An exciting first day of action in the England Athletics U17 and U15 Combined Events Championships has taken place in Manchester. Athletes have put down some big performances to stake a claim for the respective titles at the half way point, however with places being tight there will be no let-up when it comes to tomorrows schedule of events.
U17 Men’s Decathlon
Defending Champion and British Record Holder Joel McFarlane (Club: Arbroath & District AC) once again proved his class to top the leader table with 3,470 pts after day one. McFarlane currently enjoys a 182 point lead over Robbie Farquhar (Club: Aberdeen AAC, Coach: Ian McFarlane) who got off to a superb start in the 100m to clock 11.41 (771pts) to take an early lead. However, McFarlane stamped his authority on the competition in the Long Jump with his leading 6.61m effort scoring 723pts and moving him up to 1st position, a place he would not only hold but strengthen throughout the day thanks to victories in the High Jump (1.86m, 679pts) and 400m (51.64, 741pts). Rob Worman (Club: Cheltenham & County Harriers, Coach: Kerry Eddie-Jury) secured a top three position at the end of day one with strong performances including in the 100m (11.72, 707pts), Shot (12.18m, 617pts) and 400m (52.55, 701pts) with 3,168 points. There are currently a further four athletes who have surpassed the 3,000 point mark, however, who currently just sit out of the medal positions, so every point will count when it comes to the 100m Hurdles, Discus, Pole Vault, Javelin, and 1500m events tomorrow.
U17 Women’s Heptathlon
It was a battle of the former U15 Hexathlon Champions, as 2015 Champion Emily Race (Club: Worksop Harriers, Coach: Peter Fendley) just remained ahead of 2016 Champion Jessica Hopkins (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell) to lead after day one. Race accumulated a point score of 3,091, via victory in the High Jump with 1.70m (855 pts), with top 2 placings in the 80m Hurdles - 11.71 seconds (839 pts), and Shot (12.15, 671 pts). Hopkins sits in second place by the narrowest of margins, with her score of 3,089pts being just 2 points off that leading mark. A superb 13.63 mark in the Shot (769pts) was one of the performances that really put her in the frame for a Gold going into tomorrows schedule. Mia Chantree (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Steve Mitchell) currently lies in third place on 2,836 pts, only 10 points separating her from Zoe Pollock (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Marcia Marriot), whose sprinting prowess was clear for all to see during victories in the 80M Hurdles (11.66, 846pts) and 200 meters (25.18, 870pts). Tomorrow will see the Long Jump, Javelin, and 800m events being contested to decide those medallists.
U15 Boy’s Octathlon
Ben Hillman (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: Helen James/Fran Baker) and his fellow Cardiff AAC club mate Benjamin Henson (Coach: Fran Baker) emerged as the frontrunners at the end of Day 1. Hillman ran a leading time of 11.96 (659 pts) in the 100m to show his intentions early on, while Henson came to the fore during the second event of the Javelin, as his massive 42.48 throw earned him 478 pts to move him up 5 places to the number 1 spot. Hillman ensured he sat at the top of the pile after the concluding 400m event of the day, his time of 55.82 bringing his score to 1,864, 51 pts clear of Henson. Consistency was key for Murray Fotheringham (Club: Giffnock North AAC) his top 4 finishes in all events gave him 1,808 pts and a current bronze medal standing. However, with High Jump, Discus, 80M Hurdles and 1500m still to feature tomorrow, there will be lots of chances for more athletes to put the pressure on.
U15 Girl’s Hexathlon
It was a superb opening day for Abigail Pawlett (Club: Stockport Harriers & AC, Coach: Joe Frost) who clocked the quickest time in the opening 75m hurdles event, with 11.72 seconds (708 pts). Pawlett then extended her lead in the long jump, once again setting the leading performance of 5.24m (626 pts) to give her a strong lead going into the Javelin. A solid throw of 25.92 (400 pts) leaves her top of the opening day leader board with 1,734 pts. Meanwhile, a huge throw of 37.84m by Jamie Holland (Club: Swansea Harriers, Coach: Steve Ingram) in that same event saw her move up a remarkable 17 places to currently occupy a bronze medal position with 1,582 points. Daisy Worthington (Club: Bury AC, Coach: Joe Frost) sits in the Silver medal position with 1610 pts. Only 71 pts separate 3rd from 7th place, so there will still be lots of athletes feeling they have a good chance of getting themselves into medal contention tomorrow. Shot, High Jump, and 800m still to come.
For full online results and updates on results as they are available see https://resultsengland.athletics-uk.org/resultsengland