Highlights from the South, Midlands and North of England Championships

South of England Championships, Bedford

Olympians Margaret Adeoye and Martyn Rooney were in action at the South of England Senior and Under-20 Championships in Bedford this weekend, where good weather led to plenty of PBs, Paul Halford reports.

Adeoye fought off the faster-finishing Phillipa Lowe to win the 400m in 53.47 – exactly a year to the day since her last competition.

The Enfield & Haringey athlete, who ended her 2018 season early to try to sort out ongoing Achilles problems, enjoyed a good start but was almost caught by Lowe, who clocked 53.50.

Three-time 400m Olympian Rooney put in some early-season under-distance work in the 200m, clocking a legal 21.88 to win his heat and then a windy 21.77 to win his semi-final. He didn’t take his place in the final, won by Edmond Amaning in 20.97.

European U18 champion Dominic Ogbechie took a tightly-fought under-20 high jump with a best of 2.10m. The multi-talented athlete, who has run 21.52 for 200m, also has the standard for the European U20s in Boras in the long jump and will do both events at the trials back here in Bedford later this month.

European under-23 110m hurdles silver medallist Khai Riley-La Borde narrowly won his event in 13.99 from Enfield & Haringey club-mate James Weaver, who clocked 14.05.

A top-quality under-20 women’s triple jump saw the championship record broken twice. Eloise Harvey, who had won the long jump the day before with a PB of 6.10m, recorded 12.87m for another lifetime best. That fell just 0.13m short of the qualifying mark for the European U20 Championships, although her record was surpassed in round four by Italy’s Mame Snow’s 12.92m.

Kiah Dubarry-Gay’s 23.96 to win the under-20 200m was just 0.16 outside the Boras target.

Max Law’s 68.57m to win the under-20 javelin was a PB and UK age-group lead.

Frankie Johnson, who already has the standard for Boras under his belt, found 5.00m enough for the under-20 pole vault win.

Winner Lucy-Jane Matthews and Marcia Sey both went under the Boras standard in the 100m hurdles, although the 13.60 time they shared was wind-assisted.

Other senior winners included: Amy Holder in the discus (53.47m), Korede Awe in the 100m (10.44 PB), Katie Head in the hammer (60.63m PB), Lia Stephenson in the triple jump (13.13m PB) and M40 Neil McLellan in the javelin (69.40m).

Among the other under-20 champions were: Josh Douglas and Heather Cubbage in the discus (49.19m PB/46.48), Serena Vincent (14.70m in the shot) and Tobi Ogunkanmi in the 100m (10.56 PB).

Midland Championships, Nuneaton

Craig Murch notched up his fourth successive Midland hammer championship with a first-round effort of 67.92m but, in damp conditions, subsequent throws were of the same order but nothing close to his 71.16m from Loughborough earlier in the year, Martin Duff reports.

Photo by by David Griffiths

After that early Sunday effort, the rains came to hamper subsequent events, but it was warm and windy on the opening Saturday.

Former European U23 discus champion Eden Francis was lucky that there were not many entries in her senior championship. The 30-year-old had three no-throws before getting into her stride en-route to a 51.91m final fling.

Also in the throws, UK second-ranked Emma Hamplett took the women’s javelin with 50.68m.

The sprints saw a men’s double from Kyle de Escofet in 10.40 and 21.13 but both were windy, while Cassie-Ann Pemberton scored a useful under-20 sprint double in 11.81 and 24.25.

North of England Championships, Sportcity Manchester

Danielle McGifford fell a tenth of a second shy of completing a unique sprint triple at the North of England Championships, Jacob Phillips reports.

The Wigan and District athlete successfully took the 100m (11.78) and 100m hurdles (13.66) titles on Saturday before winning her 200m heat in a photo finish alongside Katy Wyper, as they both finished in 24.60.

Photo by David Hewitson

However, after winning four races across Saturday and Sunday morning, McGifford fell just short in the 200m final, finishing in 24.50 to Wyper’s 24.36.

Heptathlete McGifford’s success, which includes previous titles in both the English Schools heptathlon and long jump, reflects the current depth in British heptathlon.

Sale Harriers’ Andrew Robertson also came close to completing a sprint double. Robertson took gold in the men’s 100m (10.41) before taking silver in the 200m (21.12) behind club-mate Connor Wood, who clocked 20.97 to win.

T38 sprinter Ben Foulston was the first to cross the line in the men’s ambulant 100m, clocking 12.49, while T44 athlete Victoria Baskett was first to finish in the women’s 100m in a time of 14.45.

Elsewhere, the men’s 1500m seemed to resemble a Preston Harriers training session. The club’s Matthew Wigelsworth (3:52.87), Tiarnan Crorken (3:54.00) and Daniel Bebbington (3:54.44) managed to take all three coloured medals home with them.

Leeds City came close to replicating Preston’s success in the women’s 1500m. Claire Duck took the women’s title in 4:19.66 from Manx Harrier Rachael Franklin, 4:20.50, while team-mate Jennifer Walsh clocked 4:25.59.

In the field events, Vizamuje Ujaha took gold in the high jump, being the only man to jump 2 metres, while Abby Ward won the women’s event in 1.75, edging out Emily Borthwick who jumped the same distance.

Osian Jones threw the hammer 68.64m, 18 metres ahead of second-placed Daniel Nixon with 54.50m, completing dominating the field.

Other field events were much more competitive. Amy Hodgson and Micaela Brindle were separated by just 2 cm in the women’s long jump. Hodgson’s 5.85m was just enough to outdo Brindle’s 5.83

Notable results in the under-20 championships included Dan Preston’s 1500m in 3:55.28, while Rory Keen ran 54.52 in the 400m hurdles to run nearly two seconds clear of the rest of the field.

The women’s junior 100m final was won by Leonie Ashmeade in a photo finish with Hannah Kelly as both ran 11.79.

» See this week’s Athletics Weekly magazine for results and full reports

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