The potential all-round stars of the future were in action today on the opening day of the England Athletics U17 & U15 Combined Events Championships in Manchester.
With the cheers from the Etihad Stadium next door as the soundtrack, the superb performances in the Regional Arena came even more frequently than home goals in Manchester City’s 5-0 win.
Sammy Ball and Eloise Hind (under-17) and Joe Stone and Nia Powell (under-15) lead their respective events overnight.
The event also included the European Athletics Combined Events Challenge, which is being led by Charlie Roe (decathlon) and Katie Stainton (heptathlon).
U17 women’s heptathlon
Eloise Hind (Oxford City, Marcia Marriott) has a narrow lead after the first four events, tallying 3053. However, after Hind won both of the first two events, Lucy Fellows (St Mary’s Richmond, Alan Richardson) fought back to just 19 points behind. Iona Irvine (Oxford City) is third on 2892.
Hind opened up in the 80m hurdles with 11.61, just a tenth off her PB. Her 1.68m was her second best ever as she stretched her lead. Likewise in the shot, she was just 17cm off her best. In the 200m, she equalled her best precisely with 26.34 but Fellows was comfortably quicker with 25.54.
U17 men’s decathlon
Sammy Ball (Reading, Michael Dyer) came into this event as favourite and he duly delivered on a dominant first day. He leads by a massive margin of 792 points with 3931, having won all five events.
Ethan Ellis (City of Norwich) is second with 3139 and third is Nathan Witkowski (Bury) with 3030.
He began by taking the 100m in 11.25 (-0.4), breaking his PB by 0.16 for 806 points. He is the No.1 in the UK for his age group in the long jump, so it was no surprise he went out to 6.87m in that event, more than half a metre better than his nearest challenger. That was good for 783 points.
Underlining his talent, he is also ranked fourth in the UK in shot and in that he threw 14.86m (781), which he perhaps will have been disappointed with. He then went to fourth on the UK list for his age group for the year with a 5cm PB of 1.95m (758 points). Finishing off a great day, he was well clear in the 400m with 50.25 for 724 points.
Ball, who scored 5813 for the octathlon earlier this year to top the UK all-time list, seems en route to a great first ever decathlon score.
U15 girls’ hexathlon
Wales’ Nia Powell leads a close under-15 girls’ hexathlon on 1169 points after the first day.
The Cardiff Archers athlete started off with a PB of 11.75 in the 70m hurdles to go into the lead. She extended that lead with 5.11m in the long jump, which was second best of all the athletes. Her 25.27m was eighth best on the day and another PB.
Arabella Wilson (Winchester & District, Andrew Fisher) was top in the long jump with 5.37m and her clubmate Abigail Belward was best in the javelin with 29.80m.
Scotland’s Victoria Anestik had solid performances across the board (12.32, 4.90m, 29.40m) to place second overall with 1636. Eve Drury (Leeds City, Daniel Gardiner) is third with 1604.
U15 boys’ octathlon
Joe Stone (Tonbridge, Leslie Stone) leads the under-15 octathlon standings with 2230 after a tremendous first day.
He is more than 500 points clear of the 1709 of Salem Mbimu-Kiambi (Lorraine Mulvaney), with William Alexander (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) third on 1665.
In the 100m, Stone’s PB of 11.75 was behind only Mbimu-Kiambi’s 11.73. He took over the lead with a mammoth first-round throw in the javelin of 40.37m. That was a PB by more than four metres and his final two attempts surpassed his previous best too.
The England under-15 long jump and triple jump champion then showed his versatility further with a 1.56m high jump, perhaps the only result he could have been disappointed with as it was 7cm below his PB. However, only Adam Byrne was better with 1.62m.
He ended the day by being almost four seconds quicker than anyone else in the 400m, which was for most of the athletes their first attempt over the one lap. His 53.80 ranks as the second best in the UK for this event rarely run by under-15s.
European Athletics Combined Events Challenge
Senior women’s heptathlon
Katie Stainton (Birchfield, David Feeney) leads after the first day of the senior event after finishing top in all four disciplines. The athlete who competed for England at the 2018 Commonwealth Games and already has the standard for Birmingham 2022 is on 3462, 190 points clear.
She was quickest in the 100m hurdles with 14.21. She was then one of three athletes to clear a best of 1.74m - four centimetres below her PB. She followed up with 11.93m in the shot, which was 13cm below the best she has recorded in 2021.
She finished up by comfortably winning the 200m in 24.28 - as against her best of 23.98 from earlier this year.
Ireland’s Anna McCauley stands second with 3272 and Wales’ Lauren Evans third on 3230.
Senior men’s decathlon
Charlie Roe (Coventry; Stewart Marshall), competing in his first decathlon since 2019, began his campaign here impressively but it’s all to play for tomorrow.
He lies on 3718, which gives him just a 37-point margin over Howard Bell (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies, Colin Sinclair). Scotland’s Andrew Murphy, in third is also within reach on 3640.
He equalled his best electronic time with 11.29 in finishing third in the 100m behind Sam Talbot (11.16). He then added 6cm to his PB in the long jump and his 11.25m in the shot was his best ever outdoors. Murphy was top in that with 13.01m.
In the high jump, he equalled his PB set earlier this year with 1.92m, which put him behind only Bradley Elsinor’s 1.95m.
Finally, his 49.89 in the 400m was slower than only Talbot (Sheffield & Dearne), who improved his best to 49.67 - not surprising after his 100m performance.
Away from the combined events, pole vault Rudi May (Sheffield & Dearne; Trevor Fox) was rewarded for making the trip back to Manchester after his event was postponed from the England Athletics U17/U15 Championships earlier this month. The UK rankings leader took gold with 3.51m. Tom Walker (Tonbridge, Peter Ebbage) won silver (3.11m) and Harry Casey (Enfield & Haringey; John Mahon) bronze with 3.11m.
Only three athletes made it back in the rescheduled girls’ event, but they were among the top five in the country so the medals were well deserved. Rankings leader Arisa Burgess (Yate, Sam Hillier-Smith) was 19cm below her PB in taking gold on 2.81m, while silver was shared by Lottie Hall (Chesterfield, Jonathan Baker) and Mollie Staunton (WSEH, Nick Phipps) on 2.61m.
Click for full results (PDF 430kB)