An action-packed first day at the England Athletics U17 and U15 Combined Events Championships took place in Manchester. Athletes have recorded some big performances to each stake a claim for the respective titles at the half way point, however with lots of points still to play for there will be no let-up when it comes to tomorrow's schedule of events.
U17 Women’s Heptathlon
In a packed heptathlon field it was last year’s silver medallist Abigail Pawlett (Stockport Track & Field, Joe Frost) who positioned herself in the leading position after the first day’s action. A blistering 11.19s run in the 100m allowed her to carve out an early lead in proceedings. Pawlett followed this up by a joint-leading clearance of 1.71m in the high jump, a mark only matched by Ella Rush (Amber Valley and Erewash AC, Michael Baker) who moved into 2nd position. Rush made good ground on Pawlett with her huge 13.38m throw in the shot in the penultimate event of the day before Pawlett showed his quality once again in the concluding 200m event, clocking 24.84s to reaffirm her top placing while stablishing a 203 point lead going into tomorrow’s disciplines.
U17 Men’s Decathlon
It was a tight affair in the opening day of the U17 men’s decathlon with George Asprey (Aldershot Farnham & District, Adrian Weston) emerging as the top contender, but his slender 16 point lead means it is all to play for going into Sunday’s programme.
Adam Hoole (Team East Lothian, Jamie Bowie) hit the ground running after the opening 100m event with a PB of 11.35s (+1.4) which he then followed up with a highly impressive leading jump of 6.47m in the long jump to take a 84 point lead going into the third event of the day. Consistent performances in the shot and high jump extended Hoole’s lead to 200 points before a huge effort by Asprey in the final 400m event of the day earned him a mammoth 732 points to pip Hoole to the top spot going into Sunday’s events. Meanwhile, strong scores from Sam Coupland (Southport Waterloo AC, Barrie Hughes) in the final two events of the day means he will be chasing the frontrunners closely tomorrow.
U15 Boys Octathlon
In the U15 boys event Sammy Ball (Reading AC, Mike Dyer), established himself as the frontrunner after consistently featuring in the top three scorers in each of the day’s four events. A speedy 12.12s clocking in the 100m sprint was the second fastest mark of the fourteen entered athletes, and Ball continued this form into the subsequent javelin event where he launched a throw of 35.77m, again the second best mark in the field to open up a 94 point lead at the top of the table. Ball widened this lead further still to 109 points after an enthralling high jump event where his clearance of 1.74m was only matched by Kresten Calvert (Wirral AC, Pamela Green), which allowed him to make inroads into the top two coming into the final event of the day, the 400 metres. It was this event that proved to be a big scorer for Finn O'Neill (City of Derry AC, Matthew Spain) completing his lap in a superb 54.16 seconds to leapfrog Calvert into second place while keeping within 130 points of day one leader Ball.
U15 Girls Hexathlon
In a strong field in the U15 girls competition Erin Lobley (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Joe Frost) scored big victories in the long jump and javelin to take her to the top of the leader board after the first day’s events to stake her claim for gold.
It was Lobley’s fellow club mate Chloe Bagshaw (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield, Paul Ttrevere) who had took the initiative in the morning’s opening 75 metre hurdle event with her rapid time of 11.48s turning out to be the quickest in the field, earning her an early 29 point lead. Bagshaw followed that up with a solid display in the following long jump event where she registered a distance of 5.09m, the third longest leap of the day, to maintain her position. However, in the same event Lobley had shown her intent with an impressive leading jump of 5.31m moving her up five places into second position. Lobley then delivered a huge performance in the javelin event, throwing a distance of 36.13m to end the day in first place on 1,891 points with a 206 point cushion over Bagshaw. Consistent performer Patricija Nemanyte (Derby Athletic Club, Martin Bishell) currently lies in third position going into tomorrow’s schedule with 4 events and plenty of points still to play for.