This weekend sees the England Athletics U23 and U20 Championships and Trials for the World Junior Championships taking place at Bedford International Stadium.
With almost 1000 athletes entered in a full range of track and field events, it's set to be a packed weekend of action.
There will also be a number of U18 events to give those athletes an additional opportunity to qualify or to strengthen their case for selection for the European Youth Championships in Hungary or IAAF World Junior Championships in Finland; click here to read UKA selection policy.
Under 23 women
The U23 women's 400m is stacked with talent; last year's U20 winner Hannah Williams (Club: Herts Phoenix, Coach: Nick Lloyd) is entered and will be up against all three of last year's U23 medallists Kelsey Stewart (Club: Aberdeen AAC, Coach: Ken and Joyce Hogg), Sabrina Bakare (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Jane Dixon), and Olivia Caesar (Club: Swansea Harriers, Coach: Colin Bovell). Also in the mix is Cheriece Hylton (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) who steps up from last year's 200m where she earned a bronze. Her sister Shannon Hylton (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) is the current British 200m Champion, won the England 200m last year and has entered both the 100m and 200m this year - she will be looking to be involved at the front end of that event as will Imani Lansiquot (Club: Sutton and District AC, Coach: Steve Fudge ) - who is the Welsh indoor 60m champion this year's top ranked 100m sprinter - and Hannah Brier (Club: Swansea Harriers, Coach: Steve Fudge), the BUCS indoor sprint champion who is in her first year at this age group. Mhairi Hendry (Club: Victoria Park City of Glasgow, Coach: William Parker) will be defending her 800m title but the competition will be there from the likes of last year's U20 bronze medallist Ellie Baker (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Jon Bigg) hot on her heels.
Indoor British Champion and Commonwealth Games silver medallist Morgan Lake (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Coach: Fuzz Caan) returns to defend her England high jump title, and nationally 4th ranked Emily Borthwick (Club: Wigan Harriers AC, Coach: Fuzz Caan) will hope to improve on last year's bronze. But it is the triple jump that is set to be one of the must-watch events of the weekend. The line-up includes the 2018 BUCS champion and last year's U20 champion Naomi Ogbeta (Club: Trafford Athletic Club, Coach: Tom Cullen) who will be looking to impress, last year's U23 champion Carolyn Harvey (Club: Ayr Seaforth, Coach: David Watson), plus silver medallist Victoria Oshunremi (Club: Basildon AC, Coach: David Johnson), fourth placed Beth Mortiboy (Club: Notts Athletic Club, Coach: Nigel Kesteven) and U20 bronze medallist Eavion Richardson (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Craig Andrew). In addition, athletes who have medalled at other events recently include BUCS silver and bronze medallists Lia Stephenson (Club: Thames Valley Harriers, Coach: David Johnson) and Kayanna Reid (Coach: Craig Andrew), and the Southern champion Laura Zialor (Club: Marshall Milton Keynes AC, Coach: John Herbert).
In the throws, Amy Holder (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Coach: Neville Thompson) will be defending her discus title and will be up against silver SEAA and BUCS medallist Kathryn Woodcock (Club: Radley AC, Coach: Zane Duquemin) who came second last year. The shot put is likely to also be a close competition with barely half a metre separating the top 3 athlete PBs; last year's U20 silver medallist Divine Oladipo (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers Athletic Club, Coach: John Hillier / Mariam Kevkhishvilli) put a massive PB of 17m37 just a couple of weeks ago and is ranked 3rd in the UK senior rankings, Adele Nicoll (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Ryan Spencer-Jones) took U23 bronze last year and is the current BUCS indoor and outdoor champion, plus 2017's multiple medallist Michaela Walsh (Ireland, Coach: Michael Heneghan and Paddy Kelly) moves up to the U23 age group after winning gold in the U20 shot put and hammer last year, as well as taking gold in the U23 hammer and 4th in the U23 shot put. Emma Hamplett (Club: Birchfield Harriers , Coach: Mike McNeill) who won the U20 javelin last year, will be hoping to add the U23 title to her name.
The sprint hurdles also look like an exciting final is likely; British Champion and defending England champion Alicia Barrett (Club: Chesterfield & District AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) is joined by last year's silver and bronze medallists Mollie Courtney (Club: Cheltenham and County Harriers, Coach: David Warner) and Jessica Hunter (Club: Vale Of Aylesbury AC, Coach: Scott Grace) will hope to move up the podium, with Mollie already British champion at the indoor 60mH. Also entered are Emma Nwofor (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Coach: Linford Christie) who took silver behind Mollie in February, and a number of other 2018 top ranked hurdlers.
