A round-up of England Athletics under-17 and under-15 Championships action
Britain’s leading age-group athletes enjoyed their chance to take centre stage at the England Athletics under-17 and under-15 Championships at Bedford at the weekend, with an array of UK leading performances, personal bests and thrilling head to head contests.
CBPs were set by both Tilly Simpson and Hannah Molyneaux in the under-15 girls age group, with both athletes adding England Athletics titles to their English Schools victories and national records from earlier in the season. Here, Simpson was equally dominant, clocking 2:07.30 over 800m – just over a second outside her UK record of 2:06.22 – whilst the Geoff Capes-coached Molyneux was just 10cm shy of her UK age group shot record, putting 14.22m.
Ireland’s Michaela Walsh was another thrower on form, throwing a CBP of 16.03m to win the under-17 shot ahead of Commonwealth Youth Games-bound Divine Oladipo, who also claimed silver in the discus behind English Schools champion Sophie Mace.
Walsh also won the hammer with 63.99m as Katie Head threw a UK under-17 record of 62.51m in second place.
World Youth heptathlete Niamh Emerson was another athlete honing her training for the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa, where she will contest the high jump. Here she won her favourite individual event by 9cm in a PB of 1.82m.
“I knew I was in good shape, having cleared a PB of 1.79m at the World Youths, which was an amazing experience,” reflected the 16-year-old.
Looking ahead, she added: “I hope to PB again in Samoa. There isn’t a heptathlon there, but I qualified for high jump and 400m hurdles. Unfortunately, due to a timetable clash, I won’t be able to do both, so I chose the high jump, as it is my best event.”
Holly Mills took a 80m hurdles (11.32) and long jump (6.14m) double, whilst Amber Anning set a UK under-15 300m record of 38.73 when winning the under-17 event to remove World Championships 200m fifth place athlete and UK senior 100m and 200m record holder Dina Asher-Smith’s name from the record books.
UK under-15 pole vault record-holder, Frankie Johnson, won by over 70cm with a CBP of 4.12m, whilst the javelin saw the two longest throws of the year from the top two in the rankings, Max Law and Tom Hewson. Law improved his UK lead by over three metres to 53.96m, again getting the better of Hewson, just as he had done at the English Schools. Hewson had the consolation of also improving his PB by three metres to 52.25m to retain his position in the 2015 rankings.
Jono Efokolo clocked PBs of 10.60 and 21.12 to take an impressive under-17 sprint double, whilst English Schools and SIAB Schools International 400m hurdles champion Joe Fuggle again came out on top, clocking a UK lead and big PB of 52.88 to win by over a second from Alistair Chalmers.
In the flat one lap event, Owen Richardson set a UK lead of 48.13 to move to top of the rankings, with the top two from the English Schools, training partners Ellis Greateux and Psalm Roberts Nash, having to settle for silver and bronze respectively.
World Youth Championships finalist, Jake Norris, took the hammer by almost five metres with 70.50m.
» See the September 3 edition of Athletics Weekly magazine for further reports, pictures and results