Preview: England Athletics U17 & U15 Indoor Combined Event Championships, Sheffield, March 11-12

Following the seniors’ combined events championships in January, it’s the turn of the young athletes this weekend to show who could be the multi-event stars of the future.

Luke Pichler and Eve Drury step up from winning the under-15 title last year but both will face tough opposition from athletes who are second-year under-17s.

Entry will be free for spectators, live results will be available on the Roster Athletics app. Full details can be found on our 2023 Championships page.

U17 men’s heptathlon

Corey Beechall (Alexander Wort, Liverpool H) heads the season rankings with 4523 from his win at the Scottish Championships. That score would have been good enough to win at these championships each of the last two years.

Sam Wright (Simon Hemmings, Chelmsford) was fourth in this event 12 months ago but will be hoping for an improvement after winning England outdoor octathlon silver last year.

Luke Pichler (Daniel Njai-Rowney, Blyth), the under-15 winner here in 2022, would score over 4400 based on his PBs.

Ruben Stovell (Julia Johnson, Hallamshire), who was second to him 12 months ago, will be dangerous in the final event, the 1000m, as he was England under-15 800m champion last winter and has a PB of 2:03.

Joe Stone (Leslie Stone, Tonbridge), who was eighth here last year, and Wales’ Luca Phillips, who won under-15 bronze in 2022, could also be threats.

Under-15 pentathlon

Joshua Dako (Alex Pope, Blackheath & Bromley) was best of the under-15s outdoors last year. His PBs, which include 9.17 for the 60m hurdles and 5.69m for the long jump, would give him a score above 2600, which was good enough for a medal last year. Hugo Douglas-Reeves (Andrew Harrison, Darlington), last year’s North East Counties indoor pentathlon champion, could be another contender.

Oliver Downs (Alex Pope, Invicta East Kent), who has an 800m PB of 2:19.23, could be among the best in the 1000m, while he was UK-ranked fourth under-13 in the shot in 2021 and has a best of 11.46m with the 4kg implement.

Aiden Angilletta (Deeside), who was second ranked under-13 pentathlete in Britain last year, is one of the athletes stepping up an age group.

Manchester, 28 August 2021. Abi Belward. Photograph by Mark Shearman

Under-17 women’s pentathlon

Among the favourites is Ava John (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow), who won bronze in the SIAB Schools International in November with 3626, which would have been good enough to win here last year. She was also fourth in the UK under-17 heptathlon list last summer with 4685. Also entered is Sadie Parker (Daniel Njai-Rowney, Blythe), who tops the 2023 age-group rankings with her 3318 to win at the Scottish championships and who won under-15 bronze here 12 months ago. Second and third in Glasgow was Scotland’s Hannah McDermott and Amy Hewitt (Carl Foster, Wigan & District), who will also be contenders.

Under-15 champion Eve Drury (Matt  Barton, Leeds City) steps up an age group and should make a good start in the 60m hurdles.

Lucy Salter (Joanne Harding, Stockport) was top-ranked first-year under-17 last year with 3062 when finishing 10th and since then she has added 26cm to her long jump PB.

Abi Belward (Andrew Fisher, Winchester), who was fifth in the under-17 heptathlon at the England Championships outdoors last year, is a good bet to move up from her 14th of last year. Similarly, Ashleigh McArdle (Lifford Strabane) was 22nd here last year and should be due to a major improvement. Wales’ Matilda Quick, who was fourth in the under-15 pentathlon last year, could also be up on the standings here.

Under-15 girls’ pentathlon

Gracie Osman (Andrew Fisher, Winchester) scored 2983 to win at the Southern Championships and leads the entries on this season’s performances. That score should put her in contention for a medal.

Molly Mills (Jess Taylor-Jemmett, Stockport), who tallied a 2841 outdoors last summer, will be looking to show advancement over the winter. The recent England indoor 60m and shot silver medallist, won the 800m in these championships 12 months ago and should improve markedly on her 14th overall then. Milana Thorpe (Steve Mitchell, Chelmsford), who was second at Southerns with 2827, is also entered. England indoor triple jump champion Amelie Scott (Steve Mitchell, Chelmsford) and Lucia Bertacchini (Andrew Fisher, Winchester) are two others on the startlists who have already scored highly this season.

Thomas Young 100m

Ambulant events

Ambulant events will be held over 60m and 1500m, as well as in long jump shot. Medals will be awarded to the top three in each event based on Raza Points.

Thomas Young, the Paralympic 100m T38 champion, is fastest of the 100m entries. The women's side includes former world 100m T64 champion Sophie Kamlish (Robert Ellchuk, Team Bath) and leading under-17 Madeline Down (Dominic McNeillis, Halesowen).

Tokyo Paralympic seventh-placer Polly Maton heads the long jump entries, while Anna Nicholson, who was sixth at those Games in shot F35, will also be on the infield.

Weather update

Our champs this weekend are going ahead as planned. Anyone affected by the weather who can’t travel, the entry fee will be refunded. For those travelling, we advise regularly checking travel advice and weather updates and plan your route accordingly.