Daniel Rowden (Club: Woodford Green, Coach: Richard Thurston) returns to defend his 800m title but he'll be up against last year's bronze medallist Spencer Thomas (Club: Brighton Phoenix, Coach: Jon Bigg) and Michael Wilson (Club: Sunderland Harriers & AC, Coach: Bud Baldaro) as well as Max Wharton (Club: Liverpool Harriers & AC, Coach: Craig Winrow) - the BUCS indoor champion – who are likely to make a good race of it. Last year's U20 bronze medallist Canaan Solomon (Club: Woodford Green, Coach: Craig Winrow & Richard Thurston) has moved up to the U23 age group and will be another looking to make an impact. Also moving up to the U23 1500m are last year's U20 2nd and 4th placed athletes James Gormley (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: John Wood )and Archie Davis (Club: Brighton Phoenix, Coach: Joel Kidger) who also took 3rd at the Loughborough International recently. Jamie Williamson (Club: Springburn Harriers, Coach: George Gandy) is currently 4th ranked U23 and took 4th at BUCS. The large 5000m field is headed up by Emile Cairess (Club: Leeds City AC, Coach: Phil Townsend) and Gus Cockle (Club: Aldershot, Farnham & District AC, Coach: Mick Woods).
Also defending their titles are Jack Lawrie (Club: Woodford Green, Coach: Roy Buchanan) (400mH), with last year's U20 and U23 bronze medallists Owen Lawrence (Club: Southampton AC, Coach: Gary & Sara MacDonald Gray) and Daniel Rees (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Eddie McKenna) also both entered, Cameron Corbishley (Club: Medway and Maidstone, Coach: Andi Drake) up against Callum Wilkinson (Club: Enfield and Haringey AC, Coach: Andy Drake) in the Walk, and in the Pole Vault, last year's top two Charlie Myers (Club: Middlesbrough AC (Mandale), Coach: Chris Boundy) and Harry Coppell (Club: Wigan Harriers, Coach: John Mitchell) will need to contend with British indoor champion and Commonwealth Games athlete Adam Hague (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: Trevor Fox) this year. Both U20 and U23 shot put champions John Kelly (Club: Finn Valley Ac, Coach: John kelly Snr) and George Evans (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Andy Kokhanovsky / Colin McCullough) compete as U23 athletes this year. Evans will also compete in the discus against U23 silver medallist George Armstrong (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles AC, Coach: Zane Duquemin) who will be aiming for gold.
Indeed, the entry lists for all the throws events have contained a number of quality athletes; All three U20 javelin medallists from last year will compete for the U23 title - along with 75m+ thrower and Commonwealth Games team member Joe Harris (Club: Manx Harriers) who was last year's 2nd placed competitor. U20 silver medallist Edward Jeans (Club: Preston Harriers, Coach: Bob Welfare) threw a new PB over 63m last month and joins all three 2017 U23 hammer medallists - Commonwealth Games finalist, BUCS champion and ranked number two Taylor Campbell (Club: Sheffield and Deame, Coach: John Pearson), Welshman Jac Palmer (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: Adrian Palmer) who took silver there, and Irishman Adam King Palmer (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: Adrian Palmer).
The 100m sprint final is set to be a competitive one, with the likes of Reuben Arthur (Club: Enfield and Haringey AC, Coach: Ryan Freckleton) who came 3rd recently at the AtletiCAGenève, Kyle deEscofet, and European U20/U23 medallists Tommy Ramdhan (Club: Bexley AC, Coach: Ryan Freckleton), and Oliver Bromby (Club: Southampton AC, Coach: Sara MacDonald Gray) in a strong and large field.
The High Jump is not to be missed; U20 champion Tom Gale (Club: Team Bath AC, Coach: Denis Doyle) returns to try to add the U23 crown to his tally; he's a Commonwealth Games finalist, England Senior / CAU champion and English Schools' champion. He'll be up against U23 silver medallist Akin Coward (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Carol Jackson), 2016 indoor and outdoor U20 champion Rory Dwyer (Club: Stratford Upon Avon AC, Coach: Fuzz Caan) and BUCS bronze medallist Ryan Webb (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Fuzz Caan).
