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UK Athletics

‘Fantastic’ vaulting at Sportcity

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Vault Manchester II, supported by the UK Athletics Event Management Group for Jumps as part of the governing body’s policy of encouraging competitions designed to raise standards in every age group on the way to London 2012, hit the high notes at Manchester’s Sportcity on Saturday 10 March.


Commonwealth bronze medallist Steve Lewis was so enthused by performing to music on a day when 18 vaulters set lifetime bests that he said: “The competition was fantastic! They had a DJ and three pits in almost continual use. It could be one of the best meets in the country next year if it gets the sponsorship it deserves.”


The fact that Lewis was so enthusiastic despite being defeated by 22-year-old Charles Andureu (France) speaks volumes for the success of the concept of meeting organiser Dave Allister, who attracted a sprinkling of competitors from mainland Europe as well as from all over the UK for this second annual event specific meeting.


A week after improving her PB to 4.40m at the European Indoor Championships, Kate Dennison won the senior women’s event with a 4.15m clearance ahead of a PB 3.97m by combined eventer Fiona Harrison.


And one of the teenagers who travelled from the South West of England went home happy in the knowledge that he had soared to the top of the Power of 10 rankings, devised by UK Athletics and its governing partners to inspire improved standards in every event in every age group in every region.


Under 15 Tom Gibson went over 4.02m, a 22cm personal improvement and only 3cm shy of the UK all-time best in this age group, which has been achieved over the years by three vaulters: Christian Linskey (Barnsley AC) in 1994, Richard Smith (Peterborough AC) in 1995 and Tony Hillier (Bristol and West AC) in 2005.


Leaders in the age groups…


Men pole vault: 1 Charles Andureu (France) 5.37; 2 Steve Lewis (Newham and Essex Beagles) 5.22; 3 Luke Cutts (Dearneside AC, Under 20) 5.22.


Under 20 men: 1 Nick Cruchley (Halesowen C&AC) 4.62; 2 Michel Guillaume (France) 4.52; 3 Laurent Van Hees (Belgium) 4.52.


Under 17 men: 1 Douglas Curwen-Reed (Wessex and Bath AC) 4.37.


Under 15 boys: 1 Tom Gibson (Bristol and West AC) 4.02.


Women: 1 Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester) 4.15; 2 Fiona Harrison (Trafford AC) 3.97; 3 Chloe Mourand (France) 3.87.


Under 20 women: 1 Holly Savage (Bristol and West AC) 2.82.


Under 17 women: 1 Sophie Upton (Wessex and Bath AC) 3.67.