Bedford gets set for a fierce final championship

The England Athletics Under 17 and Under 15 Championships, including our Disability Athletics Age Group Championships, takes place in Bedford this weekend, Saturday and Sunday (31 Aug-1 Sept). With a whopping 1167 athletes set to compete, our final championships for the summer is set to be a sizzler; and here’s to hoping the good weather of the bank holiday just gone sticks around too! With titles for the taking, these exceptional young athletes will bring their absolute all; get set for an incredible weekend of athletics.

This event will be made even more special, as the first of our 2019 Regional Volunteer Awards for the East region will take place as part of Sunday’s proceedings. We will celebrate and shine the spotlight on the unsung heroes of our sport – our inspirational volunteers, who give their time, commitment and incredible energy week in and out. Nine awards will be given to much deserving recipients, in front of admiring colleagues, athletes, coaches, officials and spectators.

U17 Men

With over 320 athletes coming to compete this weekend, competition is set to be tense and tough amongst the under 17 men.

On the track you will see Joel Pascall (Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Nat Senior) PB 10.48 and Henry Nwoke (Liverpool Harriers & AC, Mike Sweeney) PB 10.65, battle it out against a tight and fast field for the top spot in the 100m. And it could be a three-way head to head lightning-fast 200m final with the two meeting again for the longer sprint and likely up against current number 1, Jeriel Quainoo (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, Eddie Fisher and Mike Commingson) PB 21.60.

Joseph Harding (Basildon AC) coached by England’s fastest-ever sprint hurdler, Tony Jarrett, is flying ahead of the sprint hurdle field with a PB of 12.69. Having a sensational season, this is set to be one of the top races of the meet; the rest of the field will be hot on his heels.

It’ll be a battle of endurance all-round in the men’s 800m and 1500m, and that’s just to make it to the final! Two races sure to have spectators on the edge of their seats, with strong fields and times that can barely be picked apart. Dan Joyce (Tynedale Harriers & AC, Peter Venus) with a PB of 1.50 in the 800m and Ethan Hussey (Leeds City Athletic Club, Leeds City Athletic Club) with a PB of 3.46 in the 1500m, the ones to beat.

In the field, it’s tight at the top of the long jump listing, as 4 of the top ranked athletes battle it out in the pit for top spot – all of which have gone over the 7m mark! Archie Yeo (Scunthorpe & District AC, Martin Bishell) PB 7.45m, Murray Fotheringham (Giffnock North AC, Colin Sinclair) PB 7.21m, Sam Brereton (Newquay & Par AC, Clive Marsh) and Cameron Ellis (Basildon AC, Vespa Ellis) both with a PB of 7.08m.

Kenneth Ikeji (Basildon AC) coached by former champion Paul Head, has had a sensational hammer throwing season, throwing over 70m consistently and earning himself an all-time top 5 spot for his age group with a PB 73.92m. He’ll be looking to continue his winning streak, as the rest of the field aim for the 70s. Another athlete throwing over 70m, currently ranked number 1, and also featuring in the all-time top 10 for his age group, is Benjamin East (Team Kennet Triathlon & AC, Luke Angell) in the javelin. He’s up against number 2, Bradley Jenvey (Southampton Athletic Club, Dave Callaway), and number 3, Luke Robinson (City of York AC, Paul Wilson).

U17 Women

With over 300 athletes coming to compete in the U17 women’s event, get set for tough head-to-heads and potential multi-medal winning performances.

Combined event champion, Abigail Pawlett (Stockport Track & Field , Joe Frost) has a busy weekend ahead, with 5 events entered - she could very well be the star of show and medal in every event. She’ll face fierce and close competition in the sprint hurdles (PB 11.30), up against Marli Jessop (Dacorum & Tring AC, Brian Hopkins) PB 11.33 and Abigail Packham (Crawley AC, Paul Mckeown) PB 11.34. And go head-to-head with Lydia Smith (Taunton AC, Steve Shaw) in the long jump pit, as they both aim to reach and smash the 6m mark.

Similarly to the men, the women’s 800m, 1500m and steeplechase all see strong and tight fields, with times that are so close the win could come from anywhere in the field. In the 800m, Isla Calvert (Livingston AC, Sandra Hardacre) PB 2.06, 1500m, Abigail Ives (Basildon AC, Richard Bullis) PB 4.29 and steeplechase, Martha Collings (Woking AC, Andrew Collings) PB 5.03 are the times to beat.

