Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletics Club win indoor gold and silver in South Yorkshire.
SPRINT hurdles pair Joe Purbrick and Max Roe shone in the limelight for the newly-merged Peterborough and Nene Valley Athletics Club (AC) at a major competition in South Yorkshire.
Purbrick and Roe won gold and silver respectively at the prestigious England Athletics Indoor Age Group Championships held at Sheffield's English Institute of Sport (EIS) at the weekend.
After winning his under-17 60m hurdles heat and semi-final races, setting new personal bests in the process, Purbrick brought the EIS crowd to their feet which he won after a photo-finish in 8.13 seconds.
Purbrick said: "I’m well pleased with that, a gold medal and a personal best, what more can you ask for?"
A further bonus for Purbrick was that his semi-final winning time of 8.11 seconds secured him second place in the current national under-17 rankings behind training partner and Deepings School student Freddie Fraser who was unable to compete due to injury.
Next up for Purbrick is an attempt to win gold at the European under-18 Athletics Championships in Rieti, Italy, in July.
Just ten minutes before Purbrick's gold run, training partner Roe bagged silver in the under-15 60m hurdles final.
After setting a new personal best of 8.53 seconds to qualify for the final, the 13-year-old Bourne Grammar School student was the slowest of the six finalists to react to the starter's gun.
But a fast pick-up saw Roe pull back the deficit to finish second in another personal best of 8.42 seconds, a time which now ranks him as national number two behind gold medallist Jaiden Dean who won in 8.23 seconds.
It was a busy weekend for Roe, the current Essex County and Eastern under-15 60m hurdles champion, who also competed in the 60m flat.
Roe reached the semi-finals in a time of 7.56 seconds before finishing sixth in a time five-hundredth of a second slower.
Another Bourne Grammar School student to compete in Sheffield was Katie Callcut who reached the semi-finals of the under-17 60m hurdles after finishing third in her heat.
Callcut ran a new personal best of 9.00 seconds in her semi-final to just miss out on a finals' place.
Peterborough and Nene Valley AC hurdler Jack Wheatley competed alongside Roe in the under-15 60m hurdles.
Having only set a qualifying mark for the championships just a few days before the closing date for entries, Wheatley's gamble to take part paid off as he set a new personal best of 9.83 seconds.
Fellow club hurdler Katie Marsh came fourth in her semi-final of the under-15 60m hurdles, whileshot putter Elizabeth Moorhouse finished fifth in the under-20 women’s event.
Moorhouse, a member of the Geoff Capes-run Lincs Throws Academy, went out to her 11.50m with her best put.
High jumper Tomi Ogunyoye finished 13th in the under-20 event after clearing 1.86m, while Grace Tidman and Francesca Fenwick were tenth and 18th respectively in the under-17 high jump.
Back on the track, Aaron Hunt finished fourth in the under-20 1,500m in 4:03.43 seconds, although the Bourne-based youngster could have joined clubmates Purbrick and Roe as a medallist in Sheffield if he had shown a little more self-belief.
With a couple of laps left the seven-and-a-half lap race, Hunt could have snatched bronze with the speed he demonstrated in the closing stages of the race.
Perhaps the unluckiest of the eight club members was Elizabeth Taylor who had finished second in her under-17 300m heat, with the winner and two fastest qualifiers from each heat moving on to the final.
Taylor had to wait until everyone had competed before pre-race favourite Emilia Rock was disqualified for a false start.
But following an appeal, Rock was allowed to contest the 300m on her own against the clock for a place in the final, clocking 40.74 to deny Taylor a place in the final.
High jumper Dylan Phillips cleared 1.78m for a new personal best to prove that a change of run-up just three days before the championships was a good idea.
Sprinters Holly Aslin and Keira Gilman both gave good accounts of themselves, with Aslin setting a personal best of 8.24 seconds in her under-17 60m heat, while Gilman ran 8.13 seconds to reach the semi-finals in the same event were she then clocked 8.23 seconds.
Other achievements by Peterborough and Nene Valley athletes in Sheffield included Cody Roe who ran a personal best of 7.39 seconds in his under-17 60m heats.
Bryce Tshabalala clocked 7.50 in his heat of the same event, while Archie Rainbow finished fifth in 2:01.29 in his under-20 800m heat.
Elaine Larkins, chairman of Peterborough and Nene Valley AC, said: "Overall, there were 16 youngsters from the club who competed in Sheffield, with 12 of them setting personal bests and all of them gaining valuable experience for the future."
More by this authorWinston Brown