The field events took centre stage at the opening day of the England Athletics Indoor age group championships at EIS Sheffield Arena, as the crowds were treated to a couple of championship bests, alongside some scorching sprint performances on track.
It was a case of saving the best until last as an incredible contest unfolded late on in the day in the U20 women’s long jump with Lucy Hadaway (City of York AC, Matt Barton) unleashing a huge championship best jump of 6.31m in the fifth round to take the title. That incredible feat ensured she overtook Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s 6.30m mark set back in 2012. Holly Mills (Andover AC, Laura Turner-Alleyne) was in the medal positions throughout thanks to her earlier 6.05m jump and eventually took the bronze medal after Josie Oliarnyk (Halesowen ACC, Dominic McNeillis ) produced a superb last jump of 6.09m to claim the silver.
The crowds witnessed another sensational championship best performance in the Under 15 girls' shot, as Lily Carlaw (Northampton AC) launched a huge 13.78m final round throw to take victory. A massive improvement on her previous personal best going into the championships ensured she overtook the best distance of 13.36m previously held by Adele Nicoll set in 2011 (using a 3.25k implement).
In the U17 men’s triple jump Daniel Falode (Club: Cambridge Harriers, Coach: Guy Spencer) produced a stunning jump of 15.03m, the second-best distance ever, to take the gold medal. Falode showed his intent from the get-go with a PB breaking first jump of 14.51m, while his later winning jump represented a 63cm improvement on his PB going into the championships. Outdoor triple jump gold medallist Archie Yeo (Club: Scunthorpe & Dist AC, Coach: D. Harmes/M. Bishell) also recorded a new PB to take the silver medal with his 14.84m jump, to add to the silver he earned in last year’s event. Aaron Ashmead-Shoye (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Coach: John Herbert/Steve Peaty) securing the bronze medal with his 13.55m jump. It was personal bests all around in the U20 men’s event which went right down to the wire. A jubilant Theo Fadayiro (Newham & Essex Beagles AC, John Herbet) produced a sublime final round leap of 14.88m to take the gold, while improving his PB by 20cm in the process. Stephen Mackenzie (Pitreavie AAC, Linda Nicholson) took silver with a new PB of 14.74m and he will be back again tomorrow to contend the long jump event, while Josh Woods (Dacorum & Tring AC, Alfredo Melao) claimed the bronze.
Lucy Fellows (SMRAC, Alan Richardson) emerged victorious in the Under 15 girls' high jump competition thanks to her 1.62m clearance. Evie Greig (Victoria Park City of Glasgow, John Wilson/John Melvin) took silver with 1.59m while Kacey Walters (Cambridge Harriers, Carol Jackson) cleared the same height for bronze.
Sam Brereton (Newquay & Par AC) sent the crowds into applause while clearing 2.10m to take the under 17 men’s high jump title. Murray Fotheringham (Giffnock North AAC, Colin Sinclair) took the silver with his 2.01m clearance while Oliver Watkins finished in bronze.
It was a tight affair in the U15 girl's pole vault with all three athletes on the podium clearing 3.20m. Emile Oakden (Club: Lewes AC) took the victory on countbacks, with Tonbridge AC athlete Lucinda White taking the silver and Amy Hunt (Club: Wakefield District H & AC, Coach: Terry Prideaux) going home with the bronze. Felicia Miloro (Sutton in Ashfield Harriers & AC, Henrietta Paxton) took the U20 women’s pole vault title after clearing the bar at 3.85m. Natasha Purchas (Crawley AC, Richard Pilling)
A series of consistently impressive jumps from top ranking athlete Abigail Pawlett (Stockport Harriers & AC, Joe Frost) ensured she took the place on top of the podium in the U17 women’s long jump event. The pick up of the bunch was her second-round leap of 5.89m, just 1cm away from her PB. It will be a busy weekend for Pawlett as she could potentially be in contention in tomorrow’s high jump event, alongside the 60 metre hurdles. Kaliyah Young (Dartford Harriers AC, Dave Spavins) took the silver medal and a new PB with her mark of 5.67m.
