It was a day of new championship bests on day two of the national age group championships in Bedford. The wind played its part, helping to propel the sprinters and hurdlers along the track in the morning. But by the afternoon, the blustery conditions were proving more of a hindrance than a help.
The first track action of the day was the 3k and 5k walks, with Christopher Snook and Veronica Burke winning their events convincingly. But, as it was on day one, it was the sprinters that caught the eye. In the U15 boys 200m, the three 100m medallists all qualified quickest and claimed the 1-2-3 again. Only this time, Kesi Oludoyi, who got bronze in the 100m, won the race by the narrowest of margins over Scotland sprint sensation Michael Olsen in 22.62, which put him top of the rankings for the UK. However, he collapsed on the ground after his race and emerged in a wheelchair to receive his medal and it was later revealed he has a possibly serious hamstring problem. 100m gold medallist Camron Lyttle took the bronze. In the U17 men’s race, Tom Somers, who is ranked second on the all- time UK list, won the 200m, with English Schools’ winner Ryan Gorman coming home in second.
There was double celebration for Shannon Hylton in the ladies U17 200m as she followed up her 100m victory with the 200m title. And sister Cheriece took the 300m crown, in a new championship record of 37.91secs. Earlier in the day Alicia Barrett recorded a new championship best and UK best time of 11.01 in the U17 80m hurdles. Both marks were wind-legal. In the younger age-group, Scotland’s Alisha Rees impressively completed the sprint double by adding the 200m title to the 100m title she won on day one.
Other championship bests were gained by Morgan Lake in the triple jump, who won three golds in total over the weekend, Stephanie Broomhead in the U15 pole-vault, Ireland’s Michaela Walsh in the U15 shot and Catrina Walsh in the U17 1500m steeplechase.
Elsewhere on the track, Jack Crabtree grabbed a double victory in the U17 1500m and 3000m, Joseph Milton followed up his English Schools’ 300m win in the U15s with the national title and Ben Robbins emerged victorious in the U17 men’s 400m, despite a late surge from Kim Sobotobie and Matthew Pagan, who helped themselves to the silver and bronze medals respectively. And in the U17 men’s 800m, a brave run from the front saw Bradley Yates lose out on gold to Spencer Thomas.
A series of entertaining races from the wheelchair races saw athletes compete in the 100m, 400m and 1500m. Amazingly, Kare Adnegan, a 12-year old athlete in her first season, won the short sprints with world-class times and is someone to look out for in the future.
Birchfield Harriers, with a team including GB International Matthew Hudson-Smith in its ranks, won the inaugural U20 men’s 4x 100m relay, followed by Rugby and Northampton and Shaftesbury Barnet. Team Bath won the ladies race.
This year’s championships, despite being so late on in the season, received a record number of entries, with over 1000-teenage athletes competing. With a host of new records and personal bests to show for their efforts, it certainly appeared to be a wise choice for those athletes who made the journey to Bedford.