The sprinters were on fine form on the first day of the England Athletics U15 / U17 and Age Group Disability Athletics Championships. The age group rankings lists were given revision and across a range of other events there were impressive performances.
With plenty of action it was a fantastic day of athletics to watch, and tomorrow looks set to hold more notable performances.
There were superb breakthrough performances in the U15 Girls 100m. Coming into the championships Abigail Pawlett (Stockport, Joe Frost) had a best of 12.54 – ranked a relatively modest joint 27th. But in Round 1 she lowered this to 12.43, then came a 12.21 in the semi-final – each time with Pawlett charging through in the second half of the race. In the final she raised her game once again and this time she accelerated to full speed and pulled ahead to win in a superb 12.04 (+0.6) personal best.
But there was another significant breakthrough in the U15 100m final. This was achieved by U13 Trezeguet Taylor (Trafford, Andrew Wood) who came into the championships with a best of 12.57. This was lowered to 12.39 and 12.25 in the rounds before a 12.21 silver medal winning run in the final – the second fastest ever by a British 12-year-old. Leah Duncan (Braintree, Anthony Gordon) took the bronze in 12.29.
For the U17 men’s final Jeremiah Azu (Cardiff, Helen James) lined up having already become the fastest ever Welsh U17 on the way to the final – his 10.66 (0.0) bettered the 10.71 of Tim Benjamin. Against Daniel Afolabi (Sale Harriers Manchester, James Roughneen) it was clear he may have to go close to that, or better it, if he was to take the title. And better it he did. As Afolabi came home in 10.66 Azu was just ahead in 10.65 to lower the mark further as well as taking the title. Brandon Mingeli (Cambridge H) ran 10.74 for bronze.
The U15 men’s race had the photo finish officials paying close attention to their screens. Jaleel Roper (Hercules Wimbledon, Paul Miller) had come through his Semi Final with a 10.97. Even faster was Graig Anya-Joseph (Colchester H, Sally Dobson) with his 10.94 showing a close final was on the cards. So it proved, with Roper coming in just one-hundredth ahead of Anya-Joseph with 11.01 to 11.02 (+0.8) as Tyler Panton (Walton, Andrew Kennard) came close to his second round PB of 11.11 to run 11.13 for bronze.
Amy Hunt (Charnwood, Joseph McDonnell) looked in commanding form in taking the U17 women’s 100m title in 11.72 (+1.1) ahead of Leonie Ashmead (Wakefield, Susan Taylor) just edging out Trinity Perruzza-Powell (Manchester Harriers, Kes Salmon) as both clocked 12.07 in the dive for the line.
In the 200m ambulant there was great sprinting by Eve Walsh Dann (Ballydrain Harriers, Roger Sexton) who moved to fourth ranked T36 in the world with a new best of 31.73 (0.0). Unsurprisingly this secured her the title with the event calculated on Raza points won by athletes across the different categories. In the same race Abbie McNally (Inverness, Charles Forbes) improved on her own T37 third placed ranking for the UK with a 31.97 to knock another big chunk off her previous personal best of 32.32. She took the bronze with 832 Raza points as Faye Olszowka (Bexley, Tony Garrett, T20) was silver medallist with 28.40 and 845pts. The ambulant 100m also saw a personal best for World Para Junior Athletics long jump champion Karim Chan (Peterborough, Femi Akinsanya).
Ethan Hussey (Leeds City, Andrew Henderson) kicked hard on the last lap of the U15 1500 with his final 400 taking just over 60sec and carrying him to a 4:10.95 win. Lewis Dow (Central, Derek Easton, 4:11.83) and OJ Parmenter (Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile, 4:12.38) took silver and for bronze as both knocked large slices off their PBs.
The U15 Girls 1500 saw a battle between Sian Heslop (Macclesfield, Pauline Lynch) and Morgan Squibb (Blackheath & Bromley, Andy Frankish) with the two forging a fast pace that took them clear of the field. It was Heslop who won in 4:33.76 to Squibb’s 4:35.67.
