SEAA Combined Events U15/U17 Championships – Bedford 18/19 July 2015

Golden Girl Alice takes Bedford by Storm

With the English Schools behind us it was time to get back to the pentathlon/heptathlon with a chance to put some silverware on the mantel!

The u15 Girls Pentathlon saw Tori Harte and Petrina Chantler Edmond taking on 22 opponents for the SEAA title. Little did we know that Tori was bursting to attack the 5 events as she threw herself into the first event registering her first 75 hurdle pb since the opening meet in Swindon back in April. 12.23 sec was to prove just the start of what was to be an amazing day for her. Meanwhile Petrina who had had a nasty shock in the long jump having to put a safe 4.37 mts in to save herself from not registering a point, also registered an electronic 12.91 sec hurdles pb.

Tori, not to be outdone duly launched herself to 4.59mts for yet another pb in the long jump. With both girls holding up well in the shot Petrina winning with her normal 11.08mts and Tori throwing yet another pb of 9.25mts meant that the stood 4th (Tori) and 6th (Petrina) going into the high jump. Really the only disappointment of the day came here as Petrina managed 1.39mts and Tori a modest 1.30mts. The 800mts was the final event and undaunted both girls set off to deliver great pbs. Petrina home in 2:39.19 and Tori 2:43.13. A tiring and yet exciting finish which resulted in both girls setting points total pbs and Petrina with 2657 in 10th spot setting a new Radley club record. Tori finished 13th with 2526 pts. Both girls said they can do better and so onward to the season ending open at Carshalton!!

The U17 and Senior womens Heptathlon saw twice u20 SEAA gold medallist Adela Hussain (SW) with Alice Hopkins and Rebecca Scott (Banbury), both U17 women, taking on the pride of the south. Adela coming back from serious ankle ligament problems was testing herself against the seven events whilst experienced English School finalists Alice and Rebecca, who go to Bedford in September representing Oxfordshire, took the opportunity to hone their skills.

Adela successfully negotiated the 2 days but all her performances were down on her best save for the long jump where for the first time in a heptathlon she jumped over 5mts to 5.15mts. A meeting she needed to use to gauge her strength and conditioning showed her she was still a contender as she managed to wrestle the bronze medal away and kept up her record of medalling in all her combined event championships. A weekend of sustained effort that paid off in more ways than one!

Meanwhile in the u17w Alice Hopkins lead the whole competition literally from Gun to Tape! She was peerless throughout the competition as she rattled off win after win. She was close to her best across the board with an opening 11.78 sec 80 mt hurdles followed by a 1.57mt high jump and an 11.36mt shot putt. She even managed a pb in the final event on day one winning the 200mts in 26.62sec. Apart from a blip in the high jump Rebecca Scott was also close to her pbs across the events and again had a shot pb of 8.10mts to end her day one in 2nd place.

Day 2 started much as day one had closed for Alice as she jumped 5.47mts to head the competition by a street. Rebecca duly followed with a 4.97mts jump to retain her second spot. The sixth event had been a bogy for both girls in the past but some heavy training in the past two weeks meant that Alice won her 6th event with a new javelin pb of 26.55mts and Rebecca was just 2 cm short of her pb to retain second place. This meant that Alice was now so far in front she actually didn’t need to do the dreaded 800mts!! However both girls wanted points pbs and so set off for a furious first lap in the final event. Alice strolled in last in 2:43.79 with the gold medal secured a new points pb of 4525 and a 6th spot on this years UK ranking. Rebecca tried hard to hold off her rivals running her second fastest time ever but it wasn’t enough to hold on to the silver so she had to settle for bronze however she did set a new points pb with 3819 and as a first year u17 can look forward to an upgrade next year!

Both girls head for the ESAA combined events in Sept ready to take on the best in England with Alice just a few points short of the UK all time list and Rebecca seeking the magic 4000 point total – let battle commence!

All in all a great pick up in mid season 3 medals a club record and 12 pbs!

Pete O’Keefe