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Final day at Bedford

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On the final day of the World Junior trials and U20/U23 AAA championships at Bedford on Sunday 23 July, the GB selectors were handed a minor headache when Vikki Hubbard (Grantham & District) won the silver medal in the high jump.

 

Hubbard cleared the World Junior Championships qualifying mark of 1.82m and Jessica Leach (Dudley & Stourbridge) also cleared 1.82m – with Steph Pywell who already has the World Junior mark finishing equal 3rd, but there are only two places on offer.

 

Earlier, Beijing-bound Perri Shakes-Drayton (Victoria Park) took gold in the U20 400m hurdles stopping the clock in 59.29second, ahead of Ellen Howarth-Brown (City of Portsmouth - 60.98secs) who also has the qualifying time and Justine Kinney (Royal Sutton Coldfield - 61.30).

 

Shakes-Drayton, started at what could only be a described as a leisurely pace, but powered through with plenty of effort to spare to win convincingly in an event she is still learning.

 

“I start slowly because I’m scared,” she explained, “scared I won’t get round if I go too fast!”

 

In the U23 pole vault Paul Walker, a student at Loughborough University, recovered from the shock of breaking a pole while vaulting in midweek to win gold with his first clearance of 4.95m.

 

But unlike a week earlier at the senior AAAs where he took bronze with a PB 5.15m, with no-one pushing him, he fouled 5.05m three times. Chris Tremayne (Cannock & Stafford) took silver with his first clearance of 4.85m.

 

'It was disappointing that there weren't more competing,' said Walker. 'I can't believe there aren't more U23 who have done qualifying height for today.

 

'I must admit, I vault better when I'm under pressure but I'm obviously very pleased to have my first AAA title. Hopefully, it won't be my last.'

 

A stunning run by Sian Edwards (Kettering Town) was cheered all the way round the track as she ground out a fine 15 minutes 42.48seconds victory ahead of Charlotte Purdue (Aldershot - 16:51.43) and Danielle Sale (Orion - 17:12.57).

 

The diminutive athlete was thrilled with her run but denied that the 15.40 development standard for the European championships at Gothenburg had been any type of carrot in her blistering solo effort:

 

“I wasn’t trying to get that time; I’ve only run a few 5ks so don’t really know how to pace them yet.

 

“I’m just so pleased to get the time that I did and set a Championship record. At Beijing, my aim is that I want to see how close I can get to the Africans.”

 

Hannah England (Oxford City) also impressed in the final of U20 1500m finishing strongly in four minutes 17.3secs with Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green & Essex L) silver medallist in 4:19.4 and Emma Pallant (Aldershot) took bronze in 4:22.9.

 

England revealed moving closer to her coach Bud Baldaro in starting university and weeks spent down under with the Norwich Union supported On Camp with Kelly initiative in Melbourne had made the difference to her running life:

 

“When I was in Australia I did loads of good conditioning work, and learnt so much about techniques to keep fit during in jury periods like the aqua jogging and gym work you can do.

 

“When I got back, I picked up an injury a few weeks later but because of what I had learnt I managed to make sure I still had a good base for when I could start sessions again.”

 

There was golden joy for Zara Hohn (Wakefield) in the U20 100m stopping the clock on 13.75secs and confirming her flight to Beijing - with Sarah Adams (Leicester Coritanians) taking silver in 13.93secs and Kylie Robilliard another who will enjoy the long trip home to Guernsey with the bronze medal in her kitbag (13.98secs).

 

William Sharman added the under23m 110m hurdles title to his impressive list of honours when the Belgrave man stopped the clock on 13.49secs with Trafford's David Hughes second (13.57secs) and Franklin Opara (Sale) third, 14.54secs).

 

Leon Baptiste (Enfield) won the much coveted U23 200m title in 21.03 ahead of James Ellington (Belgrave) 21.48secs and Kent AC's Jeffrey Lawal-Balogun taking bronze in 21.70sec

 

Kristopher Gauson (Belgrave) is the new U20 1500m champion (3:50.3) ahead of Tom Bilham (Newham & Essex B - 3:50.6) and Martin Mashford (Aldershot - 3:51.3.

 

Carolyn Boosey (Vale of Aylesbury) won the U23 3000m in 10:48.41 with Becky Ellis (Vale Royal) winning the silver in 11:21.71.

