Indoor Age Group Champs gets set to take Sheffield by storm

We’re gearing up for a storm (of the fierce and fast paced athletics variety) in Sheffield this weekend at the U20, U17 and U15 Championships.

Competition will be fierce for sure, as over 1000 athletes get set to compete. Athletes that are rising through the ranks and starting to make their mark, and younger athletes looking to develop their skill and competition experience – the championships being the perfect setting.

Here we take a look at some of the ones to watch over the weekend… there’s no doubt that rankings will be re-written, records broken and PB’s set and smashed… with a host of titles for the taking!

U20 Men

With a PB of 6.65 current ranked number 1, Jeremiah Azu (Cardiff, Helen Patricia James) will be looking to defend his 60m sprint title. He’ll face a fast field, including current number 2, Owain Lloyd-Hughes (Neath Harriers, Kevin Williams). Azu will compete in the 200m sprint too, heading up the rankings with 21.09.

Expect strong competition in the 800m, between Simon Coppard (Tonbridge AC, Pete Brenchley) a familiar face in Sheffield, having competed and come second in the BUCS Championships just last week. With a PB of 1.5, he’ll face Oliver Lill (Basildon AC, Steve Reynolds) and David Locke (Cardiff Athletics, James Thie) as they go head-to-head, both clocking 1.51 on the dot. The rest of the field will be hot on their heels with close times, this event could have people sat on the edge of their seats.

In the pole vault the field will be looking to break the 5m mark, as current number 1, Frankie Johnson (Bedford & County AC, Simon Eastwood) sets the bar high at 5.15m.

In the shot expect a battle, as the current ranked top 3 go head-to-head. Number 1, Lewis Byng (Stratford Upon Avon AC, Stuart Carlaw) leading with a PB of 19.14m, taking a win at the Loughborough Students AC Open (Inc Midland Counties Shot Championships) earlier this month. Number 2, George Hyde (West Cheshire Athletic Club, David McKay) with 18.23m, he formed part of the team who competed in Vienna earlier this month placing 2nd. And number 3, Andrew Knight (Southampton Athletic Club, David Callaway) with 17.27m, Knight competed and came 1st at the South of England AA U20 / Senior Championships earlier this month.

U20 Women

In the women’s 60m eyes will be on Trinity Powell (Manchester Harriers & AC, Kes Salmon) current number 2. Back on Sheffield soil, she’ll be looking for another win after competing in Northern Athletics U17 / U20 / Senior Championships last month. She also formed part of the team over in Linz earlier this month, where she set her PB finishing 3rd in 7.47.

In the long jump, ladies will be looking to break the 6m mark as Abigail Pawlett (Stockport Track & Field, Joe Frost) comes in with 6.09, having also dominated in numerous events at Northern Athletics U17 / U20 / Senior Championships last month. Pawlett will be a strong contender in the sprint hurdles too.

Expect a fast and furious battle in the 200m, as the field chase down Kiah Dubarry-Gay’s (Victoria Park Harriers and Tower Hamlets AC, Lloyd Cowan), who’s on form with multiple first finishes at recent meets, 24 is the time to beat.

In the pole vault we see 2 of the top 3 compete, Sale Harriers teammates, Sophie Ashurst (Sale Harriers Manchester, Andy Ashurst) with 3.93m and Victoria Barlow (Sale Harriers Manchester, Matt Cullen) with 3.8m.

U17 Men

In the 60m sprint expect a fast photo finish between Mario Dobrescu (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Nat Senior) with a PB of 6.95 and Emmanuel Duruiheoma (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Ty Holden) coming in with 6.96 and list of first finishes. They’ll meet again in the 200m and take on David Chapman (City of Sheffield and Dearne AC, John Smith) current number 1, coming in at 22.28. Another athlete back on Sheffield soil, that will be looking to repeat his Northern Athletics U17 / U20 / Senior Championships win.

Jerel Livingston (Trafford Athletic Club, Tom Cullen) storms out in front in the long jump with a PB of 7.45. Current number 1 that competed and came first in Sheffield last month, will face number 2, Ryan Edwards (Maldwyn Harriers, Sian Swansen), who’ll be looking to break the 7m mark.

Get set for big things in the shot from current number 1, Jack Halpin (Gateshead Harriers & AC, Alex Giles) who leads with 16.24m. With a strong string of firsts under his belt, his shot has improved significantly, coming 2nd this time last year with 14.55m.

U17 Women

In the 60m hurdles Meg Corker (Stockport Track & Field, Joe Frost) is the one to watch, with a leading time of 8.77, set in Sheffield last month.

In the long jump pit expect close competition between Lydia Smith (Taunton AC, Steve Shaw) current number 2, coming in with 5.94m and Ella Rush (Amber Valley and Erewash Athletic Club, Michael Baker, Joe McColgan, Martin Bishell) with 5.93m, just a fraction between them, they will have their sights set on 6m mark. Expect strong competition in the triple jump too, as current ranked 1 and 2 go head-to-head. Lucy Robinson (Stockport T&F, Joe Frost) number 1, will meet Melissa Booth (Sale Harriers Manchester, Keith Hunter) number 2, both having competed in Sheffield last month at the Northern Championships, in which Robinson took the winning jump and leading rank with 12.16m

The 1500m is another event that is sure to have spectators up and out of their seats, with clock on times, it’s likely the pack will be chasing down local lass, Ruby Simpson (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Trevor Painter), who’s moved up to and dominating the 1500m, taking two wins on home ground just last month. It’ll be a head-to-head between Simpson and Lucy Scothern (Chester Le Street & Dist AC, David Lowes), both coming in with 4.35.

The shot is another event where you can expect to see strong competition amongst the U17 women. With Cleo Agyepong (Cambridge Harriers, John Hillier) coming in with a PB of 13.59m and local lass and current number 2, Erin Lobley (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Joe Frost) with 13.4m. Ella Rush (Amber Valley and Erewash Athletic Club, Michael Baker, Joe McColgan, Martin Bishell) and Holly Adams (Kingston upon Hull AC, Dave Bennett) have also broken the 13m mark, something the rest of the field will be seeking out too.

U15 Men & Women

88 athletes have entered the U15 men’s events and 150 athletes have entered the U15 women’s events. We’ll see strong competition amongst all of the athletes in this age group, as they start to find their form, develop skills and gain championship competition experience.

In the U15 men’s 60m hurdles event, expect Jaiden Dean (City Of Norwich AC, Keith Yellop) to come out fast from the blocks, current number 1 with a PB 8.27, Dean has had a string of strong performances and first place finishes over the last month. In the long jump expect to see current number 1, Dante Clarke (Herne Hill Harriers, Anthony Mayhew) repeat his recent winning performances, his PB of 6.12m leading the poll in the pit. And Osian Roberts (Carmarthen & District Harriers, Phillip Warwicker) will be flying high in the high jump, also current number 1 in his field, with a PB of 1.85m.

In the U15 women’s events we’ll see a large field of progressing talent. In the 60m sprint, current number 1, Niah Akintokun (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Ty Holden) will likely be leading the pack, starting her season with a string of first finishes. She’ll be the one to chase down in the 200m event too, leading the field with a time of 25.66. Gracie Wall (Bedford & County AC, Barry Johnson) will be the one to watch in the high jump, current number 1 and flying high with a PB of 1.68m. In the shot, Meghan Porterfield (Victoria Park City of Glasgow, Henry Hunter) comes in as current number 1, with a PB of 13.29m. Having taken the win at the Scottish Schools AA Championships earlier this month, she’ll be looking to repeat her winning form.

We wish all athletes competing the very best of luck and strong competition.

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