Indoor U15 and U17 Combined Events championships: preview

The second England Athletics indoor combined events championships of the year take place this weekend in Sheffield.  This time it is the turn of our under 17 and under 15 athletes, many of whom already made their mark at our recent individual Age Group championships. On Saturday the Under 17 athletes take on a pentathlon (women) and day one of a heptathlon (men), then on the Sunday the men continue with their heptathlon, and the Under 15 pentathlons also take place. Saturday also sees the regular fixture of the AAA's Tom Pink Relays.

Under 17 Women's pentathlon

There's a strong field entered in the Under 17 women's pentathlon. Abigail Pawlett (Coach: Joe Frost, Club: Stockport Harriers & AC) recently took the England Athletics High Jump and Long Jump (pictured) crowns with new PBs, and also set a new hurdles PB to take individual silver.  She competed in the England U20 indoor pentathlon earlier this year and came 5th.  Emily Misantoni (Coach: Joe Frost, Club: Stockport Harriers & AC) also competed in the U20 pentathlon in January just missed out on a medal in last year's U17 event in her first year as an U17. Ella Rush (Coach: Martin Bishell, Club: Amber Valley and Erewash Athletic Club) is in her first year as an Under 17 but was last year's Under 15 Hexathlon and indoor pentathlon national champion, plus English Schools' outdoor pentathlon winner. Katie Burr (Coach: Iain Burr, Club: Victoria Park City of Glasgow) enters with the Scottish gold medal already earned and last year's U15 indoor pentathlon bronze. Just behind Katie last year was Lucy Robinson (Coach: Joe Frost, Club: Stockport Harriers & AC) and she's already long jumped a new PB this year.

Under 15 Girls' pentathlon

It's been another record entry number for the Under 15 girls' pentathlon. Entrants include individual High Jump bronze medallist Kacey Walters (Coach: Carol Jackson, Club: Cambridge Harriers), Scottish Long Jump silver medallist Rebecca Grieve (Coach: Francis Smith, Club: Pitreavie) - who is also England 300m silver medallist, and has an 800m PB of 2.23.  Hoping to get a good start on her pentathlon points is Midlands Hurdles champion Sophia Deans (Coach: Sharon morris, Club: Birchfield Harriers) who has run the sprint hurdles a number of times this year at 8.9s and should be in the front half of the 800m race. Erin Lobley (Coach: Paul Ttereve, Club: Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) will also be one to watch; she won the Northern indoor shot in December with 12.46m, and in winning the Scottish indoor pentathlon last year set PBs in long jump (5.27 ) and high jump (1.61m) last month in Scotland.

Under 17 Men's heptathlon

With all three of last year's medallists now up an age group, the way is open for new blood. Recent Scottish indoor heptathlon champion Murray Fotheringham (Coach: Colin Sinclair, Club: Giffnock North AAC) is entered.  He has the highest High Jump personal best of 2.04, and is also a 7m+ long jumper.  However Welshman Ben Hillman (Coach: Fran Baker, Club: Cardiff AAC) has clocked faster on the track but both athletes are well matched in the pole vault. With PBs set recently at the Southern championships for the hurdles and pole vault, one of the youngest athletes Oliver Early (Coach: Jade Harding, Club: Chelmsford AC) could also be in contention as could the Southern champion Oliver Thatcher (Coach: Andrew Fisher, Club: Southampton Athletic Club).

Under 15 Boys' pentathlon

With national champions at four of the five pentathlon events entered for the U15 competition, this could be a thrilling day. The first one to watch will be 60m Hurdles champion Freddie Clemons (Coach: Paul Bearman, Club: Stratford Upon Avon AC), who - perhaps unsurprisingly - is also a strong long jumper and has a 4k shot put PB over 10m. However, he'll be up against the shot put gold medallist William Lamprell (Coach: Margaret Nicholls, Club: Ipswich Harriers) who put a new PB of 14.72 there in Sheffield. He can jump vertically over 1.70m and horizontally well over 5m. Last year's pentathlon indoor silver medallist and 2019 indoor Long Jump champion Sammy Ball (Coach: Mike Dyer, Club: Reading AC) can add a metre onto that, and back up his points with anew PBs set last month in the shot (11.99m), hurdles (8.89s), and high jump (1.78m).  When it comes to that final 800m, current indoor champion Jake Minshull (Club: Coventry Godiva Harriers) will give his fellow athletes a run for their money.  Finally, Kresten Calvert (Coach: Pamela Green, Club: Wirral AC) holds 2019 medals in individual long jump and high jump championships (Northerns and England).

Photo by David Griffiths