In the final field event of the day Aiobhin McMahon delivered with a massive throw of 14.67m to take the U17W shot title. Millie Noyce (Crawley AC, Judy Oakes/Mike Winch) took silver with her throw of 13.79, while Bekki Roche (WESPA Fire Athletics) took bronze.
As ever on the track the 60 metre sprints produced some eye-catching performances as spectators were treated to some speedy times and exciting photo finishes.
It was a dramatic finale to the U15 girls' 60m with the tightest of margins separating the top 2 athletes. Three-thousands of a second was the difference between the champion Trezeguet Taylor (Trafford Athletic Club, Andrew Wood) and runner-up Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Harrow AC, Andre Williams) who both secured PBs with their times of 7.62s. Tyra Khambai-Annan (Team Hounslow Athletic Club, Jonathan Barbour) took bronze on the podium thanks to her time of 7.78s. Sublime sprinting from Reece Earle saw him become the U15 boyss champion in a time of 7.16s. That was a new personal best for the Thames Valley Harrier, and you would need to go back to 2014 to have seen a quicker time in that category. Behind Earle there was a close battle for the silver, which was just shaded by Morgan Corcoran (Bingley Harriers & AC, Keith Daniel) in 7.31s, one hundredth of a second ahead of bronze medallist Freddie Arkell (Hercules Wimbledon AC, Juan Hernandez).
A dynamic run in the final from Emmanuella Kone (Cardiff AAC, Helen James) saw her past the line in first place with a new PB of 7.67s while the impressive Kaliyah Young (Dartford Harriers AC, Dave Spavins) grabbed her second silver medal of the day with her time of 7.70s. It was a very close affair for bronze which went to Megan Costello (Gateshead Harriers & AC, Geoff Fenwick) on the line in a time of 7.78s.
In the U17 men’s race Henry Nwoke (Liverpool Harriers & AC, Mike Sweeney) continued his top form from the earlier rounds into the final and produced a powerful sprint to take the title in a PB of 6.91s. In a close match-up Joseph Harding (Basildon AC) took the silver medal in 6.95s, with Joel Pascall (Newham & Essex Beagles AC) dipping just under 7 seconds (6.99s) to take bronze.
Amy Hunt (Charnwood AC, Joseph McDonnell) looked phenomenal on her way to taking the U20 women’s 60m gold with a new PB of 7.34s, the ninth quickest of all time. Hunt had shown great composure at the semi-final stage earlier in the day, with delays to her heat not getting in the way of her sprinting to a 7.36s time. Hunt was joined on the podium by two other PB-breaking athletes as Lakeisha Owusu-junior (Herne Hill Harriers, Matthew Thomas) took silver in 7.55s followed by Leonie Ashmeade (Wakefield District H & AC, Lewis Samuels) whose 7.59s secured bronze. After clocking the fastest semi-final time, Jeremiah Azu (Cardiff AAC, Helen James) went on to equal his PB (6.73s) in the final to take the U20 men’s 60m title, ahead of Ethan Wiltshire (Marshall Milton Keynes AC, Jake Awe) who looked strong in taking silver in 6.92s.
Stephanie Moss (Sale Harriers Manchester, Trevor Painter) was victorious in a close U20 women’s 800m race with her time of 2:13:10 edging out Olivia Vareille (Falkirk Victoria Harriers, Jerome Vareille) who clocked 2:13:40, while Emily Simpson (City of Sheffield & Dearne AC, James Russell) took third place.
A well-fought tactical straight 800m final saw Jake Minshull (Coventry Godiva Harriers) hold off the challenge of Oscar Logan (Law and District, Patrick Kelly) to take the title in a time of 2:03:23s. Tom Gaunce (Dacorum & Tring AC, Mike Dunphy) came through to take the bronze with 2:06:56s on the clock.
Henry Johnson (Houghton Harriers and AC, Lynn Cooper) produced a highly accomplished run to take the U17 men’s 1500m gold medal in a time of 3:58:57s. Mohamed Ali (Ealing Southall & Middlesex AC, Steve Mann) secured the silver medal, while Archie Parkinson (Corby AC, Bill Boyd ) took home the bronze.
Holly Mpassy (Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC, Jay Galley) clocked 39.01s in her U17 women’s 300m heat, the sixth fastest indoor time ever and will want to continue that form going into tomorrow’s semi-finals.