British Record & strong performances on Day 1 of England Athletics Under 23 & Under 20 Championships and European Trials

Taylor Campbell improving the British record twice in the first event of the day was highlight of Day One of the 2015 National Championships at Bedford. While rain damped some of the performances and at times gave testing conditions there were still strong performances throughout as athletes fought for titles as well as places on the British teams for the respective European Championships.

The Championship was off to a flying start courtesy of Taylor Campbell (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Coach Paul Dickenson) who rewrote the British record twice in the Under 20 hammer throw. After throwing out to 77.30 in the second round he then went over 76 metres again before extending out to 78.74 to improve on his own British Record mark and also wipe Peter Smith’s Championship record.

Jac Palmer (Cardiff AAC Coach: Adrian Palmer) took silver with 68.19 and Joe Ellis (USA, Coach: Jerry Clayton) third with his 67.54 ahead of the 66.84 mark of Tom Head (Newham & Essex Beagles, Coach: Paul Head).
While the wet weather did dampen down the times there was once again a good set of sprint races with the 100m finals. The first sprint champion of the day was Lukesha Morris (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) with her 11.74 taking her clear of Blackpool Wyre & Flyde’s Kate Wyper (Coach: Derek Newton, 11.90) and Steffi Wilson (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Club: Graeme Gorley, 11.94) who had a tight run battle for the other medals.

It was a swift 10.33 from Ojie Edoburun (Club: Shaftebury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Jonas Tawiah Dodoo) that took the Under 20 men’s 100m title as Joseph Dewar (Club: Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, Coach: Gladys Bird) led mid-race and pushed him hard before coming away with silver in 10.44. Rechmial Miller (Club: Hercules Wimbledon, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) took bronze. Reuben Arthur (Club: Hercules Wimbledon, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) who was one of those to watch coming into the championships had earlier been disqualified for a false start in heats.

Josh Cox (Club: Bedford & County, Coach: Alan Watts) rewrote his personal best on the way to qualifying for the final of the Under 23 men’s 100m and then went even quicker than his 10.45 from the heats to take gold with 10.39 ahead of John Otugade (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Tom McNab, 10.42) and Roy Ejiakuekwu (Club: Sale Harriers, Coach: Rana Reider, 10.45).

Daryll Neita (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Jonas Tawiah-Dodoo) was impressive in running a personal best 11.40 which won her the Under 20 women’s 100m. She pulled clear of Imani Lansiquot (Club: Sutton & District, Coach: Joe Felix) who took silver in 11.72 and the 11.88 of Shannon Malone (Club: Deeside AC, Coach: Richard Sayer). Hannah Brier who had lowered the Welsh Junior record to 11.44 in the heats did not starting the final.

Both the men’s 5000m races saw slower early paces turn the events into a battle over the latter stages. In the Under 20 event Alex George (Club: Gloucester AC, Coach: Paul De Camps) picked the pace up over the last kilometre and pulled clear of Gus Cockle (Club: Aldershot Farnham & District, Coach: Mick Woods) in the second half of their battle over the last lap. He clocked a European Junior qualifying mark as Elliot Bowker (Club: Vale Royal, Coach: Andrew Carter) charged through into third place.

The Under 23 men’s 5000m started at a slow pace before picking up with a group including Jonathan Davies (Club: Reading AC, Coach: Rob McKim), Michael Callegari (Club: Shaftebury Barnet H, Coach: Craig Winrow), Jacob Allen (Club: Rugby & Northampton, Coach: Mick Woods), Kieran Clements (Club: Ipswich Harriers, Coach: Ricardo Santos), Matt Bergin (Club: Bedford & County, Coach Joe Franklin) and Bradley Goater (Club: Windsor, Slough Eton & Hounslow, Coach: Mick Woods).

It was Davies who was forcing the pace as the race moved towards the business end, and going through the bell in 13:41.52 he accelerated to a 56.71 sec last lap to win in 14:38.23 ahead of Matt Bergin (14:38.99) and Michael Callegari.

The Under 23 women’s 1500m final saw the first three athlete breaking clear and it was Melissa Courtney of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers (Coach: Mark Pauley) who got away from both Ffion Price (Club: Cardiff) and Madeleine Murray (Club: Edinburgh, Coach: John Lees) to take gold with times of 4:15.93, 4:18.07 and 4:19.57 respectively.

The Under 20 men’s steeplechase title was won by Declan McManus (Club: Worcester AC, Coach: David Walker) in 9:05.5 to the 9:06.3 of Haran Dunderdale (Club: City of Sheffield, Coach: William Wood) with Blackheath and Bromley’s Richard Webb (Coach: David Liston) taking bronze in 9:27.8. The Under 23 race was won by Tonbridge AC’s Ryan Driscoll (Coach: Mark Hookway) who held off a big late charge from Doug Musson (Club: Notts AC, Coach: Trevor Muxlow) 8:58.93 to 8:59.03 with Dan Owen (Club: Cheltenham Harriers, Coach: Andy Beadle) third in 9:13.46.

