ATHLETICS: Claridge and Turner take centre stage with records

8:00am Thursday 29th May 2014

By Ed Mezzetti

Ben Claridge and Ella Turner were the stars of the show with impressive displays in the Oxfordshire Track and Field Championships at Horspath Road.

White Horse Harriers ace Claridge broke county records in the under 17 boys’ 400m and 800m while recording a golden double.

Oxford City’s Turner set a new under 15 girls’ 300m mark, winning that event by more than two seconds.

Claridge clocked 49.53secs to win the 400m, beating the mark of 51.7 set by Aaron Teale (Abingdon) in 2003.

He added the 800m in 1min 57.11secs, which surpassed the 1.58.14 run by Christian Von Eitzen, from Abingdon, in 2013.

Von Eitzen went on to win the English Schools’ title last year, so Claridge’s form bodes well – especially as he clocked 1.54.92 last month.

Turner’s time of 41.66 beat the previous record of 42.37 set by City’s Simi Fajesmisin in 2012.

The times took Turner to third in UK rankings with another year to go in the age group.

Although she can’t do this event as an under 15 at the English Schools Championships, the time is fast enough to qualify for under 17 competition.

Turner also triumphed in the 800m, taking victory in 2.27.92.

If Claridge and Turner took the individual headlines, Radley were clearly the dominant Oxfordshire club, with 37 gold medals.

Among their ladies, both Adela Hussain and Luisa Chantler Edmond won title trebles.

Hussain took the under 20 100m, 200m and shot putt, recording 13.42secs, 26.58secs and 9.66m respectively.

Chantler Edmond triumphed in the under 17 shot (11.39m), discus (33.42) and javelin (31.93).

Radley’s Joe Finch won the under 20 men’s high jump (1.65), long jump (5.91) and triple jump (12.86).

Four Oxford City athletes also pulled off hat-tricks.

Tim Stephens won the under 17 boys’ 100m hurdles in 15.14, the 400m hurdles in 57.37 and the high jump in 1.65.

Pentathlete Jade O’Dowda took the under 15 girls’ 200m (26.77), 75m hurdles (11.88) and high jump (1.55) Under 13 boy Jack Judson’s treble came in the 100m (14.4), 200m (29.36) and high jump (1.25).

Completing the set in the same age group was Adam Byles, who won the shot (7.72), discus (22.21) and javelin (27.28).

Seb Hartwell was Banbury Harriers’ leading light, triumphing in the under 15 boys’ 200m (25.47), high jump (1.62) and long jump (5.21).

Ram Smith continued his fine form with a senior men’s sprint double.

The 31-year-old Radley athlete won the 100m in 10.80secs and the 200m in 22.02.

This was some way below his best, with Smith having clocked 10.46 and 21.6 this summer, but both races were run into headwinds.

Had conditions been better, Smith might have tested the county championship 100m mark of 10.64 set by Olympic hurdler Lawrence Clarke in 2012.

Oxford City’s Aliysa Codrington achieved her own sprint double, taking the senior ladies’ 100m in 13.16 and the 400m in 59.36.

There were a whole host of athletes who also claimed a brace of titles, while some family combinations also shone.

The Cherry siblings led the way for Bicester.

Jake Cherry, 13, won the under 15 boys’ discus in 24.82m, throwing more than 20m for the first time.

He added another personal best of 33.43m to take silver in the javelin.

Sister Jess, 16, won the under 17 girls’ triple jump in 9.53, but suffered an injury in the discus that also hampered her progress in the shot.

Having seen older sister Luisa bag a treble, Radley’s Petrina Chantler Edmond added the under 15 girls’ hammer (20.95) to the family’s titles.

White Horse Harriers’ Becky Hodgson won in the under 20 ladies’ 400m and 800m in 1.00.05 and 2.25.08.

There were further doubles for Radley’s Faith Brew, Ella Lovibond, Kathryn Woodcock and Harry New.

Abingdon’s Michael Fabes and Kidlington’s Helene Greenwood also won twice.

Witney Road Runners’ braces came from James Currah and Matthew Bryce.

Middle-distance runner Currah triumphed in the under 20 mens’ 800m and 1,500m in times of 2mins 2.67secs and 4.29.94 respectively.

Bryce’s wins came in the under 15 boys’ shot put and javelin with distances of 10.12m and 35.54m.

Enfield & Haringey’s Alex Jones, who lives in Witney, was another double winner.

Jones, who has now bagged county medals at junior and senior level, took the senior men’s 800m in 1.58.40 and added the 1,500m in 4.10.65.

Husband and wife Fraser and Sally Howard (Witney Road Runners) were second in their respective senior 1,500m races.

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