2017 England Athletics Indoor Championships
Under 15’s – Under 17’s & Under 20’s
EIS Stadium, Sheffield – Saturday 25th & Sunday 26th February
Seven Kingston athletes competed at the England indoor Championship meeting for under 15’s, under 17’s and under 20’s which was staged at the English Institute of Sports Stadium in Sheffield over the weekend of the 25th and 26th of February.
Libby Wheeler’s short but extremely successful indoor season came to an end when the 16 year old Cottingham High School pupil collected her first ever England Athletics medal when placing third in an extremely competitive under 17 women’s triple jump. Such was the standard that the winner, Eloise Harvey (Dartford AC) broke the British age group record set back in 2001 by 1cm with a jump of 12.02m – better than the winner of the under 20 event at the same championships. Libby, the reigning Northern indoor champion who also took bronze at last year’s English Schools Championships put together a solid series of jumps with her best of 11.41m holding a medal spot for most of the competition. Also an outstanding long jumper Libby chose not to double up in Sheffield and her decision to focus on her main event paid off handsomely. After coming into the sport as a 10 year old through the Hull Daily Mail “Hotshots” programme she has progressed steadily, competing in sprints, hurdles and javelin in addition to her favourite discipline, the horizontal jumps, and has over the last 18 months really come to prominence at both regional and national level. Always a conscientious worker in training Libby is now starting to reap the rewards for her hard work to which she will now return before commencing her outdoor campaign in the spring.
Combined events specialist Venus Morgan started her weekend off with an outstanding personal best of 8.04 sec in the 60m sprint, narrowly missing out on a semi-final spot and beating a number of specialist sprinters in the process. The following day she returned to Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport arena to contest her favourite indoor event, the 60m hurdles. This proved even more successful with 2nd places in both heat and semi-final taking her through to the final where she placed 7th behind Surrey’s Pippa Early who only the previous weekend set a new British under 17 record for the event. Such was Venus’s consistency that all 3 of her times beat her previous best with her new lifetime best now standing at 8.92 sec. Venus will now spend the next 2 weeks preparing for another trip to the South Yorkshire venue where she will contest the England Athletics & North of England pentathlon championships before her focus will also switch to the forthcoming outdoor season.
Kingston’s youngest competitor at this year’s national championships was 13 year old Alanah Thoresby. The rapidly improving high jumper was making her debut at this level of competition but despite her lack of experience she produced an excellent performance to finish 8th with a clearance of 1.45m, only 5cm behind her best, set recently at the same venue. Alanah will be determined to build on her winter’s successes and as a promising all-round athlete will be looking at improvements both on the track and on the field throughout the 2017 outdoor campaign.
Hurdler Adam Coles was another to end his indoor campaign for the year at these championships. The Northern bronze medallist over 60m hurdles was disappointed with his performance which saw him finish 5th in his heat with a time of 8.74 sec. Although this was only 0.09sec outside his lifetime best his recent training has been going so well that he had ambitions of beating this this time but a poor first hurdle left him chasing a strong field for the remainder of the race. Despite this he was within 0.19 sec of qualifying for the final so will now switch his attention to the 100m hurdles outdoors for his final season in the under 17 age group.
David Morgan-Harrison is another athlete who is competing in his final season in the under 17 age category he is a sprinter and he has been working hard on his strength and fitness throughout the winter he certainly looks stronger and he has performed well at several indoor meetings in the last few months with the highlight being a first semi final appearance at this January’s Northern Championships. This meeting marked his debut appearance at the National Championships where he was in competition in Saturdays 60 metre sprints which saw him drawn in the fourth of the 6 heats where he ran a new PB of 7.59 sec taking 7 hundredths of a second off his previous best.
Older brother Andrew Morgan-Harrison was in action on both days of the championships beginning his campaign in Saturday’s 60 metres sprints in heat 4 where he ran a new PB of 6.97 sec going under the 7 seconds mark for the first time clipping 0.06 of a second off his previous mark. In the second of the semi final races he ran another good time of 7.00 sec but just missed out on qualification for the final.
Sunday saw Andrew back on the track for the 200 metres competition where he took 2nd place in heat 3 running a time of 22.03 sec and gaining safe passage into the semi finals he was drawn in the first of the semi’s and his run of 21.88 sec saw him finish in 3rd and book his place in the final. A run of 21.96 sec his second sub 22 run of the day brought him a 4th place finish in the National final an outstanding performance from an outstanding athlete.
High Jumper Hollie Smith was in a field of sixteen athletes who were involved in a closely contested high jump final she was the bronze medallist at least years England indoor championships and this January saw her win the Northern title at the EIS stadium. She put in a good effort and her best jump in the final saw her go clear at a height of 1.69 metres but it was not to be Hollie’s day and she had to settle for 5th place just 4 centimetres short of the bronze medal position.