In the field, there should be a good head-to-head between the women ranked 1 and 2 in the triple jump: Ellie O'Hara (EAC, Linda Nicholson) PB 12.58 and Melissa Booth (Sale Harriers Manchester, Keith Hunter) PB 12.33, with the rest of the field looking to break the 12m mark.

Nana Gyedu (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, John Hillier) will be going for the dozen in the shot, with 11 consecutive wins under her belt. The current number 1 and 4th all-time for her age group, with a PB of 15.69, will be looking to add to and continue her sensational winning streak.

The hammer throwing field will see tough competition between Kirsty Costello (Kilbarchan AAC, Chris Bennett / Karen Costello) and Anna Merritt (Southampton Athletic Club, Debbie Callaway). With a solid hammer throwing field, the top 3 spots could come from any number of athletes.

Disability Age Group (11-19 )

The Age Group Champs features para athletes aged 11-19 from across the UK, with athletes from the British Athletics Futures and Development Academy, and almost a full house of GB Juniors from the recent WPA World Juniors in Nottwil, Switzerland. The event is WPA Endorsed for World Rankings.Athletes will be competing in long jump, seated and ambulant throws for shot, discus, javelin and club, and wheelchair and ambulant track races at 100m, 200m, 400m and 1500m.

World Record Holder, European Champion and BBC Young Sports Personality of Year Kare Adenegan (Coventry Godiva Harriers, Job King) is entered for all four track events. She'll be hoping to add some England titles to her 8 global medals from World Championships and Paralympic Games. T34 Wheelchair racers Matt Cooper (Weir Archer Academy Jenny Archer) and Zien Zhou (Coventry Godiva Harriers, Job King) are both entered for the three sprints with Matt marginally faster in the 100m and Zien a slightly quicker 200m PB these races will be an exciting watch. 13-year-old Varun Bandi (Bedford Wheelchair Racing, Michael Blunt, T54) will be the first participant from the Bedford & County AC wheelchair racing group that established last year to compete in an England Athletics Champs.

The ambulant para-athletes will join the U17 women or U15 boys long jumpers; T38 Barney Corrall (Charnwood AC, Chris Sinclair) is entered into the long jump and has jumped well over 5m this year, and for the women, T37 Abbie McNally (Inverness Harriers AAC, Charles Forbes) is entered to jump as well as compete the sprints. T20 athletes Karim Chan (Charnwood AC, Femi Akinsanya), Faye Olszowka (Bexley AC, Chris Harris) and 2017 World Junior long jump champion Esme O'Connell (Dacorum & Tring AC, Paddy O'Shea) are also sprinting and jumping on the Saturday. T35 sprints specialist India Oates (Darlington H & AC, Helen Bowles) will be hoping to regain her number 1 ranking from last year. A good head-to head will be the T20 ambulant 400m with Ethan Kirby (Newton Abbot AC, Nick Harris) vs Prince Reid (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC) who are also ranked 1 and 2 in the UK.

U15 athletes

Fresh rivalries will continue to flourish amongst the under 15s, as just under 300 young and aspiring athletes compete for national titles.

The U15 boys' and girls' 100m and 200m sprints have large fields with high-ranking athletes coming to compete; these events are all fiercely competitive fields.

The girls' 800m and 1500m sees a very healthy line-up, with a packed field and tight times; the win could come from anyone.

In the field, Dylan Menhennet (Forest of Dean AC, Andrew Compton) and Liam Cawley (Team Kennet Triathlon & AC, Luke Angell) will look to continue with their strong hammer and javelin respectively throwing season, both and aiming for over 55m.

Gemma Tutton (Lewes AC, Rick Pilling) is back on home soil, after competing in Spain for two years. Currently ranked number 1 in pole vault, she’s flying high with a strong season - setting a PB of 3.81m. There’ll be tough competition in the girls' javelin too, between Lucinda White (Tonbridge AC, Rick Pilling) and Jess Thompson (Harrogate Harriers & AC, Paul Wilson) ranked 1 and 2, both throwing over the 42m mark.

The standard is exceptional across the board for the U15 age group, get set for tough title battles on both the track and field.

Good luck and thank you!

We wish all athletes competing the very best of luck, success and strong competition, and give thanks to all the technical officials, voluntary helpers and medical staff for all their hard work over the two days. The best of luck and the biggest thank you also, to all volunteers nominated and shortlisted for our awards.

Useful information and links…