The UK Athletics Indoor Championships are being held this weekend at the Utilita Arena in Birmingham. While it promises to be an exciting weekend with the likes of Pozzi, Giles, Scott, Hodgkinson and Reekie competing for British titles, it is also set up to be a big weekend for Bristol & West AC, with no fewer than six athletes on the start lists.
First up on Saturday we have two athletes in the 400m, with Mark Cottam and Alex Daley taking to the start line from 13:20. Mark comes into the weekend off the back of racing for Wales at the DNA meet in Glasgow, and is freshly armed with a new indoor 400m PB of 48.52s, ran in Sheffield at the end of January. Mark went on to match that time in Birmingham last week, sowing the seed that there may be more to come. Not to be outdone, Alex returned to indoor competition at the start of February, running a new indoor PB of 48.15s, which is all the more impressive for being just 0.09s outside his outdoor PB. The semi finals are scheduled for 17:40 on Saturday, with the finals at 15:56 on Sunday.
Up next we have Jenna Blundell in the 60m Hurdles, with the heats at 13:50 on Saturday. Jenna goes into the championships off a busy start to the year, racing in Manchester, Loughborough (twice) and at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Mondeville, France, all in a three week period. The winter training is clearly reaping its rewards though, lowering her PB no fewer than four times over that period, with her 8.21s clocking at the World Athletics Indoor Tour meet in Manchester leaving her ranked 5th in the country this year - and is a new club record! The finals are scheduled for 15:40 on Sunday.
At 14:13 on Saturday, Esther Leong will begin her competition in the Pole Vault. Esther cleared a height of 3.80m at the British University Championships last weekend in Sheffield, the highest height she’s ever cleared indoors, and just 10cm off her outdoor PB.
Closing out the club action on Saturday, T46 para athlete Simran Kaur races in the 60m at 15:20. Simran comes into the championships on the back of a double outing last weekend, winning the British Universities (BUCS) title for Nottingham Uni on Saturday in 8.74s, just 0.05s outside her SB, before appearing on the BBC at the Muller Indoor Grand Prix on Saturday.
On Sunday, higher claim athlete Jake Burkey will take off down the Long Jump runway from 11:40 as he makes his UK champs debut. Jake competes in the championships after a successful February, leaping to a new PB of 7.50m at BUCS last weekend while leading the University of Birmingham to their most successful BUCS indoors ever.
Good luck to all our athletes competing this weekend!
The championships will be broadcast live on the BBC on their website, red button and iPlayer.