NORTH-WEST COMBINED EVENTS
Bebington, Wirral was the venue for the English Schools Combined Events Regional qualifying round this weekend where multi-events coach Chris Bartram had 6 athletes performing in a high quality, competitive round of athletics. Months of blood, sweat & considerable tears had gone in to preparing the athletes for the Combined Events challenge with individuals having to peak again for this regional round of qualifying.
Some individuals were taking part in their maiden outdoor pentathlon against a strongly assembled list of competitors and the athletes didn’t disappoint with three placed first, one second & two of the remaining youngsters claiming top 6 finishes. The parents were totally spent at the end going through an emotional roller coaster in an exhausting couple of days whilst Chris kept his calm throughout.
In the longer form of the event three of Chris Bartram’s athletes qualified for the National Schools’ Combined Events Championships in September through this regional round. GRACE BOWER and MEGAN McHUGH led the Inter Girls’ Heptathlon after the first event, and the pair remained at the top of the standings over the course of the two days of competition, fighting it out for top spot. Eventually it was the tough 800m, in which both girls ran excellent PBs, that separated them by the finest of margins with Grace taking first place by a mere 35 points by virtue of a lifetime best 800 metres run, Meg finishing a close second.
HARRY LORD competed in the Senior Boys’ Decathlon and led virtually from the first event and enjoyed a strong first day with PBs in both long jump and 400m. He managed to sustain his overnight lead over the second day to follow Bower and McHugh to the finals later this summer with a huge winning margin of over 360 points.
In the Junior Girls (U15) event on Sunday the competition was fierce with a near full complement of athletes from the 7 northern counties. Sale Harriers athletes had much to live up to given Grace & Meg securing a club one-two at the same championships a year earlier.
Best in class was ELLIE JACKSON (Cheshire) who had to dig deep to out-gun the Staffordshire based competitor in a real ding-dong affair. Entering the final event Ellie was 49 points ahead of her rival which roughly equated to 4 seconds worth of time in the much dreaded 800 metres, this against a competitor with a 15 seconds better PB than the SHM athlete. Pulling out all the stops, Ellie finished some 3 seconds behind eventually dragging herself over the line in 2.31.8 seconds for a massive 11 seconds PB & securing 1st place by a mere 12 points.
Her task was made all the more easier in a super-fast final 800 mtrs heat which was led out by the impressive TESS McHUGH (Gtr Manchester) who came home in a rapid 2.22.5 seconds which was a PB. Tess finished in 5th place overall with 2 x new PB’s & very close to lifetime bests in the 3 remaining disciplines. Fellow team mate LOIS McTIFFIN (Gtr Manchester) performed strongly with 6th place overall enjoying PB’s in High Jump & 75m hurdles and securing 2nd place in the shot putt. MIA LOWNDES also performed well representing Cheshire in her maiden outdoor pentathlon enjoying 10th place overall with big PB’s in the hurdles & 800 metres where she led the other athletes round admirably in her quest for maximum points. All three girls contributed heavily to their respective team scores and showed real promise in their first year of U15 competition.
Ellie now goes forward to the ESAA Finals in Bedford in September with Harry, Grace & Meg along with fellow SHM athlete Mia Lowndes as part of the Cheshire team.
Posted 01/07/2015 07:31