Day two of the England Athletics Championships in Bedford was a day of championship records being broken and shock results as the competition finished for another year.
The first surprise result of the day saw Wales Schools and SIAB winner Ryan James beaten in the U17M 400mh by Bailey Stickings, who took almost half a second of his personal best to power over the last hurdle and over the finish line ahead of James.
More shocks followed, including U15G 800m bronze English Schools’ winner Saskia Millard, letting slip her commanding lead at 600m to hand victory to rival Tilly Simpson who gratefully accepted. And over in the field, Isobel Griffin-Morris scored a surprise victory with a huge personal best of 38.63 in the U15G discuss to top the podium and the Power of 10. What made her performance all the more impressive was her throw was an improvement of over seven metres on her previous best and took her 11 places up the rankings.
The sprints also had their fair share of surprises too with Sharhnee Skevin edging out her rivals, including English Schools’ winner Zoe Thompson, to take the U15G 200m title, and her older Notts club mate Charlotte McClennaghan being pipped on the line by Hannah Brier also in the 200m. McClennaghan holds both the English Schools and SIAB titles and was expected to add the national championship crown too.
One of the most exciting races of the day was the U17M 400m which saw a reversal of the English Schools’ result from July. On that day, Owen Richardson stormed to victory over Matthew Pagan. But this time Pagan had his revenge by leaving it very late to come through and take his second national title by the narrowest of margins in 49.20s from Richardson’s 49.22.
Elsewhere, other titles went to the formbook as both Ella and Alicia Barrett won the U17W 300m and 80mh races, with Alicia registering a new championship best performance of 10.87s although the 3.4m tailwind will render the mark illegal.
There were no such problems for Chenna Okah in the U15B 300m who smashed the previous best performance with a superb 35.58s or Ryan Gorman in the U17M 200m who retained his crown and helped himself to a new lifetime best of 21.51s both in wind legal marks. Joseph Massimo, who beat Okah in Birmingham earlier in the year at the English Schools over 300m, took the 200m title this time with a new championship best time of 22.19 although it was again aided by a +3.6m wind.
Lucy Jones also registered a new championship best performance in U17W steeplechase, and Daniel Rawden retained his status as the UK’s number one U17M 800m runner with a commanding win.
Jumpers Naomi Ogbetta added U17W national champion status to her English Schools’ title as did Patrick Sylla in the U17M, while Joel Leon-Benitez and Harry Hughes starred in the U17M pole vault and javelin respectively.
There were also a series of competitive race walks and wheelchair races throughout the day.
Earlier, the crowd had observed an immaculate minute’s silence for the late Trevor Marsay.
Josh Kerr, fresh from his victory in the U17M 1500m yesterday, bought the curtain down on this year’s championships with a sprint away from the field in the 3000m.