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Northern Indoor Athletics Championships 14-15 January 2023

As the first of the major indoor athletics competitions for 2023 got underway at the EIS in Sheffield there were great a number of athletes from Preston Harriers competing. The competition, which ran over two days, got underway with Isaac Delaney in the U20 men’s shot put where he breezed to gold with a putt of 16.72m, over a metre ahead of his nearest rival. Ever the competitor Isaac was not overly pleased with his performance, he was however happy with the win.

Curtis Mitchell was delighted to take his 4th consecutive title at these championships in senior men’s 60m hurdles with a time of 8.61sec - an impressive feat after coming back from a hamstring injury sustained in November. Emily Rankin impressed as she raced in the U20 women’s 60m hurdles where she finished 4th in her heat with a new PB of 9.38sec.

The 60m for both men and women were hotly contested with Queenivette Nguta dominating all three rounds of the U17 women’s 60m, taking a commanding gold with an indoor PB of 7.65sec. Also in the U17 womens 60m was Erika Corns who also ran an indoor PB of 8.85sec. Erika also ran a strong race in the 200m finishing in 29.13sec. The senior men did not disappoint in their intraclub fight when Craig Gill & Jack McLoughlin both raced over the 60m. It was a closely fought contest across separate heats where Jack came out on top in a time of 7.11sec to Craig’s 7.13sec. On to the semis where they met in the same race.

Unfortunately for Jack he fell to the floor mid race with a pulled hamstring. Craig raced hard and was rewarded with a place in the final and a PB of 7.06sec, a new U23 Gibraltar record, strengthening his fight for selection for the Gibraltar team at the European Indoors. On the Sunday Craig took on the 200m and was delighted to run a PB in the semi-finals of 22.62sec.

Scott Sinclair was happy to finish in the silver medal position in the U20 men’s triple jump with 14.21m. He produced a solid performance on the day and will take away areas for improvement.

Perhaps the biggest smile on the track came from Sean Collado who ran his first race in two years afterreturning from a serious hamstring injury. He was delighted with his 400m run of 56.29sec and seemed optimistic about the season ahead.

The 800m saw Imogen Blackwell and Lauren Waddington race in the U20 women’s event, both running impressive indoor PBs of 2m18.08 and 2m24.88 respectively. In the senior men’s 800m Harry Hayes finished a strong 3rd in his heat with a PB of 2m01.74.

The U17 women’s field events saw promising season openers from Millie Turner where she jumped 4.58m in the long jump and a putt of 7.89m in the shot. Alongside her was Erika Corns who pulled out some great PBs in the long jump (4.40m) and shot put (7.20m).

A big thank you to all the athletes, coaches, volunteers and officials who made the championships so enjoyable. As a coach it was really encouraging to see so many great performances and I hope other athletes feel inspired to enter future championships.

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