First crowns of 2015 ready for the taking

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This weekend sees the first England Athletics championships of 2015 – the Senior & Under 20 Combined Events Championships (Incorporating the MCAA, Northern Athletics Championships & The Welsh Championships).

As well as the indoor Senior Men Heptathlon for men and pentathlon for women, and indoor Race Walking championships, the British Milers’ Club will also open up 2015 with its annual Indoor Grand Prix at the venue on Sunday. The BMC events now have the added kudos of being the selection meeting for 800m and 1500m places on the England Team for the Central European Tour in a few weeks.

Sheffield welcomes athletes, coaches, officials and spectators to to come and enjoy the action. Entry is by programme (£2). A number of Commonwealth Games athletes will be making an appearance, including Jess Taylor (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester/Sheffield Hallam Uni, Coach: Mike Holmes) and Martin Brockman (Club: Medway & Maidstone/St. Mary’s Uni) who took combined events bronzes in Glasgow and Delhi respectively, silver long jump medallist Jazmin Sawyers (Club: City of Stoke AC), and Welshman Ben Gregory.

In addition previous medallists at the England Athletics champs include 2013 and 2014 winner Karla Drew (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) and 2014 silver medallist Jo Rowland (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Toni Minichiello) and bronze Moe Sasegbon (Club: Stevenage & North Herts AC, Coach: Julie Dodoo).

48 Senior Men will contest the indoor heptathlon crown. They include previous champions: 2012’s Daniel Gardiner (Club: City of Sheffield AC), Senior defending champion Richard Reeks (Club: Crawley AC, Coach: Ian Grant) and U20 winner David Hall (Club: Dartford Harriers AC, Coach: Paul Searing) in 2014 moves up to the Senior competition, as does 2014 runner up Thomas Howlett (Club: Dartford Harriers AC, Coach: Ian Grant) and last year’s U20 bronze Aiden Davies (Club: Doncaster AC, Coach: Bruce Bewley) to compete along with 2014 senior bronze medallist Liam Ramsay (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach: Mike Corden).

With 27 entrants in each of the U20 events (men’s heptathlon and women’s pentathlon), a great competition between many upcoming atheltes is sure to present itself. 18-year-old Ebony Wake (Club: Birchfield Harriers, Coach: Julie Hollman) who took a number of outdoor heptathlon golds last summer, will be hoping to improve on last year’s indoor bronze, and Olivia Montez Brown (Club: West Cheshire AC, Coach: Geoff Ward who came 4th hopes to move onto the podium this year. U17 Anna Rowe who won the U15 event in 2013 and the English Schools’ heptathlon last year will also be a force to be reckoned with, and joining the new crop of U20 competitors is Annabelle Pask (Club: Coventry Godiva, Coach: Paul Harrison) who won the U17 event last year.

With a 1996 birthday, and last year’s top scorers now moved up to the Senior age group, James Finney (Club: Leeds City AC, Coach: Mike Stayman) has to chance to top the podium in the U20 heptathlon. However, U17 athletes moving up will need to be watched – they include Tom Chandler (Club: Central AC, Coach: Kennet Pearson) who is ranked number 2 for 2014 and has England bronze and silver combined events medals to his name, 4th placed U17 last year Reuben Esien (Club: Solihull & Small Heath AC, Coach: Paul Deakin), and in his 2nd year as an U20 Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC, Coach: David Hull) will hope to add to his 2014 indoor gold.

Top race walkers Tom Bosworth (Club: Tonbridge AC) and Ellie Dooley (Club: Leeds City AC, Coach: Andi Drake) will be joined by Emma Achurch (Club: Leicester Walking Club, Coach: Steve Arnold) and Tatyana Gabellone (Club: Leicester Walking Club, Coach: Mark Wall) among others, and 9 athletes contest the 1k walk, including Hisham and Faris Alkhamesi (Club: Nuneaton Harriers, Coach: Steve Arnold), nationally ranked 5th and 6th.

Vinco will be attending the annual BMC Indoor Grand Prix and will be streaming the event live from Sheffield’s English Institute of Sport, with on demand footage available later that evening. Both the live and on demand footage will be available to view for free here.

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First published on: 7 January, 2015 12:00 am

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