Indoor Round Up 2 – January/February 2023

London Games U20/Senior, 21 and 22/01/23 @ Lee Valley

This high quality/well supported open meeting has grown hugely in the 10 years since its inception, limited this year to 950 athletes over 2 days. I’m pleased to say that a number of M&M athletes took the opportunity to race.

In what must have seemed like a zillion 60m races, one after the other, a number of M&M athletes competed with distinction.

On the ladies side Ellie Turner, opened her winter campaign winning the B race in 7.59 and followed that up with a 7.64 in the A race, while Abi Walters set a new pb of 8.12 and was slightly slower in her second race with 8.24.
In the senior men’s races, Nathan Isaac recorded times of 7.25 and 7.18 and Rory Kuypers, in his first race for 3 years, raced to a time of 7.23, meanwhile at under-20 level, Jasper Emmanuel posted times of 7.25/7.20, while a new name for many, Jamie Kent-Smith recorded 7.59 and 7.46 for a new PB. Also competing was Keiran Issac, who ran 7.78/7.76 and completing the under-20 contingent for M&M, was Thomas Kalve, who ran 8.51/8.45.

Moving to the 200m oval track, Dylan Purton set a new indoor pb over 400m of 50.76, as he continued his “400m education” in preparation for the summer and there was also an indoor pb for Erin Hughes, as she recorded a time of 62.03. Josh Aboagye, who had been suffering with a cough and cold in the week, ditched his handkerchief and throat sweets and made his debut over 400m, recording a time of 54.95, which considering the circumstances, was very respectable.

Star of the show for M&M was Lucy Hope who ran a big new indoor pb and senior club record of 58.24 for 400m. Well done Lucy! 

London Games U17/15/13 28 and 29/01/23 @ Lee Valley

Again starting with the 60m races, this time for the under 17 age group, Grace Akindeji recorded a new pb of 8.18, while on the boys side, Cameron Isaac was the fastest with times of 7.62/7.54, the latter of which was a new pb. Also competing were the “2 Daniels”. Daniel Shoyoye and Daniel Culver recorded times of 7.69/7.67 and 7.84/7.85 respectively. Sadly, there was only one M&M U15 athlete entered in the 60m and Sienna Gratwick ran the identical time of 8.84 in both races. It was a busy weekend for Sienna, as she also ran a 200m in 29.01 and long jumped 4.01.

Some of the club’s hurdlers took their opportunity to compete over 60m hurdles this winter, with Cheyne West running 8.80 in the under 17 men’s event, while in the under 17 ladies event, Emily Moyle recorded a time of 10.09 and Nia Thomas celebrated a new pb time of 10.95. Nia’s younger sister, Gwen was also in pb form, running 11.42 in the under 13 girls event.
Back on the oval track in the under 17 men’s 200m, despite arriving at the “last minute”, Ben Purton recorded a new indoor pb of 25.47. Just behind him, also recording a new indoor pb of 25.55, was Daniel Culver, who also found time to finish with a best distance of 11.86m in the shot. On the ladies side, it was down to the “2 Graces”; Grace Akindeji, with her second indoor pb of the weekend, finished with a time of 27.44, while U15, Grace Durrant, was a fraction slower with a 27.48 clocking.

Finally over 400m, U17 Cheyne West recorded another good time of 52.86 and making her debut indoors over 800m, Abigail Hawkes, ran 2:33.59.

SEAA U20/Senior Championships 04 and 05/02/23 @ Lee Valley

As is tradition, this meeting starts with all of the 60m and 60m hurdle races on the first day and then follows that with the field events and the races over 200/400 and 800m on the Sunday.
Rory Kuypers was the only M&M athlete competing in the men’s sprints, recording a pb of 7.13 in the 60m and then recording a new indoor pb time of 22.92 in his 200m heat to reach the semi-final, before trimming that further to 22.87 in his semi.
M&M athletes were also in action over 400m with Joe Burton, returning to the SEAA Champs for the first time since winning a bronze medal as an under-17. Gosh, that seems such a long while ago, 2014 if my memory serves me correctly! With a number of injury niggles to contend with this winter, JB recorded a very encouraging 52.29. Erin Hughes continued her indoor season with a very solid 62.39.
There was also a club record over 400m on the day. After setting new senior indoor figures of 58.24 at the London Games, Lucy Hope was on a mission to break 58 seconds indoors for the first time and ran the best race that I have ever seen her run. A mixture of good race execution and sheer “grit and determination” saw her set a new overall, indoors and out, pb and club record of 57.80. Well done Lucy!
…… there were also some medals for M&M athletes!

In the senior ladies 800m, Charlotte Young traveled down from Loughborough University, where she is a second year student and “strolled” through her heat with ease. Charlotte is one of those intelligent middle distance runners, who favours indoor racing over the racing across muddy ploughed fields! Fresh from setting a new M&M senior indoor 800m record of 2:13.22 in Sheffield on the 21st January, she then attacked the final like “a lady on a mission” and was rewarded with a hard won silver medal, finishing in a time of 2:15.74. I’m sure that she will now be hoping to go faster again at the BUCS indoor champs in 3 weekstime. Well done Charlotte!

On the first day of the championships, Ellie Turner was in action over 60m. After having opened her indoor season at the London Games, 2 weeks prior, she raced out of the blocks to win her heat in a PB and club record equaling time of 7.55. She trimmed that slightly to 7.54 in finishing second in her semi-final, but she was to save the best for last. In the final she ran a big new pb and senior club record over 60m of 7.50 to finish 3rd in the same time as the winner of the silver medal. Ellie has accepted an invitation to race at the upcoming British Indoor Champs on the 18th/19th February and we all hope that a sub 7.50 time is possible on the fast track at Birmingham. Well done Ellie!

…..and just when you thought that it was only the “ladies” who were winning medals, along comes Dylan Purton. Most of you will know Dylan as a 200/100m sprinter. This winter he has changed the emphasis of his training, with an eye to racing 400m at championships in 2023 and the SEAA indoors was his first opportunity. Every event has it’s challenges, but many would concede that the 400m is probably/possibly one of the most “challenging” and the way that the SEAA organise their indoor meetings adds a further challenge. While you are given 4 hours recovery time between your heat and the final, you have only just over an hour between the semi-final and final.

Dylan finished second in his heat in a well judged indoor pb of 50.69, before winning his semi-final and dipping under 50 seconds for the first time indoors with a time of 49.96. Another to save the best for last. With most of the crowd gone in the third to last race of the meeting, Dylan ran a super race to finish second, just pipped on the line. He was however, able to savour a new indoor pb of 49.52 and a silver medal. He just missed emulating his fellow group member, Conor Murphy, who won this title in 49.59 in 2020. Well done Dylan!

Meanwhile, in Lexington, Kentucky, Conor was himself back to racing after a recent hamstring issue, recording a time of 50.71, which he then immediately bettered at the end of the meeting with a rolling 4 x 400m relay leg of 48.8. Great to see you back racing Conor! 

Well done to all those who competed!

Many thanks to Steve Munday for this report.