Basildon athletes bagged two silver and one gold medals on day one of the first area championship of the 2018 indoor season at the Lee Valley Athletics Centre.
Combined eventer Joseph Harding was seeking two medals in the 60 metres and the 60m Hurdles, having just gone up to the Under 17 age group, while Isobel Ives was seeking gold in the Senior Women’s 1,500m.
This year’s South of England Indoor Age Group championships were held on the 6 and 7 January 2018, together with the Senior age group’s 1,500 metres.
Our one and only gold medal came from Oliver Lill in the U17 Men 1500m where he ran 4.20.06.
Having won his first 60m Hurdles heat, Harding was looking good heading into the final, but knew that athletes in the other heat had run quicker in the first race. A competitive final ensued and Enfield & Haringey’s Daniel Knight snatched the 60m title in 8.16 seconds, ahead of Harding (8.23 secs) and Blackheath’s Rico Cottell (8.53 secs).
In the Senior Women’s 1,500m, Isobel Ives was looking to kick start her 2018 competition year with her first indoor title, but had to settle for silver behind West Suffolk’s Holly Archer in an exciting battle between the top three. Archer took gold in 4:37.32, Ives clocked 4:38.54 and Dani Chattenton of the Milton Keynes Distance Project took bronze in 4:39.17.
In the 60m flat sprints, Harding was looking to go one better and was joined by team mate Cameron Ellis who had shown promising form in training. Both athletes made the semi-final. Harding won his heat in 7.31 seconds and Ellis progressed as a fastest loser in 7.52 seconds. The result meant that the pair would line up together in the second semi final. Harding qualified in the second automatic spot (7.21 secs) while Ellis ran a new personal best of 7.47 seconds but failed to progress further. The final was a speedy affair, with Harding finishing in 4th in the same time as he produced in the semis. The title was taken by Bedford’s Raphael Bouju in 6.96 seconds.