A new National record for Dina Asher Smith crowned a spectacular weekend for Blackheath & Bromley’s young female sprinters at the England Athletics Under 20, Under 17 and Under 15 Indoor championships at Sheffield. Adding to the celebrations the Club’s jumpers weighed in with a clutch of medals and personal bests.
Dina’s record came in the Under 20 womens 200 metres final. Going into the race she already held the Championship best and was joint holder of the British record with 23.20. Yet at the end of a weekend in which the John Blackie coached athlete had already raced five times, she tore to victory in 23.15 a time which is just one hundredth of a second shy of her outdoor best.
She needed to be quick as well since finishing in second place was training partner Shannon Hylton whose 23.39 was also inside the previous Championship Best Performance.
It could so easily have been two National records for Dina except that in the 60 metres final the electronic timing did not function. She was given a hand timed 7.2 which means her electronic performance would have been under 7.2 seconds. The National record is 7.19. That said her time of 7.22 to win her semi final was a new personal best and is the equal second fastest for a senior in the country this year, and is the fastest by an under 20.
Again it was Shannon who won silver in 7.5 and it would have been a clean sweep of the medals but Vivien Olatunji was adjudged to have finished fourth having been given the same hand time as the third placed finisher. A number thought Vivien had got third but without the electrics there was no way of verifying. Shannon had actually run 7.43 in her semi final, a new personal best and Vivien was just six hundredths outside her best with 7.62.
Shannon’s twin sister Cheriece was also in the medals as she picked up bronze in the 400 metres in a time of 55.47.
There was more great success in the field as Oliver Newport won gold in the long jump with a seasons best of 7.41. Like Dina he will be targeting a place in the Great Britain team for this Summers World Junior Championships.
Stefan Amokwandoh and Kerri Davidson are both coached by John Vernon and both set personal bests in winning bronze medals in their respective triple jump competitions. Stefan leapt 14.68 a six centimetre improvement on his best from last Summer. Kerri produced a 12.37 effort to exceed her best by five centimetres.
Elsewhere in the under 20 age group Leah Everson was 5th in the 800 metres in 2.20.25 and Helena Coleman was 10th in the pole vault with a clearance on 3.20.
More medals came in the under 17s age group and again they came in the womens sprints as Maya Bruney finished in second place in the 60 metres in 7.56 with Jazz Crawford third in 7.63. Both of these were personal bests, where better to achieve this than in a National Final.
Isabella Hilditch was another to run quicker than ever before both in her heat of the 60 metre hurdles in 8.83 and then again in her semi final with 8.76. She was not able to replicate this in the final but she is a first year in the age group so there will be much more to come.
The Club success was not just in the younger age group over the last week, nor was it restricted to the UK as at the Big 12 Indoor Championships at Ames in the United States Lorraine Ugen won the long jump with a leap of 6.59 the equal second furthest distance by a Briton this year. She was also fourth in the 60 metres in 7.51.
Meanwhile, at the SEC Indoor Championships at College Station in Texas, Jonathan Ilori set a new best of 15.76 in finishing third in the triple jump. He was also second in the long jump with a leap of 7.14 Alex Bruce Littlewood’s reward for winning the Irish National 3000 metres title a couple of weeks ago was an invitation to race in the Athlone International. Lining up in the 3000 metres again, he finished in third place in 8.11.80, a very good time but down on what he had been hoping for as he had run 8.02 to win the indoor title.
Just back from a period of training in the States, Scott Overall showed his preparations for this years London Marathon are going well as he won the Mizuno Reading Half Marathon. The 2012 Great Britain Olympian timed 64.44, six seconds clear of Serpentine’s Nick Torry. Michael Skinner was 21st in 67.51 and David McKinlay 138th in 77.19. Claire Austridge finished in 7059th.
Shaun Lightman, a 1968 Olympian, travelled to the Midlands where he finished in 8th place in the Molly Barnett 10km race walk at Coventry. Now an over 70, he timed one hour one minute and 26 seconds, around a minute quicker than some of his recent race times.
Gareth Evans was the Club’s first finisher in the Tunbridge Wells Half Marathon. He was 10th in 78.30 with Fintan Parkinson 20th and Andy Tucker 52nd. First woman for B&B was Jenny Neal in 158th in 92.15 with Carole Penlington 178th.
Back indoors Toby Olubi equalled his personal best for the 60 metres at the Better Athletics 60 metres open meeting at Crystal Palace. His training with the Great Britain bobsleigh team is obviously paying dividends as his 6.82 matched the best he set just before Christmas.
Other bests included efforts from Ife Okikiade, Edward Adams, Parris Johnson, and Tajera Baldie.
Toby also competed at the last Windsor open meeting where he twice clocked 6.93 for the 60 metres.
Georges Vacharopoulos was in outdoor action at the Warwick University v Coventry University Varsity match. Competing for hosts Warwick he won the 800 metres in 2.00.7 and was also third in the 2000 metres steeplechase in 7.01.1.