Preview: indoor Age Group champs

At the second England Athletics championships of the season, it’s the turn of the under-20s, under-17s and under-15s to shine. Several previous champions and medallists from last year’s Commonwealth Youth Games and European Junior Championships will be in action at the EIS in Sheffield this weekend.

Ones to watch

Under 20 women

The 60m flat is set to be very interesting and likely the race of the weekend, with Nia Wedderburn-Goodison (Ryan Freckleton, Harrow) quickest on PBs with her 7.28 from two years ago. The England under-20 outdoor 100m champion has run 7.34 this year, in common with European 200m junior finalist Faith Akinbileje (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley). Another contender is Mabel Akande (Denise Timmis, Lincoln Wellington), who has clocked a best of 7.37 this season.

The 60m hurdles promises a potentially fast and close clash between Mia McIntosh (coach: Jake Awe, club: Harrow) and Jessica Duncton (Paul Gripton, Birchfield). Duncton has already raced this year and includes a quick PB of 8.27 in the build-up. McIntosh, who beat her to the England outdoor 100m hurdles title last summer, ran 8.22 to go to second on the junior all-time list two years ago. Thea Brown (Joanne Harding, Sale Harriers Manchester), who won the England pentathlon title last month, is a medal contender.

Thea Brown hurdles

Cleo Agyepong (John Hillier, Blackheath & Bromley), who was sixth in the shot at the European Juniors last year, is trying to add to her England titles from indoors and outdoors in 2023. She is comfortably best on PBs with her 15.16m but was beaten in Sweden last week by Annabel Amadin (Bob Gaisie, Sale Harriers Manchester) who was second last year.

Under 20 men

Teddy Wilson (Marvin Rowe, Shaftesbury Barnet) enjoyed a great year last year and will look to continue a good start to the season. The 2023 Commonwealth youth 100m champion, who clocked a European youth 100m record of 10.26 last summer, has already run 6.73. Commonwealth youth 200m bronze medallist Rusciano Thomas-Riley (Ronnie Williams, Coventry) will be looking to step up from silver last year when he ran 6.77.

Ethan Glyde High Jump

Ethan Glyde (Denis Doyle, City of Portsmouth), who won at the Commonwealth Youth Games, is favourite for the high jump whilst in the pole vault, William Lane (Trevor Fox, Sheffield & Dearne) has added to his best with 5.06m this year and is thus half a metre clear of his peers.

Scotland’s Dean Patterson, who was one place ahead of Thomas-Riley at the Commonwealths, is chasing a title defence over one lap. Another Commonwealth youth silver medallist, in this case at 100m, Ebuka Nwokeji (Ty Holden, Shaftesbury Barnet) is the second fastest in the line-up.

In the 60m hurdles, Commonwealth Youth 110m hurdles silver medallist Noah Hanson (Carl Graham, Newham & Essex Beagles) is closing in on the UK U20 best of 7.50, having run 7.58 already this year. Also in the line-up is Daniel Goriola (Tony Jarrett, Bexley), who pipped him to the title 12 months ago and ran 7.69 last year. Jaiden Dean (Jake Awe, City of Norwich), who is the UK under-17 best-holder, is another contender.

Heading the 400m entries is European finalist Sam Lunt (Andrew Fraser, Wirral) is in terrific form so we should expect something exciting from him. Commonwealth Youths fifth-placer, Stanley Chevous (Lee Bowker, Ipswich) is also entered.

Under 17 women

Qi-Chi Ukpai triple jump

Qi-Chi Ukpai (John Herbert, Blackheath & Bromley) won England titles indoors and outdoors in the triple jump last year and has begun 2024 well by going to third on the UK all-time list for under-17s with 12.25m - 10cm below her outdoor best. Wales’ Olivia Schrimshaw, in her first year in the age group, has already gone out to 12.12m this year. She will also be a contender in the triple jump and is one of the favourites in the long jump.

Shot-putter Issy Stamp (South London Harriers) last year went inside the top 10 in the under-15 age group indoors while in the bottom year and now looks to add to her England outdoor title from last summer.

Wales’ Nell Desir (Lisa Waddon) seeks to add to her significant collection of England Athletics medals. Two years after she ran her PB of 7.51 to win the under-15 60m title, she is clearly the quickest on paper here.

