26th February 2018
English National Cross Country Championships, Parliament Hill, 24 February
Adam Hickey (coach: Eamonn Martin) and Phoebe Law (Mick Woods) took the spoils in the senior races at Parliament Hill, the spiritual home of English cross country. With over 3,000 runners charging up the hill as the senior men’s race got underway, a lead group formed, with Hickey to the fore. After surgery last year it would appear the Southend man is back to his best, as he won the battle of attrition over 12km to take his first senior title. Hickey pulled clear on the final lap, whilst on his home course Highgate man Andy Coley-Maud got the better of John Gilbert in the battle for the minor medals. Tonbridge retained the team title.
It was a similar story in the ladies race, a strong lead group running together through the first of two laps. Law was to the fore on lap two with Louise Small (Woods) and Georgia Taylor-Brown (Paul Roden) alongside her, with the final climb set to be decisive. As they crested the top it was Phoebe Law who was away and would take gold, with her training partner Small taking silver and Commonwealth Games bound steeplechaser Iona Lake (Pauline Ash) enjoying a second wind, having led in the early stages, to take bronze. Sale Harriers took the team title.
It was a great day for Paul Roden, as another of his athletes, Harriet Knowles-Jones, winning her third junior title in a row in what will be her last race in that age group. The Warrington AC athlete has already enjoyed success in the senior ranks and ultimately won by over a minute.
It was a similar story in the junior men’s race, Mahamed Mahamed (Peter Haynes) forging clear to take the title ahead of Emile Cairess (Phil Townsend), who was in turn clear of Tom Mortimer (Christopher Brown).
Scottish National Cross Country Championships, Falkirk, 24 February
At the beautiful Callender Park venue Mhairi Maclennan (John Lees) tasted sweet victory as she saw off the challenge of her training partner and teammate Steph Pennycook (Lees) over a testing 10km course. With both the men and women running an equal distance for the first time, Maclennan capped off a fantastic winter season that saw her make her GB debut at the European Cross Country Championships, by crossing the line arms aloft in 37.49, 11 seconds clear of Pennycook. Anna Tait (William Parker) took bronze, whilst a 1-2 finish secured Edinburgh University Hare and Hounds the team title.
The men’s race went the way of Welshman Kris Jones, the man who lives and works in Scotland winning in style. Lachlan Oates (John Montgomery) upgraded his bronze from last year to silver, whilst GB mountain running international Andrew Douglas (Sophie Dunnett) took bronze. Once again Central AC won the team race. After a brace of personal bests last weekend at the British Indoor Championships Sol Sweeney (Andy Young) was a clear winner in the junior men’s race, whilst Anna Macfadyen led an Edinburgh University clean sweep of the junior women’s podium.
Welsh National Cross Country Championships, Swansea, 24 February
In the absence of Dewi Griffiths (Kevin Evans) there would be a new winner in the senior men’s race at the Welsh Championships, the Commonwealth Games bound marathon man having won the last six editions. With the door wide open it was James Hunt who stepped up to take the title ahead of Philip Matthews and Dan Nash, Swansea taking the team title on home soil.
There was a great battle in the women’s race, Bronwen Owen (Andrew Henderson) taking the title ahead of Beth Kidger (Joel Kidger), Melanie Wilkins (Nick Anderson) securing bronze. Dominic Smith (Kevin Tobin) and Abi Fisher (Phil Banning) took the junior titles.
Gibson McCook Relays, Kingston, Jamaica, 24 February
With the weather so good there is no need for an indoor season in Jamaica, and Zharnel Hughes (Glenn Mills) is making the most of it as he smashed his 100m personal best with a stunning 10.01 winning run to move into the top 10 on the UK all-time list.
England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships, Sheffield, 24-25 February
Dominic Ogbechie (Marius Guei) broke the age 15 high jump world best with a stunning 2.22m clearance on day one, and he was undoubtedly the standout performer in Sheffield. He wasn’t done there though, returning in the long jump the next day, where he soared out to 7.53m to break his own British record. Another horizontal jumps British record fell, Jazz Sears (Craig Andrew) revising the British U17 triple jump record she set earlier in the season with a sensational 12.34m second round effort.
On the track, Charlie Dobson (Andy Paul) delivered a flawless winning performance, stopping the clock at 21.02 to win the U20 men’s 200m, whilst back in the field Joel Kahn (Deirdre Elmhirst) secured two personal bests and the World Junior Championship qualifying mark as he won the U20 high jump in 2.20m, his first competition of the year.
Back with the day one action, Dom Ashwell took the U20 men’s 60m title with a 6.70 run, with Holly Mills (James Coney) retaining her long jump title with a 6.23m effort. In the U17 women’s shot put, Serena Vincent (Bronwin Carter) added 68cm to her personal best to win by over three metres, a 16.59m throw breaking the British record.
Mountain West Championships, Albuquerque, USA, 22-24 February
Josh Kerr (Joe Franklin) fine-tuned his preparations for the NCAA Indoor Championships with a decisive mile victory at his training base at the University of New Mexico. After winning his heat, Kerr took his conference title in 4.00.62, which would be a sub four clocking were it not for the altitude.
Big 10 Championships, Geneva, Ohio, USA, 23-24 February
In the absence of indoor discus and hammer competitions, the weight throw is very popular in America, where Joe Ellis (Jerry Clayton) and Nic Percy (Vesteinn Hafsteinsson) were in fine form. Percy has already revised the British record this year, but Ellis obliterated it in Ohio, winning with a 23.64m throw, with Percy sixth with a best of 21.07m, half a metre down on his season’s best.
ACNW League Meeting 4, Potchefstroom, South Africa, 20 February
There was a welcome return to competition for former world champion Dai Greene (Benke Blomkvist) at a low key meeting in South Africa, where he is currently on a warm weather training camp. In pursuit of the Commonwealth Games qualifying standard that he has been given extra time to achieve, the Welshman took victory in 50.08, just shy of the 400mH mark he needs, but an extremely promising opener.