England Athletics U15 and U17 Championships and Age Group Disability Championships preview

The England Athletics championships season promises to end on a high at Bedford this weekend.

The last track and field titles of the season will be settled with plenty of championship bests looking on borrowed time after some impressive performances in the age groups this summer. Among those in action will be Teddy Wilson and Steph Okoro, who won medals at this summer’s European U18 Championship in Jerusalem.

U17 men

Just 12 months ago Teddy Wilson (Tamunonengiye-Ofori Ossai, BFT Track Academy) was winning England under-15 gold and running a UK age-group best. Already in the new age group he has made an impact, having won bronze at the European Athletics U18 Championships. Ireland’s Sean Agiboboh and Scotland’s Dean Patterson could be his closest challengers this weekend. Wilson has not entered the 200m, for which Patterson has run nearly a second quicker than anyone else in the field.

Sam Lunt (Andrew Fraser, Wirral) will be favourite in the 400m hurdles after his recent UK best of 51.55. The championship record of 52.25 will be under threat.

Hammer thrower Kai Barham (Paul Head, Dartford) is way out in front on his age-group rankings, thanks to his 71.59m that makes him the 10th best-ever under-17 in Britain. He was also ninth in the European U18s.

Another here from the Jerusalem team will be Scotland’s Corey Campbell. His 3:48.49 puts him ninth on the UK under-17 all-time rankings. Henry Dover (Shaftesbury Barnet) will be among the leading challengers.

Jaiden Dean (Brian Hopkins, City of Norwich) was unfortunate to just miss the 100m hurdles selection standard for the European U18s. In Bedford at the end of the qualification window, he ran inside the time, but the wind was just over the legal limit. Since then, he has gone to third on the UK all-time list for under-17s with 12.69. He won’t have things all his own way though as Noah Hanson (Carl Graham, Newham & Essex Beagles) lines up having run 12.77 last month.

Illias Zghoundi (Jenny Archer, Weir Archer Academy) is defending his wheelchair titles at 100m, 200m and 800m. Over the two shorter distances, Matthew Gardiner (Richard Chiassaro, Harlow) should be a close match on paper.

U17 women

Phoebe Gill (Deborah Steel, St Albans), who just last week broke Jessica Judd’s UK under-17 best with 4:14.08, will be a big favourite in the 1500m. None of her competitors have run within 16 seconds of that time. Iness Fitzgerald (Devon) could have threatened her, but she is opting just for the 3000m. Earlier this year she set a UK under-17 best of 8:59.67. Hoping to push her will be Fleur Todd-Warmoth (Phillip Kissi, Blackheath & Bromley), who has run 9:16.35.

Steph Okoro (Tony Benton, Havering), who won European U18 bronze at 400m hurdles this summer, is back over 300m hurdles, where she ran 41.61 last year. She will surely threaten Meghan Beesley’s championship best and UK age-group best of 41.41.

Another championship mark in danger is the javelin, given Ayesha Jones (Janina Powell, Marshall Milton Keynes) has this year exceeded it by nearly two metres with 51.51m.

Annabel Amadin (Bob Gaisie, Sale Harriers Manchester) went to seventh on the UK under-17 all-time rankings last year in the shot and she could be challenged by Scotland’s Meghan Porterhouse.

Oluwayemisi Akande (Denise Timmis, Lincoln Wellington) is due a favourable wind reading this year and her best of 11.80 is up for revision. Hoping to push her to the line will be Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley), who has run 11.82 to rank second on the entries. Staying with the sprints, Isabelle Mardle (Keith Yellop, City of Norwich) and Paris King (Havering) will be favourites in the 80m hurdles, having run 11.13 and 11.20 respectively.

Ella Davey (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) moved up to fourth on the age-group rankings in the 1500m steeplechase with 4:53.98 and Rachel Clutterbuck (Shireen Higgins, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) is expected to be her No.1 challenger.

Under-15 boys

James Beecroft (Darrell Smith, Sevenoaks) aims to add the England 100m title to his English Schools title. Having gone to fourth all-time with 10.90 this summer, he is more than three tenths quicker than anyone else in the field. The 200m seems more open as both Xavier Taylor (Andrew Kennard, Walton) and Joseph Wheeler-Henry (Ty Holden, Shaftesbury Barnet) have run quicker than Beecroft.

Luke Pichler (Daniel Njai-Rowney, Blythe RC) will be chasing a number of medals. The England indoor pentathlon champion is No.1 in the long jump with 6.04m and second fastest in the 80m hurdles with 11.28 behind Lewis Shaw (Neal Petley, Warrington), who has clocked 11.10. He is also fourth best in the high jump with 1.80m, the list being led by Ireland’s Connor Penney with 1.88m.

The triple jump could well be between English Schools champion Stefan Anderson (Surrey Schools), Schools silver medallist Kwasi Prakh-Asante (Essex Schools) and Melchisedec Berkoh-Gyamfi (Basildon), who heads the line-up with his 12.85m PB.

Lawson Capes (Lewis Capes, Peterborough & Nene Valley), the grandson of Geoff, leads his peers on the rankings in the shot and has reportedly thrown further than ever in training recently.

Charlie Platt (John Wakeman, Blackheath & Bromley) will be hoping to add to his England indoor crown in the pole vault

U15 girls

Two weeks after going to fourth on the UK all-time 100m list for her age group, Welsh age-group champion Nell Desir is back in action in both sprints. After she clocked 11.77, her nearest rival, Savannah Morgan (Christine Harrison-Bloomfield, Rugby & Northampton), is more than three tenths slower on paper with 12.11. Over 200m, her 24.39 from winning at the England indoor age-group championships last winter, makes her quickest by more than a second.

The 300m has English Schools winner Shiloh Omotosho (Sarah Robinson, Basildon). There will also be Lily-Rose Brown (James Macdonald, Herne Hill), who won silver there and then two weeks ago took 1.39 seconds from her PB with 39.11 to go to second on the UK all-time under-15 rankings. That’s more than a quarter of a second inside the championship best.

Shakira King (John Skeevington, Wreake & Soare) recently went to seventh on the age-group rankings over 1500m, but here she runs over 800m instead. Over two laps, she is also quickest with 2:09.29 ahead of Grace Tuesday (David Lease, Lewes), who has clocked 2:09.52.

In the 75m hurdles, Leah Wagstaff (Stuart Dunlop, Cambridge & Coleridge) is quickest in the field by 0.26 seconds with 11.04.

Qi-Chi Ukpai (John Herbert, Blackheath & Bromley) heads the triple jump line-up with 11.36 and, as the English Schools champion in the high jump, has medal chances in two events. Likewise, Isabelle Amartey (Dartford H) will be a contender in both the long jump and triple jump.

Alice Howe (Matthew Evans, Worthing) heads the hammer rankings by more than 9m with 51.44m.

After PBs this summer of 13.29 and 4.91m, under-15 Madeline Down (Dominic McNeillis, Halesowen) is chasing more silverware in the ambulant 100m and long jump to add to her England senior titles this year.

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