The Midland’s Indoor Athletics Championships saw many outstanding performances by Telford athletes, including 4 medal-winning performances. The event, held at the NIA in Birmingham, took place on Saturday 12th February and Sunday 13th February.
The first medal of the Championships was silver, won by Sophie Worrall in the under-20 women’s 60 metre hurdles final. Sophie ran an outstanding race and finished second with a time of 9.34 seconds, setting a new personal best. She is now ranked 21st in the UK for the event.
Alexis Newton-French continued her impressive indoor season with a win in her heat of the under 15 girl’s 60 metre hurdles, in a time of 9.95 seconds. In the hurdles final she lined up against an impressive field as one of the favourites to win. After a lightning start Alexis lead the race until the last hurdle. She managed to hold on for second place, earning her a silver medal. Her time of 9.82 is an electronic PB and means she is ranked 24th in the UK.
In the men’s sprints veteran Jim Tipper impressed early with a win in the 200 metre heats, with a time of 22.96 seconds. In the semi-finals Tipper came second with a time of 22.84. In the senior men’s 60 metre heats two Telford athletes performed well. Ben Simons won his heat by almost two tenths of a second, a huge margin in the 60 metre event, in a time of 6.90 seconds. Santino Dummett came second in his heat in a time of 7.16. Richard Rubenis of Telford came third in his heat of the 400m with a time of 50.98.
In the 200m final Jim Tipper finished third in a competitive time of 22.88 seconds, picking up the bronze medal against a strong field including Birchfield’s Ryan Farrington and Nick Kanonik. Richard Rubenis pulled out a great time of 52.41 seconds in the 400m B-final to finish in a respectable 5th position.
|Ben Simons Gold|
Next came the men’s 60 metre final, the first Midland’s Championships final with two Telford athletes in the line-up. Telford’s Ben Simons went into the race as favourite for gold, despite having raced in two rounds of the UK Indoor Championships less than 24 hours before. In the race Birmingham’s Antoe Walters and Telford’s Ben Simons got flying starts, with Simons leading after the first 5 metres. As the race progressed Simons continued to pull ahead of the rest of the field and won convincingly in a time of 6.92 seconds, only 0.03 of a second from his personal best. Santino Dummett finished in a time of 7.17 seconds, 0.01 from his personal best.
After becoming the Midland’s champion over 60 metres, Simons remained humble. When asked about being race favourite, he replied ‘I don’t think about favourites. I’m just going to focus on my race and getting my start right.’ He competes next week for UWIC in the BUCS Universities Championships, where he hopes to run a personal best in the 60 metres.
Other Telford performances at the Championships included Rhiann Davies with a 5th place finish in the under 17 women 60 metre hurdles heats with a time of 8.33, and a time of 8.40 in the under 17 women’s 60m final. Alexis Newton-French followed up on her silver hurdles medal with an appearance in the under 15 girl’s 60m flat, where she came fourth in her heat with a time of 8.75 seconds.
The next appearance for most Telford athletes is the MCAA Indoor Open on 20th February at the NIA Birmingham. A video of the men’s 60m final can be found on Telford Athletic Club’s website at www.telfordathleticclub.co.uk
Ben Simons (centre, Telford Athletic Club)
Jamie Brock (left (2nd place) Yate & District Athletic Club)
Antoe Walters (right (3rd place) Birchfield Harriers Club)