There were superb performances throughout a packed programme of activity which saw a National Age Group record, Championship Bests being smashed, and tremendous competition throughout the day at Birmingham's Alexander Stadium.
The hurdles events saw some impressive performances, and the pick of these would have to be the performance of Joseph Harding (Essex, Basildon, Tony Jarrett/ Stephen Peaty). The Junior Boys' 80m hurdles saw him fly across the track and barriers to a new British age group record of 10.50 seconds (+0.7). This took his PB down 0.30 from the 10.80 which had been run against a 3.4 head wind.
Joseph said he hadn’t seen the clock at the end and took setting the record in his stride as readily as the hurdles, “I didn’t know the time. It was what I wanted to achieve, I’m quite happy with it.” Technically he felt his race had been better than in the heats which was no great surprise given the time, “I felt quite smooth, I felt I ran tall and it was easier to go over the hurdles.”
Joseph who came into the sport two years ago from a gymnastics background took Matt Clements’ 10.71 age group record as well as the English Schools' 10.75 Championship record of Daniel Davis and the wind assisted 10.73 Championship Best of Christopher Musa. Jami Schlueter (Somerset, Millfield Sch) took silver with 11.27 and Elliott Harris (West Mids, Solihull & Small Heath, Paul Deakin) was bronze medallist with 11.51.
Also on the track Khahisa Mhlanga (Essex, Chelmsford, Mick Judd) rewrote the championship record that had been held by Dani Barnes with 2:05.18 since 2003. Running strongly throughout Khahisa lowered the mark to 2:04.40. She said she had been aware of the record coming into the final, but the priority had been to better her own best of 2:05.41. She said, “I felt quite strong, I enjoyed it. I thought I’d just go for it as I really wanted a PB, so I’m really happy that I did. It was more about going for a PB mostly as I knew if I got a PB I should be inside it.”
Given the record breaking performance the rest of the field were not far adrift. Emily Thompson (Oxon, Banbury, Ros Kelling) took silver with 2:06.71 and Mollie O’Sullivan (Surrey, Herne Hill, Wayne Vinton) the bronze with 2:08.55.
It had been Jake Norris (Berks, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Paul Dickenson) who had got the day off to a record breaking start early on. In one of the first events of the day he threw a new championship record in the Senior Boys' Hammer, eclipsing the mark of 74.42 set by age group record holder Taylor Campbell in 2014. Jake is the only U20 to have gone over 70m this year and it was in the third round that he launched the hammer to 76.72. But better was to come. In Round 5 there was another 76m throw which this time went out to 76.84. Jake said, “I was a bit nervous to be fair, at the start of the competition, when I got a foul. My second throw I just tried to settle down and just get a throw in, from then on I tried to go as hard as I could. It is good preparation for the European [U20] Championships in two weeks. I feel I have a big throw coming, the atmosphere was great.”
Edward Jeans (Lancs, Preston, Bob Welfare) took silver with 66.12 and bronze went to Berks’ Oliver Hewitt (Newbury, Bob Broadbridge) with 63.61.
If Jake started off the record breaking it was finished by Molly Caudery (Cornwall, Cornwall AC, Stuart Caudery) whose record came at the end of an epic Senior Girls' pole vault competition. Previously three athletes had cleared 3.85 to jointly hold the existing record, but Molly raised that to 4.20 with an impressive display of vaulting in a long competition that saw Jessica Swannack (Lancs, Preston, Matt Cullen) take silver with 4.00 – also above the old record. Bronze went to Sophie Dowson (Middlesex, Blackheath & Bromley, Ellie Spain) with 3.70.
Molly said, “It was an incredible competition. I had a bit of a rough patch at 3.90 where I cleared it on my third attempt so it was good to go on and get 4.20 which is only 5cm off my PB, and I nearly got 4.30. I’m hopeful there is another PB to come.”
She said she was not unduly worried by the three attempts needed at 3.90, “I quite like the adrenaline, I use the nerves, put it right and put it into my jumps. After that it went really well.”
