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Loughborough International Round-Up

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20/05/2024 00:00, In Blog / Track & Field /

The annual Loughborough International saw a strong Welsh team produce a number of outstanding performances including a national record and a clutch of personal bests.

On a gloriously sunny day in front of a large crowd at the Paula Radcliffe Stadium, Wales took on teams from England, Scotland, Loughborough University, Great Britain Juniors and the National Athletics League.

One of the outstanding Welsh performances in the field came in the women’s javelin match final where Freya Jones (Newham and Essex Beagles) threw a new Welsh record of 53.74m, which eclipsed Tesni Ward’s 13-year-old record of 52.78m.

Jones’ effort saw her take second place behind Loughborough’s Bekah Walton, who claimed full points for the university team with 59.26m.

On the track, Ben Reynolds (Cardiff Athletics) earned full match points for Wales by winning one of the final races of the day in a brilliant new outdoor personal best time.

Competing in the 3,000m, Reynolds was sitting in fifth place at the start of the back straight on the final lap.

But the Welshman produced a devastating kick to take him away from the field to break the tape in 8:14.05 ahead of Cameron Ross Boyek.

Tom Wilcock (Northampton) stormed to another maximum match point haul for Wales in the 110m final.

The Welsh champion raced to victory in 14.16, ahead of Jake Porter, of the National Athletics League, who crossed the line in 14.34.

Sam Gordon (Cardiff Athletics) had given the Welsh contingent a flying start to the day’s action with a win in the men’s guest 100m A final – the first event of the day.

The Great Britain international took the victory in 10.65 ahead of Welsh under-20 athlete Lewis Stephens (Cardiff Athletics), who crossed the line second in 10.80.

There was an impressive win for the Welsh development team in the guest mixed 4x100m relay. Smooth changeovers throughout the race saw the young Welsh team finish well clear of the rest of the field.

The team of Iolo Grant (Cardiff Archers), Max Evans (Maldwyn Harriers), Osian Parry (Cardiff Archers) and William Hawker (Swansea Harriers) crossed the line in 41.77 to put clear daylight between themselves and the England male development team who finished a distant second in 42.93.

Adele Nicoll (Birchfield Harriers) was making her return to athletics following a hugely successful winter with the Great Britain bobsleigh squad.

The two-time British shot put champion finished second in the match shot put final with a best distance of 17.28m. Full points were taken by England’s European under-23 medallist Serena Vincent, who produced a new 56cm PB of 17.78m to claim victory.

Hannah Brier (Swansea Harriers) who has been concentrating on the 400m this season, showed she has lost little of her half lap speed by finishing second to GB Juniors athlete Kissiwaa Mensah in the 200m match final, clocking 23.86.

Hannah Tapley (Cardiff Athletics) produced a fine performance in the high jump competition, which was won by heptathlon World Champion Katerina Johnson-Thompson with a season’s best of 1.86m.

Tapley finished joint third in the competition thanks to a personal best equalling height of 1.75m.

The 400m para match final saw John Bridge (Cardiff Athletics) leading the field going into the final 150m before eventually finishing third in a time of 53.64.

There was a dominant Welsh performance in the women’s guest 400m A final where Sian Harry (Belgrave Harriers) broke the tape in 54.77, well ahead of second placed Asha Root in 55.06.

Commonwealth Games heptathlete Lauren Evans (Cardiff Athletics) just missed out on a top three finish in the women’s 100m hurdle match final, where she stopped the clock in 13.77.

Wales under-20 athlete Lucy Harris (Swansea Harriers) produced a big new personal best of 45.39m in the women’s discus match final.

Harris, ranked the third best under-20 thrower in the UK, finished fifth overall against a number of senior athletes.

Patrick Swan (Cornwall AC) finished third in the men’s shot put match final with a best distance of 17.05m.

There was another third place finish in the pole vault, where Tom Walley (Wrexham) claimed a podium place with 5.10m.

Tess McHugh picked up useful match points in the women’s 400m, where she produced an excellent run to finish third behind winner Poppy Malik, in a time of 54.26.

There was also an excellent third place finish for James Ledger (DSW Para Athletics) and his guide Greg Kelly in the men’s Para 100m match final.

The Paris Paralympic T11 hopefuls clocked a time of 11.95, while Welsh national development programme T37 athlete, Tomi Roberts-Jones, who was representing GB juniors, was 5th in 13.91.

Michael Jenkins (Pembrokeshire) added almost two metres to his 2k PB when he threw 51.99m in the men’s discus final to finish fifth in a competition won by Scotland’s Nick Percy.

In the women’s hammer final, Amelia Fettis (Newport Harriers), who was representing GB Juniors on the day, finished fifth with a best of 47.25m.

Eli Jones (Menai Track and Field), who was also representing GB Juniors, finished third in the women’s 100m C Final behind India’s Harita Kirtan Bhadra in 12.48.

Jones also claimed a third place in the women’s 200m guest C final, where she clocked 25.08, just ahead of Issie Tustin (Cardiff Athletics), who crossed in 25.26.

In the women’s guest 100m hurdle A race, multi-eventer Grace Morgan (Cardiff Archers) claimed third place in 14.48.

In the B race, there was a second place for another Welsh multi-eventer Lauryn Davey, who crossed the line just behind Amy Taylor in 14.62.

Rachel McClay (Bracknell AC) finished just outside the podium places in the match 800m final as she came in fourth in a season’s best 2:07.14.

Joseff Morgan (Menai Track and Field) also produced a season’s best of 1:53.48 to finish 5th in the men’s 800m match final.

The prestigious Gandy Mile saw under-20 athlete Matthew Brunnock (Western Tempo) claim a new personal best of 4:17.86.

While in the 3,000m match final, Anna Bracegirdle (Salford Harriers) celebrated a new PB of 9:42.17.

In the penultimate event of the day the Welsh women’s 4x400m team of Hannah Brier, Ffion Roberts, Sian Harry and Tess McHugh, produced a creditable third place in 3:35.81 behind an England team which included Katerina Johnson-Thompson.

Final match places:

England: 191 points

Loughborough: 159 points

GB: 152.5 points

National Athletics League: 136 points

Wales: 104.5 points     

Scotland: 99 points.