Super Seven in Sheffield

Report: Joe Frost -

England Athletics Indoor Nationals

There was an outstanding set of results for the Stockport Track & Field Training Group at the England Athletics National Indoor Championships in Sheffield last weekend, with our Athletes bringing back a total of seven National Medals.

Not only was this the best ever collective set of results for the Group, Athletes from the Group came away with more National medals than any other Club, let alone training group, in the UK, making Stockport Harriers the most successful Club competing in the National Championships.

Heptathlete Abi Pawlett led the medal charge against event specialist athletes just two weeks ahead of her main focus – the National Indoor Combined Events in March – taking the National Long Jump title with a best jump of 5.89m and a series of jumps of which all six were better than any other jump in the competition, and the National High Jump title with a PB jump of 1.76m to extend her lead at the top of the UK rankings in both events. Just minutes after taking the High Jump Title Abi also took Silver in the 60m Hurdles, missing out on the Gold to 2018 European Youth Finalist Lucy-Jane Matthews in a photofinish but setting a significant PB of 8.51 seconds in the process.

Jack Doodson set a lifetime best of 1.70m to finish 4th in Saturday’s Under 15 Boys High Jump Final but returned for the Long Jump on Sunday where, despite ranking 7th going into the competition, took the Silver medal with a second personal best of the weekend with 5.98m to set the tone for the day for the rest of the Group and missing out on the Gold to Reading AC’s Sammy Ball by just a single centimetre.

The Under 17 Women’s Triple Jump saw continued success for our Athletes and two medal-winning performances courtesy of a superb season’s best leap of 11.49m in the first round for Holly Aitchison and an excellent personal best of 11.46m and a confident and consistent series of jumps from Lucy Robinson to take the Bronze Medal in her first year in the age group, to follow on from a Long Jump Personal Best and similarly commanding series of jumps on Saturday to finish fifth with a best jump of 5.52m. Another Stockport Athlete who had a set of strong performances in that same Long Jump final was Grace Goodsell, whose best jump of 5.51m took sixth place and completed a trio of Stockport Athletes making the cut for the top eight spots. Alongside the long jump Grace, who returned to competition late in the summer of 2018 after surgery following a serious knee injury, also had an excellent weekend on the track, bettering her two year old 60m best in every round on her way to the final where her time of 7.79 was just a single hundredth of a second outside of the podium positions.

The seventh medal for the Group came for Holly Murray, exactly a year after joining the Group, and followed a confident and well judged series of runs to win her heat and final before taking the Bronze medal in a close and competitive Under 17 Women’s 200m final in a time of 25.38 behind Dartford’s Kaliyah Young and Solihull’s Madeleine Whapples. This was Holly’s first National medal of any kind in an individual race and was thoroughly deserved.

Katie Waterworth and Megan Lasseter competed in an exceptionally strong field of eighteen athletes in the Under 20 Women’s Long Jump. Katie’s jump of 5.61m finished ninth and missed the cut by an agonisingly close two centimetres while Megan’s jump of 5.23m took fifteenth place in her first Nationals as an Under 20. Megan returned on Sunday, competing in the triple jump where she finished 12th.

Emily Misantoni took on the specialist throwers in the Under 17 Women’s Shot, missing the cut by just a few centimetres and finishing ninth but producing a best throw of 11.31m, just outside her lifetime best set earlier this season – a performance that will score very well in the upcoming National Combined Events next month. In the Under 17 Women’s 60m Hurdles, Myah Booth ran a time of 9.47, narrowly missing qualification for the semi-finals. In the Under 17 Women’s High Jump, Lara Taylor jumped 1.50m, finishing in 18th.

Great performances came not just from our medal-winners but right through the Group, including from some of our younger Athletes who were making their debut both at this National Championships and at this level of competition. Charlotte Wilkinson was one of these Athletes and ran superbly in both the 60m and 200m, running a PB of 8.24 seconds to qualify for Saturday’s 60m Semi-Finals where she matched that time exactly before returning on Sunday and setting a huge personal best of 26.32 to qualify for the 200m Semis, more than 0.6 seconds off her previous best time.

Competing alongside Charlotte in the Under 15 Girls 60m Heats were three other Group Athletes, all making their debuts in this competition. Kate Horobin ran 8.57, Rebecca Leather 8.71 and Millie Everett 8.76, with all three gaining great experience that will stand them in good stead for the future, which will hopefully involve many more National Championships.

Rebecca Cox was another from the group making their debut at the England Athletics Championships and after struggling in Saturday’s High Jump bounced back very well to run a personal best of 10.17 seconds in the Under 15 Girls 60m Hurdles on Sunday, just one hundredth quicker than training partner Anya Dunne who also set a personal best with her time of 10.18 seconds in what was also her first time competing at the National Championships.

Moving up to the Under 17’s and Olivia Ashdown missed her 60m PB by a hundredth of a second before running very strongly in her main event, the 300m, eclipsing her indoor best by half a second and setting an outright lifetime best of 42.51 seconds to conclude an indoor season where she has steadily improved her performances week by week in the few months since joining the Group.

All in all it has been a superb weekend for the Group, with lots of success and positive learning experiences thanks to the hard work and effort of all of the Athletes over the winter, in circumstances that have often not been made easy, as well as all of our team of Coaches, Assistant Coaches, and the rest of our support team including Doug and the medical staff from Altius and the external Coaches who have supported us over the winter. Thanks must also go to the Parents, friends and family who travelled to Sheffield and provided every one of our Athletes with what was noticeably some of the best support from the stands across the whole weekend.

Recent News