Aside from the records being broken there were numerous other performances that caught the eye, in fact the spectators were once again given a tough task of keeping tabs on all the action.
The Senior Boys' 100m final had the photo finish officials called into action. It was Samir Williams (Surrey, Croydon, Paul Weston) who was found to have held on as he clocked a PB ahead of Camron Lyttle (Kent, Blackheath & Bromley, Christopher Harris) to run 10.61 (+0.3) with just 0.01 of a second between them as Maxwell Brown (Northants, Marshall Milton Keynes, Mike Leonard) came third in 10.66. The Senior Girls' 100m was also a swift race with Kristal Awuah (London, Herne Hill, Matthew Thomas) taking the title in 11.65 (+1.1), Ebony Carr (Bucks, Marshall Milton Keynes, Mike Leonard) taking silver with 11.78 and Immanuela Aliu (Kent, Blackheath & Bromley, John Blackie) the bronze with 11.94.
Amy Hunt (Lincs, Charnwood, Joseph McDonnell) scorched to a clear win in the Inter Girls' 100 with 11.76 ahead of Trinity Perruzza-Powell (Manc, Manchester H, Kes Salmon, 12.07) and Cassie-Ann Pemberton (West Mids, Birchfield H, Sharon Morris, 12.08).
Romell Glave (Surrey, Croydon, Paul Weston) once again impressed with his sprinting. He took the Senior Boys' title in 21.15 (+0.2) from Charlie Dobson (Essex, Colchester H, Stephen Garnham) who clocked a new PB of 21.20, as Rhys Turner (Sussex, Crawley David Buckett) also lowered his PB and took bronze with 21.51.
While Joseph Harding was the pick of the hurdlers there were a number of notable runs. Marcia Sey (Somer, Croydon, Lorna Boothe) clocked a big personal best in taking the Inter Girls' 80m hurdles. Her 11.07 (+0.2) was the fastest time by an Under 17 this year as second and third placed athletes Victoria Johnson (Leics, Charnwood, Eliska Binks) and Sammie Harris (Devon, City of Plymouth, Neal Edwards) also went faster than the top ranked time before this weekend with their 11.15 and 11.17.
The Senior Boys' 110m hurdles saw Cameron Fillery (Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Trevor Simcox) run out winner in 13.76 ahead of Jason Nicholson (Northumberland, Gateshead, Janice Kaufman) who ran 13.78 and Tre Thomas (Leics, Charnwood, Eliska Binks) took bronze with 13.89.
The longer sprints saw not only some fast times but also some great racing. Alex Knibbs (Derbys, Amber Valley Julie Feeney) came through in the last 50m of the Senior Boys' 400m hurdles to win in a new personal best of 52.09. Alasdair Chalmers (Channel Islands, Guernsey, Dale Garland) also overhauled Tyri Donovan (Surrey, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Marina Armstrong) who had led the final off the bend, the silver and bronze were won in 52.73 and 52.81.
There were big personal bests at the front of the Inter Boys' 400m hurdles. Ben Lloyd (Herts, Shaftesbury Barnet, Stanley Madiri) knocked over a second off his best coming into the championships to win in 53.12. Karl Johnson (Essex, Tony Jarrett Newham & Essex Beagles) took a chunk of over a second off his best with 53.36 as Alex O’Callagham-Brown (Surrey) won bronze in 54.75. In the Senior Girls' 400 hurdles Orla Brothers (Sussex, Crawley, Marina Armstrong) ran away from the field to win in a PB equalling 59.46. It was the fastest time in the age group this year when Jasmine Jolly (Lancs, Preston, Paul Noblet) took a big slice off her personal best and clocked 42.55 to win the Inter Girls' 300m hurdles with a margin of over a second.
Aside from the new record in the Senior Girls' 800 other middle distance highlights included the Junior Girls' 800m where there was a blanket finish with Hannah Roberts (Berks, Bracknell AC, Ken Spencer), Emily Misantoni (Cheshire, Stockport, Joe Frost) and Zakia Mossi (Middlesex, Blackheath & Bromley, Phillip Kissi) crossing the line in that order to take the medals in 2:13.72, 2:13.90 and 2:13.97 respectively. By contrast Daniel Joyce (Durham, Tynedale, Peter Venus) ran away from the field in the Junior Boys' 800m as he clocked 1:58.89 to take the gold medal.
