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England indoor age group championships

The Woodford highlight at the England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships was a bronze medal from Danny Raymond in the U17 men’s 800m, while Shona Vincent achieved a notable PB in the U17 women’s 60m.

Danny Raymond by Tina Raymond bronze 2020

Danny Raymond: an impressively quick finish (pic Tina Raymond)

A small Woodford contingent competed at the England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships in Sheffield, which this year clashed not only with the national cross-country but also the senior British indoor champs. Shona Vincent was first up and after a comfortable heat (7.87) she needed a PB of 7.70 to make the final, finishing 3rd in her semi-final but making it through as 5th fastest overall in the U17W 60m. Her final performance was not as fast, 7.80 to finish 8th, albeit this was still inside her previous best. Sikiru Onigbanjo also ran the 60m, in the U20 men. He too qualified automatically to the semi-final, with 7.09 for 2nd in his heat, but an improvement to 7.04 was insufficient to progress out of the semi-final.

Danny Raymond found the physicality of the indoor 800m challenging in his U17 men’s heat, with a strong finish leaving him just outside automatic qualification in 3rd but sufficient to go through in 1:59.36. He learnt from this experience and in a much slower final the following day avoided getting drawn in to the initial tussle up-front against athletes who were all a year older with notably faster outdoor bests. Danny held the inside line as the pace picked up on the final lap and was then able to finish fastest of all to snatch bronze in 2:01.66 as the top four finished less than 3 tenths of a second apart. On the field multi-eventer Amelia MacDonald chose to contest the high jump only, but a season’s best of 1.57 was insufficient to make an impact on the U20W final.