Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley AC, Coach: David Feeney) claimed the first England Athletics title of 2016 with Emma Canning (Club: Whitemoss AAC, Coach: Iain McEwan) and Anna Nicole Rowe (Club: Liverpool Harriers, Coach: Mike Holmes) in the other medal positions.
After lying in twelfth place after the first event (60m hurdles) it was no surprise to see Niamh, who is Commonwealth Youth Games high jump champion, make her impact on the leader board in that event. Her leap of 1.78 scored her 953 points and put her into second place making clear she would be a contender for the title. The early leader was Morgan Lake (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & H, Coach: Eldon Lake) who chose to only contest the first three events (8.74/ 965 pts in the 60m hurdles, 1.78/ 953 pts in high jump and 13.41/ 755pts for shot) before withdrawing.
The shot saw Niamh into third place behind fellow Commonwealth Youth Games medallist Ada'ora Chigbo (Club: North Somerset AC, Coach: Ken Holmes) who had jumped 1.75 in the high jump before recording 11.82 and 649 points to take the shot event and move to second overall.
With Morgan withdrawing a 5.68 long jump (753 pts) saw Niamh in first place with the 5.74 mark of Emma Canning the best recorded and taking her up to silver medal position. Katie Garland (Club: Brighton & Hove City AC, Coach: Julia Machin) had been close to the medal positions all day and her jump of 5.64 (741 pts) was enough to put her third.
But the leader board was tight. At the top Niamh had 3060 points to Emma’s 2925 and Katie’s 2917. It was a mere 14 points from bronze medal position to sixth and just 75 from bronze to seventh place meaning that the final event, the 800m, saw the athletes having everything to fight for and a tight battle for the medals in prospect.
So it proved. An event winning 2:19.47 (831 pts) saw Niamh take gold as Emma’s 2:25.11 was fourth quickest and the associated 755 points enough to see her to silver. That points spread down to seven place after six events proved crucial. Second fastest over 800m was Anna Nicole Rowe’s 2:20.33 – enough for 819 points. Not only did this take her from seventh into bronze medal position it also meant she finished just 19 points shy of silver. Another moving up the leader board was fourth placed Michelle Hughes (Club: Havering, Coach: Tony Benton) who clocked a 2:31.52 for fourth (3577) as Katie Garland finished fifth (3523) and Ada’ora sixth (3444).
Niamh’s performance was a personal best by 213 points and takes her to 10th place on the UK all time rankings.
Senior Men’ Heptathlon – Day One
Liam Ramsay (Club: Sheffield & Dearne, Coach: Mike Corden) is the overnight leader in the Senior Men’s Heptathlon. He moved to the top after achieving highest points in the shot – 706 with a mark of 13.64 – and then became the only man in the field to go above 2m in the high jump. His 2.02 clearance was good for 822 points and saw him move to 3212 points with a lead of 110 points. Lying second is Under 23 as Anthony Hogg (Club: Gateshead Harriers, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) who last year took the Under 20 title. It was he who led after the first two events courtesy of being quickest at 60m with a 7.06 (861 pts) and also being best in the long jump with 7.22 / 866 pts.
It is another Under 23, Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Bruce Bewley) lying in the bronze medal position on 2969 points, 59 ahead of Birchfield’s Matthew Lee (Coach: Ian Grant).
Under 20 Men’s Pentathlon – Day 1
After Day One it is the 2015 under 17 champion Sam Talbot (Club: Exeter Harriers, Coach: Eldon Lake) who holds a lead that has been in place since the first event.
A 7.00/ 882pts 60m saw him off to a great start and it got better. His 7.51 long jump set the best ever UK indoor mark by a Under 18 and, in the context of this event, was the only mark over 7m and good for 937 points. He followed this with a 12.62 shot put (644 pts) and then a 3.82 pole vault (568 points) to go into the over night break almost 300 points clear of second placed Tom Chandler (Club: Central AC, Coach: Ian Grant). Tom moved into the medal positions as his 6.68/ 739 pts long jump and 12.02/ 607 pts shot both saw him lying third overall. Then came the pole vault which saw a number of changes to the leader board which could prove significant.
Tom Dobbs (Club: Wigan & Dist H AC, Coach: Robert Halliwell) cleared at 4.52 to take 766 points and move up to fourth (2635 points). Tom Chandler was one of three athletes to clear 4.22 and the associated 679 points put him into second with an overnight score of 2754, Dylan Carlsson-Smith (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Ian Grant) was another clear at 4.22 and finished the day third on 2637 just two points ahead of Dobbs. The other 4.22 man was Nathan Gardner (Club: Stevenage & North Herts AC, Coach: Beth Harris) who now lies eighth. With fifth placed Joseph Hobson (Club: Sheffield & Dearne, Coach: Mike Corden) another recording over 2600 points on Day One with a total of 2622 Day Two looks set to be a cracker.
The Senior Women’s event, race walks and BMC races take place tomorrow (Sunday).
Photos courtesy of Andy Chubb; contact him for more or to buy www.peverilphoto.com