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sheffield steal mccain win

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Tom Parsons
Parsons on form ahead of World Indoor trials

At a successful and highly energised opening match of the McCain City Challenge, at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield on Sunday 7 February, home team Sheffield Flames successfully began their quest towards a sixth series title.

The reigning champions secured a first match victory ahead of London North Lions in second and Manchester Warriors in third.

Highlights included:

The men's high jump produced some great performances. As Matt Roberts (Sheffield), Robbie Grabarz (North London) and Tom Parsons (Birmingham) made it over 2.21m, the competition heated up with all efforts working towards for the IAAF World Indoors qualifying height of 2.28m.

Jumping for life time bests, 2.24m was slightly beyond the reach of Roberts and Grabarz while Parsons looked in fine form, clearing the bar and recording a seasons best and win.

In the men's pole vault GB&NI World Championships athlete Luke Cutts (Sheffield), who finished second at last weekend's Aviva International Match in Glasgow, saw off his competitors reaching 5.30m before turning his attention to the World Indoors qualification standard height of 5.70m.

Despite his best efforts the Dearnside athlete failed three times at the height but is confident the jump will come: "Glasgow went well and it's good to win here but I'm desperately trying to get the qualifier. I'm just training between now and the weekend because I have competed alot over the past couple of weeks. I know I can get it."

McCain City Challenge regular Vicky Griffiths (Manchester) lined up in the women's 800m as firm favourite for the win but with one eye on returning athlete Karen Harewood, who holds fifth place on the British All Time Indoor records. Griffiths dominated the race in her usual style, looking strong and comfortable throughout, crossing the line in 2:07.47. 

Griffiths, who uses the McCain series to break up the winter season, said: "It's an enjoyable event, I don't like cross country so it breaks up my winter training nicely. I'm competing at the trials next weekend and then, depending on how that goes, the Grand Prix the weekend after." 

In a highly competitive women's shot Rebecca Peake (Sheffield) won the event with a throw nearly a metre further than her closest competitor. The GB&NI athlete, who is preparing for the World Indoor trials and UK Championships which will take place at the same venue in a week's time, said: "I've competed twice this season, steadily improving and I'm looking forward to the trials. 16.42 is OK but I'm hoping for more next week."

In a highly anticipated men's 60m hurdles Chris Baillie (Glasgow), Jack Meredith (Manchester) and Gianni Frankis (North London) lined up to contest the sprint. Baillie took the win, clocking 7.79 a seasons best and just outside his personal best. World Youth silver medallist Meredith recorded a personal best of 8 seconds flat,a great result for the seventeen year old who finished just behind Frankis.

Nadia Williams (London North) jumped a lift time best of 13.28m in the women's triple jump, another great performance from the Shaftesbury Barnet athlete who recently won the London Games and ended 2009 ranked second in the country.

Sally Scott (Newcastle) attempted a new under 20 british record height of 4.20m in the women's pole vault and although narrowly missing on three attempts, the performance was positive for the young athlete who trains with Steve Rippon, national event coach for pole vault. Henrietta Paxton (Birmingham) won the event with 4.20m.  

World Youth Champion Katarina Thompson had a consistent outing for the Manchester Warriers, recording a 6.09m win in the combined events long jump.

Zara Hohn (Sheffield) took a convincing victory in the 60m hurdles in 8.41, the Wakefield Harrier looking confident to the line.

For Full Results please download the document below - please be aware these results are currently provisional and subject to change.