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weekend update 

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3rd May 2016


Drake Relays, Des Moines, USA, 29th April- 1st May

Lining up against a world class field, Meghan Beesley (coach: Nick Dakin) produced the performance of the weekend by a British athlete winning the women’s 400m hurdles in 55.43.  In a career best win to date, Beesley finished ahead of 2013 world silver medallist Dalilah Muhammad (USA), 55.45, World bronze medallist Cassandra Tate (USA), who was third in 55.91, and Jamiaca's 2006 world junior champion Kaliese Spencer who finished fourth in 56.39.

Payton Jordan Invitational, California, 1st May

Andrew Butchart (Derek Easton) moved to third on the Scottish all-time list for 5000m as he clocked 13.18.96, inside the British Athletics qualifying time for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. Finishing second in a high quality race held in perfect conditions, the Central AC man ran a storming last lap to come within a second of breaking the long standing Scottish record.

In the women’s race Laura Whittle produced the best run of her career at the age of 30, taking more than 12 seconds off her 5000m personal best to go well inside the Rio standard with a 15.08.58 clocking. Just one place further back in fifth was her compatriot Eilish McColgan (Liz McColgan-Nuttall), who after an almost two year absence from the track took an incredible 35 seconds off her personal best, also running an Olympic qualifier of 15.09.04.

Further back Beth Potter (Mick Woods) backed up her Olympic 10,000m qualifying time with an eight second personal best of 15.28.32, inside the European Championship qualifying standard. Kate Avery (Tony Simmons) followed less than a second later, with Calli Thackery (Joe Franklin), sixth at last summer’s European U23 Championships, also running a personal best of 15.37.44.

In the 10,000m, Ross Millington (Steve Vernon) ran an impressive 28.38.88 debut, with Luke Caldwell (Nic Bideau) running 28.45.82 a few places further back. In the women’s equivalent European U23 10,000m bronze medallist Alice Wright (David Walker) took 10 seconds off her personal best with a 32.36.11 run, but astonishingly that time was only good enough for 26th place.

Making her 3000m steeplechase debut, Rosie Clarke (David Harmer) ran an impressive 9.54.82, just less than 10 seconds outside the Olympic qualifying mark, to go top of the Power of 10. In the men’s equivalent there was also a ranking topping personal best for Rob Mullett (David Leach), whose 8.30.63 run was less than a second outside the Rio mark.

In the middle distance events, Guy Learmonth (Rob Denmark) opened his outdoor season with a 1.47.08 clocking for third, whilst Oliver Aitchinson led a trio of 3.42 performances in the 1500m. Aitchinson snatched second in the B race, with Josh Kerr (Joe Franklin) fourth in 3.42.39 and Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas) eighth in 3.42.70.

Meeting Internazionale "Graziano Della Valle", Pavia, 1st May

Richard Yates (Stephen Ball) and Tom Burton (Nick Dakin) were separated by just two hundredths of a second as they went 1-2 in the men’s 400mH. Yates stopped the clock at 50.89, marginally ahead of Burton, putting the duo third and fourth on the Power of 10 rankings.

BUCS Championships, Bedford, 30th April – 2nd May

Lucy Hatton (Jerzy Maciukiewicz) lowered her own 100mH Championship Best Performance (CBP) as she took an easy 13.21 (+1.2) victory in less than ideal conditions. There was an equally dominant performance in the men’s race as Loughborough University’s David Omoregie (Benke Blomkvist) won in 13.74 (+1.3).

In the sprints, Chijindu Ujah was another impressive winner in the 100m, although his quickest time came in the semi-finals where he clocked 10.17 (+0.9). It was a similar story in the women’s 200m where Laviai Nielsen (Frank Adams) took the title, having clocked 23.85 (+0.9) in her heat.

In the women’s middle distance events, Mhairi Hendry (Andy Young) and Jess Judd (George Gandy) were both convincing winners in the 800m and 1500m respectively, with times of 2.05.02 and 4.20.23.

In the women’s 400mH, Jessica Turner (Dakin) broke Eilidh Child’s CBP with a 57.50 winning performance. Her Loughborough teammate Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) also looked good when winning the 800m in 1.48.04, despite the strong wind.

In the field, Adele Nicoll (Vladimir Zinchenko) was the star performer, breaking the 15 year old CBP to win the shot put. Her 16.08m performance was also a new personal best.

In the Invitational 100m Wheelchair Race Hannah Cockroft (Jenni Banks) produced a record breaking 17.81 for victory.

