Northern Athletics Indoor Championships

Three Manx Harriers athletes were in action at the English Institute of Sport in Sheffield at the weekend in the Northern Athletics indoor championships, with Bethan Pilley, Aimee Cringle and Hannah Ronan all competing in the jumps events.

It has been a far from ideal build up to competition with poor weather throughout November giving very little opportunity for any specific practice, this coupled with the closure of the track from early December due to flooding at the National Sports Centre, meant that athletes were not sure what to expect in competition.

Despite the difficulties of training on the Island in the last couple of months, the highlights were three Island Games

qualifying marks based on qualifying standards for the last games in Jersey.

Aimee and Hannah were first to compete in the Junior women triple jump with mixed fortunes. Unfortunately Hannah was not able to register a mark in her three attempts, while Aimee established an indoor Island age group record with a fine jump of 10.51, this being 21 cm clear of the main guideline standards for Island Games to finish 6th in the final, which was won in a championship best performance of 12.65 by Junior International athlete, Naomi Ogbeta who last season competed for the World Youth Games in Cali.

Aimee barely had time to warm down from triple when she was called up for her long jump event and another 6 jumps in this competition gave her a best of 5.14 and the bronze medal.

Manx female Long jump record holder, Bethan Pilley was competing in the Senior women long jump in the first event of day two. After suffering a serious illness during the Christmas break she has just got back into training and still not yet 100%, despite this she put a consistent series of jumps together and finished in 5th overall with a best jump of 5.25.

Aimee also had a run out in the heats of the 200m despite being heavy legged from the previous days jump competitions she determined to make the most of the opportunity to use a track for the first time in a couple of months and recorded 27.61 for 4th in her heat before making the trip home.

Thanks to Bridget and Peter Kaneen for this report