Bedford international athletics stadium saw the England’s under 20 and under 23 athletes descend on the arena for day 2 of the championships. With the usual Bedford wind moving the rain clouds on, spectators enjoyed comfortable conditions to watch some of the future stars of track and field begin their transition from ‘junior’ to ‘senior’ level athletics.
Windsor slough & Eton and Hounslow’s Morgan Lake (coach: Eldon Lake) set a new stadium record on day 2 in the under 20 women’s high jump with a height of 1.94. An impressive series of jumps for Lake who jumped 1.94 at the IAAF World Junior Championships last in Eugene, Oregon.
The former stadium record, set by Isabel Pooley, was not her only target, as once 1.94 was cleared the bar was raised to 1.97 for a new British Record; some close attempts but it wasn’t to be on this occasion. The talented combined eventer later went on to win the under 20 long jump with 6.18m.
It seemed the onlooking spectators would enjoy the sight of another young high profile combined eventer in action with Olympian Katarina Johnson-Thompson (coached by: Mike Holmes, Club: Liverpool Harriers & AC) in action on the track in the under 23 women’s 100m hurdles. ‘KJT’ as she is known got out well and on paper would of have been the favorite for the title but a resurgent Yasmin Miller (coached by: Lloyd Cowan, Club: Derby AC) powered through in the later stages of the race in a time of 13.34 from Johnson-Thomson’s 13.44 to claim the National title.
The strength of the combined eventers continued to show with Dartford Harriers David Hall (coach: Ian Grant) taking the National 400m title in the under 23 age group. Hall who has already chalked up a decathlon score of 7651 in 2015 finished the strongest over the 400m distance edging out Elliot Rutter close to the finish line in a time of 47.27.
Charlie Grice (coached by: Jon Bigg, Club: Phoenix) came down a distance to race in the under 23 800m and sped round the two laps in 1:50.00. A decent run considering it’s the Phoenix athlete's third over the two laps in a week.
Commonwealth Games athlete Leon Reid (Coach: James Hillier, Club: Birchfield) looked smooth on route to winning under 23 men’s 200m crown, clocking 20.95 (+1.3). In his heat the Bath based athlete clocked 20.80 (+1.8). Shannon Hylton (coach: John Blackie) looked equally as smooth in her challenge to a gold medal in the under 20’s 200m. The Blackheath & Bromley sprinter clocked one of her quickest times of the season so far; 23.22 (+2.7).
In the field Sophie Mckinna (Coach: Mike Winch, Club: Great Yamouth) made it 6 out of 6 with 6 years in a row and 6 England age group titles, one per year. 2015 (the 6th Gold/title) was in the under 23 shot and Mckinna threw a best of 16.41m to claim her sixth title.
The event organizers and officials kept the event running smoothly with fantastic support from volunteers. All efforts were greatly appreciated once again as without their support we would struggle to put on such an event.