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UK Athletics

Weekend track and field highlights

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High winds played havoc with performances at many of the county championships around England and Wales on Saturday and Sunday 12 and 13 May. But there were some noteworthy performances – in the UK and USA…


100m: Less than 48 hours after hurdling at the IAAF Doha Super Grand Prix in Qatar, Andy Turner (Sale Harriers Manchester) raced into torrential rain driven by wind measured at up to –7 metres per second in the heats at Derby’s Moorways Stadium. But he persevered and got his reward in the final. He reports: “It was good. The rain was terrible and the track flooded but I got the Championships Best in 10.5. So I’m pretty pleased with that.”


200m: Rabah Yusef (Newham and Essex Beagles) won the North East Senior Men’s title in 21.11 seconds a week after winning the BAL Premiership 400m in 46.88.


400m: Daniel Caines (Birchfield Harriers) went to the top of this summer’s Power of 10 rankings by clocking 45.99 seconds for second place at the Georgia Tech Invitational in the USA. Back home, Nigel Levine (Bedford and County AC) powered through driving rain and high winds at Sandy to clock 47.6 seconds, equalling the time with which he heads the Power of 10 Under 20 Men’s rankings for this season. What he needs now is kinder weather on his home Bedford track on 23-24 June so that he can dip under the European Juniors qualifying guideline of 47.25.


1500m: Tom Lancashire (Bolton United Harriers) won in 3:43.39 at the Georgia Tech Invitational. New BUSA Champion Linzi Snow (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), who is 20 next month, broke the Essex Championships Best that is two years older than her. It was held by Anne Reason, who clocked 4:22.8 in 1985. But Snow lowered it to 4:20.09, a PB by 4 seconds. Charlotte Browning (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC) continued her pursuit of the form that earned her a place on Dame Kelly Holmes’ initial On Camp squad by winning the NCAA Mountain West Conference Championship in San Diego in 4:24.16, within 2 seconds of her lifetime best. Her next target will be the NCAA West Regional Championships in a fortnight’s time, when she will aim to qualifying for the NCAA Championships. Snow and Browning are likely to meet at Bedford on 23-24 June at the trials for the European Under 23 Championships to be staged in Debrecen, Hungary, on 26 June to 2 July. The qualifying time is 4:13.00.


2000m steeplechase: In circumstances totally opposite to the heated atmosphere in which she finished an heroic 15th in the Senior Women’s 8km at this year’s IAAF World Cross Country Championships in Kenya, Hatti Dean (Hallamshire Harriers Sheffield) was the only entrant for her event at the Yorkshire Championships at Barnsley – and clocked 6:30.8, a PB by more than 14 seconds that puts her top of the Power of 10 rankings for this year.


100m hurdles: Hannah Francis-Smith (Leeds City AC) beat a head wind of 0.7 metres per second at Barnsley to lower her PB to 14.3 seconds as she aims for the European Juniors qualifying time of 13.80. The heptathlete also long jumped a PB of 5.67m in the worst of the rain.


Pole vault: Two Championships Bests at the North East Championships at Gateshead International Stadium … Mark Christie (Sale Harriers Manchester) added 15cm to the Senior Men’s CBP of 5.00m he set in 2005. Sally Scott (Gateshead Harriers), who made her Norwich Union Great Britain and Northern Ireland debut at the Jumps International at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre during the winter, increased her Under 17 Women’s CBP from 3.30m to 3.71m.


Long jump: After spending more than a year on the side-lines following an anterior cruciate knee ligament reconstruction, athletics’ equivalent of football striker Michael Owen Andrew Staniland (Sale Harriers Manchester) made a tentative return to action in the wind and rain of the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Championships. Under instructions from UK Event Coach Terry Lomax to restrict his run-up to 12 strides, he went over 7 metres all four times but nicked the plasticine each time to register a full set of no jumps. Undeterred, the 20-year-old is now looking forward to the Loughborough International next weekend. Another Junior, Andrew Jones (Shrewsbury AC) set two Shropshire CBPs: 7.35m in the long jump (the previous best was 6.66m) and 10.9 seconds in the 100m.


Shot: First-year Under 23 Jamie Williamson (City of Sheffield AC) won the Yorkshire senior title at Barnsley with 17.48m, a massive improvement on his 16.19m at last weekend’s British League Premiership and within 2cm of the lifetime best he achieved at this year’s Northern Indoor Championships. The qualifying mark for the European Under 23s in Debrecen, Hungary, is 18.70m. A week after setting a new UK Under 23 heptathlon record – and going to the top of the world rankings – Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield AC) went to Barnsley on Sunday planning to do a run, jump and throw on the way to the Loughborough International. She put the shot 12.70m, within 2cm of her lifetime best, then decided not to battle the elements any more. Under 17 Men’s rankings leader Michael Wheeler (Herne Hill Harriers) equalled his lifetime best of 18.20m at the Surrey Championships at Kingston.


Discus: Felice Miele (Enfield and Haringey AC) went over 50m in the Middlesex Championships – another milestone on the way back from two severe calf tears that left him on crutches for weeks and forced him out of action for eight months.


Hammer: Simon Bown (Newham and Essex Beagles) won the Essex senior men’s title with 67.05m to continue his record of improving in every competition this year. The Williamsons excelled at the Kent Championships: first-year Under 23 Amir registered a PB of 61.50m; Under 20 Alistair spun the 6kg implement out to 63.49m. The continuing influence of Lorraine Shaw was evident at the Gloucestershire Championships: current UK No.1 Zoe Derham (Birchfield Harriers) threw 65.25m and Carys Parry (Rhondda Harriers) 61.40m. Laura Douglas (Sale Harriers Manchester) reached 60.23m to take the North Wales title at Deesside. Under 15 Gabby McNally (Abbey AC) threw the 3.25kg hammer 46.43m at a schools event in Antrim, Northern Ireland – a UK age group best overtaking the 45.15m achieved by Anna Johnson in Yorkshire in 2002.


Many thanks to all contributors. If you are aware of any highlights that deserve to be added to this article this weekend, please email the details to UK Athletics Communications Officer Trevor Frecknall at tfrecknall@hotmail.com