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Highlights from LEAP Meeting

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On Wednesday 26 July, the Loughborough European Permit Meeting (better known as LEAP) saw some quality performances, including a fine victory from Ireland's Michelle Carey in the 400 hurdles in a fast 56.31 seconds. 

 

Carey’s time equated to a score of 233 points, the highest score of athletes eligible to count in the UK Challenge. The leading Briton was third, and that came from last year's UK Challenge 400m Hurdles winner Liz Fairs (Trafford), who timed 57.60 for 208 points.

 

Sarah Claxton (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) produced a fine performance in the sprint hurdles, clocking 13.12 seconds in first place for 211 points. Gothenburg team-mates Gemma Bennett (Newham & Essex Beagles) and Sara McGreavy (Sale) both set lifetime bests with respective times of 13.17 and 13.20. The latter improving her PB from the heat of 13.22 seconds.

 

Another Swedish-bound athlete with an encouraging performance was Kate Dennison (Sale) in the pole vault. She won with 4.20 (210). Veteran Irie Hill (Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow) jumped 4.00 in third and had 3 good attempts at 4.20 and then rushed to Cheltenham, to compete a few hours later and she again cleared 4 metres.

 

In the sprints, American Antoniette Carter gained a good 11.45/23.22 double. Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnet) led the Britons home with a 11.49, but ran a 11.47 in the heat (209 points). Montell Douglas (Blackheath & Bromley) equalled her personal best of 11.52 in third.

 

In the 200m Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield) timed 23.81 (169 points) in third. Helen Karagounis (Birchfield) was the fastest 400m runner in 53.30 (180 points).

 

In the field, there was a strong performance in the discus from Phillipa Roles (Sale), who was a disappointing fourth in the Norwich Union European Trials. She bounced back to form in a big way to set a UK season's best of 58.49 (197 points) to surpass her 58.38 from the Commonwealth Games. Lesley Brannan (Birchfield) scored one more point than Roles with a 62.77 win in the hammer.

 

There were a number of season's best in the 100m. Mark Findlay (Newham & Essex Beagles) was an impressive winner in 10.26 (208 points), a mere one hundredth of a second outside his PB. European junior champion Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes) set a 2006 best of 10.34 in second place.

 

There were fast overseas wins in the 200m from Belgian Kristof Beyens (20.62) and in the 400m from American Fernada Blakeley (45.64). Pick of the UK performances came from Richard Buck (Rowntrees) who timed 46.65 in fourth (174 points).

In the 400m hurdles Ryan Dinham (Belgrave) scored 210 points with 50.57 narrowly beat his clubmate Matt Douglas, who timed 50.73. Douglas though still leads the UK Challenge Athlete of the Month.

 

In the 110m hurdles, David Hughes (Trafford) reminded the selectors that he could fill that vacant third spot. He ran 13.67 in his heat (a big 214 points) and then 13.69 in the final, where he finished second to Dutchman Greg Sedoc's 13.61. Decathlon World record holder Roman Sebrle ran 14.28 in his heat.

 

In the field, three athletes scored 195 points. Andy Frost (Woodford Green with Essex Ladies) was again over 70m in the Hammer where he finished second in 70.11 a performance equivalent to Birchfield pair Tom Parsons (Birchfield) who won the high jump with 2.19 and Scott Simpson in the pole vault with his 5.25, which placed him second to Frenchman's Nicholas Guigon's 5.35.