WELSH U13, U17 & U20 Indoor Championships Preview
The Welsh Indoor Championship season is well underway with the return of the Junior Champs this weekend. Following on from the success of the Senior & U15 Champs last weekend, it is time for the juniors to shine in NIAC.
With three age groups participating over two days, there will be a total of 56 different events taking place. Here are a few athletes and events to look out for!
U13 GIRLS 200M
Aliyah Afolabi (Cardiff Archers) put herself second on the Welsh u13 200m indoor rankings at the end of last year, running a time of 26.74s. She comes into this event as the favourite, but look out for Lois Codling (Newport) and Hollie Taylor (Newport) who have both dipped under 30s in the event.
U17 GIRLS LONG JUMP
With a personal best of 5.94m it is hard to look past Jessica Lee (Carmarthen) when it comes to this event, but expect her to be challenged by Sophie Lisk (Cardiff Archers) and Megan Taylor (Cardiff Archers) who have both jumped beyond 5m - 5.24m and 5.02m.
U13 BOYS 800M
With just 3 seconds separating the top three entries, John Gibby (Newport), David Lenghel (Pontypridd) and Jude Jenkins (Neath Harriers) will look to battle it out over 4 laps of the track in a bid to be crowned Welsh Champion.
U20 MENS HIGH JUMP
With a personal best of 1.98m, this could be the opportunity Gibril Carlisle (Cardiff Archers) needs to break through the 2m barrier. Coming into the event with a personal best 13cm higher than anyone else, you’d put your money on him becoming Welsh Champion, but the battle for silver and bronze could be very exciting, with Oscar Webb (Millfield), Addam Bowling (Swansea), John Bennett (Brecon) and Jacob Mace (Cardiff) all with personal bests of 1.80m and higher.
U20 MENS 400M
The longest of the sprint events is always exciting and the U20 mens 400m looks to be no different. With Noah Ernest (Archers) entering the race with the fastest time - 49.71s, it looks to be a three way battle between Ernest, Theo Copestake (Newport) and Will Lovejoy (Newport, who have run 50.41s and 50.80s respectively.
U17 WOMENS 300m
This race is set to be a close affair with many athletes with personal bests close to one another. Heading the start list is Lily Rees Thomas (Cardiff), coming into the race with a time of 42.70s to her name. But she will not have it all her own way, as Lily Noble (Deeside) and Chloe Farmer (Cardiff Archers) boast times of 42.86s and 42.89s and will be looking to leave NIAC Welsh Champion.
U20 MENS 60M
With 21 entries, getting into the final will be the first stage for these boys. With a number of athletes in for a chance to challenge for a podium spot, it is Callum Webb (Cardiff Archers) who heads the field with the only time below 7s (6.98s). But look out for Joshua Kenny (Swansea) who has run a quick 7.00s and Thomas Payne (Swansea) who’s clocked 7.04s. You can’t discount William Hawker either, with a 7.07s personal best to his name.
U20 WOMENS POLE VAULT
Isabel Thomas (Cardiff) already holds the U17 championship record, but with a personal best of 3.81m, she will surely be targeting the U20 record of 3.66m set in 2010 by Rebecca Davies. It is unlikely she will be challenged, but it will be exciting to see how high she goes!
U17 WOMENS 1500M
The clear favourite leading into this event has to be Ceri Griffiths (Newport), as she headlines the field with a personal best of 4:44.67. After placing 2nd in the senior women’s 800m at last weekends Indoor Championships, it will be hard to look past her, irrelevant of how the race plays out. Could the championships best performance of 4:36.85 set in 2015 by Isobel Perry Jones be under threat?
U17 MENS 1500M
With 3 men entering the race with personal bests within 4 seconds of each other, this could be an exciting head to head over the 7.5 lap race. Theo Cheshire (Woking) has the quickest time on paper, 4:19, but will be hunted down by Jack Organ (Breacon) and Kobe Beltran (Cardiff) who enter the race with times of 4:21 and 4:23.
U17 WOMENS HIGH JUMP
With two women entering the competition with personal bests of 1.59m, it looks like Sophie Lisk (Cardiff Archers) and Matilda Quick (Swansea) will be battling for the top spot. Don’t discount Seren Griffiths (Cardiff Archers) who enters with championship with 1.56m and Seren Redfern (Stockport) who’s best jump Is 1.55m. This could be set up for a great competition!