Loughborough lights up grey Bedford at U20/U23 National Athletics Championships

lboro athletes preformed well in bedford

It was a damp, grey and often chilly Bedford that faced the country’s best U20 and U23 athletes this past weekend, as national medals and automatic qualification for European Championships were up for grabs at the England Athletics age-group Championships. However, undeterred by the conditions, Loughborough Students came away with 24 medals and two confirmed spaces for the European U23 Championships in Estonia next month.

Pre-event favourite and Loughborough scholar Molly Caudery (coach: Scott Simpson) won the women’s U23 pole vault with a height of 4.20m and a commanding margin of 20cm from Loughborough-based Ellie McCartney. It was the only competition this year where she hasn’t vaulted equal to or over the European U23 qualifying height of 4.30m, but with a season’s best of 4.45m and multiple clearances over the required height this season, Caudery secured her selection on the GB & NI team by finishing in first place.

Ben Pattison (Dave Ragan) knew his selection wouldn’t be so clear cut. The scholar and 2019 European U20 silver medallist was one of three athletes lining up for the men’s U23 800m final who had the European qualifying time, however, Pattison’s sprinting background was obvious as he ate up the ground over the last 200m to take a superb victory in 1:50.93.

Other gold medals were won by Aidan Leeson (Glyn Hawkes) in the U23 400m, whose PB of 47.09 puts him in contention for a GB U23 relay spot selection; Zoe Pollock (Nick Dakin) who won the 400m hurdles and will now seek the .19 of a second she needs for European qualification; Lily Hulland (Femi Akinsanya) in the U23 women’s triple jump whose 12.40m mark was a strong season’s best; and javelin duo Bekah Walton (Dave Turner) and Dan Bainbridge (Mike McNeill) who took their wins with throws of 50.20m and 70.58m respectively.  

Scholars Josh Lay (Sonia & Chris McGeorge) and Taia Tunstall (Stuart Carlaw) both hold European qualifying marks in their events of the U23 men’s 1500m and U20 women’s discus, in which they both finished in 2nd place, and will hope it will be enough for non-automatic selection taking place over the next couple of weeks.

Other silver medals were won by Cari Hughes (Lewis Moses) in the women’s U23 1500m, Alex Barbour in the women’s U23 3k s/chase, Georgina Adam (Joe McDonnell) in the women’s U23 200m, George Hyde (Carlaw) in the men’s U23 shot, Charlotte Jones (Lukasz Zawila) in the women’s U23 long jump, Alisha Rees (Leon Baptiste) in the women’s U23 100m, Owen Heard in the men’s U23 pole vault, Carmen Neat (Fuzz Caan) in the women’s U23 high jump and Rio Mitcham (Baptiste) in the men’s U23 400m.

Bronze medals were achieved by Sam Costley (Stephen Phillips) in the men’s U23 3k s/chase, Kelechi Aguocha (Caan) in the men’s U23 high jump, Ollie Cresswell in the men’s U23 110mH, Ben Higgins (Baker) in the men’s U23 400mH, Zoe Price (John Pearson) in the women’s U20 hammer and Natasha Harrison (Alex O’Gorman) in the women’s 400m.

Director of Athletics at Loughborough, Femi Akinsanya commented:

“It’s been a really tough year for the sport, and things are still far from normal, but it’s fantastic to see Loughborough students do so well at the National Championships. Some athletes will now spend the next few weeks aiming for qualifying marks, others will look to cement their place on British teams, and with the British Championships and Olympic Trials taking place next week, it’s a really busy and exciting time for athletics. Congratulations to all the athletes who made the journey and competed in Bedford."

Full results can be found here: Results (thepowerof10.info)