In a year where there have been few opportunities for all our athletes to compete and train due to the Covid Pandemic, it was fantastic to see two of our senior internationals gain podium positions at the 2020 British Championships held in the Regional Arena, Manchester today.
Alex Knibbs qualified in 2nd place in his heat of the 400m yesterday afternoon and wasn’t favoured to get into a medal position having the fifth fastest qualification time. In the final the script was torn to pieces in what was probably the most exciting finish of the weekend proceedings. Entering the final 100 metres, he was well down the field quite a few metres behind the leaders. Those who have followed Alex’s career know what a finish he can produce and this was certainly the case today. A blistering final run-in saw him gradually claw back his competitors and he edged into first place a few metres from the finish line, taking Gold in a new personal best in 46.65 seconds. After the race his elation at winning was there to be seen in his interview with BBC reporter Jeannette Kwachi.
The final of the Women’s 400m took place immediately after the Men’s race and Jess Turner nearly made it an AVEAC double with a Silver medal behind fellow British international Laviai Neilson. Jess knocked two tenths off her previous best returning a time of 52.57.
AVEAC had two other athletes in action, at the championships, Tamsin McGraw and Niamh Emerson. Tamsin was very unlucky not to make the final of the 800m. Her 6th place heat time of 2mins 8.84 was just half a second outside her lifetime best and she narrowly failed to progress with the 9th fastest time overall in the heats with eight athletes going through. Niamh Emerson on her Heptathlon come back trail after injury last year finished 7th in the Shot final with a throw of 13.29m and in the heats of the 100m Hurdles she ran 14.44 in her first race for over fifteen months.
Finally our Club Coach Nisha Desai finished 8th in the 400m Hurdles final. Nisha representing her home club, Morpeth Harriers clocked 61.57 in her heat but found the final tough going and was a few seconds down on her heat time.
We have recently been the subject of a copyright infringement claim concerning a photograph that was uploaded to our website.
As a consequence of this all website and social media accounts have/are in the process of being screened and any images where we cannot verify copyright compliance have/are being removed.
Can anyone submitting images to our web/social media please ensure they comply with all copyright requirements.
In general, the safest images are those that you own!
Even a photo of a TV screen is, strictly speaking, copyright although in reality companies like the BBC will let it slip, however - if they do change tact, we would be liable.
If you are in any doubt, don’t submit an image without checking first.
Bob Boyd, Chair
After a highly successful virtual ESAA T&F competition the ESAA have decided to offer a similar opportunity to ESAA Combined Event athletes and Race Walkers.
Due to the nature of these events and the restricted access some athletes still have to tracks a whole month will be allowed to complete the individual events which make up a pentathlon, heptathlon, octathlon or decathlon or for race walkers to be able to access their local track.
The attached information letter ( download here ) contains the links to the two virtual competitions and also gives a detailed explanation of how to enter and the whole process of completing and submitting the event performances.
As we gear up towards a return to training, with our 'COVID Secure' trial invite-only sessions beginning this coming Saturday 22nd August, and also the prospect of some (albeit) limited competition opportunities appearing, members are reminded that Membership renewal forms will need to be completed.
If you are returning as part of our trial, and have not already completed your renewal, please bring the completed forms and payment in the form of a cheque OR exact money in a sealed envelope to your first session - please also remember we will require payment for ALL the trial sessions that you have agreed to attend. - we will ONLY be taking payment on the FIRST session.
Membership forms are available to download from the website.
Finally, when filling in your renewal form, could you please ensure everything is LEGIBLE - our team don't want to second-guess a letter/number - if errors occur, for example on email addresses (which are common!) you may miss out on Club 1nf0rmatIon. (can you see what I did there?!)
For those members who are not yet returning to training, but who need to renew, we are investigating electronic payments by bank transfer or paypal - an update will be posted very shortly.
At this very difficult and unusual time we sincerely hope that all the members of the AVEAC ‘family’ are keeping well, managing to stay healthy and fit and coping with the current difficult challenges that we are experiencing.
As you will be aware EA are starting to provide some basic advice about a return to ‘normal’ athletics, but with Rutland still closed and government restrictions still in force your committee are currently working on developing a roadmap forward towards some sort of normality.
Further updates will be posted in due course.
As your Chair I am currently still in self isolation (for family reasons), but if anybody is feeling worried about things and wants a chat feel free to give me a call on 07970 286351.
Bob - Chair
Ella Rush finished her indoor season in spectacular style by capturing another England Athletics national title at Sheffield on Saturday. On this occasion her Gold medal winning performance came in the U17 women’s pentathlon adding to the Long Jump she won last month. Her winning total of 3865 points was the third best all time at U17 level and also set an age 15 UK record.
Ella opened her account with a 9.12 clocking in the 60m Hurdles leaving her in 4th position overall after the first event. She then eased into the lead after a superb competition in the high jump clearing 1.63m. After two events she led by 29 points from Rhiana Burrell (Birchfield) who cleared the same height, 1656 points to 1627.
She increased that lead following a solid 11.88m Shot before jumping out to what was effectively a competition ending 5.86m in the Long Jump with the very first jump in her pool. Lucy Robinson (Stockport) was the next best Long Jumper with 5.70m so going into the final event Ella had 3116pts ahead of Rhiana on 2875pts.
In the final 800m, Ella positioned herself tactically in second place, clearly focussed on the job in hand and at the end of the four laps was a stride behind heat winner Lucy on 2 mins 25.60. That moved Lucy into second overall on 3608 points easing ahead of Rhianna’s final score of 3543 points. Ella’s 800m time, 2 mins 25.63 was a PB securing her the Gold medal and in doing so setting the new age 15 best ever performance.
In an interview with England Athletics about the record she said, “I’m amazed, that was a real shock. I knew the last two events were strong but I didn’t know I would go so well” she laughed, adding that she now has her eyes set on the Euro U18s this summer perhaps in the Long Jump or Heptathlon, “depending of course, if it goes on,” she added.
On Sunday Ryan Rawlinson showed what a talented young prospect he is by finishing 7th overall in the Boy’s Under 15 Pentathlon. He started the morning session placing 3rd in his 60m Hurdles heat returning a time of 9.30 seconds; just short of his PB and placing him 5th overall after the first event. He then went on to put together three more consistent performances with a 1.48m High Jump, a 8.98m Shot Put and a 5.30m Long Jump. His Long Jump was an indoor PB and just short of his outdoor best of 5.33m. Going into the final event he had maintained his 5th place overall. Despite running another indoor best ever performance in the 800m, finishing in 2 mins 26.93, he found himself up against some exceptional 800m runners and when the points were tallied up at the end of the day, he had finished in 7th position overall.