Emily Williams (Northants, Kettering, Shane Smith) followed the pace throughout in the Inter Girls' 800m before hitting the front in the home straight and pulling clear to win in 2:06.83, the second fastest in UK this year, with Molly Canham (Devon, Exeter, Kevin Canham) coming home second in 2:07.44 as she also overtook Ellie Farrow (Hamps, City of Portsmouth, Vince Stamp).
Oliver Dustin (Cumbria, Border, Graeme Mason) claimed the Inter Boys' 800 in 1.51.07 a new PB after tracking and then moving past Max Burgin (West Yorks, Halifax, Brian Burgin) to take the title. Max clocked 1:51.32 for silver as the pair ran clear of bronze medallist Callum Dodds (Middlesex).
The first three in the Junior Girls' 1500 all ran faster than the top ranked time for the age group going into the championships. The gold, silver and bronze went to Kirsten Stilwell (Bucks, Wycombe, Michael Taylor), Sian Heslop (Cheshire, Macclesfield, Pauline Lynch) and Beatrice Wood (Wilts, City of Salisbury) with 4:31.85, 4:32.17 and 4:32.41 respectively.
Jodie Judd (Essex, Chelmsford, Mick Judd) hit the front of the Senior Girls' 1500 approaching the bell and charged down the back straight, but coming into the home straight Beth Barlow (Manch, Salford H, Duncan Mason) was gaining ground rapidly. The lunge for the line saw the two separated by just 0.05 of a second with the Manchester athlete getting the verdict as Francesca Brint (Manch, Sale Harriers Manchester, Paul Roden) took bronze with 4:26.86.
Hamza Kadir (Middlesex, Shaftesbury Barnet, Ali Kadir) was another who kicked hard at the bell and pulled out what looked to be a decisive lead in the Senior Boys' 1500. But as he slowed in the home straight and Tiernan Crorken (Preston, Andy Bibby), Ben Davies (Beds, Bedford & County, Simon Goodwin) and others charged for the line and the gap closed. While Hamza was confident enough to celebrate the times of 4:00.20, 4:00.32 and 4:00.88 show how tight the race was by the finish line.
Alexandra Brown (London, Herne Hill) ran away from the field in Inter Girls' 1500m pouring on the pace to win in 4:31.87 from Kitty Shepherd-Cross (Berks, Vale of Aylesbury) and Molly Hudson (Derbys, Derby)
Ethan Hussey (North Yorks, Leeds City, Andrew Henderson) moved into the lead on the last lap of the Junior Boys' 1500 after the bell was passed in 3:08.37 and came home in 4:07.63. Henry Johnson (Durham, Houghton Harriers, Lynn Cooper) claimed second (4:09.05) and the front running of Mohamed Ali (Middlesex, Hillingdon, Idris Hamud) saw him take bronze in 4:09.43.
In the longer distances there were more great races. Thomas Keen (Cambs, Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile) hit the front with 600 to go of the Inter Boys' 3000 and passed the bell in 6:36. The pack gave chase down the back straight but Thomas kept pulling away to win in 8:36.28 as Josh Cowperthwaite (Cleve, Middlesbrough (Mandale), Martin Peevor) moved into second just ahead of Jack Meijer (Bucks, Marshall Milton Keynes, James Bennett), 8:38.66 to 8:38.71.
Julia Paternain (Cambs, Cambridge & Coleridge, Mark Vile) piled on the pace over the last 1000m of the Senior Girls' 3000 and had enough speed on the last lap to mean that the kick of London’s Julia Tomczak (South London) was unable to get her back in contention for the title as the Cambridgeshire athlete won in 9:30.74 to 9:32.49 - both recording big personal bests.
