Title Success And More In National Champs
An exhausting weekend of competition in Sheffield over the 7th and 8th January 2012 produced a national title, double first-time international selection, repeat Senior international selection and so much more for Sale Harriers members. Entered into the premier indoor competition of the season, the National Championships at senior and junior level, Jess Taylor, Jasmin Dotzek, Alexander Wort, Joe Lancaster and Ashley Pritchard all came away with notable achievements.
The most notable being Alexander Wort who repeated the success of his training colleague Jack Andrew of two years ago in taking the Under 20 gold medal in fine style. In the lead after a strong first day in which he produced 4 heptathlon P.B.'s (60m, Long Jump, Shot Putt and Pole Vault), Alex stormed into an impressive lead early on Day Two by winning the 60m hurdles only to falter in the High Jump enabling the chasing pack to hope of catching him in the final 1000m run. There was to be no come-from-behind win for any of his competitors however as he calmly and strongly closed-out the win by running a six second personal best and beating the second place competitor by three seconds. A thoroughly deserved win for an athlete who has made significant progress in the last year or so.
And the same could be said of Jasmin Dotzek who has improved markedly in the last two years. She competed robustly to take second place in the Under 23 category of the Women's Championship. A bright hurdles run gave her a good start which became even brighter when she smashed her previous High Jump best by six centimetres in the next event of a packed one-day pentathlon to determine the best indoor combined events competitors in the country. She performed very strongly in the Shot Putt to throw well over 11 metres which put her in contention for a podium position but then had to settle for a below par Long Jump points score by getting a legal jump in her third and final attempt after two fouls. However an impressive 800m performance proved the worth of the groups gruelling winter runs over Formby sand dunes as she surged strongly to win her heat and capture silver.
Jess Taylor performed reallywell to take silver in the Senior Women's event to Gemma Weetman and beating Spaniard Barbara Hernando. Always in touch after she produced a sharp hurdles, solid High Jump and effective Shot Putt, Jess jumped a spectacular 5.81m in the Long Jump to leave herself within tantalising touch of a second GB vest. This she secured with a gutsy 800m run that was enough to book her ticket to Prague.
Both Alexander and Jasmin have been selected to represent Great Britain at the Combined Events International in Cardiff in March against France and Spain and we wish them every success.
It was a pleasure to see Joe Lancaster return to competition after his lengthy absence due to injury and his fellow competitors welcomed him back warmly as well. Completing a demanding two day competition for the first time in a few years, Joe proved to himself and others that he is on the way back to his previous top level of performance. Particularly welcome highlights would be to see him throw the Shot Putt to a fine level and compete strongly in the High Jump event and while not being ultra sharp, his sprinting and hurdling showed that he is free from injury and hungry to improve again. There is much to take away from the weekend even if no medals were won.
In the same vein, Ashley Pritchard chalked-up another in a long and respectable line of multi-event competitions whose tally is very impressive now. Aside from being an able and welcome competitor, Ashley did sterling work in calming the nerves of his younger training partners as they approached milestones or significant results and he remains an integral and valued member of the group.
For further information please contact Chris Bartram at Sale Harriers
Posted 15/01/2012 13:46