Ryan has had an excellent indoor season winning the Northern U15 sprint hurdles title and set several PBs and club records in the process; now he is showing that the can run, jump and throw with the best in his age group across the UK.
Our only other competitor at the CE championships was 12 year old Alexa Gordon who tackled the U15 Girl’s Pentathlon. The first year who was giving away eighteen months in age to many of the competitors finished 43rd overall on 1803 points; her best scoring events were the 60m Hurdles, setting a PB of 10.52 seconds and the Long Jump where she had a fine effort of 4.64m.
This competition in effect will be the last one for a while due to the Coronavirus. On Tuesday this week UK athletics and it’s regional associations have suspended all athletics activity across the UK. Initially the suspension will last until the end of April.
The last blog for a while then - keep well everyone 👍🏻
The sixth and final Mini League Sports Hall fixture took place on Sunday last at the Queens Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield and at the culmination of this year’s finale AVEAC Under 11 Girl's and Under 15 Boy’s emerged as champions in their respective age groups.
There has been a great turn out of Under 11 Girls this year and strength in numbers plus several outstanding individual performances and an excellent team spirit ensured a close victory over Chesterfield AC by 30 points.
Isla Hiscocks recorded a double at the final match, winning the Hi Stepper and Standing Long Jump and also placed 2nd in the 1 Lap sprint. Ellie Travis also had two 1st places in the 3 Lap Run and Speed Bounce, Eleanor Rigby was 3rd in the Hi Stepper and Standing Long Jump and there were 4th places and valuable points scored by Jasmine Shore in the 3 Lap Run and Hi Stepper and by Renee Seager in the 1 Lap Sprint.
Other members of the team who contributed to a fantastic overall performance, playing their part in the victory included; Jessie Jack, Eleanor Rigby, Freya Kirby, Molly Upton, Elena Quinn, Bella Storey and Jamie-Lee Scott.
Our small but select Under 15 Boys team of George Reynolds, Ellis Cameron and Corey Tatum ran out as overall title winners scoring 357 points ahead of Chesterfield’s 344 points. A big shout out to Corey who after playing a football match in the morning dashed up the M1 arriving slightly late for the opening events. He went on to score 15 points placing 3rd in the 4 Lap Run and 4th in the 2 Lap Sprint; if he hadn’t been there Chesterfield would have lifted the title by 2 points. Ellis took 1st place in the 4 lap event and was 3rd in the Standing Long Jump while George had a trio of 2nd places in 2 Lap Sprint, Standing Long Jump and Shot.
Nicole Bonser was our sole competitor in the Girl's Under 15 Match due to her team mate throughout this year, Mia Franco competing at the National U15 Championships in Sheffield. Nicole must have created some sort of record as she won the Shot for a sixth match in a row; this time her winning distance was 8.78m. Leaving the best to last this was her furthest throw during the league series and for good measure she also won the Standing Long Jump and was runner up in the 2 Lap Sprint.
Both the Under 11 Boy’s and Under 13 Girl’s teams finished 2nd overall in the League to Chesterfield. Under 11, Henry Jack placed 1st in the Hi Stepper while Barney Ponty finished closely behind in 2nd and was also 3rd in the Speed Bounce. Joshua Bailey placed 4th in the 1 Lap Sprint and Speed Bounce, Corey Fisher finished 5th in the 3 Lap Run and Jack Hislop taking part in only his second league match also did well in the Speed Bounce.
In the Under 13 Girl's match, Jasmine Ellis had a great afternoon recording a treble; she won the 2 Lap Sprint and had an excellent Standing Long Jump victory leaping 2.25m before teaming up with Daisy Kaye to finish 1st in the 8 Lap Parlauf. Imogen Laugharne won the Speed Bounce and took 3rd in the Standing Long Jump, Mae Jones was 2nd in the Standing Long Jump while Daisy followed up her Parlauf run by placing 3rd in both the 2 Lap Sprint and Shot. Other good performances were recorded by Mia Hogg and Katie Fitzpatrick who were 5th and 7th in the Standing Long Jump in a very large field of 20 competitors.
Luis Fravolini and Luca Mandiakis were the Club’s two representatives in the Under 13 competition. Luca won the Speed Bounce, placed 3rd in the Standing Long Jump and was 4th in the Shot. Luis placed 2nd in the Standing Long Jump and was 4th in the 2 Lap Sprint.
The club would like to express it's thanks to team managers, Nigel Hiscocks (Under 11), Sarah Kaye (Under 13) and Janine Bonser (Under 15) for their suppprt to the young athletes during this year’s campaign. Thanks as well to Trevor Jolly and his stand in at some of the matches, Karl Ponty, for managing the results between them throughout the season. A big thank you as well to the many parents who acted as officials during the matches ensuring that events ran smoothly for the enjoyment of all the young athletes.
Finally congratulations to Chesterfield AC who were crowned overall league champions.
Ella Rush produced an exceptional series of jumps on Saturday at the first day of the England Athletics Under Age Championships in Sheffield to take the Gold Medal in the Women’s U17 Long Jump with a huge winning distance of 5.97m.
In a field of 22 competitors Ella opened her account with a distance of 5.91m just 2 centimetres short of her outdoor best. Her 5.97m came in the 5th round and cemented a truly remarkable performance which saw all her jumps in the 5.80m plus region with three in the 5.90s. In 2nd and 3rd places were Cleo Tomlinson (Horsham Blue Star) and Kikki Brown (Leeds City) with distances of 5.81m and 5.80m.
Ella’s winning leap is the 5th best ever distance recorded by a 15 year old indoors in the UK with only Katerina Johnson-Thompson, Morgan Lake, Holly Mills and Georgina Olapadapo who competed in the Long Jump at the Atlanta Olympics in 1996, jumping further.
On Sunday Ella picked up a Bronze medal in the High Jump clearing 1.67m behind Halle Ferguson (Trafford AC) who took the Gold, jumping 1.70m. To cap a fantastic weekend, she also finished 6th in the Shot with an indoor PB, throwing 12.20m.
Imogen Laugharne equalled her Personal best in the Girl’s U15 High Jump clearing the bar at 1.55m on her third attempt to finish a very creditable 6th. This was Imogen’s first taste of competing at national level and the Northern Championship runner up can be very proud of her achievement finishing only 4 centimetres behind the Bronze medalist. She will be in the same age group in 2021 and this time round was the second best placed first year in the competition.
