Mollie Courtney set a new Cheltenham Harriers 60m hurdles record with an excellent performance to reach the final of the British Championships in Sheffield. The 17 year old was contesting her first senior championship and finished one place behind British international heptathlete Katarina Johnson-Thompson in her heat, as she qualified for the final in third place in a personal best of 8.67 seconds. The Dave Warner coached athlete then went even quicker in the final where she placed eighth to lower the Harriers under 20 and senior record to an impressive 8.65 seconds.
James Miller in the Mens’ 800m, Sophie Yorke in the under20 womens’ 60m, and Helena Shannon in the under 13 Quadrathlon all won gold medals at the Midland Indoor Championships held in Birmingham. Miller’s 800m gold came after a second place in his heat with a time of 1.58.60, followed by a tactical final where he left it until coming off the final bend to power through to first place in a time of 1.57.40, a season’s best performance. A bronze medal was won by Jeremy Drackett in the 200m. Setting a PB of 22.82 to finish first in his heat, he then ran another PB of 22.51 in the final to claim third place. Dracket also made it through to the semi-final of the 60m, where he was placed fifth in a time of 7.10, yet another PB. In the 400m, Yesper Adams placed fourth in his heat with a 51.29 clocking, while Andrew Smitherman, with a second place finish, made it through to the final where he finished sixth in a season’s best time of 49.21.
For the women, Frankie Courtney won a silver medal in the 400m with a time of 61.19 which was a PB improvement of over a second, meaning that she had knocked over 3 seconds off her PB in the last two weekends. Courtney was not alone in winning a medal in this event, though, as Lauren Oswald took bronze in a time of 61.87. Oswald also ran in the 200m on Saturday producing an indoor PB of 27.02. Meanwhile, Sam Griffiths also had an excellent weekend. In the 200m on Saturday, she ran 26.31, an indoor PB, to place second in her heat, then further improved her indoor PB to 26.11 to finish fourth in the final. The 60m on Sunday proved to be even better. A 7.86 run for a PB and second place in her heat, was further improved to 7.77 and a deserved silver medal in the final.
In the under20 mens’ events, Imran Qureshi ran an 8.30 seconds PB for a silver medal, and Chris Bell-Hartley, having qualified in second place in a time of 51.88 in his heat of the 400m, was placed fourth in the final with a PB of 51.43. In the same age group Adam Wheeler placed sixth in the triple jump with a distance of 12.44m, and an indoor PB. Sophie Yorke, running in her first year as under20, was another Harriers’ athlete coming away from the Championships with medals. On Saturday, in the 60m Hurdles, having run 8.99 in her heat, for a new PB and first time under 9 seconds, she followed this with a 9.04 run in the final, and a bronze medal. Again, Sunday proved even more rewarding. In the 60m, Sophie ran a 7.74 PB, a new Harriers record at under 20 and senior women, to win her heat, and in the final she again ran 7.74 to win the gold medal. In the same 60m event, Steph Beardsmore ran 8.21 to earn a place in the final, where she finished fifth in a time of 8.28.
In the under 17 events, Ruby Phelps produced a new PB in the 60m with a time of 8.27 to finish third in her heat, and followed this with 8.34 in her semi-final. Hannah Tilley narrowly missed out on a medal in the 60m Hurdles, placing third in her heat with a time of 9.24 and finished fourth in the final in 9.19. Last, but not least, in the under 13 girls quadrathlon, Helena Shannon produced four outstanding performances to comfortably win the gold medal. A 60m time of 8.66 for a new u13 club record, a long jump of 3.97m, high jump of 1.25m and shot putt of 6.74m earned her a total of 1335 points. This was also a new Harriers record and earned first place by over 100 points.