Ella Niven (Mersey, Liverpool H, Lynn Webb) hit the front on last lap with ferocious kick to win the Inter Girls' 3000 from the front runner Charlotte Alexander (Surrey, Herne Hill, Wayne Vinton, 9:34.05) and finish just outside the championship record with in 9:29.76. Jessica Mitchell (Essex, Havering, Patrick Gahagan) claimed bronze with a new personal best of 9:40.86.
Elise Thorner (Somerset, Wells) showed great technique and endurance in running away with the Inter Girls' 1500m steeplechase. Her winning time of 4:59.80 was her first time under 5min and the fastest by a British U17 this year. In the Inter Boys' Steeplechase there was a big six second PB for winner Adam Searle (Northants, Rugby & Northampton, Michael Lewis) as he took the title in 4:20.84 with a kick down the home straight to move past long-time leader Shaun Hudson (Berks, Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow, Shireen Higgins) who took silver in 4:22.61. Alfred Yabsley (Bucks, Marshall Milton Keynes, James Bennett) went to the top of the steeplechase rankings with his win in the U20 event. He clocked 5:54.43 as silver medallist Joey Croft (Cambs, Hunts AC, Derek Darnell)also ducked under 6min for the first time with 5:58.80 as James Beeks (Hamps, Basingstoke & Mid Hants, Peter Bolton) recovered from a fall to win bronze in 6:02.27
The Senior Boys' high jump competition has often been one to get the crowd going, and so it proved once again. The winner on this occasion was Tom Gale (Wilts, Team Bath, Denis Doyle), who sailed clear at 2.22 to take the title with a PB equalling performance that also matched his performance at Loughborough which was on top of the U20 rankings this year. Also getting a great response from the crowd were Joel Khan (Here & Worcs, Worcester, Deirdre Elmhirst) who took silver with 2.15 and Thomas Hewes (Essex, Chelmsford, John Herbert) claimed the bronze with a PB clearance the same height.
Elsewhere in the field events Emma Howe (Cheshire, West Cheshire) threw the furthest distance by an U17 this year with a 48.77 personal best in winning the Inter Girls' Javelin. Silver went to Ellie Vernon (Shrops, Telford AC, Shaun Reynolds) with 45.17 as Paula Holguin (Surrey, Cambridge H, Piotr Spas) claimed the bronze with 44.34.
Dominic Ogbechie (London, Highgate, Marius Guei) leapt to a big outdoor PB of 7.16 (0.0) to take the Inter Boys' long jump and move to the top of the UK age group rankings. William Adeyeye (Essex, Newham & Essex Beagles, Tony Jarrett) also jumped a big life time best of 7.13 (+0.6) to take silver as Theo Adesina (Essex, Thurrock, Karl Sumun) won bronze with 6.77 (0.0).
Jonathan Rugg (Herts, Enfield & Haringey, John Mahon) set a new PB by 20cm and improved his own position at top of the age group rankings in winning the Junior Boys' pole vault in 3.90. William Snashall (Sussex, Crawley, Richard Pilling) took silver with 3.45 as the same height was cleared by bronze medallist Bryce Breen (Herts, Herts Phoenix, Steve White).
Nana Gyedu (London, Cambridge H) was took the Junior Girls' shot with 13.86 ahead of Bekki Roche (Mersey, Liverpool H) who was second with 13.29. Bethan Rees (Staffs, Cannock & Stafford, Mark Pinner) threw more than 4m of her nearest rival to win the Senior Girls' javelin with 48.80.
Eloise Harvey (Kent, Dartford H, Trevor Bent) jumped 12.04 (-1.1) to win the Inter Girls' triple jump from Jazz Sears (Beds, Shaftesbury Barnet, Craig Andrew, 11.92) and Mayi Hughes (Essex, Havering, Tony Benton).
George Hyde (Cheshire, West Cheshire) was clear winner in the Inter Boys' shot with a winning mark of 16.07 and Ben Hawkes (Sussex, Worthing, Eric Davison) threw out to 68.23 to win the Inter Boys' hammer by over 5m.
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