The impressive new Middlesbrough Sports Village hosted the largest athletics competition the town has seen in the last 30 years at the weekend. The last time the Northern championships were held in Middlesbrough was 1984 when the senior men’s competition was held with the last female championships held as far back as 1973. Sponsored by Active Middlesbrough, Middlesbrough & Teesside Philanthropic Foundation and South Tees NHS Foundation Trust. The competition was lauded as a resounding success by officials, competitors and spectators alike.
A number of outstanding performances over the two days which saw four CBP bettered and one equalled. Six athletes also picked up two titles however pride of place must go to Hannah Molyneaux of Nene Valley AC who not only set a new CBP but in doing so also broke the UK age record for U/15 (subject to ratification) with a throw of 14.34 to improve on her own record by 19 centimeters. Hannah’s winning margin of 2.92 was impressive.
Olivia Stevenson another of outstanding hammer throwers to come out of the City of Hull AC produced a masterclass in hammer throwing, beating the previous CBP in the under 17s women hammer no less than three times during the competition. Her winning throw of 56.76 was an improvement of over 3 meters on the previous CBP and underlines what a talent this athlete is.
Hot favourite for the under 15s girls 800m was Tilly Simpson of Hallamshire who gave an impressive demonstration of front running in both the heat and the final. Tilly ran a leisurely 2.16 to comfortable win her winning her heat. She then set a new CBP in the final setting off at very fast pace and took the bell in 62 seconds and looked on for a very low 2 minute time until the blustery conditions took their toll on the second lap however her time of 2.08.66 she still managed to shave 4 seconds off the previous CBP of 2.12.67 set by Chelsea Nugent in 2012.
Josh McKeown of Gateshead AC had a busy day on Saturday as he completed a sprint double in the under 13 boys 100 & 200m. Josh won his 100m heat in 13.07 he then he followed that up with a 12.68 victory in a closely contested final which saw three athletes all run sub 13 seconds. Sam Hanley of Doncaster ran 12.78 for second and Ryan Wilson of Barrow & Furness 12.99 for bronze. Josh followed this up later in the afternoon with a victory in the 200m, winning his heat in 26.83 and then he upped his performance in the final with 26.45 for his second title of the day.
William Hughes of Nene Valley was another athlete who had a busy day on Saturday as he also completed the sprint double winning his 200m heat in 23.11 then ran 22.73 for a convincing win in the final. He did pretty much the same in the 100m taking his heat in 11.71 then another convincing win in the final in 11.54.
Jason Nicholson the Gateshead Harrier who won the 2014 under 17s 400 & 100m hurdles managed to once again
retain his hurdles crown when he once again completed the hurdles double (a double double). On Saturday he took the 400m hurdles title in an impressive 55.75 an improvement of over 4 seconds on his winning time last year. He followed this up Sunday with another fine display of hurdling by retaining his 100m hurdles title and achieving a hurdles double in consecutive years.
The ever consistent George Mills of Harrogate AC who has already booked his 800m place in the Commonwealth Youth Games in Samoa next month showed he is in good form as he took the 800m title on Saturday in 1.58.58 and then followed this up on Sunday with the 400m title in 49.09.
On Sunday the pole vault provided a new CBP in the women’s under 17 competition when Jessica Swannack of Preston cleared 3.66 comfortably to add a centimeter to the previous CBP set by Abigail Roberts in 2010. She elected to set the bar at 3.77 which she failed. Also in the pole vault Mathilda Waters of Sale Harriers equalled the under 15s CBP with her clearance of 2.85.
Alice Linaker an under 17 from the City of York AC was busy over both days and came away with two golds and a silver. Alice took both 80m hurdles and the long jump titles before she was thwarted from a hat-trick of titles in the 300m hurdles by Chloe Esebona of City of Stoke.
Tia Anderson of Durham City was another athlete to complete a sprint double this time on Sunday when she took the under 13s girls 100 & 200m. Taking the 100m in 13.01 then following this up with the 200m in 27.03