Joyce’s golden moment
TYNEDALE’S DAN IS ON VERY BEST FORM TO BE TOP MAN IN BEDFORD
ENGLISH Schools’ champion Daniel Joyce topped the podium again as he spreadeagled the opposition to win the England under-15 800 metres gold medal in Bedford, writes BILL McGUIRK.
The Tynedale Harrier strolled to a comfortable victory in his heat (1 min 59.91sec) and then front-ran the final to win in a new lifetime best of 1:56.04.
Joyce went straight to the front in the final, reaching the bell 20 metres ahead of his rivals in 57.4secs.
The talented sporting all-rounder kept up the momentum on the final circuit, extending his advantage to nearly four seconds at the line.
Joyce went into the championships at the top of the UK rankings and he consolidated that by taking three-tenths off his previous best time.
Durham City’s Adam Ord was drawn in the same heat as Joyce and followed him home in second in a time of 2:01.01, which was also his best ever.
In the final Ord was lying fourth at the bell but dug deep into his reserves and entering the home straight he eased into second place, which he held all the way to the finish.
It was another personal best of 2:00.15 for Ord, a time which moves him up into eighth place in the rankings.
There was also a one-two for the region in the under-15 boys’ shot put competition.
Victory went to Gateshead’s Jack Halpin with a put of 14:11m, just short of his pb, while North Shields Poly’s James Wordsworth claimed a number of scalps ahead of him in the rankings to finish runner-up with a new pb of 13:72m.
Wordsworth also lined up in the discus and was fifth with a throw of 40:20m.
Durham City’s Tia Anderson completed the North East’s gold medal charge – and she did it in style.
Not only did she take the under-15 300 metres title in a new lifetime best but her time of 40.35s set a new championship record, which also moves the teenager to joint top of the rankings.
Anderson, who had to progress through the heats (41.28s), set off quickly in the final – only to be headed entering the finishing straight.
However, she managed to battle her way back into the lead with around 40 metres to take a deserved victory.
As well as three gold medals the region also had silver medallists who set lifetime bests.
In the under-17 men’s shot put contest, Morpeth’s Andrew Knight finished runnerup with a throw of 15:41m while Middlesbrough’s Archie Lowe ran around 16 seconds quicker than ever before to claim the under15 3,000 metres runners-up spot in 9:01.73.
In the same race, Houghton’s Will Bellamy just missed out on the podium after claiming fourth place in 9:13.00.
Other NE athletes who made it through to the final of their events included Rachel Bennett (Shildon), who finished sixth in the under-17 100m (12.32s).
Gateshead’s Josh McKeown was eighth in the under-15 200m (23.05) after posting a new pb of 23.01s in the heats.
Blyth’s Dale Turner ended up in sixth place in the under-15 300m in 37.60s after progressing from the heats with a new pb of 37.23s.
Morpeth’s Andrew Knight finished in the silver medal position in the under-17 men’s shot at the English Championships in Bedford
Gateshead’s Jack Halpin topped the podium after winning the under-15 boys championship in Bedford with North Shields Poly’s James Wordsworth, right, in the silver medal position