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Ricky Stevenson

 

11 January 2010

England U20/Senior Combined Events Championships, Sheffield, 9/10 January
Senior Men Heptathlon

Richard Reeks (Bournemouth) secured the gold medal in a nail-biting finish winning by a mere eight points with a cumulative score of 5629 points from silver medalist Kevin Sempers (Trafford) 5621 points with Edward Dunford (Birchfield) taking the bronze medal with 5457 points. Reeks recorded pb’s in the 60m (7.05) and Shot 12.61m while Dunford threw the Shot 15.02m for a pb.

U20 Men Heptathlon

Jack Andrew (Sale Harriers Manchester) claimed the title with a score of 5295 points from runner-up Sebastian Rodger (Eastbourne Rovers) 5237 points with Ashley Bryant (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) taking the bronze medal 5050 points.

Senior Women Pentathlon

Grace Clements (Dartford) took the gold medal with 3915 points from Catherine Holdsworth (Colchester) 3864 points and Lucy Boggis (Shaftesbury Barnet U23) 3847 points.

U20 Women Heptathlon

Alice Lennox (City of Stoke) was a convincing winner of the U20 title with 3633 points from Emma Buckett (Basingstoke & Mid Hants) 3522 points and Jasmin Sawyers (City of Stoke U17) 3472 points.

UWIC Pole Vault Competition, Cardiff, 10 January

Bryony Raine (Cardiff) vaulted a pb of 4.10m which added 5cm to her life-time best while in the men’s event Christian North (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) vaulted a season’s best of 5.05m.

SEAA Indoor Championships, Lee Valley, 10 January

Highlights included Nigel Levine (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) 48.10 for victory in the 400m over Dale Garland (Channel Islands) 48.29. In the U20 400m James Forman (Isle of Wight) set a CBP with 48.89. Dawn Hunt (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) won the women’s 400m in another CBP 54.85. In the U20 High Jump Isobel Pooley (Aldershot, Farnham & District) jumped 1.80m for a CBP.

BUPA Great Edinburgh International Cross Country 9 January

WHILE the rest of the UK ground to a halt with the adverse weather conditions and the cancellation of many county cross country championships, some of the best athletes in the world and in this country made light of the underfoot going to record some great performances in sunny Scotland.

Men 4.2km

With the focus on Mo Farah (Newham & Essex Beagles) and Andy Baddeley (Harrow) the scene was set for a great short course race. From the off Farah sped to the front to show his intentions to everyone and held a 10m lead after 400m with no-one prepared to take up the challenge. Baddeley was back in fourth place with Mark Draper (Bedford & County) in third and Steve Vernon (Stockport) in second. The gaps and placings remained virtually the same through the one mile marker but by 2.5km Baddeley was clearly struggling to come to terms with the conditions and had slipped to seventh while Ricky Stevenson (New Marske) had eased through to third and was looking particularly good. At the bell lap at around 3km Farah’s lead had dwindled to five metres with Vernon tracking him closely and Stevenson now only three metres further back. Almost immediately Vernon took the lead with Stevenson following him and Farah was now looking to be struggling in third who was 50 metres ahead of fourth place Mitch Goose (Norwich). With 400m remaining Farah finally became detached and Vernon upped the pace but with Stevenson closely tracking him there was only going to be one outcome and with exactly 200m to go the young New Marske Harrier used his track prowess to win easily by 30 metres with Vernon holding on comfortably to second and Farah clinging on to his disappointing third spot and Tom Lancashire (Bolton) coming through the field to take the fourth place. The forthcoming summer season is waited with anticipation by Stevenson and barring any setbacks the future looks bright for the Teesside-based athlete.

Women 5.8km

Another star-studded field lined up to tackle the difficult conditions and it was no surprise that the first athlete to show was European Cross Country champion, Hayley Yelling Higham (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) who was followed by Freya Murray (Chester-le-Street) and Ethiopia’s double Olympic champion, Tirunesh Dibaba. Through 800m the positions remained the same with Steph Twell (Aldershot, Farnham & District) following in eighth place and World championship silver medallist Lisa Dobriskey detached in eleventh. At the mile marker Twell was up to fifth with Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) running particularly well in fourth place. By 3km Britain had the first three places with Yelling leading from Sparke and Twell, but lurking ominously behind was Dibaba and Vivian Cheruiyot (Kenya) and at the 4km marker the leading group was pulling clear with Yelling and Twell sharing the lead. At the bell lap after running cautiously Dibaba suddenly speeded up and looked the truly world-class athlete she is and from then on it was virtually race over with only the minor placings to be decided. With around 800m remaining Dibaba had a 15 metre lead over Cheruiyot who had a 10 metre lead over Ethiopian Kalkidan Gezahegn and went on to win looking supreme by over 50 metres with Cheruiyot holding on to her silver medal position from Gezahegn. In a frantic finish Yelling outsprinted Twell and pipped her virtually on the line fourth and fifth places respectively which were excellent runs by both girls.

Mens 9km

On paper there could only be one winner, the world’s best endurance athlete, Kenenisa Bekele and with a decent, but not outstanding field assembled it was going to take something special to prevent him doing so. The race started at a gentle pace with Bekele at the front and Mike Skinner (Blackheath & Bromley) in second place with a host of Kenya athletes close behind. Approaching the mile marker, Eliud Kipchoge (Kenya) headed the group from fellow countrymen Titus Mbishei and Joseph Ebuya with Bekele in fourth and Skinner in sixth. By two miles the group was down to four and with three laps to go Mbishei upped the pace significantly and only Ebuya and Kipchoge could follow with the great Ethiopian now 15 metres further back. By three miles, Bekele was now struggling 40 metres adrift of the leading trio and by four miles he was 80 metres down and clearly not coming to terms with the wintry conditions. Mbishei and Ebuya were now locked together going into the bell lap with Kipchoge 50 metres behind and Bekele a similar distance behind in fourth. With 400 metres remaining Ebuya made his move and held on to win by 10 metres with Kipchoge and Bekele maintaining their positions. In seventh place Chris Thompson (Aldershot, Farnham & District) had moved through the field to secure a good performance.

Northridge California, USA, 9 January

Nick Newman (Sale Harriers Manchester) competing for Manhattan College sailed out to 7.77m (1.4) for victory and a 17cm pb in the long jump.

Loughborough University Open Indoor Meeting, 9 January

Jessica Ennis (Sheffield) opened her indoor season in stunning form at the Loughborough University Open meeting. The 2009 World Championships heptathlon gold medallist produced indoor personal bests in three events, 6.39m in the long jump, 8.12 seconds in the 60m hurdles and 13.67m in the shot put. These early marks prove her winter preparations are going very well and should give her the confidence to bid for the pentathlon title at the World Indoor Championships in Doha in March.