Ryan Rawlinson and Corey Tatum competed in the Boys Under 15, 60 metres. Both ran personal bests with Corey recording 8.09 seconds in his heat, knocking two one hundredths off his previous best set at the Northern Championships last month. Ryan qualified for the semi final after finishing 2nd in his heat in a time of 7.66 seconds. In the semi final he finished 6th and had the consolation of sprinting to a new best ever time of 7.61.
Chris Turner was also in action on Saturday in the Men’s U17 Triple Jump finishing 14th on 11.92m. He was disappointed by the distance as he recently had jumped 12.41m when winning the Midland Championships and was hoping to break into the top eight.
Charlie Yates finished 9th in a very competitive U17 Women’s Triple Jump on Sunday. Her best jump was 10.81m and she just missed the cut for a further three jumps by 4 centimetres. The standard in Under 17 Women’s triple jumping has been on the increase this past few years. In 2015 AVEAC athlete Katie Rowe won this title with 11.67m; this year that distance would have placed her 5th.
Mia Franco and Cecilia Smyth took part in the heats of U15 Girl’s 60m Hurdles on Sunday. Both ran times just below their personal bests with Mia clocking 10.36 seconds in her heat while Cecelia’s time was 10 seconds dead.
Next up for Ella will be the English U17 Combined Events Championships in a few weeks time and going on her individual performances this weekend she should do well in the five event Pentathlon and will be hoping to go one place better this year having placed 2nd in the 2019 event. Also in action will be Ryan Rawlinson in the Boy's U15 Pentathlon who on paper is ranked 6th on previous best performances going into the event; Alexa Gordon will take part in her first ever Pentathlon and as a first year U15 will be looking to gain valuable experience for outdoor combined events later in the year.
Club Record for Tamsin at British Seniors
Our sole representative at this year’s British Senior Championships, held in Glasgow, also at the weekend was Tamsin McGraw competing in the Women’s 800m.
Running in the second of three heats she completed the four lap race in 2 mins 8.31 to finish 4th and with the winner of each heat plus the three fastest losers progressing to the final, she just missed out, having the 7th fastest time overall from the preliminary rounds.
Tamsin’s time was a new personal best and beat the existing Senior Women’s club record of 2 mins 8.76 previously held by Alex Turner since 2015.
It was a golden day for Chris Turner and Charlie Yates at the Midland Indoor Championships held at the HiPac, Birmingham on Saturday with both athletes coming away with regional titles.
Chris who missed three weeks training due to a bruised knee while playing Rugby at school only started back jumping again last week. He took the top podium position in the Men’s Under 17 Triple Jump in a tightly contested competition. His best jump of 12.41m was a new Indoor personal best and just edged first place, ahead of Alfie Wood (Cheltenham AC) on 12.38m.
Charlie’s Gold medal came in the Women’s Under 17 High Jump and she also added a Bronze in the Triple Jump. Entering the competition at 1.50m, she had first time clearances at that height and at 1.55m and then cleared 1.60m on her third attempt. She was the only athlete to clear 1.60m, an Indoor PB, and had three very good efforts at an all time best of 1.65m. On paper Charlie was the third best going into the competition and showed her competitive mettle by finishing ahead of a couple of athletes who have jumped higher in the past. Earlier in the day she came away with a Bronze medal in an excellent Triple Jump competition which saw the first four competitors jump beyond the English Championship qualifying standard of 10.80m. Her jump at 10.96m was a season’s best and just three centimetres behind the runner up Michelle Yalekhue (Notts AC); the winner Amy Warre (Swindon AC) jumped 11.28m.
Both Chris and Charlie are now part of the Derbyshire Institute of Sport’s Potential programme based at the University of Derby and have been benefiting from Strength and Conditioning sessions held there each Monday since October.
A third Triple Jump medal came by the way of Daisy Kaye who finished 2nd in the Girl’s Under 15 event. This was Daisy’s second ever Triple Jump contest and she improved her previous competitive best by 8 centimetres with a distance of 9.38m. Daisy who is a first year in this age group has been part of a Triple Jump Development Group this Winter and it was also good to see another member of that Group, Izzy Haworth (Rushcliffe AC) finish 3rd jumping 9.03m.
More jumping success in Sheffield
Two AVEAC athletes were also in action on Saturday at a Northern Masters competition in Sheffield that also included a number of ‘open’ events.
Ben Pitts added five centimetres to his previous best in the High Jump clearing 1.75m and was the best placed Under 17 in the competition. In the Women’s Open Long Jump Alexa Gordon’s 4.75m was a new Indoor PB and the best performance by an Under 15 athlete.
The latest Championship jumping successes at the Midland Championships this week, the Northern Championships last week plus many PBs in the past month at Indoor Opens has been helped by the athletes being able to avail of the Indoor jumping facilities at Harvey Hadden Sports Village, rather than having to train outside in what has been a terrible Winter. Thanks is due to our near neighbours Notts AC for allowing the athletes to train there several times a week since Christmas. It is certainly paying dividends!
Finally congratulations to Club coach Geoff Lowry, competing for Sheffield Running Club, who won the Northern Masters M55 1500m title in a time of 4min .49.0. at the same meeting.
The following decision has been taken by the committee following discussions over the suitability of specialist “invite” sessions on Tuesdays and Thursdays to younger athletes.
Starting from Monday 10 February 2020, only children in Year 8 and above will be eligible for these invite sessions. There may currently be some athletes below this year group training on Tuesdays & Thursdays. From Monday 8th, these sessions will not, unfortunately, be applicable for athletes in years 7 and below. Any athletes affected can still continue with their training on Wednesdays & Saturdays only.
If required, Bob or another member of the committee, is willing to meet with any parents & athletes affected by this change to discuss the reasoning behind the decision & pathways for athletes going forward. However, we prefer this not to be on an ad hoc basis. If there are several parents/athletes who’d like to discuss this, we would be obliged if you could advise us by email to firstname.lastname@example.org and a meeting can be set up.
Joe Dickenson broke the Under 20 Club Record for the Indoor 60m sprint twice within the space of an hour at the Loughborough Open Meeting on Saturday.
Joe, now studying at Loughborough, is better known for his longer sprinting. He is the current Northern Under 20 Silver medalist at 400m and is now being coached by former GB international Graham Hedman.
Running two 60m graded races he clocked times of 7.22 seconds to win the the first race and 7.16 in the second race, finishing 4th against stronger opposition. He beat the previous club record of 7.30 which had been jointly held by Ed Barbour and Jack Allen. He is now looking forward to the British Universities (BUCS) Championships which will be held in Sheffield on the 15th&16th February.
Ella Rush also sharpened up her speed at the Loughborough Open in preparation for the English Under 17 Championships later this month with two personal bests in the flat 60m when she clocked 8.10 winning her graded race and then sprinting to 9.35 seconds in the Senior Women’s 60m Hurdles in 2nd place.
