Northern Indoor Championships
EIS Stadium, Sheffield – Saturday/Sunday 13th & 14th January 2018
Nine of Kingston’s under17 and 20’s and five senior athletes Journeyed to Sheffield’s English Institute of Sports Stadium for the first of the 2018 indoor championship meetings. Between them they brought home six medals, Andrew Morgan-Harrison in his first senior championship competition won the senior men’s 200 metre gold, Clare Blunt won her 4th consecutive pole vault silver and Megan Hoult took the bronze medal in the senior women’s 100 metres, missing the silver by one hundredth of a second. Adam Coles won two bronze medals in the under 20 men’s 60 metre hurdles and the long jump and Sam Croney was the bronze medallist in the under 17 men’s 60 metre hurdles.
2018 has seen Andrew Morgan-Harrison move up to the senior ranks for his first competitive year in the under 23’s. The former England under 20 international has an excellent record at the Northern Championship’s, he was the 200 metre champion in 2016 and the silver medallist in 2017. Over 60 metres he was the bronze medallist in both 2016 and 2017. He began his 2018 campaign in the 60 metre heats on the Saturday morning drawn in heat 1 he ran a new PB of 6.94 sec 3 hundredths of a second below his old time for 2nd place and a spot in the first of the semi finals where he took another 2nd place and shaved a further 7 hundredths off his best time to book a place in the final, where his run of 6.97 sec saw him take 6th place.
Sunday morning saw him in the heat’s of his stronger event the 200 metres, he was drawn in the 5th race where his run of 22.62 sec saw him win the race and progress to the second of the semi final races and he was once again the race winner shaving 0.27 of a second off the PB he set at the 2017 British Championships to post a new one of 21.54 sec. The 200 metres final saw him power to victory winning the gold medal with yet another new PB of 21.26 sec.
Heptathlete Clare Blunt has an excellent record in the pole vault at Northern Championship meetings both indoor and track & field. She collected her 4th consecutive indoor silver medal at this meeting, plus she is the reigning track & field champion and will be looking to defend that title this coming June at Sport City. Clare is also the reigning Yorkshire champion having won that title for five consecutive years from 2013 to 2017. She was in action on the first day of competition taking the silver medal with a clearance at 3.60 metres which was a season’s best performance.
Kingston’s two leading female sprinters Megan Hoult and first year under 23 Charlotte Paterson were in competition in Saturdays senior women’s 60 metres. They were both drawn in heat 2 where they qualified for the final, with Megan winning the heat in 7.79 sec and former England under 20 international Charlotte Paterson taking 2nd in 7.82 sec. The final of the 60 metres saw both women put in season’s best performances with Megan Hoult taking the bronze medal with her run of 7.71 sec and Charlotte Paterson 4th place with 7.76 sec. Megan was just one hundredth of a second behind the silver medallist Charlotte Orton of Birchfield Harriers and the race winner was Katy Wyper of Blackpool Wyre and Fylde who put in a great performance.
V40 athlete Lawrence Baird was in action in Sunday’s 400 metres competition, he was a member of the Great Britain 4 x 400 team who were the gold medallists at the 2015 World Masters Championships where they set a new world record of 3:17.82 sec. At this championship meeting he was drawn to run in heat 6 of the senior men’s 400 metres where his run of 51.89 sec for 3rd place won him a spot in the semi finals. He went in the second of the semi final races putting in a season’s best performance 51.82 sec, which was not enough to see him qualify for the final.
16 year old Adam Coles wasted no time in adding to his impressive medal collection from his under15 & under 17 career when contesting his first championship at under 20 level. He took bronze in his specialist event, the 60m hurdles, clocking a personal best time of 8.76 sec in a race won by the current UK number 1, Jason Nicholson (Gateshead Harriers) in an outstanding 7.90 sec. Adam’s time is fast enough to qualify for the England Athletics indoor championships to be held at the same venue next month. Adam returned to Sheffield the following day to pick up his second bronze medal of the weekend, this time in the long jump, with his best effort of a consistent series being 5.98m.
After an injury disrupted 2017 Sam Croney started his 2018 campaign in promising style, also taking bronze over 60m hurdles, this time in the under 17 age group. His time of 9.05 sec was a lifetime best for the Wolfreton School student but was a frustrating 0.05 sec away from the national entry standard so more work will be needed over the next couple of weeks in order for him to accompany training partner Coles to these prestigious championships.
Kingston’s third representative over 60m hurdles was Venus Morgan, returning to the venue where she collected a bronze medal at the Northern Indoor Combined Events Championships the previous weekend. Venus also ran a lifetime best of 9.03 sec but was narrowly squeezed out of the medals in a high quality under 20 women’s race. Such was the standard that she would have taken the silver medal in the senior women’s race, only Commonwealth Games – bound Alicia Barrett (Chesterfield) running faster. Venus also contested the long jump, placing 8th with a best jump of 5.19m, to complete a busy 10 days of competition for the 16 year old. She too has achieved the entry standard for the England Athletics Championships so will look to end her short indoor season on a high when returning to Sheffield next month.
Emily Dye produced her best championship performance when finishing 13th in the under 17 long jump in her first event in her new age group. The Humberside bronze medallist in 2017 produced a last round effort of 4.71m to start her 2018 campaign where she will be looking to top her 4.91m personal best set at the end of last season.
Another athlete making her first appearance as an under 17 was Gina de Lancey. This was also Gina’s debut in a Northern Championship but she made light of her lack of top class experience placing 8th in her 60m heat clocking a personal best of 8.72 sec.
David Morgan-Harrison made his 2018 competitive debut in the under 20 men’s 60 metres, the County 200 metre champion was drawn in the second heat where ran a new PB of 7.55 sec, taking 4 hundredths of a second off his old best but it wasn’t enough to get him into the semi finals.
Joshua Sampson made his second appearance of the new year in heat 3 of the under 20 men’s 60 metre competition. He too ran a new PB of 7.39 sec clipping 7 hundredths off his previous best but his time wasn’t enough to make the cut for the semi’s.
The County and County Schools 400 metre champion Robert Tweedale had his first competitive run out of 2018 in the under 20 men’s 400 metres. He was drawn in the first of the heat’s where he ran a season’s best time 52.51 sec but he too missed out on a place in the semi finals.
Brody Hinson ended 2017 as the number 1 ranked under 15’s 200 metre runner in Yorkshire and he also held the number 12 ranking in the UK. If he could perform to his potential at these championships he had a great chance of getting amongst the medals. He began in heat 5 of 60 metre heats on the Saturday morning where he finished in 7th place with a run of 7.65 sec and failed to qualify out of the heats, he had been having problems with a big toe which had hampered him. He decided to give it another go on the Sunday in the 200 metres and his run of 24.50 sec, a season’s best saw him take 3rd in heat 2 and qualify for the semi finals. However he was unable to compete in the semi’s because of severe discomfort with the toe injury. A visit to A & E showed that the toe was fractured and he will be laid up for the next 8 weeks.