12th June 2017
NCAA Outdoor Championships, Eugene Oregon, USA 7-11 June
Marc Scott (coach: Steve Gulley) got the ball rolling in the men’s 10,000m as British athletes won three NCAA titles for the first time in history. On the opening night of competition, Scott controlled the 25 lap event, a scintillating final 400m securing victory in 29.01.54. Remarkably the next evening the British women went one better with a 1-2 in the same event, Charlotte Taylor pulling away from Alice Wright (Joe Franklin) to take the title. They finished with times of 32.38.47 and 32.42.64 respectively.
The final British title was perhaps the most expected, with 1500m man Josh Kerr (Franklin) capping a great meet for the University of New Mexico (whom Alice Wright also runs for) as he controlled the 1500m final from start to finish. Coming in with the fastest time, Kerr oozed confidence, in the end winning by almost half a second in 3.43.03. Neil Gourley (Ben Thomas) was a solid fifth having run a 3.40.52 season’s best to make the final. In the women’s equivalent Amy Eloise-Neale ran a personal best of 4.11.00 and Rhianwedd Price (Houston Franks) a season’s best of 4.12.07 to make the final, where the duo finished eighth and ninth.
The medals didn’t stop there though as 200m specialist Nethaneel Mitchell-Blake (Dennis Shaver) won silver with a 20.29 performance into a huge 3.1m/s headwind. Having won his heat in 20.24 (1.3), the second fastest British man of all-time was only denied gold by Christian Coleman, who ran an astounding 9.82 in the 100m two days earlier. Coleman also won the 100m final, with Mitchell-Blake a solid sixth having run 10.03 (1.6) to qualify.
Back with the longer events, Scott returned to place fourth in the 5,000m, with his teammate Luke Traynor (Gulley) running a season’s best of 29.10.58 for eighth in the 10,000m. In the women’s 800m Kaylee Dodd (Ellie Meadows) revised her personal best not once but twice to eventually finish fifth in the final. It was quite the breakthrough for the Basildon athlete, who entered with a 2.04.68 best and left with a PB of 4.03.38.
In the field Nikki Manson (Ken Allan) was arguably the pick of the Brits thanks to a fine personal best clearance of 1.85m in the women’s high jump, while Matti Mortimore (Justin St Clair) was a superb fifth place finisher in the men’s javelin final thanks to a 74.33m effort.
AtletiCAGenève, Geneva, Switzerland, 10 June
James Dasalou (Lloyd Cowan) produced a strong 100-200m double, winning the former in 10.16 (-0.1) ahead of Kyle de Escofet (Andy Paul) who was just one hundredth outside his 10.21 personal best set last weekend. Dasalou returned to run 20.73 (1.7), which was remarkably only good for seventh. In the women’s 100m Bianca Williams (Cowan) was quickest with a 11.51 (-1.0) effort.
The Hylton twins, Shannon and Cheriece (both Ryan Freckleton) were both on good form over 200m, recording season’s bests of 23.09 (-0.7) and 23.23 respectively. Zoey Clark (Eddie McKinna) was the big winner in the one lap event, as she streaked to victory in a new personal best of 51.84 – a time inside the London 2017 qualifying mark and a UK leading mark for the distance this year.
Elsewhere, Kirsten McAslan (Trevor Painter) won section two in 52.90, while in the men’s races Dwayne Cowan (Cowan) was fastest Brit with a 46.15 run; Conrad Williams (Cowan) running a season’s best of 46.54.
There were some outstanding 400mH performances on this notably quick track, led by Seb Rodger (Stephen King) who finished fourth in a season’s best of 49.58. Tom Burton (Nick Dakin) wasn’t far behind with a 49.95 run, also a season’s best, whilst Jacob Paul (Marina Armstrong) revised his personal best with a 49.60 winning effort in the second section.
In the women’s equivalent Jess Turner (Dakin) made a nice breakthrough with a 56.68 personal best, again way inside the European U23 Championship qualifying standard, whilst Meghan Beesley (Michael Baker) returned to action after a spell on the sidelines and was pleased with her 56.88 run.