In the 1500m, it is two athletes who have just entered the age group who are quickest: Wales’ Libby Hale, who has run 4:26.91 already this year to rank fourth all-time in the age group indoors, and England under-15 3000m champion Olivia Forrest (Paul Forrest, Brentwood Beagles).

Defending champion and English Schools' AA gold medallist Isabella Turner (Andy Jackson, Dacorum), has a 3.81m PB to rank inside the UK all-time top 10 indoors this year, and is 41cm better than her nearest challenger in the pole vault.

Under 17 men

Farrell Fabusiwa

The 60m looks set for some fast times, with Joel Masters (Jon Humphries-Cuff, BFT Track Academy) leading the way on PBs courtesy of his 6.81 from last month, which puts him equal third on the UK all-time list for the age group. Joel Ajayi (Gary Howard, Havering), with 6.84, and Max Clark (John Blackie, Blackheath & Bromley), with 6.91, are also in the all-time top 30. Farrell Fabusiwa (Paul Weston, Croydon), who is quickest on the 200m line-up, is another strong contender, seeking to add to his gold at under-15 level last year.

Welsh combined-eventer Luca Phillips (Phil Warwicker, Cardiff Archers) last month went to fifth on the UK indoor all-time list with an outright best of 7.18m then improved his Welsh record last weekend to 7.36m which is a European U18 qualifier- he will be favourite in the long jump. He is also joint top on the triple jump roster with Melchisedec Berkoh-Gyamfi (John Herbert, Basildon), who is second best ever under-15 outdoors in the UK, both having jumped 13.89m.

Lawson Capes (Lewis Capes, Peterborough & Nene Valley) is seeking his fifth England title as he moves up an age group. He was unbeaten in the under-15 ranks last year as he went to fourth on the UK all-time list for the age group.

In the 800m, Scotland’s Joshua Mungin is quickest on outdoor PBs and, with a recent 1:54.46, on indoor bests too.

Under 15 girls

Wales’ Aliyah Afolabi seeks to retain both her 60m and 200m titles here. She recently moved up to third on the UK all-time list indoors in the longer event with her PB of 26.42 and is also top of the roster at 60m with 7.62. Celine Obinna-Alo (Andrew Abbott, Sunderland), over 60m and 200m, and Whitney Ofor (Cyril Banks, Middlesbrough (Mandale)) could challenge.

Sprint-hurdler Isabelle Rae (Bracknell) looks good to move up from fifth last year as she reaches the top of the age group. She is fastest in the field with her 8.90 from this season, which put her ninth on the all-time list for her age group.

Jorjia March (John Clarke, Barnet), who last month moved to third on the UK all-time indoor under-15 list, is more than six seconds faster than her rivals in the 800m, thanks to her PB of 2:08.81 which may well improve beyond the UK best indoors this weekend.

In the shot, Bethany Pendlebury (Michael Martin, Trafford) looks to step up from fourth last year and second in the outdoor championships, heading the PB list with her 12.72m from last summer.

Emilia Adese (Blackheath & Bromley) is another contender, while Jasmine Nkoso (Anthony Mayhew, Herne Hill) is top on this season’s performances with 12.49m.

As she competes in her first England Athletics Championships, Leila Newth (Ealing, Southall and Middlesex) is top on triple jump PBs with 11.03m and also leads this year’s rankings with 10.96m.

Under 15 boys

Divine Iheme (Nkiruka Iheme, Radley), who began his season with 6.98 to top the UK all-time age-group rankings, will be seeking his first England title. He won silver in the 200m in last year’s championships and, on the start lists for that event, he is a second clear of the rest with his PB of 22.4 outdoors.

Leading the way in the high jump is Joshua Akintolu (Ian Hill, Wakefield), who added 10cm to his PB with 1.91m to go to third on the UK all-time list for under-15s earlier this month. He is also entered for the long jump, where he is top on PBs with his recent 5.92m. Wales’ Aiden Angilletta is comfortably best in the triple jump, thanks to his 12.18m to win the Welsh Championships, which puts him inside the all-time top 20.

Top photo by Mark Pain
Ethan Glyde by Mark Shearman
Other photos by Pat Isaacs

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