Sharland extends impressive run

ATHLETICS: Ipswich Harrier Tom Sharland maintained his superb form by storming to victory in the 5,000m race at the AAA Under-20 Championships, staged at Bedford.


IPSWICH Harrier Tom Sharland maintained his superb form by storming to victory in the 5,000m race at the AAA Under-20 Championships, staged at Bedford.

Sharland left a quality field trailing in his wake, including the highly-rated Mohammed Farah, to sail home in a winning time of 14mins 32secs.

The Ipswich School student enjoyed a massive winning margin – finishing 16 seconds clear of his closest rival.

Sharland, who is coached by Steve Benson on the track at Northgate Sports Centre, has gone from strength to strength after catching the eye during an outstanding cross country season.

The 18-year-old was crowned the English Schools cross country champion in Chelmsford last March, a month after finishing an excellent second to Farah in the Inter-Counties Championships at Nottingham.

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"I'm pleased with the win at Bedford. It wasn't my quickest time, but conditions were tricky in the wind and it was a tactical race," explained Sharland.

"It's the first time I have beaten Mohammed (Farah). He has just come back from a stress fracture, and so was not in top form, but I still regard it as a major scalp.

"Mohammed took it on for the first five laps. There was a group of three of us, and Anthony Ford took over the lead until 3K, after which I hit the front.

"I put in a spurt and managed to get a gap. I had a decent lead at the end," added Sharland, who set a PB of 14.16 for 5K at Loughborough in May.

Fellow Ipswich Harrier Sam Jacobs, who is also a member of Benson's training squad, was a fine fifth in the same event.

THE National Young Athletes League for the Boys Under-17 age groups took place at Newham and Essex Beagles.

Ipswich Harriers again put on a good show to finish in second place, thereby still in with a good chance of promotion at the end of the season.

There were some tremendous individual performances from the lads, resulting in a final score of Newham and Essex Beagles 224.5, Ipswich Harriers 172.5, Enfield and Haringay 138 and Thurrock 81.

On the track, Under-17 Sean Foster, in only his second appearance in the 400m, stormed home almost a second clear of the rest of the field and lowering his personal best time for the event from 54.1 to 51.2s.

In the 200m, De'Onte Green and Sean won both the A and B string for the event in identical times of 24.7s.

From the field events De'Onte took a second win when he leapt 5.41ms in the long jump.

Scott Stannard was another in this age group to produce the goods, when he won both the discus and hammer, landing the discus at 32.89ms to give him a pb while in the 800m he ran a new time of 2.38.0s.

Kevin Churchyard and Philip Brown took a pb each from the 1500ms in times of 5.07.5 and 5.50.6 respectively and Matthew Hart lowered his 100m time to 13.7s for a second place.

Chris Bullard had a couple of best performances from the A string of the javelin, which he won with a throw of 36.40ms, and in the B string of the shot putt, which he won with 9.71ms.

Not to be outdone by the other throwers, Liam Smith also had two bests coming from the B string of the discus with 29.42ms for a winning place and in the A string shot was third, going past the 10m mark for the first time with 10.24m.

A couple of second places went to Martin Bennett and Nathan Hanley in the triple jump.

In the long jump Hanley was second in the B string and Philip Ormston was also second in the B string of the high jump.

In the Under-15 section, Matthew Byam equalled his best high jump with 1.55ms and Steven Welton had a pb of 1.50ms.

From the 800m Aaron Pentilow Davis again returned a best performance time of 2.49.0s.

In the 400m Levi Hunt took the win from the A string and in the B string Sam Dawes equalled his best time of 57.4 when he finished second.

From the discus it was another first place this time coming from Tom Stewart with 16.43ms. Mark Dickerson had a second place in the javelin, James Hicks was also second in both the hammer and javelin and Andrew Irvine finished in the same position in the discus.

In the 4 x 400m relay, Sam Dawes, Matthew Byam, Steven Welton and Levi Hunt carried the baton across the line to win the event in a time of 3.59.9s, a clear two seconds ahead of the second-placed team.

Taking to the track for his second club appearance, Under-13 Louis Jones had a very successful day, winning the 100m with a time of 14.5s. Then in the 200m he produced a best time of 28.4s when he finished in second place.

Nathan Hanley had a pair of second places in the 100m and long jump.

Three Under-13 boys took on different events on the day – Sam Osborne ran the 800m in a time of 2.33.8s for a third place and newcomer Tom Dawes was second in the long jump with 3.64m while Josh Shepherd recorded 4.92m for third place in the shot.