 

Gianni Frankis (Basildon) won the U20 110m hurdles in 13.68seconds ahead of Julian Adeniran (13.93) and Mike Van Krutchen (Holland) 14.16secs. He too was looking sharp and now travels to Beijing having taken the World Youth Championships by storm last year.

 

Amy Harris (Birchfield) won the U20 long jump with a best mark of 6.40m ahead of club mate Jade Surman (6.27m) and Elayne Henderson (Central) with 5.84m.

 

Katie Flower (Scunthorpe) won the U20 400m in a time of 54.28seconds with Carmen Gedling (Liverpool) second (54.88secs) and Henrietta Kodilnye-Sims (Newham & Essex) in 55.78secs).

 

Emma Jackson (City of Stoke) became the new U20 800m champion winning very impressively in 2:06.54 ahead of Danielle Christmas (Crawley - 2:08.01) and Alison Leonard (Chorley - 2:08.35).

 

The strongly built Jackson, whose coach Alan Morris previously led another Emma (Ward) to middle distance achievement is enjoying the first season for a few years that hasn’t been preceded by surgery to rebuild her jaw.

 

Jackson’s jaw structure has made it difficult for her to breathe properly in her early teens and after a few years of surgery and other medical pressures it is telling to see what she is now able to do with a few relatively less troublesome months behind her.

 

In the U20 400m Grant Baker (Leicester) won in 46.98seconds ahead of Chris Clarke (Milton Keynes - 47.25) and Kris Robertson (Kirkintillock Olympians - 47.97), although both Baker and Clarke possess Beijing qualifying times.

 

Yet another title for Shaftesbury Barnet as Marilyn Okoro won the U23 400m in 52.57 ahead of Christine Ohuruogo (Newham & Essex - 52.70) and Gemma Nicol (Dunfermline - 53.56).

 

For Okoro it was a timely reminder to selectors deciding on the final 800m berth for the European Championships, that she can turn her hand to the shorter sprint with some style and may be an option for relay duty. For Ohuruogu it was one more step back in the right direction and each race shows she is slowly regain the fitness she possessed in abundance back in Melbourne in March.

 

There was an interesting clash in the U23 800m final with Gothenburg-bound Stephen Davies (Newport) putting himself on the line.

 

But it was his Welsh team-mate, Swansea's Chris Howell who stole the headlines with a gold-winning performance of 1:53.16 - a 1/100th of a second ahead of Belgrave's Graham Oudney with Davies third in 1:53.43seconds.

 

Faye Fullerton (Havering) won the U23 1500m in 4:21.30 with Laura Kenney (Sutton Coldfield winning silver - 4:22.05 - and Hannah Whitmore (Charnwood) third in 4:22.49.

 

Richard Buck (Rowntree) won the U23 400m in 46.77secs with Adam Charlton (Shaftesbury Barnet second in 46.98 and Rabah Yusif (Newham & Essex) third with 47.15secs, to also stake his claim for a place in Gothenburg on relay duty.

 

Alex Nelson (City of Stoke) won the U20 200m title in 21.05secs, Rion Pierre (WSE&H) was second (21.32secs) and Harry Aikines-Aryeetey (Sutton), on his 6th sprint round of the weekend, in third in 21.40secs.

 

Nelson was pleased with his day’s work:

 

“The last ten days have been my best since April in terms of training.

 

“The times are not yet what I wanted but after three rounds, given the amount of work I haven’t done, I have to take a 21-zero as ok.”

 

And the rest of the main result from the day:

 

Eden Francis - bronze medal winner in the U23 competition on Saturday, won her own age-group's shot gold medal with a 14.94m effort, ahead of Chloe Edwards (Huntingdon - 13.27m and Liz Millward (Birchfield) - 13.18m.

 

The U23 women's triple jump was won by Deane Matthew (Leicester Coritanian) with a leap of 12.82m, Karleen Turner (Windsor SEH) took silver with 12.73m and Claire Linskill (North Devon) claimed the bronze with 12.41m.

 

Liverpool Harriers won gold in the U23 women's 100m hurdles Katy Read stopping the clock on 14.53seconds ahead of Herts Phoenix pair Laura Jones (14.74) and Ciaran Andrews (14.93).

 

Chris Scott (Guildford & G) won the Discus U20 discus with a best effort of 52.39m with Elliot Price (City of Stoke) second (51.20m) and Jamie Williamson (City of Sheffield) third (50.87m).

