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Track and field highlights - updated

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Two of the senior jumpers on UK Athletics’ World Class Podium Programme enjoyed successful starts to the outdoor season at the second meeting of the IAAF World Athletics Tour 2007 in Dakar, Senegal, on Saturday 28 April.

 

Germaine Mason won the high jump with a clearance at 2.18m while Chris Tomlinson (Newham and Essex Beagles) long jumped 8.12m, albeit with the aid of a wind measured at +3.9 metres per second, and got in a legal 8.10m effort. It earned him fourth place in a competition won at 8.32m (wind: +2.6) by Godfrey Mokoena (South Africa).

 

Dan Watts (Peterborough AC), the 20-year-old who is currently at Oklahoma State University, won his 5000m in 14.00.83 at Stanford, California, to beat the European Under 23 Championships qualifying standard. It is a PB by almost 15 seconds.

 

Emma Pallant (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC) beat the qualifying time for the 1500m at this summer’s European Junior Championships with a magnificent solo run in the Southern Women’s League at Bromley on Saturday 28 April.

 

Setting out with a personal best of 4:21.4, she came home in 4:17.8, well inside the qualifying time of 4:20.00. She was already clear at the top of the Power of 10 Under 20 Women’s rankings for this year with her fastest indoor time, 4:21.55.

 

Pallant was led round the first lap in 70 seconds by her senior clubmate, Susie Bush, and then put in two 67-second laps that left her well clear. Despite high winds, she maintained her high tempo to the finish, to the delight of her coach, Mick Woods, the Performance Coach at the UK Athletics Endurance Performance Centre at St Mary’s University Twickenham.

 

AAA Under 20 200m champion Hayley Jones (Wigan Harriers) clocked 24.1 seconds in the National Junior League on her home track. The qualifying guideline time for the European Junior Championships is 24.10.

 

Scottish senior javelin record holder James Campbell (Cheltenham and County Harriers), who finished seventh in last year’s World Junior Championships in Beijing, opened his season with 66.06m competing for Leeds Metropolitan University in the Carnegie Cup. His main target this summer will be the European Junior Championships, for which the qualifying distance is 68.50m. GB senior 400m international Richard Buck (City of York AC) was also in swift form, winning the 100m in 10.4 into a head wind. These victories helped Leeds Met to victory over arch rivals Leeds University, Sheffield Hallam and Edge Hill. They will now concentrate on next weekend’s BUSA Championships at Bedford.

 

Perri Shakes-Drayton – 400m hurdles finalist at last summer’s IAAF World Junior Championship in Beijing – and her training partner Leevan Yearwood – were in sparkling form for their second claim club Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in the National Junior League match at Lee Valley Athletics Centre on Sunday 29 April.

 

Shakes-Drayton confirmed what an excellent prospect she is by winning the 100m in 11.7 and the 200m in 23.8, albeit with excessive wind speeds of +3.1 and +3.7 metres per second respectively.

 

Yearwood was equally impressive, clocking 10.5 in his 100m (wind: +2.5).

 

Pick of the field eventers was high jumper Alan McKie (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow), who cleared 2.10m before getting over the European Juniors qualifying height of 2.15m with an out-of-competition fourth attempt.

 

And there was proof in the NJAL Thames Division match that the Bedford track is in great shape for next weekend’s BUSA Championships. Nigel Levine (Bedford and County AC) clocked 47.6 in the 400m, suggesting he will seriously threaten the European Juniors qualifying guideline of 47.25 in coming weeks. It won him a Man of the Match award.

 

James Bedford (Kingston upon Hull AC) threw the hammer a personal best 69.09m in the NJAL at Rotherham to move closer to the European Juniors qualifying distance of 70m.

 

Senior Zoe Derham was also in PB form at Perivale on Saturday, hurling the hammer 66.43m to extend her lead at the top of the new season’s Power of 10 women’s rankings.

 

If you are aware of any highlights this weekend – such as qualifiers for this summer’s major championships – please send the details to Trevor Frecknall, UK Athletics Communications Officer, at tfrecknall@hotmail.com so they can be added to this report.