Higher and higher: BAC’s record-breaking Brunning bounds up British rankings

Leonie Brunning starred for Biggleswade Athletic Club on a record-breaking afternoon at the latest Eastern Young Athletes League meeting in Peterborough.

Brunning won with a stunning 1.67m, not just a new Under-15s club record, but fully 4cm clear of the National Championship standard, the benchmark levels for young athletes. It also propelled her from equal 13th in the UK U15 rankings up to fifth outright, and perhaps the most staggering stat of the day was that her performance would have been good enough for the 14-year old to secure a top 10 placing at the senior Team GB trials for August’s World Championships, which were taking place at the same time in Birmingham.

Leonie Brunning in the high jump. Photo by Hannah Brunning
Leonie Brunning in full flight. Photo by Hannah Brunning

“The stadium was in silence watching her,” said BAC’s Mandie Trudgill. “It was just amazing and thrilling to watch. People were coming over to ask all about her as she was jumping, and afterwards she received so many congratulations from strangers.”
Having added 6cm to her previous personal best, Leonie now heads for this weekend’s English Schools’ Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium, the scene of the World Trials, full of confidence.

Another who will be showcasing his talents in the midlands is Cameron Rayner, and he showed he is in great form in equalling his PB of exactly 12sec in the 100m.

Freddie Steele finishing in the 200m. Photo by Mandie Trudgill
Freddie Steele finishing in the 200m. Photo by Mandie Trudgill

Meanwhile there was an outright PB for first-timer Freddie Steele in the shot put (5.32m), fellow debutant Adam Reed posted one of his own in the 800m, as did Stephen Day, while Madison Day earned hers in the two-lap event thanks to a blistering sprint finish. Hannah Brunning was another who demonstrated a brilliant change of pace over the home straight in the event.

More PBs came for Alicia Ward in the long jump (3.87m), Sophie Steele in the javelin (17.63) and Georgia Smith in the 300m. On a day in which BAC amassed an impressive points haul, all of the squad – which also featured Bailey Foster, Kareem Davis, Elliot Swinburne and Daniel Hemming – played their part, and Tristan Rayner in particular showed grit to recover from a sapping effort in the 400m to take the line for the 200m.

Adam Reed in the 800m. Photo by Mandie Trudgill
EYAL debutant Adam Reed in the 800m. Photo by Mandie Trudgill

“He showed true club spirit and what it means to be a member of the mighty blue and yellows!” added Trudgill. “He ran an amazing 400m, albeit doing too much in the first 200, and the boy was spent. As Team GB captain Christine Ohuruogo would say, he definitely left it all out on the track. He had to lay down for a good 20 minutes to recover, and although he was due to do the 200m he really wasn’t in a state to do it.

“But then he heard the running tally of points, and that we were only at that point three points behind Luton AC. ‘Well that’s it,’ he said, grabbing his spikes. ‘I’m running!’ and off he jogged to the start.”

His 200m of 25.0sec was very impressive under the circumstances but events elsewhere went Luton’s way and according to provisional results BAC, among the smallest clubs of the 27 competing in the league, were just pipped to sixth position on the day and now turn their attention to the remaining fixtures at Colchester and Bedford.

The heat is on: Dickson-Earle takes line at Team GB trials

Euan Dickson-Earle once again showcased Biggleswade AC colours live on the BBC but narrowly missed making the final of Team GB’s trials for next month’s World Athletics Championships.

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Screengrab: BBC

Euan finished third in his 110m hurdles heat in 14.62sec, two-tenths of a second outside his personal best, whereas the third-finishing athletes in the other two heats progressed due to quicker times. After clipping the first barrier, Euan struggled for rhythm but fought hard to the line to finish a clear third, and overall his time ranked him 12th of the 20 athletes in the competition.

Despite disappointment at failing to make the final, competing well alongside older athletes continues his rapid progression in the senior ranks following a remarkable career at junior level, and experience of the trials environment should prove invaluable.

You can view Euan’s heat on iPlayer for the remainder of July here – the race coverage begins from 19min 15sec.

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