Bedford’s international stadium saw a battling performance from Chichester Runners’ Izzie Brown in the strongly-contested under-20 women’s national combined events championships.
Brown’s form has improved significantly over the past few weeks and this continued over the two days. Brown earned a deserved fourth place and achieved a huge improvement in her PB with 4,362 points for the heptathlon. She is now ranked fourth in the 2013 UK rankings in her age group and in the top 20 of the women’s UK rankings.
Brown’s success was all the more remarkable as things started badly on day one. Coming into the 100m hurdles with a personal best last time out, disaster almost struck at the last barrier.
At halfway Brown looked to be on for a new best but a strong tail wind pushed her too close to the last hurdle which she hit at full speed. Brown stumbled badly yet recorded a competitive 15.71secs.
Brown was the top performing high jumper with an impressive 1.71m clearance, her season’s best. While a little below par with a 9m34 shot putt, a new PB in the 200m of 27.28sec was a good way to finish the day which saw her in fifth.
Day two started with the long jump and Brown struck with 5.25m, the fifth best jump of the competition and she was one of the few to get a PB. Moving to the javelin, Brown knew she needed to be near her best to keep close to the leaders. The blustery conditions required good technique and Brown was rewarded with a 24.07m just short of her PB.
The competition finished with the 800m, Brown’s least favoured event. Lying fourth, she was in the final race alongside her main competition and knew she would struggle to maintain her position as the others were faster on paper.
In a tense last lap, Brown looked to be dropping places but her sprint over the last 75m allowed her to clock just under 2min 40sec. When the results were announced 30 minutes later, Brown was surprised to have kept fourth and achieve her highest placing in her first national combined events championship.
Also in action at Bedford were another three athletes who have represented Chichester’s junior and under-20 teams.
Charlie Roe, who first made his mark for the club as an under-13, looked to be in fine form with a personal best in the opening event with a 11.35 clocking in the 100m but disaster struck in the long jump when a swirling wind made it difficult for all competitors.
Roe overstepped the board on all three attempts and failed to record a score.
Undaunted, he set new personal-best marks in hurdles and shot as well as jumping an impressive 1.93m in the high jump and storming to a 50-second 400m to show the potential of a fine decathlon score.
Both Jamie Moore and Matt Baker also performed with credit. Horsham-based Baker suffered the same fate as Roe with a no-height recorded on the pole vault although his all-round form looked good.
Moore, now at Brighton University, did well to finish the competition in 18th in his under-23 age group, highlighted by a clearance of 4.05m in the pole vault, one of the top ten marks of the day.
All the action from Chichester’s under-13s and under-15s’ visit to Woking will be in the week’s (June 13) Observer.