Scott Ram competed in his second Indoor Heptathlon within the space of a month when he travelled north to the Emirates Arena, Glasgow to take part in the Scottish Senior Championships on Saturday and Sunday.
The Loughborough student started Day 1 with PBs in the opening events the 60m and Long Jump. A 7.59 sprint time knocked three tenths of his previous best and he got out to 6.15m in the Long Jump adding two centimetres to the mark set at the English Championships in early January. A 8.74m Shot Put and a solid High Jump of 1.76m left him in 8th place at the conclusion of the first day.
Scott usually makes up ground on Day 2 with two of the three events being among his stronger ones. His 60m Hurdle time of 9.09 seconds was the sixth fastest of the day and a consistent Pole Vault of 3.17m kept him in touch with the top six. The second fastest run of the day in the final 1000m of 2 mins 50.87 moved him into 6th place, a very creditable performance indeed against several more experienced multi-eventers.
Scott has been a member of the club since 2010 when he competed as an Under 11 in the Mini League and Charnwood Opens. He has trained consistently over the years and worked hard, going out of his way to learn events like the Pole Vault. It is great to see him transitioning to senior athletics and still enjoying the sport.
Seven of the Club’s athletes were in action on Sunday at the Northern U15 Championships held at the Sheffield Arena. All of them posted a series of excellent performances and it was a particularly good afternoon for Ryan Rawlinson and Imogen Laugharne who came away with Gold and Silver medals.
Ryan’s Gold came in the U15 Boy’s 60m Hurdles. Qualifying easily to win his heat in 9.44 seconds, he then went on to knock almost three tenths of a second of that time by clocking 9.17 in a closely fought final edging out James Harney (East Cheshire). His winning time was a new Club record beating the previous mark of 9.81 seconds held by Michael Feeney which had stood since 2006. This was a fantastic performance by Ryan who only took up sprint hurdling last Summer and suggests that he will be one to watch over the longer 80m event outdoors this season. He also reached the final of the 60m flat finishing 6th in 7.83 seconds after posting times of 7.68 to finish 1st in his Heat and 7.78 in the Semi Final placing 2nd.
Imogen sailed to new heights in the Under 15 Girl’s High Jump to take the Silver medal behind Thea Brown (Sale Harriers), clearing 1.55m, an improvement of 2 centimetres on last year’s outdoor best. Imogen who is a first year Under 15 and is eligible again next year for this age group, had three very good attempts at 1.60m and it should only be a matter of time until clears that milestone. Later in the day she also reached the Semi Finals of the 60m Hurdles finishing 6th in 9.99 seconds having ran the exact same time when qualifying from her Heat. Another PB came in the Long Jump with a 4.44m leap that placed her in the middle order of a 36 strong field.
Cecilia Smyth battled her way to the final of the 60m Hurdles recording times of 9.88 and 9.90 in her Heat and Semi Final. In contention for a medal in the final, she clipped the last barrier knocking her off her rhythm, eventually finishing 7th in 9.98 seconds.
Nicole Bonser also performed well reaching the final of the Shot Put. Qualifying with a personal best of 8.61m, she was slightly below that in the final where her 8.56m throw placed her 8th. Nicole also returned a time of 8.81 seconds in her 60m Heat finishing 6th and recorded 4.39m in the qualification rounds of the Long Jump.
Corey Tatum had a busy day qualifying through the heats to reach the Semi Finals of the 60m and 200m. He finished 6th in the 60m Semi and 4th in the 200m. His 8.11 second heat time in the 60m was a PB and a 26.15 timing in the 200m Heat was a Season’s Best. He finished the day just failing to make the final eight in the Long Jump placing 9th on 4.82m.
Alexa Gordon finished 10th overall in the U15 Girl's Long Jump. Her 4.61m effort was an indoor PB and was the second best distance recorded by a first year in that age group. She also ran a personal best in her Heat of the 60m Hurdles, placing 6th, timed at 10.57 seconds.
Mia Franco, our seventh athlete in action also competed in the 60m Hurdles, finishing 4th in her heat in 10.27 seconds, a hundredth of a second behind her best ever.
This Saturday the Midland Indoor Championships will take place in Birmingham and there will be a small group of AVEAC athletes taking part.
The Derbyshire team for the East Midlands Regional Sports Hall final to be held in Grantham on Sunday 15th March has been announced and will include 23 AVEAC athletes. County Teams from Nottinghamshire, Lincolnshire, Leicestershire and Northamptonshire will compete against Derbyshire in what promises to be an action packed afternoon.
There have been some fantastic performances by our athletes at this years Mini League and although numbers taking part have been lower than previously, the majority of those who did compete have had their efforts recognised by gaining county selection.
AVEAC athletes selected include:
Under 11 Girls - Isla Hiscocks, Ellie Travis, Renee Seager, Jasmine Shore, Eleanor Quinn and Molly Upton
Under 11 Boys - Ryan Ghai, Barney Ponty, Joshua Bailey, Gino Franco and Henry Jack
Under 13 Girls - Daisy Kaye, Imogen Laugharne, Jasmine Ellis, Mae Jones and Mia Hogg.
Under 13 Boys - Luca Mandiakis
Under 15 Girls - Nicole Bonser, Mia Franco and Cecilia Smyth
Under 15 Boys - George Reynolds, Corey Tatum and Ellis Cameron
Congratulations to all the athletes selected and good luck in the final.
AVEAC athletes have competed at two Open Events in the past week at the EIS Sheffield. On Wednesday evening five were in action at the mid week ‘Run, Jump, Throw’ meeting while on Sunday there were four more taking part at the ‘Festival of Athletics’ event.
On Wednesday Mae Jones broke new ground in the Long Jump when she smashed her previous best performance hitting the sand at 4.85m, an improvement of 36 centimetres from her 2019 outdoor best. Mae finished 2nd overall and was the best U15 Girl in her pool. Alexa Gordon had an unfortunate clash with her 60m Hurdles and Long Jump going on at the same time. She recorded a 10.8 hurdles time and her only registered Long Jump was 4.41m which placed her 2nd to Mae.
Four Under 17s were in action at the meeting with Keira Warhurst clearing 2.57m in the Pole Vault and just narrowly failed at a new PB of 2.72m. Katie Pott’s 4.59m in the Long Jump was a new indoor best while Lucy Fitzpatrick added a few more centimetres on to her season’s best in the Triple Jump measured at 9.40m. Charlie Yates tested her speed in the 60m clocking 8.49 seconds not far behind her all time best.