 

Chelsea O'Rane-Hobbs won the U20 5Km walk gold in 26 minutes 22.51seconds ahead of Fiona McGorum (Leicester - 27:58.71). In the older age-group, Johanna Jackson (Redcar RC) won the title in 23:22.42 and Sophie Hales claimed second in Steyning 24:45.01.

 

Toby Ulm (Swindon) claimed the U20 400m hurdles title in 52.58seconds with Lloyd Gumbs (Charnwood) second in 52.73secs and Nathan Woodward (Tamworth) in 53.42secs.

 

Ben Carne (Cambridge University) became the new Under 23 400m hurdles champion, winning in 52.57seconds ahead of Rick Tes (Trafford - 53.43secs) and Tom Carey (Shaftesbury Barnet - 53.61secs).

 

Luke Finch (Colchester & Tendering) - the only competitor - claimed the gold in the U23 10km walk (47 minutes 49.51) while Nicholas Ball (Steyning) won the U20 10km walk in 43: 50.94secs with Jack Tomlin (Dartmouth Harriers) winning silver in 54:51.71.

 

Jade Lally (Sutton & Dist) became the new U20 discus champion after she threw 46.60m more than two metres ahead of Shaunagh Brown (Blackheath) while Eden Francis (Leicester Coritanian) threw 44.09m.

 

Robbie Grabarz used his home stadium to good advantage to win the U20 high jump, clearing 2.12m with Darren Hammond (Sale) taking silver in 2.05m and Alan McKie (Windsor SE) winning bronze with 2.01m.

 

Jamie Williamson (City of Sheffield became the new U20 shot champion with a 17.39m effort ahead of Kieran McConnell (Milton Keynes) second with 16.44m and Dan Tinkler (Peterborough - 16.28m).

 

In the pole vault, all three medallists cleared 3.75m but Jennifer Graham won on count back from Rachel Gibbens (Milton Keynes and Louise Butterworth (UWIC).

 

Hayley Jones (Wigan) took the U20 200m title winning in 24 seconds dead and Elaine O'Neill claimed the silver in 24.22secs and Joscelynn Hopeson (Archbishop Tenison School) was third - 24.39secs).

 

The impressive Kadi-Ann Thomas (Milton Keynes) claimed the Under 23 200m title winning in 23.80 ahead of Katherine Jones (Cannock & Stafford - 24.32) and Joanne Ryan (Loughton - 24.54).

 

Victoria Webster (Shaftesbury Barnet) won the U23 5000m in 17 minutes 10.38secs from Nicola Bamford (Notts - 17:17.98) and Victoria Callaway (Sutton Coldfield - 17:30.95).

 

The long journey home to the Channel Islands will be a lot easier for Lauren Therin after she was crowned Under 23 javelin champion with a throw of 50.97m ahead of Jo Blair (Birchfield - 50.42m) and Laura Whittingham (Wakefield - 50.38m). Alexander Van der Merwe (Exeter) won the U23 javelin with a throw of 64.64metres while Stuart Harvey (Blackheath) won silver (63.22m) and Christopher Eden took bronze - 61.75m).

 

Alan Wales gave Aberdeen a boost with success in the U23 1500m finishing strongly to take to title in 3:49.93 ahead of Sale's Tom Settle (3:50.79) and Cannock & Stafford's Tom Humphries (3:51.36).

 

Susan McKelvie (Edinburgh) won the U23 hammer with a throw of 58.62m, Monique Buchanan (Woodford Green took silver (54.72m) and Rachel Gair (Mansfield) won bronze in 51.32m).

 

Matt Burton (Kent) won the U20 triple jump with 14.99m ahead of Jeremy Odameley (Herne Hill - 14.89m and John Carr (Shaftesbury Barnet - 14.83).

 

Victoria Griffiths (Liverpool) won the U23 800m in 2:04.19, Liz Braithwaite (Herts Phoenix) was second - 2:05.22 - and Charlotte Best (Crawley) was third in 2:05.77.

 

Last, but by no means least, any pain Wrexham's James Mills is feeling today after falling heavily onto the track at the end of the U20 800m final, will be alleviated by the gold medal hanging around his neck.

 

Mills looked to have taken James Brewer with 30 metres to go but the Cheltenham man fought back and it took a desperate lunge for the line by the Welshman to clinch the title in 1:52.68, ahead of Brewer (1:52.69). Ed Aston (Cambridge) took bronze in 1:52.75.