Karla Drew (Club: City of Sheffield; Coach: Toni Minichello), Anthony Hogg (Club: Gateshead Harriers, Coach: Sam Stanislaus) and Ben Gregory (Club: Vale of Aylesbury, Coach: Julie Hollman) were the big winners on day two of the England Athletics Senior and Under 20 Combined Events Championships, the first national championships of 2015.
On an action packed day in Sheffield, British international Tom Bosworth (Club: Tonbridge AC; Coach: Andi Drake) and Italy’s Leicester-based Tatyana Gabellone (Club: Leicester WC; Coach: Mark Wall) also picked up titles at the EIS, as the England Indoor Race Walking Championships took place in South Yorkshire, while Brighton Phoenix’s Archie Davis (Coach: Jon Bigg) set a new age group best for U17 men over 1500m in one of a series of races promoted by the BMC.
Senior Women’s Pentathlon
Drew, the reigning senior women’s pentathlon champion, scored 4,199, an improvement on her 2014 score, to take the national title in her home city, edging Commonwealth Games Heptathlon bronze medallist Jess Taylor (Club: Sale Harriers Manchester; Coach: Mike Holmes) by 27 points. The Sheffield athlete led from the start of the competition to the end, scoring a huge 1046 points for an 8.37 60mH and setting a personal best 11.96m in the shot put.
Taylor improved her personal best by more than 300 points, while Jo Rowland (Club: Crawley AC; Coach: Toni Minichello) took bronze with a personal best of her own (4,115).
Senior Men’s Heptathlon
Wales’s Gregory, who finished 6th in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games, had begun day two lying in 3rd place in the senior men’s heptathlon following a consistent first four events, but an 8.27 60mH (915 points) moved him up to second and a superb 4.91m pole vault (883 points) saw him take first place with just the 1000m remaining.
A solid 4:42.57 saw Gregory home with a total of 5,662 points, with Martin Brockman (Club: Medway & Maidstone/St. Mary’s Uni) outstanding in the high jump on day 1 (pictured), taking silver with 5,601, a personal best by just under 100 points. Wigan and District’s Dan Needham (Coach: Roy Needham) took bronze, having started the day in 4th.
U20 Men’s Heptathlon
Overnight leader Hogg continued his dominance in the U20 men’s heptathlon, remaining in the lead following the 60mH, high jump and 1000m to score 5,116 points in his first year in the age group. Linton Gardiner (Club: Cheltenham, Coach: Kerry Eddie-Jury) pushed the Gateshead man all the way to take silver with 5,049 points, finishing with a quicker 1000m, but Hogg had produced a 1.98m high jump and an 8.39 60mH to add to his impressive day 1, meaning victory was never seriously in doubt. Lewis Church (Club: Tonbridge AC; Coach: David Hull) took the bronze.
Elsewhere on the day, Tom Bosworth (Coach: Andi Drake, Club: Tonbridge AC) demonstrated why he is currently the best race walker in Britain, clocking 11:52:36 to take the England title over 3000m. It was a comfortable victory for the Leeds-based athlete, who was one of only two men in the race. Second, and first woman, was Tatyana Gabellone (Coach: Mark Wall, Club: Leicester Walking Club), who crossed the line in 13:34.65, more than 30 seconds ahead of club mate Emma Achurch (Coach: Steve Arnold), who herself set a personal best for the distance of 14:06.07. U15 Ana Garcia (Club: City of Sheffield AC, Coach Brian Adams) took Junior gold in the 1k for the second year running by a large margin over Benjamin Allen (Club: Leicester Walking Club) who usually tackles longer distances.
The BMC hosted an indoor grand prix, the highlight of which was Archie Davis’s 3:56.82 clocking to win the B 1500m race. Davis’s run eclipsed Northern Ireland’s Andrew Monaghan’s UK U17 best for the distance (3:57.65) and Luke Carroll’s English best of 3:58.31.
Elsewhere in the BMC races there were victories in the 1500m for Racheal Bamford (Club: Leeds City; Coach: Mike Baxter) in 4:19.34 and Harry Harper (Club: Liverpool Harriers; Coach: Philip Townsend) in 3:48.76, while Paul Goodall (Club: CONAC; Coach: Alasdair Donaldson) and Katy Brown (Club: Stewartry; Coach: Michael Love) took the A 800m races in 1:50.20 and 2:04.22 respectively.
With thanks to:
Morris Fox (Myvision4reel Photography) for Brockman image
Carol Garcia for Walk podium images
Nicola Evans for Olivia Noteman and BMC images