On Sunday at the ‘Festival of Athletics’, Charlie Yates was in action again and along with Ben Pitts, both athletes showed good High Jump form. Charlie was joint 1st in the Under 17 Women’s event with a leap of 1.55m while Ben finished 2nd in the U17 Men’s event equalling his PB at 1.70m. He then went on to finish 2nd in the Long Jump as well with a distance of 5.45m, improving his previous best set in December by nine centimetres.
Mia Franco was also in action and had marks of 9.05 seconds in the 60m, 30.10 in the 200m and 4.07m in the Long Jump. Daisy Kayevhad a busy afternoon as well with a 9.19 seconds 60m; a 2 min 41.8, 800m and a 1.30m High Jump.
Our final young athlete taking part was Isla Hiscocks competing at U13 level for the first time in the 60m and Long Jump. She sped to a time of 9.32 seconds in the short sprint and registered a distance of 3.49m in the Long Jump.
This Sunday will see several AVEAC athletes in action at the Northern U13 and U15 Indoor Championships which will also take place in Sheffield.
AVEAC had a busy weekend recently competing on three fronts. On Saturday 18th January, five young athletes took part in the Midland Indoor Open at the HiPac, Birmingham focusing on Triple Jump and High Jump while some of our endurance based members where representing their school districts at the Derbyshire Schools Cross country Championships at Shipley Park. On Sunday 19th, Queens Park Sports Centre, Chesterfield was the venue for the fifth fixture in the Mini League Sports Hall series.
Excellent Jumping at Midland Open
Imogen Laugharne and Daisy Kaye have been part of a Triple Jump Development Group that has met monthly since September and both had made enough progress to have a go at their first competition at the Midland Indoor Open event. They did exceptionally well with Imogen jumping 9.47m and Daisy getting out to 9.30m in their graded pool, well beyond the Power of Ten national standard of 8.50m at Under 15 level. Imogen then went on to clear 1.50m in the High Jump, an indoor PB, and just fractionally short of her 1.53m outdoor best to cap a very successful Saturday.
Skye finished 5th in the Intermediate Girls (Year 10&11) race maintaining her position as one of the leading young distance runners in the County.
In the Junior Girl’s race Martha Sergeant representing Amber Valley Schools had a stellar run with a 9th place finish. Jasmine Ellis representing Erewash came home in 26th place while Megan Joyce, also on the Amber Valley squad was 37th.
In the Intermediate Boy’s race Tom Sergeant finished 20th, Joel McGraw was 22nd, Connor Chadwick 23rd and Oliver Dann 31st. All four athletes scored for the Amber Valley team in 2nd place overall.
A small field of 13 runners took part in the Senior Boy's race (Year12&13) with Adam Knight and Jonathon Howkins finishing in 6th and 8th places.
The Championships included a Year 7 race and Phoebe Tilsley (Derbyshire Dales) had an excellent run to finish 7th out of 73 competitors and led the Dales District to team Gold medals. In 23rd place was Poppy Weller running for Amber Valley.
More good performances at latest Sports Hall fixture
In the Boy’s Under 11 Match, Ryan Ghai broke the County Record for the 1 Lap Sprint finishing joint 1st with Ezra Adetunji (Chesterfield) in a time of 13.2 seconds. He then went on to claim two more winning performances in the Vertical Jump and 2 Lap sprint. Barney Ponty’s 5.34m Standing Triple Jump was good enough for 2nd place and Nicholas Driver making his Sports Hall debut scored valuable points in both Standing Jumps and also in the 2 Lap event. Also making his first appearance at Sports Hall was Jack Hislop and along with regulars Gino Franco, Henry Jack, Corey Fisher, Archie Wilson and Joshua Bailey, the team finished 2nd overall.
The Under 11 Girl’s Team tied with Chesterfield in their match. Isla Hiscocks was again on top form recording a treble when winning the 1 Lap Sprint, Standing Triple Jump and Vertical Jump. Renee Seager also had a good competition winning the Chest Push throw and claiming 3rd place in the sprint. Ellie Travis had two top three places, finishing 2nd in the Standing Triple Jump and 3rd in the 2 Lap. Eleanor Rigby's 3rd place in the Standing Triple Jump made it a clean sweep for the AVEAC team. The remaining team members Jasmine Shore, Naiya Starbuck and Jaime-Lee Scott also played their part in the team joint victory.
Five U13 Girl’s competed finishing 2nd behind Chesterfield. Imogen Laugharne followed up her excellent Triple Jump debut the day before in Birmingham by winning the Standing version of the event and she also finished 3rd in the Shot and Vertical Jump. First place in the Vertical Jump went to Jasmine Ellis, Mia Hogg was 3rd in the 2 Lap sprint and Katie Fitzpatrick was 4th in the 4 Lap.
In the 4 Lap race Daisy Kaye got inside the previous county record returning a time of 56.3. Daisy finished 2nd behind Chesterfield athlete Charlotte Staniland whose 55.2 second clocking in claiming the new record was probably the performance of the afternoon.
For the first time this season AVEAC had four Boy’s taking part in the U13 match. Luis Fravolini had a good start to his first Sports Hall match finishing 3rd in the 2 Lap sprint. Ever present at all the fixtures this year, Luca Mandiakis was 2nd in the 4 Lap event, 3rd in the Standing Triple Jump and 4th in the Vertical Jump. Both Luca and Luis teamed up with Sebastian Banks and Owen Siddal to take 3rd place in the relay.
Ever reliable athletes Nicole Bonser and Mia Franco were once again our only girls in action in the Under 15 age group. Nicole’s winning streak in the Shot continued; that’s now five victories in a row. She was also 4th in the 2 Lap and 5th in the Vertical Jump. Mia was 2nd in the 2 Lap, 3rd in the Shot and 4th in the Vertical Jump.
In the Under 15 Boy’s events George Reynolds had a trio of 2nd places in the 2 Lap sprint, Shot and Standing Triple Jump. Corey Tatum was 4th in the 2 Lap and Standing Triple Jump and then teamed up with Ellis Cameron to finish 1st in the 8 Lap team parlauf.
The final Sports Hall League fixture will be held on Sunday 23rd February. Before then it is anticipated that many of our young Sports Hall stars will be selected for the East Midlands Regional Final in Grantham on 15th March based on performances at the first five fixtures.
Tamsin McGraw retained her Senior Women’s Indoor 800m title at the North of England Championships at EIS Sheffield at the weekend. There was also a Silver medal for Joe Dickenson in the Under 20 Men’s 400m and a Bronze for Adam Berwick in the Senior High Jump.