There were also a string of good performances in the field, Chris Baker winning the high jump with a season’s best clearance of 2.27m, with Allan Smith (Leslie Roy) third with 2.24m. Luke Cutts produced a 5.50m season’s best in the pole vault to lead a British 1-2-3, as U23s Charlie Myers (Chris Boundy) and Harry Coppell (John Mitchell) produced personal bests and season’s bests of 5.45m and 5.40m respectively.
IAAF World Challenge Meeting, Hengelo, Netherlands, 11 June
Laura Weightman (Steve Cram) produced the second-fastest time of her career to date, her fastest dating back to 2014, as she finished fourth in a world class race in the Netherlands. In a race won in a rapid 3.56.14 by Sifan Hassan, Weightman beat a trio of quality Africans to finish fourth in 4.01.95. There were also personal best performances of 4.05.83 and 4.06.00 for Sarah McDonald (Bud Baldaro) and Melissa Courtney (Rob Denmark), both of which were inside the London 2017 qualifier of 4:07who finished eighth and ninth respectively.
In the men’s 200m Danny Talbot (Benke Blomkvist) showed his rivals a clean pair of heals as he eased to victory in 20.36 (-1.2m/s), to keep his great 2017 form going. Crossing the line in third was Adam Gemili (Rana Reider) who ran 20.64 on his second outing over the distance this season.
In the sprint hurdles David King (James Hillier) was fifth in 13.57, a great run into a 1.4m/s headwind, with David Omoregie (Blomkvist) ninth in 13.88, while Kyle Langford (Jon Bigg) have his personal best a scare as he clocked 1:45.91, just 0.01 outside the London 2017 qualifying mark, for third in his race.
Folksam Challenge, Gothenburg, Sweden, 10 June
Jake Wightman (Geoff Wightman) scored a fine 800m victory out in Sweden thanks to his second personal best over the distance in just seven days. After a 1.46.07 run in Boston, Wightman went under 1.46 for the first time, his 1.45.82 run a London 2017 World Championships qualifier. There were further middle distance personal bests; Katie Snowdon (Rob Denmark) winning the women’s 1500m in 4.10.97, with Jemma Reekie (Andy Young), who is still an U20, seventh in 4.15.90. That mark was a European Junior Championship qualifying standard. In the men’s steeplechase Doug Musson (Luke Gunn) revised his lifetime best to 8.41.17 in third, whilst Zane Duquemin (John Hillier) was second in the discus thanks to a 62.30m effort.
European Cup 10,000m, Minsk, Belarus, 10 June
It was a tough day at the office for the British athletes competing out at European Athletics’ 10,000m Cup in Belarus, where conditions weren’t overly conducive to fast times.
Nevertheless, the in-form Katarina Wooton (Harvey Rose) led the Brits home in the women’s race as she crossed the line in 33:49.74, good for 11th place. Elsewhere, Leeds’ Claire Duck (Mike Baxter) was a place further back for 34:08.72, with Louise Small (Mick Woods) 16th overall in 34:29.54 to follow up her significant lifetime best at Highgate Harriers back in May.
In the men’s race, British Athletics debutant Matt Leach (Philip O’Dell) claimed 12th in 30:02:36; team-mate Graham Rush was just one second and one place behind, while Kristian Jones was, unfortunately, a DNF.
Flanders Cup, Flemish Brabant, Belgium, 10 June
Scott Lincoln (Paul Wilson) was victorious out in Belgium on Saturday thanks to an 18.85m put, his best effort since March where he threw 19.00m at the European Throwing Cup.
Memorial J Kusocinski, Szczecin, Poland, 10 June
At this IAAF Hammer Challenge meeting in Poland, Nick Miller (Tore Gustafsson) was third in the men’s event thanks to a strong 76.00m effort. In the women’s competition Olympic bronze medallist Sophie Hitchon (Gustafsson) couldn’t quite find her best form as she finished sixth with 68.20m.
2nd Racers Grand Prix, Kingston, Jamaica, 9 June
On a historic night for eight-time Olympic champion Usain Bolt on his final race on home soil, Sir Mo Farah (Alberto Salazar) took victory over 3000m in 7:41 20, while Zharnel Hughes (Glen Mills) posted 20.22 for fourth over 200m.