Bedford hosted the England U/20 and U/23 Championships at the weekend, which doubled as the Trials for the GB & NI teams for the European U/20 and U/23 Championships. There were many good performances in the warm weather, and from Woodford athletes there was a national title for Daniel Rowden. Medals were also won by Jack Lawrie, Joseph Dewar, Canaan Solomon, Will Grimsey and James Bongart. Personal bests were also set by Lawrie, Dewar, Anna Clark and Shayne Dewar.
Daniel Rowden's win came with a very mature and confident run in the U/23 800m. After a slightly scrappy start, Daniel took the lead just before 200m, leading the field through the bell in 53.79 secs and running strongly from the front to hold off all challengers to ensure what in the end was a relatively comfortable win in 1m 48.15 secs. Daniel's training partner Canaan Solomon also raced over 800m, in the U/20 age group, and in a slower tactical race Canaan placed 3rd with 1m51.64 secs. The women's 800m U/23 race was a straight final, and Anna Clark placed 7th in that race recording a personal best of 2m10.s9 secs. HCA member Revee Walcott-Nolan placed 2nd with 2m05.68 secs.
In the U/23 men's 400mH, Jack Lawrie had a fine run, just losing out in the final stages, but he still placed 2nd with a new personal best of 50.25 secs, inside the required standard of 50.50 secs for those European Championships. Joseph Dewar, who has had to nurse injuries for several months since his fine run over 60m indoors where he recorded 6.58 secs, lined up for his first outdoor race of the season. The former European junior silver medallist comfortably won his heat in the U/23 men's 100m in a personal best of 10.28 secs (+1.7), before then equally comfortably winning his semi-final with another personal best of 10.25 secs (-0.1). He lined up for the final not long later, and although leading at 60m, he lost out towards the end, but nevertheless still placed 3rd with 10.26 secs (+0.2), which was a fine result in the circumstances.
Joseph's younger brother Shayne Dewar raced in the U/20 200m, where he reached the final and placed 7th with 21.91 secs (+0.4), but having qualified from his semi-final with a personal best of 21.54 secs (-0.4). There were two bronze medals in the field, James Bongart in the U/23 javelin with 60.81m, and from Will Grimsey in the U/23 high jump with 2.09m. There was also a silver medal from HCA member Nathan Gardner in the U/20 pole vault with 4.70m. In the women's U/23 shot Mathilde Bilon just missed a medal, placing 4th with 13.05m, and in the U/23 women's 400mH Anna Nelson was 5th with 61.70 secs, having qualified with 60.83 secs. In the U/23 men's long jump, Sam Khogali was 9th with 6.91m (0.0), and in the women's U/20 hammer Stephanie Howe was 12th with 42.48m.
Other Woodford performances over the last few days, included season's bests over 1500m for Andrew Mariani, and HCA athlete Ross Tennant. Racing at Watford last Wednesday, Andrew recorded 3m50.13 secs, and Ross 3m52.02 secs. In Huelva, Spain, Adam Kirk-Smith raced over 3000m s/ch, but sadly fell in a very crowded race, but he nevertheless still recorded 8m47.06 secs, whilst in Oslo for the Diamond League meeting Tiffany Porter placed 5th over 100mH with 12.93 secs (+0.8).