A small group of junior sprinters relished the chance to get back to Lee Valley for the South of England Indoor Championships this weekend. For a number of the group, it was their first time running on the banked indoor track, and experiencing the high level of competition at this event.
First up on Saturday afternoon were the 60m sprints & hurdles. Milly Benest (U17W) had her first outing over hurdles, finishing in 10.36. None of the athletes were able to progress to the second round in the 60m races in some very high level of competition with Championship best performances being set in the early U17M races and broken again through the rounds. Times from the 60ms were: Ethan Rankin (U15B) 8.53, Lucy Cohu (U17W) 8.56, Milly Benest 9.07, Danielle Wilkinson 8.55, Daniel Ross (U17M) 7.76 and Jamie Oldham (U17M) 7.42. These were all personal best times.
Sunday had the field events and Daniel Ross put in a PB performance to gain 5th place with an almost half meter improvement to 11.43m.
The afternoon had the 200m sprints, which are totally different from running the same distance outdoors. The athletes have to manage the tight bends, potentially starting on an incline, controlling speed on the downhill and making sure they stay in their lane on the banking – which makes an interesting experience if you’ve not ever run on the track before!
The athletes rose to the challenge and really committed to pushing hard for the full 200m. All had great personal performances. Only Jamie Oldham progressed through the rounds, with 23.90 in the U17M heats improved to 23.64 in the semi-final – a huge PB down from the 25.0 recorded on the FB track in the summer. Daniel Ross also ran a big PB with a 4th position in his heat in 24.72.
Other 200m results were: Milly Benest 30.04 (PB), Lucy Cohu 28.19, Danielle Wilkinson 28.97 and Ethan Rankin 27.76 (PB).