25th February 2019
Loughborough Winter Throws Open, Loughborough, 24 February
The annual Loughborough Winter Throws meet served up some extremely promising performances, despite the start of the season proper still being a couple of months away. Having sat out 2018 with injury, Harry Hughes (coach: Mark Roberson; club: Suffolk) announced his return with a stunning 78.89m personal best in the men’s javelin, the now U23 producing the furthest throw by a Brit with the senior implement since 2012.
In the men’s hammer Taylor Campbell (John Pearson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) was also in fine form, winning with a throw of 73.21m, a mere 19cm shy of his lifetime best. Craig Murch (Lorraine Shaw; Birchfield Harriers) was also in good form, as he set a lifetime best of 71.16m in second place.
In the women’s discus, Amy Holder (Neville Thompson; Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) and Phoebe Dowson (Mark Chapman; Bournemouth) also produced encouraging marks of 53.09m and 52.74m respectively. The men’s equivalent saw James Tomlinson (Paul Jensen; Pembrokeshire), throwing the senior weight for the first time in his career, propel the implement out to 53.13m to hold off Chris Scott’s (Southampton) 52.85m effort for victory.
Gibson Relays, Jamaica, 23rd February
Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills; Shaftesbury Barnet) took to the track for the first time this season to run a 4x400m in his native Jamaica, winning his leg and clocking a 45.5s split. The European 100m champion produced a stunning final 100m to ensure he handed over to his teammates in the lead.
His performance and that of his teammates saw them home in 3:05, just two seconds outside of the meeting record.
Results link to follow.
Welsh National Cross Country Championships, Llanelli, 23 February
It was seventh heaven for Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans; Swansea), as he secured his seventh senior men’s national cross country title in fine style. Having missed out last year, ending a long standing winning streak, Griffiths returned from altitude to regain the title and move within two wins of equalling Steve Jones’ record of nine.
Next man home was steeplechaser Ieuan Thomas (James Thie; Cardiff) who was 26 seconds back, with James Hunt making a solid stab at defending his title, eventually taking bronze.
In the women’s race Jenny Nesbitt (Dudley Walker; Worcester) was an emphatic winner, and will now chase selection for the IAAF World Cross Country Championships at the trial race in Loughborough in two weeks’ time.
English National Cross Country Championships, Leeds, 23 February
It was a war of attrition at the English National, on an incredibly tough course and the battle for the senior men’s title went down to the wire on the final lap. Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes; Southampton AC) was pouring on the pace but Emile Cairess (Phil Townsend; Leeds City) was tracking him every step on the way. Still together into the long home-straight, it went right to the wire, with Southampton’s Mahamed prevailing.
Emily Hosker-Thornhill (Mick Woods; Aldershot, Farnham & District) had never won a medal before at these championships, but she continued her sterling 2019 form by seeing off the challenge of minor medallists Pippa Woolven (Matt Whiting; Wycombe) and Jess Judd (Mick Judd; Blackburn) to take her first English National Cross Country title. Strong packing saw Leeds City AC scoop both senior team titles.
In the junior men’s race, favourite Rory Leonard (Morpeth) delivered, taking gold on the same course where he clinched the Northern title last season, whilst it was a similar story in the junior women’s race, Amelia Quirk (Mick Woods; Bracknell AC) romping home.
Scottish National Cross Country Championships, Falkirk, 23 February
Steph Twell (Geoff Wightman; AFD) honoured her mother’s heritage by competing in the Scottish National for the first time in the colours of Kilbarchan, taking the title in fine style. Completing a rare and remarkable National XC double – her Scottish success coming nine years after gold at Leeds in the English National – Twell showed her versatility, as now focusing on the marathon she proved she can still turn her hand to the country to great effect. Taking silver for Cambuslang was Czech international Moira Stewart, with defending champion Morag Millar (Central) third.
In the men’s race the in-form Adam Craig (Mark Pollard; Inverclyde) was a runaway winner, clinching his first title by almost a minute, with Kevin Wood second and Michael Christoforou clinching bronze. Freddie Carcas took the junior men’s title, whilst in the women’s equivalent Eloise Walker (John Lees; Edinburgh AC) broke the tape, with track and triathlon star Erin Wallace (Andy Young; Giffnock North) crossing the line in second place.
T46 marathon star Derek Rae (Ron Morrison; Fife AC) stepped up his preparations for the forthcoming WPA Marathon Championships on the streets of London with a 36th place showing, clocking a respectable 36:49 as he crossed the line.
Big 12 Conference, Texas, USA, 22-23 February
Jacob Fincham-Dukes (Zivile Pukstiene; Leeds City) took an impressive victory in the Big 12 Conference meet, seeing off a quality field with a leap of 7.99m, further extending his lead at the top of the Power of 10 rankings. There was also a win for Lily Beckford (Linford Christie; Shaftesbury Barnet) in the extremely rarely run 600 yards, the TCU student posting a time of 1.19.69.