Chris Kandu (Club: Enfield & Haringey, Coach: Fuzz Ahmed) added to his national title collection with a best of 2.16m in the Under 23 men’s high jump. He joined the competition posted first time clearances at 2.11 and 2.16 – both heights above anything achieved by his rivals jumps – to take gold ahead of joint silver medallists Jack Lochans (Club Woodford Green & Essex Ladies, Coach: Ken Allan) and Chris Mann (Club: Bolton Harriers, Coach: Shaun O’Donnell) who both had second time clearances at 2.03.

It was a crowded podium in the Under 23 women's high jump as Nikki Manson (Club: Giffnock North, Coach: Ken Allan) took gold with 1.75 ahead of a three way tie for silver between Isobel Brown (Club: Chichester Runners, Coach: David Churcher) Kate Anson (Club: Liverpool Harriers, Coach: Val Rutter) and Emma Buckett (Club: Loughborough Students, Coach: Grant Brown) all with a best clearance of 1.70.

Conditions were particularly challenging for the pole vaulters. In the Under 20 men’s in the Harry Coppell (Club: Wigan & District, Coach: John Mitchell) and Charlie Myers (Club: Middlesbrough Mandale, Coach: Chris Boundy) declined a jump off, including an extra attempt at 5.25 and settled for shared gold with 5.15. Adam Hague (Club: City of Sheffield, Coach: Trevor Fox) took bronze with 4.90.

The Under 20 women's pole vault medallists were Abigail Roberts (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: Trevor Fox) with 3.90 as Tilly Hooper (Club: Sutton & District AC) took silver with a first time clearance at 3.75 with Olivia Connor’s (Club: Lewes AC, Coach: Rick Pilling) second time clearance at that height securing bronze.

The Under 20 long jump was won by Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Club: Leeds, Coach: Matt Barton) with 7.54 as silver went to Oliver Clark (Club: Cornwall AC, Club: Emma Burton) with 7.43 and Ross McLachlan (Club: City of Norwich, Coach: Denis Costello) winning bronze with 7.27.

Naomi Ogbeta (Club: Trafford, Coach: Tom Cullen) took the Under 20 women's Triple Jump title with 12.98. Lia Stephenson (Club: Thames Valley Harriers, Coach: David Johnson) was silver medallist (12.60) and Kerri Davidson (Club: Blackheath & Bromley, Coach: Tony Ganio) was bronze medallist with 12.33.

Adele Nicoll (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Vladimir Zinchenko) added another national title to her collection in the Under 20 women's shot with a last round throw going out to 15.23 to improve on the mark of 15.19 she had set in round three. Emily Ball (Club: West Cheshire, Coach: David Mckay) was silver medallist with 12.56 and Michaela Obijiaku (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: Anthony Soalla-Bell) third with 11.30.

The Under 23 long jump saw a Wigan and District 1-2 as it was won by Danielle McGifford (Coach: Sharon Walls) with 5.98 ahead of Micaela Brindle (Coach: Carl Foster) with 5.72 and Faye Nicholson (Club: Bedford & County, Coach: Linda Nicholson) on 5.62.

In the Under 20 women’s hammer competition Ireland’s Alice Akers led throughout and won with her third round throw of 56.04 being her best mark. Rebecca Keating (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Paul Dickenson) threw 54.78 for silver and Laeken Impey (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes, Coach: James Kee) 49.80 for bronze.

The Under 20 women's javelin saw Katherine West (Club: Reading AC, Coach: Ivan Peacock) take the lead from Jordan Campbell (Club: Southampton AC, Coach: David Parker) in the third round before extending it with 44.71 in round five. Jordan’s 43.70 took silver and Elspeth Jamieson (Club: City of Norwich AC, Coach: Tim Newenham) bronze with 41.04.

The Under 23 Women's discus saw a win for Phoebe Dowson (Club: Bournemouth AC, Coach: Bill Bushnell) with a throw of 48.27 as Divine Olapido (Club: Blackheath & Bromley, Coach: John Hiller) and Awen Rosser (Club: Swansea, Coach: Paul Jensen) took silver and bronze with 42.56 and 40.71 respectively.

Harry Hughes (Club: West Suffolk, Coach: Mike McNeil) secured the Under 20 javelin title with his first throw of the competition – a 67.28. Redford Curtis (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes, Coach: Ken Holmes) took silver with 60.84 and bronze was won by the 57.42 throw of Marshall Childs (Club: Ipswich Harriers, Coach: David Hughes).

John Kelly (Ireland) took the Under 20 shot with 17.18 while Adam Graham (Club: Enfield & Haringey, Coach: John Graham) and Kai Jones (Club: Newham & Essex, Coach: Lorraine Jones) enjoyed a great tussle for the other medals. With Jones 1cm ahead of Graham going into the second three throws the fourth round saw Graham improve to 16.47 while Jones went to 16.41 which he then backed up with 16.40 but was not able to claw back the different. An Under 18s competition saw George Evans (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Duncan Flockhart) put out to 17.53 with Nathan Thomason (Colwyn Bay) recording 15.69. Evans (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Duncan Flockhart) also threw a personal best 61.25m in the discus.

In other events put on for Under 18s to achieve qualifying marks with youth implements there was a 61.15 for Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley, Coach: David Feeney) in the Under 18 400H ahead of 62.16 by Sarah Pearson (Club: Central AC, Coach: John Dawson). In the men’s equivalent event Joe Fuggle of Tonbridge AC (Coach: David Hull) crossed the line in a personal best 54.10.