As the European Indoor championships loom plenty of Birchfield athletes were in action this weekend. Leading the Stags with yet another impressive performance was Elliot Giles who was racing in France. In his fourth race in the last two weeks, he posted yet another 1500m personal best recording a time of 3.36.90 in a high class field. This comes on the back of two 800m wins on the World Indoor Tour and marks and excellent start to his season as he aims for Olympic qualification.
The Bryggen Sports invitational meeting took place in Manchester on 13 February and four Stags used this as a season opener. Amy Hillyard ran an excellent 400m to back up her breakthrough outdoor season last year with a time of 53.99 a new personal best for her indoors by some margin. Efe Okoro was also in action and he again ran a solid race to post a time of 47.80 in a very close-run finish. Georgie Hartigan competed in the 800m and her time of 2.04.44 was a good start to her season.
Over in Loughborough many more Stags were in action over a weekend of indoor competition and it was a successful two days as many of them recorded new personal best performances. In the 60m Cassie-Ann Pemberton, who hasn't raced indoors for two years, was second with a pb of 7.44 seconds with teammate Diani Walker close behind in a time of 7.49. In the men's race 200m specialist Leon Reid was looking for European qualification and just missed out with a time of 6.77 seconds. He is now off to Ireland to try and secure his place on the team.
In the hurdles we saw heptathlete Katie Stainton looking strong as she posted a pb of 8.63 seconds. Specialist hurdler, Heather Paton was also competing and she ran a time of 8.46 secs. Both were delighted to be back competing after such a long time and these were excellent results after a summer if training using hurdles they made themselves from plastic pipes and plastics bags of sand for weighting the hurdles.
On Sunday the field event athletes were competing, and Katie Stainton was seen again, this time in the long jump and shot. Her distance in both events were solid performances and a good start to the season with 6.02m in the long jump and 12.09 in the shot. Fresh from training with the GB Bobsleigh team Adele Nicoll had her first event of the year in the shot where she threw 15.10m. The top Stag of the day was Natalie Hooper who jumped a pb pf 4.20m in the pole vault so our congratulations go to Natlaie. Our final competitor was on the day was U20 Sam Brereton who jumped 2.07m in the high jump.