Midland Counties Senior and U20 Championships

The annual Midland Counties Senior and U20 Championships were held in Nuneaton this weekend, with 9 athletes from the sprint squad competing, 2 of whom competed in multi events, and a single competitor from the Endurance squad.


U20 Lucas Mansell ran a superb race to slice over 30 seconds of his 5000m time to take a magnificent Silver medal with a time of 15:41.33, and move to a top 40 placing in the UK rankings. Mansell who is based at St Mary’s in Twickenham switched coaches in 2024 has on this showing he looks to have settled in well in his new surroundings.  


Silver medal in the 5000m for U20 Luca Mansell

First to compete for the large contingent of the sprint squad on Saturday were Elizabeth Reading, and sisters Harriet and Culley Cleaver in the U20 women’s 100m.  They were all drawn in heat 1, and Elizabeth and Harriet were pretty even up to the 30m mark, before Elizabeth started to pull away from her to finish 4th in 12.79 seconds , with Harriet finishing 7th in 13.22, and Culley finishing just outside of her PB, was 8th in 13.68 seconds.  In the Senior women’s race, Holly Abbott, ran a season’s best of 13.71w in heat 2.

Next up to compete were Austin Ideh and Lewis-Morgan Barton in the Senior men’s 200m.  Austin, drawn in heat 2, had a poor start, but recovered well to finish 5th in a wind assisted time of 23.02 seconds, wind reading plus 2.4 metres per second.  Heat 3 saw Lewis-Morgan run a strong race to finish 2nd in 22.13w to progress through to the final.  The swirling winds whipped up just before he ran in the final, creating a minus 3.2 headwind.  Finishing 6th in 22.84 seconds, he will value the experience of running 2 rounds on the day, against seasoned athletes who have done so several times in the past. 

The Senior men’s 400m was the next sprint event, featuring Cole Sinnott.  Cole finally broke through the 49 second barrier, running a fast 200m heat, before gathering momentum around the bottom bend, transferring his speed well into the final 100m to set a new PB, and lower his own club record to 48.62 seconds when finishing in third place sadly just missing out in qualification for the final.


Cole Sinnott - Broke his own 400m club record with 48.62

In the field, Senior man, Jack Abbott, was a metre down on his PB with a throw of 24.20 metres in the discus to finish 10th.  On Sunday he competed in the shot and javelin, setting personal bests in both events with throws of 9.75 and 28.78 metres respectively. 


Jack Abbott - Fast improver in the throws events

Senior men, Lewis-Morgan Barton and Austin Ideh both competed in the 100m on Sunday.  In the heats, Lewis-Morgan was drawn in heat 1 and ran a strong race to finish in 3rd place in 10.92w to progress through to the semi-final.  Austin, meanwhile was drawn in heat 4, running a time of 11.19w, to also qualify for the semi-final.  They were drawn in adjacent lanes in the semi-final, and both had outstanding runs with Lewis-Morgan just finishing ahead of Austin in 10.97w to take 4th place, and Austin finishing 6th in 11.20w.  Lewis-Morgan’s time was enough to progress through to the final, in which he had a very good start, but had to settle for 7th place in a legal PB of 11.01 seconds.


Austin Ideh (left) & Lewis-Morgan Barton - A good series of runs over the weekend

The women competed in the 200m on Sunday.  Culley Cleaver was drawn in heat 1 of the U20 women’s race, and had an outstanding run to set a new PB of 27.75 seconds, knocking a second off of her previous best time, and finishing 6th in her race.  Elizabeth Reading progressed through to the final after finishing 3rd in her heat in 25.72 seconds, finally achieving the English Schools qualifying time that she has been chasing this season.  In the final, she finished 8th in 25.67w, in a race won by U17 athlete, Savannah McKenzie-Morgan of Rugby and Northampton.  Senior woman, Holly Abbott, also ran well in her race, finishing 5th in 28.77w, and looking likely to set a new PB in this event this season.


From left to right Holly Abbott, Elizabeth Reading, & Culley Cleaver

U15 girl, Lucie Cleaver, competed in the Pentathlon event on Sunday. The events she had to tackle on the day were, long jump, 75m hurdles, shot, high jump, and 800m.  Her best event on the day was the shot, in which she finished 4th with a throw of 7.12 metres.


Lucie Cleaver - Fast developing pentathlete

A huge well done to all of the athletes who competed and represented the club so well at these championships.