England international Tamsin in her second outing this indoor season clocked 2 mins 11.36, to take the Gold medal, half a second quicker than last weeks run at a BMC event also in Sheffield. Tamsin who is in her second year at Sheffield Hallam University finished ahead of Club Coach Nisha Desai, who competes for Manchester based Trafford AC. Nisha who is better known as a 400m Hurdler and has ranked in the top 10 in the British Senior rankings on many occasions clocked 2 mins 13.34.
Tamsin’s younger brother Joel made it a good day for the McGraw household when he finished 5th in the U17 Men’s 800m final after qualifying through his heat in 3rd. Joel’s time in the final was 2 mins 10.61.
In the Under 20 Men’s 400m Joe Dickenson finished 2nd behind Isaac Rushworth (Sheffield & Dearn). The Loughborough University student easily qualified through his heat in 49.71 seconds and in the final almost ran the same time again when he crossed the finish in 49.73. Both times are not that far behind his outdoor PB which would suggest he is on course to break into the 48 second club this Summer.
Adam Berwick picked up a Bronze medal in the Senior Men’s High Jump clearing 1.90m in his first competitive outing this Winter. In the Under 17 High Jump, Ben Pitts cleared 1.70m, a new personal best which saw him finish just outside the medals in 4th.
There was a 4th place as well for Keira Warhurst in the Under 17 Women’s Pole Vault where she equalled her personal best with a height of 2.80m. Keira cleared the same height as the silver and bronze medalists and lost out on a podium position on count back.
Emily Coope in the Senior Women’s 60m had one of those days when things didn’t go to plan; her 8.08 seconds Heat time didn’t get her through to the final.
The last two weekends have seen AVEAC athletes compete at the Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire Cross Country Championships on Saturday 4th January at Shipley Park and last Saturday in the final North Midlands League match at Woolaton Hall.
The county championships were held in true cross country conditions with the muddy underfoot terrain proving particularly challenging to all the runners taking part.
Our Under 17 Women’s team earned themselves Silver medals with Skye Kelsey just missing out on an individual podium place in 4th followed by Indiya Gannon 11th and Fran Howett, one place behind. Our Under 13 Girls team also packed well and were rewarded with Bronze medals for their efforts. Poppy Weller ran an excellent race to finish in 8th place ably supported by Phoebe Tilsley in 12th, Carmen Jackson 15th and Eleanor Rigby 21st.
Jaime-Lee Scott and Ewan Busfield were our sole representatives in the U11 Girl’s and U13 Boy’s races with Jaime finishing a very respectable 9th and Ewan running another sterling race in 6th place.
Both our Under 15 Boy’s and Under 17 Men’s teams finished 4th. The Under 15 team was led by Thomas Eason in 9th place, Ellis Cameron 13th and Morgan Cockell 18th. In the Under 17 race Tom Sergeant was 15th, Stan Dickenson 18th and Joel McGraw 19th.
Our two athletes in the Nottinghamshire Championships were Barney Ponty who finished 12th in the U11 Boy’s race and Connor Chadwick who was 11th in the Under 15 event.
At the final North Midlands League fixture at Woolaton Hall, Skye Kelsey ran well to finish 3rd and after the four race programme was rewarded for her consistency with a Bronze medal overall having had three 3rd placings and one 5th placing over the four match programme. Her team mates throughout the season Indiya Gannon and Fran Howett finished 14th and17th in the final race and were 7th and 9th overall.
In the Under 15 Boy’s race Tom Eason came home in 12th place while Connor Chadwick completed the course in 16th . Carmen Jackson was 16th in the Under13 Girl’s event, Tom Sergeant finished 17th in the Under 17 Men’s race while our youngest competitor Jamie-Lee Scott had another fine run in the Under 11 event in 9th place.
As the Cross Country season nears conclusion the club would like to extend thanks to all those involved in team managing and coaching our young athletes at these events at times in conditions which can only be described as testing. A particular big thank you is due to Tony McGraw who ensures the club tent and chairs are set up prior to each event taking place. Tony is often the last to leave and what many may not realise he will then ensure the tents and chairs are cleaned before the next fixture - definitely volunteering at its best.
The club is always on the lookout for more volunteers. There are many ways parents and other relatives can help - collecting fees at the membership desk, assisting coaches with timing, pit raking for example or assisting with teams at track, Sports Hall or Cross Country. If interested speak to the coaches, desk staff or committee members.
A Northern regional Gold Medal for Ella Rush and a Bronze for Scott Ram concluded a very successful weekend for our two AVEAC athletes competing at the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Indoor Combined Events Championships at the EIS Arena, Sheffield.
Ella who is in her second year as an Under 17 stepped up to take on her more senior rivals in the Under 20 Women’s Pentathlon and came away finishing 4th overall; she also was 3rd best placed British athlete and top placed Northern athlete.
She started off solidly in the 60m Hurdles on Saturday morning and her first competitive outing over the higher barriers resulted in a time of 9.44 seconds placing her 10th after the first discipline. Next up was the High Jump where she cleared 1.66m moving up the leader board to 5th overall. Putting the 4kg Shot also for the first time resulted in a throw of 10.33m gaining her one more place to 4th. After a marginal foul in the first round of the Long Jump, a slight adjustment in her run up resulted in a best effort of 5.65m in the final third round. She then went on to run a very gutsy 800m to finish the day with a personal best of 2 mins 25.97 giving her an overall points score of 3665.
The winner of the competition was Jodie Smith (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) on 4041 points, 10 points short of the Championship record, ahead of Irish International Anna McCauley (City of Lisburn) in 2nd on 3749 followed closely behind by Midland Champion, Jenna Blundell (Bristol & West) on 3744. Ella in 4th was the best placed Under 17 athlete in the competition.
Scott Ram competing for the first time in the Senior Men’s Heptathlon which was held over the two days scored an impressive 4224 points to finish 15th overall in a field of 38 competitors. His points tally earned him a Bronze medal in the Northern Regional event and he was the 7th best placed Under 23 athlete.
Scott who now studies at Loughborough University and is coached by former GB Decathlete and World Championship finalist, Alex Kruger, started off with a 60m Personal Best of 7.62 seconds in the opening event of the first day. He then went on to leap 6.13m in the Long Jump, just 10 centimetres short of his best ever and after the first two events was lying in 20th position. The Shot did not go to plan with his two opening throws resulting in fouls leaving him to play safe in the the final round where a Standing Put of 8.42m moved him back down the field to 24th. The final event of Day 1, the High Jump, went well and a new PB performance of 1.78m gained him three more places, back up to 21st.