With Emma Hamplett (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Mike Mc Neill) now in the U23 competition, the javelin gold is up for grabs - likely contenders include last year's silver and bronze Bethan Rees (Club: Cannock & Stafford AC Welsh Anglo Athletes, Coach: Mark Pinner) and Bekah Walton (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC, Coach: Dave Turner). The same is true for the hammer - last year's gold and silver medallist now an U23 leaves the podium open for last year's bronze medallist Anna Purchase (Club: Notts Athletic Club, Coach: Rob Careless), UK ranked top 3, Katie Head (Club: Newham and Essex Beagles, Coach: Paul Head), Alice Barnsdale (Club: Lincoln Wellington AC, Coach: Dave Smith) and Danielle Broom (Club: Bournemouth AC, Coach: Paul Rees) - all of whom have thrown beyond 57m.
With half the field having jumped over 6 metres, the long jump will have the crowds gathering alongside the runway at Bedford. The BIG jumps fest held recently was certainly that, with a new PB of 6m25 for Lucy Hadaway (Club: City of York AC, Coach: Matt Barton), Commonwealth Youth Game long jump champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover AC, Coach: James Coney) and last year's 4th placed Josie Oliarnyk (Club: Halesowen ACC, Coach: Dominic McNeillis) both also on form. Eleanor Broome (Club: Rugby & Northampton AC, Coach: Ian Roberts) is also ranked just behind Holly. With many of the same athletes entered as those who were part of the thrilling England Athletics indoor Long Jump, this could be a very exciting event.
The 3000m sees a head to head between Inter-counties winter XC champ Niamh Brown (Club: Aldershot Farnham & District, Coach: Mick Woods), last year's English Schools' champion Julia Paternain (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Coach: Mark Vile) and last year's U17 England Athletics gold medallist and ESAA silver to Julia - Charlotte Alexander (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: Wayne Vinton). 16-year-old Ella McNiven (Club: Liverpool Harriers & AC, Coach: Lynn Webb) had great winter, winning the National and English Schools' Cross Countries as well as the Schools International - she's entered into the 3000m and the 1500m in what will be her first outing since the Loughborough International. However, Erin Wallace (Club: Giffnock North AAC, Coach: Dudley Walker) is also entered - she won the Commonwealth Youth Games 1500m for Scotland last year, and Southern XC champion and Loughborough International silver medallist at 3000m Amelia Quirk (Club: Bracknell AC, Coach: Mick Woods) will be hoping to improve on last year's bronze.
In the two-lap event, top ranked U17 in 2018 with 2:04.26 Keely Hodgkinson (Club: Leigh Harriers & AC, Coach: Margaret Galvin) will be taking on defending champion Isabelle Boffey (Club: Enfield and Haringey A C, Coach: Doug Stone) who will want to continue her run of golds at this event - Isabelle was 4th at the Commonwealth Youth Games and is the England 800m indoor champion. But there is strong competition with Anna Burt (Club: Team Bath AC, Coach: Kevin Brunt) who took silver at that event and also entered is last year's silver medallist and English Schools' champion Khahisa Mhlanga (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: Mike Judd) and Katy Ann McDonald (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC, Coach: Phillip Kissi) who was the U17 champion in 2016 and is currently ranked between Isabelle and Khahisa.
It's a quality field in the sprint hurdles too, with nine of the top ten ranked U20W in the country entered, including all three 60mH indoor medallists Anastasia Davies (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC, Coach: John Blackie), 80mH British record holder and Commonwealth Youth Games competitor Pippa Earley (Club: Kingston AC And Poly Harriers, Coach: Hurdles Lloyd Cowan, Long Jump John Shepherd), and indoor pentathlon gold medallist and National and Commonwealth U18 long jump champion Holly Mills (Club: Andover AC, Coach: James Coney). Also in the mix is number one ranked and English Schools' champion Isabella Hilditch (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC, Coach: John Blackie), Commonwealth Games heptathlon medallist Niamh Emerson (Club: Amber Valley and Erewash AC, Coach: David Feeney) and England U20 Heptathlon champion Jade O'Dowda (Club: Oxford City AC, Coach: Marcia Marriott).
The 100m sprint sees likely clashes between Ciara Neville (Club: Emerald AC, Coach: Noelle Morrissey) who has a PB of 11.52, 200m Scottish and England champion Alisha Rees (Club: Edinburgh AC, Coach: Leon Baptiste), and 100m champion Kristal Awuah (Club: Herne Hill Harriers, Coach: Matthew Thomas). Alisha and Kristal also take on the double, and will be up against last year's bronze medallist Georgina Adam (Club: Lincoln Wellington Athletic Club, Coach: Denise Timmis), indoor 400m champion and British 200m bronze Amber Anning (Club: Brighton & Hove AC, Coach: Lloyd Cowan) who also holds a collection of gold medals from the past few years and a Commonwealth Youth Games bronze in the 400m which she will also contest at the weekend. Ranked 4th and 6th indoor silver 200m medallist Hannah Kelly (Club: Bolton United Harriers & AC, Coach: Les Hall) and Mair Edwards (Club: Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, Coach: John Davis) are also entered and it should be a tight final.
