Two of the UK’s youngest top ranking athletes, Steve Lewis (Newham and Essex Beagles) and Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield AC) leapt into sparkling new year action at the Loughborough Indoor Meeting on Saturday 13 January.
Lewis, the 20-year-old Commonwealth bronze medallist, added 1cm to his pole vault best by clearing 5.51m at the UK Athletics East Midlands Performance Centre that is his training base while he studies at Loughborough University.
Ennis, the European Junior heptathlon champion and Commonwealth bronze medallist who celebrates her 21st in a fortnight’s time, cleared 1.90m in the high jump, only 1cm shy of her PB achieved last year, and lowered her 60m hurdles best to 8.24 seconds, five-hundredths quicker than her previous PB.
Sara McGreavy (Sale Harriers Manchester) matched her time in the second series of 60m hurdles races after suffering a dnf in the opening series.
In other events…
400m star Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers / Loughborough Students) won a 60m heat in 7.24.
Long jump ace Nathan Morgan clocked 6.98 for second place in the quickest 60m heat, a hundredth of a second behind his Birchfield club mate Jermaine Downie. Yusuf Rabah (Newham and Essex Beagles) also clocked 6.97, defeating young decathlete Oliver McNeillis (Birchfield) by two-hundredths of a second.
Sprint hurdler William Sharman (Belgrave Harriers / Loughborough Students) won his opening flat 60m in 7.00 – and repeated the time in the second series of sprints in taking third place behind Downie and Yusuf, who both clocked 6.91.
In the 60m hurdles, Sharman clocked 8.05 in the first series but was out-dipped for victory by Duncan Malins (Newham / Loughborough Students), who registered the same time. Sharman made no mistake in the second series, powering home in 7.94.
In Women events …
Kate Dennison (Sale), the only pole vaulter to compete, eased over 4.20m, junior Eden Francis (Leicester Coritanian) won the senior shot with 14.67m, Amy Harris (Birchfield) long jumped 5.98m and won a 60m in 7.58 seconds.
Finally, at the NIAC at Cardiff, Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) won the Welsh Open Indoor 60m Championships in 6.63 - well inside the elite qualifying standard for the European Indoor Championships. It was Pickering's second PB in a week, having recorded 6.68 in Cardiff the previous weekend to better last seasons fastest mark of 6.71.