Day 2 started with a bang and a 8.99 PB clocking in the 60m Hurdles took him up to 17th overall. A height of 3.23m in the Pole Vault consolidated his position leading into the final 1000m event where an excellent run in 2 mins 49.43 gained him another two places up to 15th overall and a first ever Northern Senior Championship medal as the third best placed athlete from the region.
The final Derbyshire Mini League Cross Country fixture took place at Moorways on Saturday last and after the three match competition AVEAC finished runners up behind a very strong Derby AC team. In cross country, winning is dependent on the aggregate finishing places of a team’s top three athletes in each race. AVEAC scored 445 points overall behind Derby’s 269 and just in front of Heanor AC who ended up with a total of 449.
Extremely cold weather was the order of the day on the undulating Moorway’s course and our U11s were first to face the tough conditions. The Girl's team of Eleanor Rigby, Jasmine Shore and Ellie Travis ran well as a team to finish in 8th, 9th and 11th positions and ended up 4th overall. In the Boy’s race Barney Ponty kept his best to last with a fine 7th place finish, considerably improving his placing from the previous fixture where he came 13th. Max Houlton finished 11th and Gino Franco was 14th and like the Girl’s team, the Boy’s were 4th overall.
In the Under 13 races, Carmen Jackson ran consistently again in 5th place while Megan Joyce was four places behind her in 9th. Ewan Busfield had another excellent outing in the U13 Boy’s race finishing 2nd behind Heanor’s Owen Lynas. Sebastian Banks having his first outing this year over the country finished 10th.
At Under 15 level the Boy’s AVEAC team packed well and finished 2nd behind Derby. Tom Eason was 4th, Connor Chadwick 7th and Morgan Cockell was 11th to give a combined score of 22 points. Ryan Rawlinson, the fourth non-scoring member of the team finished a respectable 15th.
At the end of the three match series Gold, Silver and Bronze medals were presented to the top athletes overall. Ewan Busfield was runner up in the Boy's Under 13 age group, Carmen Jackson was 3rd in the Under 13 Girl’s category and Connor Chadwick was also rewarded with a Bronze medal at Under 15 level. Other athletes who competed in all three fixtures included; Barney Ponty (9th overall Under 11), Megan Joyce (9th overall Under 13), Morgan Cockell (7th overall U15) and Ryan Rawlinson (17th overall U15).
Next up on the Cross Country calendar will be the joint Derbyshire & Nottinghamshire County Championships which will be held at Shipley Park, Heanor, on Saturday 4th January.
AVEAC Under 13 Girl’s Track and Field team plus three individual athletes have been the recipients of Awards from the Heart of England League due to outstanding performances at this year’s fixtures in Division 1.
After the three match competition the U13 Girl’s team were crowned league champions on 403 points ahead of Coventry Godiva (396 points) and Stratford AC (332 points). The team performed magnificently throughout the three fixtures recording numerous individual victories at each match. The members of the victorious winning team were; Phoebe Tilsley, Imogen Laugharne, Alexa Gordon, Esme Aikman, Daisy Kaye, Mae Jones, Carmen Jackson, Jasmine Ellis, Megan Joyce and Katie Fitzpatrick.
Three athletes also gained individual awards for recording excellent performances in their respective events. Molly Upton’s huge Howler Javelin effort of 34.10m in the Under 11 age group, as well as being a Club Record, earned her an outstanding achievement award for the furthest throw over the three meetings.
Alexa Gordon’s magnificent 4.90m Long Jump at Match 1 in Abingdon was deemed to be the best Under 13 performance of the meeting and she deservedly was awarded Athlete of the Match in her age group.
At the second fixture in Banbury, Charlie Yates cleared 1.60m in the High Jump, a leap that earned her the Athlete of the Match accolade in the Under 17 Women’s category.
Congratulations is due to all the athletes who took part in the meetings and to the Team Managers for their time and commitment supporting the athletes. AVEAC will continue in Division 1 next year after finishing fifth overall out of the eight competing teams.
This article below by Ashleigh Spiliopoulou is reproduced courtesy of Athletics Weekly.
World under-20 heptathlon champion Niamh Emerson is making an encouraging return from injury.
She may be my housemate, my training partner and one of my best friends, but pinning Niamh Emerson down for an interview is no mean feat, writes Ashleigh Spiliopoulou.
She’s constantly on the go and always full of energy. One of the most supportive and bubbly athletes you’ll ever meet, she’s always ready to give others advice and, for her age, she’s got a lot of advice to give.
That’s because Emerson has been through her fair share of major competitions, tough training, incredible victories and devastating injuries. At the time of our interview, for example, she is in week 22 of rehab after a patella tendon repair operation.
Our conversation starts with Emerson recalling her Heptathlon at the IAAF World Under-20 Championships in Tampere last year. She explains how beforehand she so desperately wanted a medal but due to being ranked third going into the competition, she had barely dared to dream of gold. Yet Emerson’s dramatic finish to the 800m, where she collapsed across the line, completely spent, is just one example of the way she gives her heart and soul to athletics.
This incredible moment was just the fuel the new world junior champion needed to kickstart her into a hard winter of training. She describes how she found herself progressing unexpectedly quickly during the winter of 2018-19 due to the addition of new drills.
These drills were partly possible because the Jean Pickering Olympic Scholarship had allowed her coach, David Feeney, to visit the Dutch national training camp where he had discovered new ideas and gained inspiration for his athlete’s training.
Starting working with Goldie Sayers for javelin was also an initiative aided by the scholarship and this has made a big difference to Emerson’s understanding of the event.
After a promising winter, the 2018 Commonwealth Games bronze medallist went into the European Indoor Championships in Glasgow feeling excited. Nevertheless, she remembers feeling “a bit star-struck because it was my first time competing against the current best girls in the world!” Yet really, she had nothing to feel star-struck about, because at just 19 years old she won an incredible silver medal, beating everyone apart from Katarina Johnson-Thompson.
While her impressive record of performances could suggest that little goes wrong for this heptathlon rising star, she has actually been plagued by more than her fair share of setbacks. For many years now, Emerson has been managing patella tendonitis which has limited the amount of jumping she can do in training. As if this wasn’t enough, prior to the outdoor season, she discovered she had a stress response in her back.
Although it was minor, the injury meant that she could not do any gym exercises that put load through her back and she had to swap running on the track for aqua-jogging and watt-bike sessions.
Her hampered lead up to the outdoor season put doubt into the minds of the coaching team as to whether she should accept her invitation to the big early-season combined events meeting in Gotzis in Austria. However, Emerson explains: “I was desperate to compete at this magical place that I had watched on live stream for so many years, especially as I had declined my invitation the year before.”
