England Athletics Senior Champs - Day One

Day One of the England Athletics AAA and UK CAU Senior Champs incorporating the England Athletics Senior Disability Athletics Championships produced some great competition with close battles and impressive performances on the track and in the field catching the eye.

In an impressive display of high jumping European Under 20 bronze medallist Tom Gale (Team Bath, Denis Doyle), who was already second on the GB Under 20 all-time list behind Steve Smith, went closer to Smith’s 2.36 mark with a new PB of 2.30. The standard of jumping was impressive with Chris Baker (Sale Harriers, Sharon Heveran) going over at 2.21 and making three progressively closer attempts at 2.26. Tom’s Under 20 rival, Joel Khan (Worcester AC, Deirdre Elmhurst), was also on good form with a PB equalling 2.16. Another competing was World Para Athletics silver medallist Jonathan Broom-Edwards (Newham & Essex Beagles, Fuzz Caan) who came in fifth with a 2.06.

The women’s 800m saw a well measured win for former World Championships 1500m silver medallist Hannah England (Oxford City, Bud Baldaro). Ejiro Okoro (Birchfield Harriers, Eddie Cockayne) led through the bell in 64.72 as the field all lay in contention. Always in a good position Hannah started to move into closer order from 200m out, she then hit the front in the home straight and came home to win in 2:06.68 as Mari Smith (Birchfield, Bud Baldaro) also edged passed Okoro to take silver from her Birchfield team mate with 2:07.25 to 2:07.34.

The men’s javelin saw a superbly competitive battle for the medals. Under 23 athlete Joe Harris (Manx Harriers, David Parker) unleashed a big personal best of 75.71 to add more than 4m to his previous best make and take the title. However, Joe Dunderdale (Sheffield & Dearne, self) would not make it easy for his rival and improved his season’s best to 74.88 as he too produced a series of big throws. Steve Turnock (Shaftesbury Barnet, David Parker) was also over 70m in taking the bronze medal with 70.02. New Zealand’s Benjamin Langton Burnell added further quality to the competition with his best of 73.29.

There was a front running victory and a big personal best for Iona Lake (City Of Norwich, Tim & Pauline Ash) in the 3000m steeplechase as she crossed the line in 9:50.61 to add the England title to the British one she won earlier in the year. Behind her there was silver for Charlotte Taylor-Green (Bristol & West AC, James Thie) in 10:01.05 and bronze for Katie Ingle (Royal Sutton Coldfield AC, Margaret & Ian Riley) in 10:10.73. Iona is now planning to target the Commonwealth Games standard of 9:45 including at the Manchester International on 16 August.

The men’s 100m final saw European Under 23 Ojie Oduburun (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Jonas Dodoo) displaying his quality. Andrew Roberston (Sale Harriers Manchester, Sam Robertson) was as quick away as ever and led the field. But Ojie maintained form and came through to cross the line in 10.26 (-0.1) ahead of the Sale Harrier as Reuben Arthur (Enfield & Haringey, Ryan Freckleton) edged the silver medal in 10.41 to the 10.43 of John Otugade (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, self).

The women's 100m finals saw Diani Walker (Birchfield, Lloyd Cowan) run a new personal best to claim the women’s title in 11.45 (-0.5) as Toea Wisil (Guest, Papua New Guinea) came in second in 11.49. Diani had run faster than her previous best of 11.56 in both the heats (11.49) and semi-final (11.51) before then producing her fastest of all in the final. The silver and bronze medals went to Rachel Miller (Harrow, Gary Telfer) and Rebecca Campsall (City of York, Lewis Samuel) in 11.54 and 11.70, the latter crossing the line in the same time as Crawley’s Kimbely Baptiste (self).

James Weaver (Enfield & Haringey) came into the championships with a PB of 13.75, but the Laura Turner-Alleyne coached Under 23 made a statement of intent when he revised that mark to 13.69 (0.9) in the heats of 110 hurdles. That meant the first year senior came into the final as fastest this year, and was not fazed by the occasion as he ran a 13.73 to take gold ahead of Jake Porter (Birchfield Harriers, Andy Paul, 13.86) and Edirin Okoro (Birchfield Harriers, Jade Surman, 14.05).

Yasmin Miller followed up her 13.52 (+1.0) in the women’s 100 hurdles heats with a 13.32 (-0.2) in the final to take gold ahead of the 13.51 of Jessica Hunter (Vale of Aylesbury, Scott Grace) and 13.53 of Mollie Courtney (Cheltenham & County, David Warner).

Kare Adenegan (Club: Coventry Godiva Harriers, Coach: Job King) came into the championships having won World Para Athletics silver in the T34 100m, and bronzes in the 400m and 800m which mirrored her medals in Rio last year. It was therefore no surprise to see her win title at these three distances in 18.32, 63.70 and 2:11.31 and looking the class act of the wheelchair racers.

Another claiming multiple titles in the disability events was Joe Brazier (Harlow). Coached by multi Para World medallist Richard Chiassaro he took the 100m title in 16.81 (754 Raza points) and the 400m in 56.32 (875 Raza points) as Dillon Labrooy (Weir Archer Academy, Jenny Archer) and Under 17 Zien Zhou (Coventry, Job King) each claimed double silver and double bronze with 15.53 (747 pts) and 50.57 (817 pts), and 17.84 (551pts) and 60.26 (768pts).

The pole vault was won by Under 20 Joel Leon Benitez (Notts, Alan Richardson) who cleared 5.25 to take the win from silver and bronze medallists Scott Huggins (Blackheath, Allan Williams) and Jack Phipps (Birchfield, Kate Rooney) who both cleared 5.05.

Also in the field the women’s hammer was won by Susan McKelvie (Edinburgh, Lorraine Shaw) with 61.80 as English title went to Sarah Holt (Sale, John Pearson) as Myra Perkins (Falkirk, John Pearson) and Pippa Wingate (Kingston & Poly, Tony Cook) threw 59.75 and 59.06 respectively in a very tight competition that saw Lucy Marshall (Woodford Green Essex Ladies, Gary Herrington) and Christina Jones (Bristol & West, Carys Parry) also over 59m with 59.02 and 59.01.

In the Club throw Bethan Griffiths (Cheltenham, Carolyn Franks, F32) went over 16m for the first time to improve her best from 15.91 to 16.19.