In the Men's 100m Rhys Jones (Christian Malcolm) came home in 12.42 (T37), with Zac Shaw (Joseph McDonnell) clocking 11.50 (T13).  Jennifer McLoughlin (Keith Antoine) clocked 14.71 (T37) in the women's equivalent, with Erin McBride (Robert Roberts) finishing in 13.66 (T13).

NTC/Pure Athletics Spring Invitational, Florida, 30th April

James Ellington (Linford Christie) ran a brilliant personal best of 20.31 (+1.2), which is inside the 20.50 Olympic qualifying standard, to finish second in the men’s 200m.

Ellington, alongside Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist), also ran the Olympic qualifying standard in the 100m, with both clocking 10.15 (+1.6).

Christine Ohuruogu (Christine Bowmaker) also got her season underway with an outing over 200m, finishing fifth in 23.74.

Steve Scott Invitational, California, 29-30th April

Sally Peake (Scott Simpson) took victory in the women’s pole vault with a best of 4.31m, 9cm shy of her season’s best set last week. In the women’s discus Jade Lally (Andrew Neal) was second with a throw of 59.59m, whilst in the men’s equivalent Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) finished eighth with a best throw of 58.88m.

Multistars, Florence, 29-30th April

After a strong first day of competition which put him second overnight with 4017 points, Ashley Bryant (Aston Moore) did not finish after suffering a minor injury in the long jump, but still had some positives to take away. In his first decathlon for almost two years, Bryant set a high jump personal best of 2.01m, also putting in solid performance in the long jump. After his recent personal best, Ben Gregory (Moore) also failed to finish.


Hoka Highland Fling, 30th April

Race favourites Joe Symonds and American Devon Yanko both dropped out from the race with injury, leaving the best of the 750 plus runners battling it out for podium positions.

From the gun, a core group of Donnie Campbell, Damian Hall, Kim Collison and Robbie Britton led the 53-mile race , which starts in Milngavie and follows the West Highland Way to the finish line in Tyndrum.

Donnie Campbell from Edinburgh went on to win the race, breaking the previous course record by 11 minutes to finish in 6:51:06

This was Campbell’s sixth Hoka Highland Fling finish. "My training had gone well and my plan was to go with the pace with the lead group for as long as possible. I was feeling good and put in an effort approaching Beinlgas at 40 miles. I'm delighted it came together on the day”

Although with vast experience in ultra-distance running, Damian Hall was a relative outsider in the race preview rankings. He was second home in a very impressive time of 6:54:16. 

Kim Collison the 2014 UK Ultra Trail Champion, joined them on the podium with 7:00:35.  All three were inside the previous course record 0f 7:02 set by Lee Kemp in 2012.

Followed by Robbie Britton, Eoin Lennon and Jez Bragg with 7:08, 7:27 and 7:38.

In the ladies’ race, Beth Pascall smashed the previous record (8:10) which has stood unchallenged since 2008 to finish in 7:52:55. 

Sally Fawcett led the ladies’ race from the start, with Pascall never too far behind.  Pascall caught Fawcett around Loch Lomondside and the pair ran together for a while, before Pascall made her break and stormed through the second half.

This adds to Pascall’s repertoire of phenomenal race performances including Dragon’s Back, Lakeland 100, The Spine and Spine Challenger. She has recently been selected to represent the GB team at the European 24 hour championships in France last this year.

Pascall commented:  I only decided to have a go at the Fling about a month ago and came up recently to recce the course over two days.  Sally certainly went off fast, but I just held back and ran my own race. 

Sally Fawcett (Dean Park/Montane) and Sophie Grant (Serpentine) completed the podium with a close 8:14:16 and 8:15:04, respectively.   Hot on their heels was Lizzie Wraith (Bath AC) in 8:18:43. Followed by Garscube Harriers’ athletes Nicola Adam-Hendry and Debbie Martin-Consani, The top 11 women finished in under 9 hours, in times that would have won the race in previous years.

The top three men and women have put themselves in contention for selection for the GB team for the IAU World Trail Championships in Portugal in October

Scottish National Trail Championship 2016 medals were awarded to…

Eoin Lennon (Carnethy), Donald McParlin (Garscube) and John Connolly  And Nicola Adam-Henry (Garscube Harriers), Debbie Martin-Consani (Garscube Harriers/Centurion) and Morgan Windram-Geddes (Fife AC)

SAL masters: Neil MacNicol (Beacon Runners), Emilio Cosimo (Springburn Harriers) Mark Caldwell (Ayr Seaforth.  Ladies masters: Debbie Martin-Consani (Garscube Harriers) Lorna McMillen and Michelle Hetherington (Helensburgh)

 www.highlandflingrace.org