South of England U15 & U17 Champs, Ashford
Saturday 26th & Sunday 27th
Bradley Burr and Nicola Hill struck gold as the first leg of the South of England Championships – those for U15s & U17s – took place at Ashford this weekend.
Burr succeeded training partner Georgie Bean as the U15 Boys’ javelin champions when adding almost 5m to his personal best with a mighty 51.34m effort. It was almost 4m further than any rival could manage on the day, the second longest throw in Britain this year & takes him into the UK all-time top 25 for the age group. It is also the second best ever by a club U5, ahead of Bean but behind Bonne Buwembo.
Hill won her gold the hard way coming from behind to snatch 300m Hurdles gold in the last few strides. After winning her heat comfortably on Saturday in calm and dry conditions she returned on Sunday to torrential rain. But the weather did not stop a cracking race as Herts Phoenix’s Emily Stevens and Ealing athlete Gabrielle Coveney set the pace as Nicola struggled to establish a fluent stride pattern. She was still a few strides adrift as she landed of the final flight but her powerful finish overhauled first Coveney & then Stevens to win her title at this level. Her winning time of 44.83s was not only a club record, taking almost 3-10ths off Lisa Schofield’s two year-old best, but was the fastest in the UK this summer.
There was disappointment for Hill later however. After winning her 80m hurdles heat she finished third in the final, only to be disqualified as the judges ruled that her lead leg had wandered over the adjacent lane.
Georgie Bean also had to contend with wet conditions on Sunday in the U17 Men’s javelin. His recent efforts have regularly exceeded the 50m mark but his 49.57m best throw left him out of the podium places in fifth. Another fifth place went to Andrew Kerr with his 23.52m throw.
Rebecca O’Neill found 1500m PBs in heat (5:00.35) and final (4:59.82) good enough for 12th in a fast-run U15 event. In the U17 Men’s equivalent Callum Sutton carved six seconds off his PB, clocking 4;14.18s but it was not good enough to progress while in the U15 Girls’ 75m Hurdles Nicola Peachey’s 12.58s PB was an agonising 1-100th of a second short of a semi-final fastest loser spot.
Sam Hill was unable to produce her best form when it mattered. Her PB of 28.65m would have secured podium place but her 23.70m effort on the day was only good enough for 9th, and while 9.12m in the shot earned seventh place a repeat of her 10.108m PB would have put her in medal contention. Sophie Baggs was 11th in the U15G discus with 22.31m.
U17 – Men
Heat - Callum Sutton 4:14.18m
Javelin – 5th -
Georgie Bean 49.57m
U15 – Boys
- Bradley Burr – 51.34m
5th - Andrew Kerr – 23.52m
U17 – Women
80m Hurdles – DQ (3rd) Nicola Hill (Heat: 1st – 12.02s);
- Nicola Hill 44.83s (Heat 45.94s)
X – Bethan Siddons - NHC
U15 – Girls
75m Hurdles – Heat 12.58w Nicola Peachey PB
Discus: 9th – Sam Hill 23.70m; 11th - Sophie Baggs
– 7th – Hill 9.12m
Link to full results