Northern Athletics U17 / U20 / Senior Championships

Keith Hunter


When it comes to competing and coaching, every New Year is full of hope, expectation, determination…and maximum effort! And this one started off with a fantastic meeting for the athletes under my guidance.

The Northern Athletics U17 / U20 / Senior Championships, held last weekend (January 12th and 13th) saw them winning 2 gold championship performances, 2, silvers, 3 bronze medals…and achieving a host of PB’s. First up was the very talented Morgan Frith. After a long layoff from a rugby injury, he achieved an excellent 6.29 to clinch Bronze Medal on his first jump.

Way to go, Morgan!

Second was Clash of the Titans. Kevin Metzger and Seun Okome (ranked 1 & 2 in the country ) and Jonny Ferryman (ranked 5). In all age groups. These three really took it to the edge!

It was like watching a ping pong ball going back and fro across the table. Kevin thought he finally got the better of his training partner Seun, with a championship leap of 15.68.

But Seun had other ideas. He came over to me and said; “Coach, I got to do something!” And that’s when he responded with a winning leap of 15.84. A fantastic effort.

It was a massive result for the trio who took all 3 medals, with Jonny Ferryman taking bronze medal

Elsewhere, the U20 Womens triple jump featured Rebecca Keen who, after struggling with her run-up for 5 rounds, gritted her teeth, pulled out all the stops, and snatched the bronze medal with a superb jump of 11.21.

Malissa Booth

And then there’s Malissa Booth

Malissa, only 14 years old and around 5’5 tall, had a fantastic weekend. It began on the Saturday with silver medal and PB in the U17 girls’ long jump (5.58). She’s now ranked number 2 in long jump in the UK in her age group . The following day (in the triple jump) with tired legs from her silver medal performance the day before, she stood on the runway about to go off the 11-metre board..the only one to do so.

Malissa’s mum said to me later; “ When they moved the board from the 9 to the 11 my heart missed a beat.” She needn’t have worried.

Malissa’s first jump was 11.48, and she ended the competition with a giant leap of 11.84. She’s now ranked number 1 for triple jump in the UK in her age group…and overall ranked 5th in the country in all age groups.

Finally, special mentions have to go Daisy Keighley and Joe Grey. Daisy achieved a long jump PB of 5.25. This time last year she jumped 4.64…so, a big leap forward. And Joe Grey’s all 6 jumps were all 6 PB’s!. He ended with 5.95

It was a fantastic weekend for my athletes. Well done all of you. It’s times like this that makes competing, and coaching, an absolute delight.