Blackheath & Bromley Harriers AC

England Athletics U20/U17/U15 National Indoor Championships

A fantastic weekend of athletics took place in Sheffield between 10th-11th February 2024 at the England Athletics U20/U17/U15 Indoor Championships. The event is an opportunity for our young athletes to earn a national medal in an incredible atmosphere. We had 25 athletes attend to take part in the competition across the various track and field disciplines resulting in 11 medals. 

On the track, in the U17 men’s 60m we saw Oji Okoro and Max Clark. Oji qualified for the nationals having come through the academy and only competing in athletics for under a year, a brilliant achievement. Max ran a PB in the heats of 6.91s, followed by 6.92s in the semi-finals and then another PB of 6.88s in the final to take home a bronze medal! Also in the 60m we saw U15 Piers Spencer-Simms run a 7.25s PB and new club record and 3rd place on the podium, an impressive feat especially as a first year to the age group! Faith Akinbileje came 2nd with a PB of 7.29s in the U20 women’s 60m which places her 7th on the all time list for her age group. Congratulations to U15 Isabella Campbell-Andou on her first nationals!

The 200m saw 2 athletes competing, both U15 girls. Sienna Thompson, in her first indoor season, ran a PB of 26.80s. A later heat saw Emilia Adese finish with a season’s best of 27.27s, she went on to throw a PB of 12.68m in the shot put, claiming the national title! The 300m also had 2 athletes. U15 Oscar Sadowski achieved a PB of 40.42s in the heats and went on to come 6th overall after the final. Despite feeling under the weather Alyssa Firla (U17W) gave two strong efforts in the heats and semi-finals, plenty more to come from her this season! 

Sam Mowa (U20M) and Zuriel Nwogwugwu (U20M) both gave strong runs in the 400m. Sam looked comfortable as he ran to a massive indoor PB in the heats with a time of 49.78 but unfortunately an injury meant he didn’t run in the semi-finals despite qualifying. In the following heat Zuriel also gave a great performance with 50.80s, just missing auto-qualifying by 0.006 of a second.

The club had 4 hurdlers head up to Sheffield to compete on the Sunday. We had 3 U20 men; Rayhan Mourtada (in his 1st year of the age group) ran a PB of 8.10s during the heats. Eliot Ferguson, in his first nationals in a BBHAC vest, ran a time of 8.26s. Daniel Goriola, ran well winning both his heat and defending the national title. When asked about his experience he said: “My experience of nationals was very similar to that of last year, having been the reigning champion from that. I had a job to do and that was to win my final and whatever else came from that (getting a pb) was just a bonus. Champions always find a way to come out victorious even if they aren’t performing to their very best, and on the day it’s all about who comes out on top. The heats felt very calm and relaxing as the aim was just to get to the final. As I got to the final nerves kicked in more than the heats, as expected, but I stayed calm as I believed in my abilities to execute and get the job done in the final”. Daniel’s performance was also another club record and we look forward to seeing what the sports scholar can do at the upcoming British Champs and BUCS.

Jodie Self (U20W) also competed over the 60m hurdles. Her 2nd place in the heats helped her to qualify for the finals which she ran in 8.66s. Reflecting on the day she said: “It was a good experience to run at England Champs again and making it to the final was a big achievement for me. Although some parts could have gone better it’s all experience and helped prepare me for British Champs this weekend”.

Moving to the distance events, we had 3 athletes in 3 age groups for the 800m. Cameron Kelly-Gordon (U20W) came 3rd in her heat and went on to come 5th in the final with a time of 2:13.04. Megan Barlow (U17W) came 3rd in her heat with 2:20.53. Kara Bryan (U15G) also performed well, qualifying for nationals in her first year of the age group and then making the final! The 1500m saw Iris Williams (U17W), also a first year, make the final to run a season’s best of 4:48.83.

Heading into the field is where we saw 7 of the 9 medals! The two national titles were both achieved in the shot put. A huge congratulations to Cleo Agyepong who threw a season’s best (U20W) and Emilia Adese who threw a PB (U15G) with 14.15m (4kg) and 12.68m (3kg) respectively! 

In the jumps, Qi’ Chi Ukpai (U17W) hopped, skipped and jumped to a season’s best and second place with 12.36m. Daisy Snell (U20W) leaped to a PB of 6.09m, improving her previous PB from the Welsh International last year and earning her silver medal. Alessia Scala came 10th in the U15G high jump, the competition was incredibly close with just 6cm separating her and second place.

Coach John Wakeman had a great weekend with all of his entered BBHAC vaulters medalling. Ella Brooker (U15G) jumped 2.68m to earn herself a bronze medal. Oscar Witcombe (U20M) vaulted over 4.40m to claim his second place with very close attempts at a PB height of 4.55m. Charlie Platt (U17m) cleared a height of 4.05m for his second place, narrowly missing out on 1st on countback. When asked what he thought of the championships he said “nationals is an amazing event that offers athletes an opportunity to compete against the best of the best in a high level, quality competition”

Congratulations to everyone who took part it was an amazing weekend and everyone should be incredibly proud of what they achieved.

-Holly Platt

Blackheath & Bromley News Desk

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