Others defending their titles include Rebecca Hawkins (Club: Bexley AC, Coach: John Bancroft) (High Jump), Molly Caudery (Club: Cornwall AC, Coach: Stuart Caudery) (Pole Vault), and Orla Brothers (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Marina Armstrong) (400m H).
Last year's sprint double champion Romell Glave is only entered for the 100m this year, but there are plenty who will also be looking to be on top of the podium; indoor 60m champion Dominic Ashwell (Club: Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers, Coach: Marvin Rowe) will want to step up from 100m bronze, and Chad Miller (Club: Hercules Wimbledon AC, Coach: Paul Miller) - currently ranked 3rd in the UK with a new PB of 10.43 earlier this month. Also quality 100m runners but taking on the 200m only are Charlie Dobson (Club: Colchester Harriers AC, Coach: Steve Garnham) and Jona Efoloko (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester, Coach: John Smith) who are ranked 1-2 at the longer sprint, with Chad taking on both sprints and ranked 3rd at 200m.
For the 800m, Markhim Lonsdale (Club: Crook & Dist Sports AC, Coach: Keith Lonsdale) is defending his title but the rankings list show this could be a great event. Alex Botterill (Club: City of York AC, Coach: Andrew Henderson), Alexander Birkett (Club: Kendal Amateur Athletic Club, Coach: Helen Clitheroe), Ricky Lutakome (Club: Sutton & District AC, Coach: Nick Hancock) and Josh Allen (Club: Middlesbrough Athletic Club (Mandale), Coach: Martin Peevor) are all on form with new PBs in the last month. Likely to be in the leading pack for the 1500m are defending champion Jake Heyward (Club: Cardiff AAC, Coach: James Thie), indoor 1500m champion Luke Duffy (Club: Mansfield Harriers, Coach: Richard Massey) and Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist Joshua Lay (Club: Rugby and Northampton, Coach: Tony Love). In addition, Thomas Keen (Club: Cambridge & Coleridge AC, Coach: Mark Vile) has been showing some superb form recently; he’s now leading U18 in Europe at 3000m and second fastest for 1500m with 8:14.41 and 3:48.67 respectively. Rory Leonard (Club: Morpeth Harriers & AC, Coach: Tony Leonard) clocked 8.18 at the Loughborough International recently and will be looking to get into the mix.
Jason Nicholson (Club: Gateshead Harriers & AC, Coach: Janice Kaufman) and Joshua Zeller (Club: Bracknell AC, Coach: Adrian Brown / Ken Spencer) have both clocked the fastest 110m hurdles time this year; Jason to win the Loughborough International, and Joshua at last week's SEAA champs. Reigning 60m Hurdles champion Tre Thomas (Club: Charnwood A C, Coach: Eliska Binks) is also entered, as is last year's silver medallist Tade Ojora (Club: Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC, Coach: Rodger Hughes). The one lap hurdles sees four athletes sub 53 seconds; with last year's champion Alastair Chalmers (Club: Guernsey AC, Coach: Dale Garland) settling for the flat race only, Joe Fuggle (Club: Blackheath and Bromley Harriers AC, Coach: Michael Baker) will be hoping to improve on his 2017 silver but will be up against Derbyshire champion Alex (Club: Amber Valley and Erewash AC, Coach: Nick Dakin), BUCS champion Declan Gall, and Commonwealth Youth Games silver medallist Seamus Derbyshire (Club: City of Stoke AC, Coach: Derek Yeomans).
As last year's U20 high jump champion moves up an age group, it's down to 16-year-old Dominic Ogbechie (Club: Highgate Harriers, Coach: Marius Guei / Carol Jackson) to raise the bar. Indoor silver medallist Thomas Hewes (Club: Chelmsford AC, Coach: John Herbert) will hope to be up there with him and improve upon last year's outdoor bronze. Also in the field, Jake Norris (Club: WSEH, Coach: Paul Dickenson) defends his hammer title and Bayley Campbell (Club: WSEH, Coach: Paul Dickenson) will hope to turn bronze to gold - last year's silver medallist Edward Jeans (Club: Preston Harriers, Coach: Bob Welfare) will be hoping to make his mark in the U23 competition this year.