Outside of a major championship, competing at Gotzis is every multi-eventer’s dream so Emerson’s desire to compete was completely understandable. The competition started strongly, with a hurdles time very close to her PB. Unfortunately, though, the high jump was up next and it was this event that would test her knee the most.
At her second attempt at 1.86m, she planted her foot badly and felt excruciating pain that forced her to withdraw from the competition. Initially, she had no idea of the extent of the damage done, as she had been used to very painful episodes of patella tendonitis over the years. On her return home, MRI results showed a partial tear of the patella tendon.
There was no option but to operate. Within a week of the competition, she was lying in a hospital bed with screws holding her tendon together and the whirlwind finally caught up with her. She couldn’t believe it.
Ever the optimist, the Loughborough-based psychology student kept herself busy by studying for her exams and then turned her attention toward a much-needed holiday. It wasn’t long though before she was back into the thick of training, beginning with a one-week residential rehabilitation camp. There she trained in the gym and in the pool intensively, 9am-4pm every day.
Although the rehab has been tough, Emerson has thrown herself into it with complete commitment as she always does and she explains how rewarding it has been seeing the progress. Her sights are already set on next year, where she plans to be back into full training by January 1 in order to attempt her Olympic qualifying competition five months later.
Her gratitude to the Jean Pickering Olympic Scholarship for allowing her and her coaches to learn and grow, for funding training camps and for giving her advice and support, is reiterated again and again throughout our interview.
You cannot fail to get behind her in all her efforts due to an infectious personality and work ethic. Watch this space, because who knows what kind of performances she is capable of in 2020 and beyond.
Credit: Ashleigh Spiliopoulou.
AVEAC competed on two fronts last Saturday with nine of our athletes grinding their way through very muddy conditions in the latest North Midlands Cross Country fixture held at Shipley Park while eight others took part in the Northern Athletics Indoor Open Meeting at the EIS Arena, Sheffield.
Syke Kelsey had another gritty run in the Under 17 Women's 5km race over the country. The sticky underfoot conditions were to Skye’s liking and she ended up finishing 3rd behind Molly Peel (PANVAC) and Amelia McMurtre (Kettering AC). In 13th and 14th places were Indiya Gannon and Fran Howett resulting in a 3rd place overall in the team race.
In the U11 Boy’s 2km race, Josh Bailey placed 33rd with Max Houlton a few places behind in 37th. Charlie Halford was our sole competitor in the U13 Boy’s 3km race and completed his stint in 20th place. In the U15, 5km Conor Chadwick and Thomas Eason almost ran neck and neck crossing the finish line in 16th and 17th places while in the U17 6km, Thomas Sergeant finished 18th.
At the Northern Indoor Open meeting there were good performances all round by AVEAC athletes including several who achieved the entry standard for the forthcoming England U15 and 17 championships in February. In the U15 Boy's 60m Corey Tatum sped to a new personal best returning a time of 8.12 seconds. Corey finished 2nd in his graded race and got inside the national standard of 8.2 seconds. Mia Franco did likewise in the Girl’s U15 60m Hurdles. Winning her graded race, she was timed at 10.26 seconds beating the 10.5 qualifying mark. Ryan Rawlinson also gained the National standard in the Boy’s U15 60m Hurdles finishing 1st; his 9.43 seconds performance was well inside the 10.0 second requirement. For good measure he also sprinted to a personal best in the rarely run U15 Boy’s 150m clocking 18.06.
Charlie Yates ran a PB in the U17 Women’s 60m Hurdles; her time of 9.31 seconds placed her 5th in the top seeded race and also gained her the qualifying standard for the National indoors. Charlie also finished 4th in the Senior Women’s High Jump clearing 1.55m, again this height met the national standard.
Relative newcomer to club athletics Ben Pitts who joined AVEAC in the Summer put together a pleasing set of performances finishing 4th in both the U17 Long Jump with 5.36m and 60m Hurdles in a time of 9.86. In the Senior Men’s Long Jump, Louis Rice leapt to a new indoor PB finishing 4th; his 6.08m jump beat his previous best by 5 centimetres and was just just behind his outdoor best of 6.12m.
England international Tamsin McGraw had her first outing over the boards this winter returning a time of 1 min 33.27 to come 4th in the A graded 600m race not far behind her all time best over this distance of 1 min 32.40.
Finally club coach Geoff Lowry who competes for Heanor AC ran a good 3000m race to finish 2nd in 10 mins 21.67 in the open graded event. Geoff who is a GB masters international has a personal best time of 9mins 59.31 which he recorded at last years World Indoor Championships in Toruń, Poland.
Jess Turner is to receive British Athletics funding for the first time in her athletics career. Jess who is the current Derbyshire Sportswoman of the Year has been added to the Athletics Olympic World Class Programme in preparation for the Tokyo Olympics next year. She is one of 10 new athletes added to the programme which includes 68 in total. Jess joins club mate Niamh Emerson who was included in the programme last year and will continue to be supported in the lead up to Tokyo.
Her funding is focused on preparing for the GB 4 x 400m relay squad in which she competed with distinction last year at the World Championships and European team games; it will also help her 400m hurdles preparation as well.
In an interview with the Derby Telegraph, she said that receiving the funding, “is a massive weight lifted off my shoulders, I can reduce my workload and potentially move to Loughborough (where there are world-class athletics facilities at the university) and focus on proper training.”
Ella Rush claimed her first international title on Saturday last when she took the Gold medal in the Indoor Pentathlon at the School's quadrangular match between England, Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Ella scored 3838 points in the Under 18 Women’s competition held at Glasgow’s Emirates Stadium. When the final scores were tallied up she had a 240 points margin over her nearest rival Scotland’s Nicole Proudfoot on 3598 points with Irish champion Laura Frawley taking the Bronze medal scoring 3371.
Following a tentative start in the opening Shot event, Ella’s final throw of 12.05m gave her a slender lead over team mate Emily Misantoni. The 60m hurdles which followed resulted in a 9.16 second clocking, the third fastest of the sixteen competitors, maintaining her overall lead by 54 points.
An indoor personal best in the Long Jump of 5.76m was 22 centimetres ahead of the next best distance and an equal indoor best of 1.68m in the High Jump put her into an unassailable lead going into the final event, the 800m. She ran intelligently throughout the four lap race recording 2 mins 30.19 and crossed the finish line a worthy winner after an extremely hectic day.
Ella led the English team to overall victory in the team competition ahead of Scotland, Ireland and Wales. Her 3838 points tally improved her own club record by 82 points, is the second best ever score by a fifteen year old in the UK and the fourth best score all time in the British U17 rankings.