defending Under 17 champion. At halfway it was the second athlete on that all-time list - Tilly Simpson (Club: Hallamshire, Coach: Steven Marshall) – who hit the front and forced the pace. But with 100m to go defending champion, Isabelle Boffey (Club: Enfield & Haringey, Coach: Douglas Stone), made her move and went on to win in 2:06.68 – third on the all-time list and ahead of Tilly’s second placed 2:07.19. Erin Wallace (Club: Giffnock North, Coach: Dudley Walker), the fastest British Under 17 of all-time at 800m indoors, was third in 2:09.70.

Ben Greenwood (Club: Perth, Coach: Cat Tavendale) impressed in winning the Under 20 men’s 800m. He led throughout and produced a superb finishing lap to claim gold with 1:53.63 ahead of Spencer Thomas (Club: Brighton Phoenix, Coach: Jon Bigg) who clocked 1:54.40 and bronze medallist Canaan Solomon (Club: Woodford Green, Coach: Richard Thurston) who ran 1:54.63.

Jemma Reekie (Club: Kilbarchan, Coach: Andy Young) picked up a slow early pace to break her indoor PB with 4:36.03 and take gold ahead of Katy-Ann McDonald (Club: Blackheath & Bromley, Coach: Phillip Kissi) and Sophia Parvizi-Wayne (Club: Shaftesbury) in the Under 20 1500m.

There was impressive sprint hurdling too. Tre Thomas (Club: Charnwood, Coach: Eliska Binks) came within 0.01 of both the UK record and Championship best performance set by Jack Meredith in 2008 when he took the Under 17 men's 60m hurdles in 7.90 ahead of Alastair Chalmers (Club: Guernsey) and Obi Onyejekwe (Club: Croydon) who ran 8.11 and 8.18 respectively.

It was gold and joint fifth on the all-time list alongside Sally Gunnell for Molly Courtney (Club: Cheltenham, Coach: David Warner) in the Under 20 women's 60m hurdles. She clocked the time in qualification before hitting it again in the final. Silver went to Hope Sarti (Club: Guildford & Godalming AC, Coach: Glyn Peckham) in 8.50 and bronze to Sophie Yorke (Club: Cheltenham, Coach: Dave Warner) in 8.69. Saturday’s Under 17 long jump champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover, Coach: James Coney) returned to action in the sprint hurdles and struck gold once more with 8.67.

Matt Treston (Club: Reading AC, Coach: Adrian Brown) came out on top of the dive for the line in the Under 20 men’s event. His 7.92 edged out the 7.97 of Ethan Akanni (Bexley, Coach: Tony Jarrett) and 7.99 of Robert Sakala (Club: Croydon, Coach: Piotr Spas).

Cameron Chalmers (Guernsey Island, Dale Garland/ Dan Cossins) took control at the break and held off the charges of Lee Thompson (Rotherham, Ricky Thorpe, 48.14) and Owen Richardson (Basingstoke, John Davis, 48.17) to take gold in the Under 20 men’s 400m with 48.01. Ella Barrett (Club: Chesterfield & District AC, Coach: Daniel Duke) came through in the home straight to win the U20 women’s 400m, overhauling Ashton Greenwood (Trafford AC, Coach: Steve Ball) 55.81 to 56.03 as Kelsey Stewart (Aberdeen, Ken/ Joyce Hogg) took bronze in 56.14.

Back in the field Under 20 women’s Triple Jump record holder Naomi Ogbeta (Club: Trafford AC, Coach: Tom Cullen) secured the national title with 12.62 ahead of Laura Zialor (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes, Coach: John Herbert) who jumped 12.36 and Charlotte Ogden (Club: Loughborough, Coach: Joe Frost/ Femi Akinsanya) with 12.04.

Triple jump gold for the Under 17 women went to Adelaide Omitowoju (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge, Coach: Morace Park) with 11.86. Saturday’s 300m champion Amber Anning (Club: Brighton & Hove, Coach: Steve King) jumped 11.55 or silver and Emily Madden-Forman (Club: Stratford Upon Avon, Coach: Paul Bearman) with 11.41.

Alessandro Schenini (Club: Giffnock North, Coach: David Watson) took gold in a tight long jump competition. Having been 1cm behind Elliott Thorne (Club: Slough Junior, Coach: Daniel Sawyers) with 6.82 to 6.83 he then went out to 6.95 in round. Elliott responded with a 6.89 but gold went to the Scottish athlete as Kellen Jones (Club: Newport, Coach: Nigel Lewis) jumped 6.56 for bronze.

It was another close long jump competition for the Under 20 men as Keith Marks (Ireland, Coach: John Shields) jumped 7.20, ahead of the 7.15 of Samuel Khogali (Club: Worcester, Coach: Femi Akinsanya) and the 7.09 of Ross McLachan (Club: City of Norwich, Coach: Denis Costello).

The Under 20 Women’s shot saw the win went to Sophie Merritt (Club: Southampton, Coach: David Callaway) with 13.76 ahead of Divine Oladipo (Club: Blackheath & Bromley, Coach: John Hillier) who recorded 13.46 and Rownita Marston (Club: Bristol & West, Coach: Dave Callaway) with 12.55.
Daniel Cartwright (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Jan Aarre) took the Under 20 men’s shot with 16.91 as George Evans (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Colin McCulloch) claimed silver with 15.82.

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