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UK Athletics

Combined eventers stoke-up the bests

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8 September 2007


Despite a chilling wintry wind, there were almost 30 event personal bests on the opening day of the Home Countries Combined Events International incorporating the UK Challenge at the Northwood Stadium, Stoke-on-Trent.


The standard was set from the opening event when, of the pre-event decathlon favourites, Kevin Sempers (England B) and UK Challenge leader Ed Dunford (Birchfield Harriers, guesting) improved their 100m lifetime bests to 10.86 and 10.95 seconds respectively and Ben Hazell (Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC, guesting) equalled his fastest ever of 11.20. By the end of the day, Dunford led with 3995 points (adding a 6.96m long jump, 14.21m shot, 1.99m high jump and 50.67 400m) from Sempers, second with 3867 points (6.91m, 11.83m, 1.99m, 50.48 seconds) and Hazell, third with 3783 (6.68m, 13.29m, 1.90m, 49.71 seconds) a fortnight after he went to the top of the Power of 10 rankings by scoring 7602 points in the Netherlands.


Under 20 Guy Stroud (England a) hung onto their coat tails helped by a PB of 1.84m in the high jump, an event that will long be remembered by Scotland’s Ben Kerr, who improved his PB by 5cm to 2.05mm.


And Under 17 David Guest (Wales) improved his long jump best to 6.75m for fifth place overall overnight.


Stroud placed fourth overnight with 3757 points (100m in 11.20, 6.80m long jump, 13.90m shot and 50.53 400m) with Guest fifth on 3668 (100m 11.30 windy, 12.59m shot, 1.90m high jump, 51.66 400m).


Then came … 6 Richard Reeks (England A) 3639; 7 Adam Akehurst (England A) 3478; 8 Patrick Halcrow (England B) 3476; 9 Ben Kerr (Scotland) 3432; 10 Joe Lancaster (England A, U20) 3416; 11 Matthew George (England B, U20) 3375; 12 Craig Baker (England B) 3327; 13 Ben Reynolds (Northern Ireland, U17) 3269; 14 Jack McShane (England A, U17) 3198; 15 Jack Andrew (England B, U17) 3152; 16 Robert Kite (England B, U20) 3116; 17 Josh Madden (Wales, U17) 3049; 18 Tom Fright (Northern Ireland, U20) 2938; 19 Nicholas Hobday (Scotland, U20) 2930; 20 Craig McEwan (Scotland, U20) 2890; 21 Neil Hutchinson (Scotland, U17) 2686.


The heptathlon leader overnight was Phyllis Agbo (England A), who scored 3296 points in the first four events (100m hurdles 13.81 windy, 1.60m high jump, 11.74m shot, 24.74 200m). UK Challenge high jump champion Julia Bennett (England A) was second with 2497 points (15.06 windy, 1.81m, 12.17m, 26.25) and Grace Clements (England A) third with 3216 (14.43 windy, 1.69m season’s best, 11.52m, 25.66).


Then came the leading Under 20, Meghan Beesley (England B) with 3134 points (14.09 windy, 1.60m, 9.07m, 24.19) followed by: 5 Leanne Buxton (England A) 3044; 6 Gemma Weetman (England B) 3007; 7 Amy Hill (England A, U20) 3005; 8 Caryl Granville (Wales, U20) 2837; 9 Anna Newton (England B, U20) 2795; 10 Kaneesha Johnson (England A, U17) 2713; 11 Eleanor Markendale (England A, U20) 2688; 12 Sarah Moore (England B, U17) 2600; 13 Kathryn Davies (Wales) 2597; 14 Emma Lowry (Scotland, U17) 2475; 15 Alex Elliott (Wales, U17) 2411; 16 Katie Hewitt (Northern Ireland, U20) 2158. Lauren O’Reilly (Wales, U17) retired after scoring 1721 points from the first three events.