8th January 2018
BMC/Glasgow AA Metric Miler Meeting , Glasgow, 7 January
Laura Muir (coach: Andy Young) kick-started her indoor season in fine style as she recorded an 8.37.21 3,000m clocking in a mixed race at home in Glasgow. Running with the senior men in the Scottish Championship race, Muir was an impressive fifth, pushing away on her own in the closing laps having run with a group for the most part. That time is just ten seconds down on her personal best set in February last year, but just two seconds slower than she ran to win European Indoor Championship gold in Belgrade. To make it a good day for coach Andy Young, training partner Sol Sweeney took the men’s title in the same race with a personal best of 8.19.03.
Contesting a quality women’s race, Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark) made an assault on the World Indoor Championship qualifying time, but her 8.55.10 personal best fell just short. In her first track 3,000m race Katie Snowden (Denmark) finished runner-up in 9.13.54, three seconds quicker than she ran at the Armagh International road race last year.
Eilidh Doyle (Brian Doyle) was also in action, competing over 200m for the first time in almost a decade. Testing her opening lap speed before her first 400m outing next weekend, the long hurdles specialist clocked a promising 24.35.
England Athletics Indoor Combined Events Championships, Sheffield, 6-7 January
James Finney (Sam Stanislaus) added 122 points to his personal best as he lifted the English heptathlon title with a points tally of 5514. A 60mH personal best of 8.16 and personal bests in the high jump and long jump saw him take gold ahead of Lewis Church (David Hull) and Andrew Murphy (Colin Sinclair). Caius Joseph (Rafer Joseph) lifted the junior men’s title with a personal best score of 5275.
Marilyn Nwawulor (Lloyd Cowan) went one better than her 2016 silver medal as she won the women’s pentathlon, and it was double delight as she also set a personal best of 4093 points. In the junior women’s event long jumper Holly Mills (James Coney) returned to her multi-event background for the first time in five years to strike gold. With personal bests in the high jump, shot put and 800m, she recorded a new lifetime best of 4049 points to beat Jade O’Dowda (Marcia Marriott) by a mere 36 points.
BMC Indoor Races, Sheffield, 7 January
Further south in Sheffield at another BMC meeting there were some strong performances over a number of distances, Jonny Davies (Luke Gunn) perhaps leading the way as he led a group of four home in under eight minutes in the men’s 3,000m. The World Universities bronze medallist, who’s old best was 8.00.48, just got the better of Phil Sesemann (Andrew Henderson), 7.57.80 to 7.58.18, with Andrew Heyes (Steve Vernon) third in 7.58.30 and Christopher Olley (Mark Hookway) fourth in 7.59.76.
In the women’s 1500m there was remarkable comeback for Stacey Smith (David Lowes), the former GB international returning after five years away from top class competition with a 4.13.68 winning run, beating Hannah England (Bud Baldaro) in the process. Jamie Webb (Adrian Webb) made a strong start to his year with a 1.48.97 800m win, whilst young Isabelle Boffey (Douglas Stone) won the women’s ‘A’ race in 2.07.37, an indoor personal best.
In the 3000m walks, Callum Wilkinson and Gemma Bridge opened their season’s with victories clocking times of 11:30.77 and 13:40.03 respectively.
Midlands Indoor Open Meeting, HIPAC Birmingham, 6 January
2017 European Indoor high jump silver medallist Robbie Grabarz began 2017 with a very impressive 2.30m clearance. The Midlands based athlete leapt that height to win that silver medal last season, so he will be encouraged by his season opener.
Telford 10k, Telford, 7 January
Charlie Hulson produced his best run for over a year to win the re-arranged Telford 10k in an impressive 29.12 personal best, edging out fellow Welshman Ieuan Thomas (James Thie) by the smallest margin. In fact there was good strength in depth, with Petros Surafel (Mick Woods) third in 29.21 and marathon man Joshua Griffiths fifth, he like the previous three athletes running a personal best of 29.28.
In the women’s race there was further Welsh success, Caryl Jones taking the spoils in 33.18, getting the better of Faye Fullerton and a PB setting Dani Nimmock (Pauline Ash), the duo running 33.26 and 33.44 respectively.
Hampshire County Championships, Curdridge, 6 January
It was a battle of the marathon men at the Hampshire Cross Country Championships, Matt Sharp (Geoff Watkin) pulling clear of Lee Merrien to win by 15 seconds over the 12km distance. In the women’s race, Louise Small (Mick Woods) took the spoils by the best part of a minute.
Yorkshire County Championships, North Stainley, 6 January
At the Yorkshire Championships junior Emile Cairess (Phil Townsend) was a runaway winner, whilst in the ladies race Claire Duck (Mike Baxter) got the better of Alex Bell and Georgia Malir (both Andrew Henderson).
*Photo credit: Bobby Gavin