FOLLOWING on from a hugely successful Scottish Indoor Championships were North East athletes returned triumphant after trawling a large number of medals it was the turn of the multi-eventers to take their chance in Glasgow’s Emirates Arena.
Just five of the region’s youngsters made the trip but, once again, there was plenty to celebrate as two of those competitors came out on top in their respective pentathlon.
And it was something special in the under-13 contest where North Shields Poly’s Emily Bond not only scooped up the gold medal but her total of 2,968 points is a UK All-time record for an indoor pentathlon in her age group!
That didn’t really come as a surprise however, for Emily was in sparkling form throughout the day as she set new pbs in all five disciplines with two of those, the 60m hurdles and high jump, moving her to lead this year’s Individual rankings, with her 60m hurdles time also taking to the top of the all-time rankings.
Emily’s excellent day’s workload was: 800m, 2:33.84; 60m hurdles, 9.43s; HJ, 1:50m; LJ, 4:78m; Shot, 7:68m.
The North East’s second gold medal came in the under-15 girls section which saw four of the region’s athletes taking part and, just like the younger age group the newly-crowned champion, Gateshead’s Georgina Mabbutt produced life-time bests in all five disciplines.
In the 800m, Georgina posted a time of 2:29.66; she recorded 9.43s in the 60m hurdles; a clearance of 1:49m gave her good points in the high jump as did her long jump effort of 4:97m and her shot put mark of 9:49m which gave her a total of 3,176 points, over 150 points clear of her nearest rival.
Rebecca Harrison can really claim to be an all-round athlete for, before embarking on her pentathlon journey, the South Shields Harrier had finished 128th in the Northern Cross-country Championships in Bedale.
Rebecca showed no signs of wariness as she finished in 11th place (2,238pts) while setting four new pbs in the 800m (2:40.81); 60m hurdles (10.48s); long jump (4:07m); and the shot (6:08m).
Blaydon’s Jessica Doyle finished on 2,153 points for 13th place after setting a new pb of 2:15.3 in the 800m while Jarrow and Hebburn’s Grace Arthur scored 1,979 points for 21st place despite failing to finish in the 800m. Grace did, however, have some compensation for she set a new pb of 10:36s in the hurdles phase.
The North East had two representatives in the under-17 women’s pentathlon, Darlington’s Charlotte Rutter and Lily Cassidy of Gateshead and it was Charlotte who came closest to making it onto the podium where she had to settle for fourth place after accumulating 3,059 points just nine points adrift of the bronze medal winner. Charlotte did have the consolation of setting two new pbs, a clearance of 1:51m in the high jump and a put of 5:09m in the shot phase.
Lily, meanwhile, finished in 20th position after totalling 2,213 points and she was rewarded with a 60m hurdles pb of 10:49s.
Once again superb results for the region’s youngsters and their coaches which augurs well for the future.
Bill McGuirk is the North East's top athletics correspondent. NECAA Chairman and official, Bill can be found at all local athletics events supporting the sport he loves.