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Indoor Track & Field February 11/12th

Indoor Round Up and National Junior Indoor Champs

The National Indoor Champs for the U20, U17 and U15 age groups were held this past weekend at the EIS Arena in Sheffield and our Athletes were subjected to a much higher level of competition than we can afford them locally. Nevertheless, we witnessed quite a few finalists and lots of personal bests. What more can you ask?

Pride of place should go to our esteemed U20 woman Pole Vaulter Nyree Perry who cleared a season’s best of 3.50m to finish equal fourth in her event. 3.50m also won the Bronze Medal here but count back thwarted Nyree on this occasion. It is after all Nyree’s first year in this age group so this was a really heartening performance.

Our hurdlers were also close to medals in their events all coming away with Indoor PBs. Patrick Kyle U20 once again improved his best for 60m hurdles to 8.19 secs to finish fifth in his final following another 8.19s in his heat. Great consistency there, and it was his expected opponents that beat him, but they must be your target in 2023 Patrick to get right in with the top flight. Young U15 Tommy Mattis-King continues to move forward toward being a really accomplished hurdler producing a PB of 9.49 secs in his heat before finishing in 9.55 secs in his final to also take a creditable fifth place. Dan Webb also U15 has come on leaps and bounds under Julie Alexander’s coaching and moved his PB down by nearly half a second with a 10.18s clocking in his heat. Kezia Tarzey was eighth in her final again improving her Club Record PB to 9.46 secs after qualifying with 9.62 secs. Kezia most of all relished the high standard of competition and thoroughly enjoyed running on the big scene. She also challenged in the 60m sprint where she once again equalled her best performance with an 8.30 sec clocking. Mayalee Osola again improved her PB to 8.77 secs putting her even closer to that Club Record set in 1974 by Bridget Ruttledge, but in finishing third in her heat Mayalee just failed to make the cut to her final. It is a tough world but as I said last week Mayalee will improve each week as she gets used to stretching her stride to take those hurdles more comfortably. Five hurdlers all producing best performances with some close to medals – this can’t be bad.

In the 300m U17 Eleanor McIntosh coached by Nick Harris clocked a superb PB of 42.02 secs in her heat which would have placed her fifth in the final but unfortunately in her semi she faded to 43.17 secs and thus failed to make her mark.

Our only 200m hope was U17 Mackenzie Ritson who won his heat in a great 22.68 secs, but even coming second in his semi-final with another PB of 22.44 secs and a club record for that age group by a clear second, he failed to make the cut and move on to his final.

In the High Jump Lily Bailey performed well clearing 1.64m for seventh place but then I know that Lily is an intense competitor and with an Indoor best of 1.66m set this time last year I am sure that she will be disappointed with the outcome.

Owen Garrett has been on fire this Winter with a PB of 13.35m set last week and as the Welsh Champion he I know was very down after only throwing 12.33m for sixth place. Furthermore, Owen was beaten by two local athletes which will make things even more galling for him.

Last week I failed to recognise a fine PB for Eleni Francis an HCA Member who jumped 5.64m in the Long Jump, but her Coach at Whitehall Eugene Hechavarria quickly noted my oversite. This week, Eleni cleared 5.44m for sixth place and she again was superior to the 5.34m set by arch-rival and fellow HCA Member Delleah Belgrave.

Elsewhere, I notice that Tia Jackson has emerged for the new year with a 1.63m High Jump in Virginia, USA where she is currently studying, and then on 4th Feb she Long Jumped a massive 6.06m (at last over that 6m barrier) and ran a storming 200m of 25.82 secs in Pennsylvania.

Great rival to Tia when they were younger was Kia’aama Kofi who ran an excellent 200m at Lee Valley on 5th Feb and Joely Bytheway also ran a very good 400m in 61.68 secs at this meet.

Sarah Long ran 60m at Eton in 8.33 secs and U23 Evelyn Thompson ran 32.05 for 200m at Sheffield this past weekend.

This weekend we look forward to the British Senior Championships where all the stars will be on show. Well worth looking in to see the Country’s best in action.

Mike Strange

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