Sprint hurdler leads some fine performances at national junior event in Sheffield

Alicia Barrett caused a shock in the heats of the 60m hurdles as she broke Lesley-Ann Skeete’s 31-year-old UK indoor best of 8.22 with a time of 8.20.

Cindy Ofili had also previously done an 8.22 in 2013 in the USA but that was never ratified.

Barrett, who is coached by Toni Minichiello, didn’t stop there, though, as in the semi-final she improved that mark to 8.19. In the second semi-final, Sophie Yorke went fourth on the UK all-time indoor rankings with 8.30.

In the final Barrett wasn’t as smooth as in the qualifying and ran a ‘mere’ 8.25 to beat Yorke’s 8.34.

It was not the only other record at this year’s England Athletics Under-20/17/15 Indoor Championships as Eloise Harvey added a single centimetre to the UK indoor under-17 triple jump best with a third round 12.02m on the second day of the meeting in Sheffield on Sunday (February 26).

The Dartford Harrier added half a metre to her PB prior to the competition but also bettered her previous best with four other jumps and also did a big final jump but that was judged a foul.

Harvey eclipsed Emily Parker’s 12.01m set in 2001 but only ranks 20th on UK all-time combined outdoor and indoor marks.

Markhim Lonsdale won the 800m in a championships record 1:48.77. It not only gave him a PB and strengthened his hold on fourth place on the UK under-20 all-time indoor lists, but was also a European Juniors qualifier.

He can thank his rival Ben Greenwood for that as the Scot set a furious pace and ran a 53.84 first half but Lonsdale followed comfortably and then attacked at 600m (1:21.53) and his last lap kick gave him a near second victory. Greenwood was rewarded with an indoor PB 1:49.73 which moves him to sixth all-time on the UK all-time indoor under-20 rankings.

The under-20 pole vault saw a sensational breakthrough by Joel Leon Benitez. Entering with a 5.25m PB he first cleared 5.30m and then 5.40m to go second all-time on the UK all-time rankings – equal with Luke Cutts – behind Adam Hague’s 5.55m.

Benitez entered the competition at 4.80m, a height beyond all his competitors.

Alisha Rees has been setting numerous Scottish records this year but it was still a shock to see her go well inside 24 seconds for 200m for the first time with a 23.79 victory.

Adam Clayton was another in PB form and he won the under-17 men’s 200m in 22.22 from Dominic Ogbechie’s 22.35. The previous day the versatile Ogbechie had won the high jump with 2.04m.

Jaleel Roper easily won the under-15 boys 200m in 22.62 to go fifth all-time on the UK indoor rankings for his age group, while Acacia Williams-Hewitt won the girls equivalent in a PB 25.10.

Rio Mitcham set numerous PBs in the meeting and ended with a 21.42 under-20 200m victory in 21.42 as a beaten Jona Efoloko pulled up before the line.

Back in the field, Tom Gale won the under-20 men’s high jump with a leap of 2.13m while there was also a quality under-20 men’s long jump as Sam Talbot’s final round leap of 7.48m snatched victory with Reynold Banigo, who set a 7.42m PB with his final jump to take silver.

The under-20 men’s 60m hurdles was a quality event with Tre Thomas winning in a PB 7.80 and leading three others under eight seconds with Talbot second in 7.80.

In the under-17 women’s hurdles, Pippa Earley – who had set a UK record recently in Sutton – set a championship best of 8.44 in the semi-final and then clearly won the final in 8.47.

The two under-15 hurdles races were won in style by Joseph Harding (8.32) and Abigail Pawlett (8.85), who both made an impression on the all-time UK indoor top six.

Jack Sumners won the under-17 60m hurdles in 7.99 and also won the under-17 long jump in the final round with a leap of 6.63m.

Isabelle Boffey ran a 29.2 last 200m in a slow tactical under-20 women’s 800m after Jemma Reekie had led through 600m.

Reekie returned a few hours later in the 1500m and front-ran more purposefully to win easily in 4:27.97.

Joshua Hulse dominated the under-17 men’s 800m with 1:56.74 after breaking clear after a 57.34 first lap.

Pick of the throws was Daniel Cartwright who threw a 17.70m PB to move to No.6 on the UK all-time indoor rankings for his age group.

Michael Burfoot won the under-15 shot with a 13.34m throw.

Victoria Barlow with 3.80m and Jade Spencer-Smith with 3.70m equalled their pole vault PBs to go one-two in the under-17 women’s event. Under-20 shot putter Gaia Osborne bettered her previous PB with five of her six throws to win with 12.81m.

Ireland’s Sommer Lecky won the under-20 women’s high jump with a 1.79m clearance, while Ashley West won the under-17 event with a PB 1.76m.

Owen Richardson won the under-20 men’s 400m in 47.61 after a 47.50 semi-final with Jill Cherry winning the women’s two-lap race in 55.65.

Guernsey’s Sophie Porter won the under-17 300m in style in an UK leading mark of 39.99.

The highlight of day one (February 25) was undoubtedly Amy Hunt’s 7.43 60m. The 14-year-old Grantham athlete won the under-17 women’s race by two metres after a 7.50 PB in her semi-finals.

Her 7.43 places her third on the UK all-time indoor under-17 women’s rankings behind Asha Philip (7.35) and Jodie Williams (7.38).

Dom Ashwell won a competitive under-20 men’s 60m race in a PB 6.78 with the top five separated by half a metre.

Last year’s under-15 boys bronze medallist Raphael Bouju did a big PB to win the under-17 60m race in 6.88 from Adam Clayton’s 6.90, as he went inside seven seconds for the first time.

Roper won the under-15 60m in a PB 7.09 to go sixth all-time on the UK indoor rankings and was just four hundredths of a second off the UK record.

Hannah Brier won the under-20 women’s 60m in 7.36 from Ireland’s Ciara Neville with Rees setting a Scottish record 7.43 in her semi-final and then 7.45 for third in the final.

Leah Duncan won the under-15 girls race in 7.78 after a 7.76 PB in the semi-final.

George Sudderick won the under-15 boys 300m in a PB 37.76 just ahead of Ben Hillman.

Molly Canham (2:11.95) and Daisy Worthington (2:16:41) won the under-17 and under-15 800m finals respectively.

There were 1500m wins for under-20 Benjamin Davies in a PB 3:51.82 and under-17 Luke Duffy in 4:03.42.

In the field the women’s long jump was a good contest with four bettering six metres with Holly Mills’ 6.15m taking gold.

Ore Adamson’s 5.89m won the under-17 event and Molly Palmer’s 5.56m won the under-15s girls event.

Frankie Johnson was half a metre up on the opposition with his 4.50m pole vault while Molly Caudery won under-20 women’s gold with 4.05m.