UK Athletics have named a Combined Events National Squad of 32 – headed by Commonwealth Champions Dean Macey and Kelly Sotherton and including top Under 20s, Under 17s and Under 15s – for this winter.
The athletes, who will be invited to special coaching weekends, are:
Senior Men – Louis Evling-Jones (Belgrave Harriers), who won the Norwich Union AAA Indoor heptathlon title this year; Ben Hazell (Basingstoke and Mid Hants AC), the UK No.2 decathlete who led the Norwich Union GB team at this summer’s European Cup of Combined Events in Yalta, Ukraine, and Four Nations Match in Berne, Switzerland; Dean Macey (Harrow AC), the reigning Commonwealth Champion who has overcome a catalogue of injuries to finish fourth in the decathlons at the last two Olympic Games; Kevin Sempers (Belgrave Harriers), who twice exceeded 7000 points this summer and helped Norwich Union GB Men establish themselves in the second tier of the European Cup of Combined Events; Dean Showler-Davis (Winchester AC), the latest Under 23 to win the AAA decathlon title and go on to compete successfully for Norwich Union GB.
Senior Women – Phyllis Agbo (Thames Valley Harriers), who has progressed through the age groups so well that she achieved a personal best to help Norwich Union GB win the annual international in Berne, Switzerland, this summer; Jessica Ennis (City of Sheffield AC), the European Junior Champion who made a magnificent start to her senior career this year by winning the Commonwealth Bronze medal, leading the Norwich Union Great Britain Women’s team to their best ever position in the European Cup of Combined Events Super League and improving her personal best yet again at the European Championships in Gothenburg; Ros Gonse (Bedford and County AC), Louise Hazel (Peterborough AC), who made huge strides forward this summer to earn a place in the Norwich Union GB Team at the European Championships; Julie Hollman (Belgrave Harriers), ranked No.3 currently among UK heptathletes and this summer’s UK Challenge long jump champion; Katia Lannon (Sale Harriers Manchester), who established herself in the Norwich Union GB Under 23 Team indoors and out this year; and Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers), the 2004 Olympic heptathlon bronze medallist who won the Commonwealth title this year and currently heads the UK rankings.
Under 20 Men – Daniel Awde (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies), who broke through to the highest international class this summer by earning a place in the Norwich Union GB Team at the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing and then returned home to add the English Schools’ Under 19 decathlon title to the AAA Junior Championship he won earlier; Ricardo Beckford (London Heathside AC), the South of England Junior decathlon champion and AAA Indoors heptathlon bronze medallist; Neil Crossley (Cheltenham and District Harriers), English Schools Under 19 decathlon silver medallist; Andy Kinnear (Fife AC), the Scottish Indoor Under 20 heptathlon champion who finished third in the South of England Under 20 decathlon this summer; Will Lambourne (Marshall Milton Keynes AC), last year’s AAA Under 17 octathlon champion who has continued to improve this summer; Joe Lancaster (Sale Harriers Manchester), the reigning AAA Under 20 Indoor heptathlon champion; and Guy Stroud (Exeter Harriers), the AAA Under 20 decathlon silver medallist who improved his personal best when competing for Norwich Union GB at the Four Nations Match in Berne.
Under 20 Women – Dominique Blaize (Kingston and Poly AC), winner of the Under 20 heptathlon at the Four Nations Match in Berne – a performance that earned her a place at the World Junior Championships in Beijing; Amy Hill (City of Sheffield AC), another of the victorious Norwich Union GB Junior Women’s Team in Berne who went on to take the heptathlon silver medal at the English Schools Championships in Derby; Jenny Lumley (Leeds City AC), another of the victorious Norwich Union GB Junior Women’s Team in Berne who went on to take the heptathlon bronze medal at the English Schools Championships in Derby; Jade Surman (Birchfield Harriers), who won the long jump at this summer’s ISF World Olympiade for Under 18s in Thessaloniki, Greece, and went on to finish 6th in the World Junior Championships heptathlon; and Gemma Weetman (Oswestry Olympians Triathlon and AC), the current UK No.3 in the age group who won the English Schools Under 19 heptathlon title at the end of this season, in which she has broken into the Norwich Union GB Team.
Under 17 Men – Ashley Bryant (Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow AC), who went top of the season’s octathlon rankings when he won the English Schools title at Derby last month; Daniel Gardiner (Leeds City AC), the AAA Under 17 octathlon champion and English Schools silver medallist; Ben Gibb (Yeovil Olympiads), English Schools octathlon bronze medallist and South of England champion; and Jason Harvey (Lagan Valley), Northern Ireland’s top all-rounder who high jumped 2.00m at the British Schools International at Grangemouth.
Under 17 Women – Meghan Beesley (Tamworth AC), the UK Under 17 300m hurdles record holder who won the English Schools Under 17 heptathlon title in a summer in which she also triumphed over 300m hurdles at the Sainsbury’s English Schools, AAA Championships and UK School Games; Chelsea Cooper (City of Stoke AC), the AAA Under 17 heptathlon champion; and Hannah Francis-Smithson (Leeds City AC), English Schools Under 17 heptathlon silver medallist.
Under 15 Boy – David Guest (Bridgend AC), who won all his three pentathlons this year including the AAA Championships.
They have all been invited to the first squad session of the winter at the EIS, Sheffield, on 28 and 29 October. Further sessions will be held in December, January and March without clashing with the major indoor fixtures.
The UK Athletics Event Management Group is arranging for the athletes and their personal coaches to receive event-specific advice at each session from specialist coaches Darrell Bunn (long jump), Ian Grant (hurdles), Ed Griss (discus), Paul Williamson (pole vault), Peter Yates (javelin) and Mike Winch or Toni Minichiello (shot). In addition, there will be physiotherapy support.
For full details of these athletes’ performances, please go to the Power of Ten website.