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Ethan earns medal in gutsy display at National Indoor Champs

There were numerous PBs and strong performances by Woodford athletes at the England indoor age group championships in Sheffield but the only medallist was Ethan Franklin who took bronze in the U20 men’s 200m.

Ethan Franklin

Ethan ran 5 races across a busy weekend. In his first championships as a U20 athlete, he responded to the higher level of competitors around him; ironically, his only race that was not a PB was the final of the 200m. A time of 7.00 secs was not enough to progress from the semi-final of the 60m after 7.02 secs in the heat. He came back stronger on the Sunday, qualifying from the 200m first round in 22.05 secs despite being drawn in the tightest lane in his heat. Again, in the relatively tight lane 3 for his semi-final, he improved to 21.95 secs to take second place in a very close finish, which left him as the fastest-time qualifier. The draw was more favourable for him for the final, starting outside the winner of his semi-final. This helped Ethan reverse the semi-final positions as he held his form to take the bronze medal in 21.99 secs, albeit adrift of the top 2.

Ethan Franklin

Closest Woodford athlete to a medal on the Saturday was Kharina Partridge. Less than a week after taking the Southern U20 triple jump title, two further PBs of 11.59m and 11.60m left her in 4th place.

Kharina Partridge

Two other triple jump finalists were U15B Sammy Geist (10.65m) in 6th and U20M Wilfred Williams (12.72m) in 8th. Toby Taylor took 7th in the U15 boys high jump in 1.55, while Remi Salako was very disappointed not to qualify for the final three jumps in the U15 girls long jump having gone into the competition with the best PB.

As usual at this championships the 60m events were of a high standard, with multiple national records set. Biggest improver at the distance was Matthew Gittens, who having struggled through the first round of the U17 men’s event came through strongly in the semi-final despite a poor start to qualify in a 7.08 secs PB. He went on to finish 7th in the final with another PB of 7.05. secs. Both Lawrence Foster and Callum Clydesdale made the U15B final, in which Lawrence edged out Callum in 7.50 secs versus 7.51 secs in 6th and 7th after slightly quicker times of 7.43 secs and 7.49 secs(PB) in their respective semi-finals. Evanna Eze was unable to progress in the U15G 60m (7.95 secs).

The final Woodford athlete to start on Saturday was William Muffett, whose 3rd place in his U17M 800m heat in 2m:04.27 secs was not sufficient to progress to Sunday’s final. Almost all the WGEL athletes who did competed on Sunday had already had a taste of the arena the previous day. Daniel Niewczasinski-Kirkland was the only new face on the second day, but third place in his heat in a time of 9.33 secs was insufficient to make the final of the U15B 60m hurdles. Caitlin Hancock ended 6th in the U17 women’s long jump with an equal season’s best of 5.42m after running 7.89 secs for 60m early on Saturday. At 200m while Evanna Eze was an auto qualifier from her U15G heat (26.40 secs), not winning it left her outside the favoured lanes 5 and 6 for the semi-final and she was unable to qualify for the final with her time of 26.27 secs. Callum Clydesdale was our only U15 boy to make it through the first round (24.24 secs), with Lawrence Foster (24.64 secs) and Sammy Geist bowing out (25.27 secs). He improved to 24.20 secs in the semi-final to finish 6th fastest overall, but such is the disadvantage of tight lanes at 200m indoors that lane 1 was not in use and only 5 progressed to the final.