Mohamed Ali (Hillingdon, Idris Hamud) controlled the U15 boys 3000m from the front. With 1K to go it looked as though he had eased off the gas slightly but then he increased the pace over the final 600m and came home a clear winner in 8:58.93. His long time pursuers Archie Lowe (Middlesbrough Mandale, Martin Peevor, 9:01.73) and Archie Parkinson (Corby, Bill Boyd, 9:05.79) took the other medals. Similarly Charlotte Alexander (Herne Hill, Wayne Vinton) went to the front of the U17 women’s 3000m and ran away to win in 9:49.92 from Rosie Woodhams (Dallam RC, 9:52.89) and Jessica Mitchell (Havering, 9:56.28).
A strong run from Remi Adebiyi (Newport, Darryn McAtee) carried him to gold and second on the year’s rankings with 4:21.43 as he ran away from Ben Thomas (Carmarthen, Neil Thomas, 4:22.51) and Lewis Pentecost (Falkirk, John Pentecost, 4:24.46) in the latter stages.
Kenneth Ikeji (Basildon, Paul Head) chose the ideal time to break 60m for the first time as he went out to 61.92 in the U15 hammer. His performance reinforced his own position at the top of the annual rankings and moved him into the all-time British top 20 for the age group. Danny Gracie (Annan, John Little) claimed silver with 54.18 and Toby Conibear (Yate, Matt Spicer) bronze with a PB 52.05.
George Hyde (West Cheshire) impressed with a 17.42 in the U17 shot – extending his mark of the furthest by a UK U17 athlete this year and earning a 2.01 winning margin over Andrew Knight (Morpeth, Paul Reed) who PBed for silver with 15.41 as Lewis Byng (Stratford-upon-Avon, Paul Bearman) won bronze with 15.25.
Jay Morse (Cardiff, Ian Leek) threw out to 55.28 in winning the U17 discus, the further in the age group this year, as Ben Hawkes (Worthing, Eric Davison) added to his PB with 52.70 in second and Sean Mockler (Moycarkey Coolcroo AC) won bronze with 49.48. Heather Cubbage (City of Portsmouth, Graham Arnold) did the same in the women’s event with 44.94 just 7cm further than her previous U17 best for 2017 as Samantha Callaway (Southampton, David Callaway42.04) PBed for silver with 42.04 and Jessica Emery (Shaftesbury Barnet, Neville Thompson) took bronze with 41.37.
Kirsty Costello (Kilbarchan, Jim Green) won the U15 hammer in a mark which was just shy of her ranking heading best (57.11 to 57.83). But she came back and did even better in the javelin as her best throw of 43.70 was a 5m PB and furthest this year. She was pushed all the way by Elizabeth Korczak (Brighton & Hove, Bob Willows) who improved her own best to 43.62 to take silver and stay second on the list for 2017. Bronze went to Megan Galpin (Andover, Mark Bradford) with 40.44, her first throw over 40m.
Ben Copley (Kingston upon Hull, Dave Bennett) threw a 3.5m PB to take the U15 javelin with 55.74, just 8cm off the top of the rankings having come into the competition ranked fourth. Ivo Pitts of Crawley also PBed for second with 54.57 to jump to third ranked as Thomas Holmes (Marlborough, Mark Bradford) took bronze with 53.23.
In the U17 women’s shot Hannah Molyneaux (Lincoln Wellington, Malcolm Fenton) recorded a new PB of 15.33 to beat top ranked Serena Vincent (City of Portsmouth, Bronwin Carter, 14.76) and Dara Adebayo (Harrow, Gary Telfer, 13.98).
Sophie Ashurst (Sale) claimed gold and added a cm to her ranking leading height with a 3.56 winning performance in the U15 pole vault with Lucy Allen (Newquay & Parr, Clive Marsh) and Jasmine Carey (Blackpool, Wyre & Fylde, Kevin Davies) both clearing 3.46 for silver and bronze respectively.
Kaya Walker (Sheffield & Dearne, Martin Bishell) added 4cm to win the U17 high jump with 2.04, the second highest this year. Jack Turner (Exeter, Kevin Skinner) was just shy of his Pb with 1.99 for silver as Luke Okosieme (Cambridge H, Clive Bennett, 1.95) won bronze.
Eleanor Brown (City of Norwich) jumped out to over 11m and was just 1cm shy of the lead jump of the year in winning the U15 triple jump in 11.16 from top ranked Ellie O’Hara (Edinburgh, Linda Nicholson, 10.94) and Megan Greenway (Sale, Glenn Willshire, 10.78).