Top trio fly flag in English Under-20 Championships

Tom Farres. Picture: Mick Young (141550-01)
Tom Farres. Picture: Mick Young (141550-01)
Bethany Murdy and Tracy Murdy at Havant parkrun event 295

Celebration time at Havant parkrun

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Three rising stars from Portsmouth made their mark at the English Under-20 Championships.

Tom Farres, Leslie Parkes and Harrison Pocock gained some great competition experience among some top track & field talents.

The Bedford event, which also incorporated the English Under-23 Championships, attracted the likes of Great Britain internationals Morgan Lake and Katarina Johnson-Thompson.

Unfortunately, conditions were bad on the Saturday with heavy rain throughout the competition.

Farres battled on to finish a good sixth in the pole vault.

He was happy with his performance, considering the bad weather.

‘It wasn’t the worst and it wasn’t the best,’ said Farres.

‘The conditions were very tough. It’s harder in the rain because you can’t really grip the pole. It was a high standard.

‘Three people jumped world junior championship qualifying heights.’

Havant thrower Parkes, who also competes for City of Portsmouth, threw a personal best of 54.15m.

He finished seventh in the hammer final which proved to be a thrilling event.

Winner Taylor Campbell launched the hammer out to 78.74m – his fifth United Kingdom junior record of the year so far.

It was undoubtedly the best individual performance of the whole weekend.

City coach Paul Farres said: ‘Les got a personal best so he did well.

‘The guy who won it is one hell of a performer. He is really amazing.’

Sprinter Harrison Pocock reached the semi-finals of the 400m but could not produce his best form on the day.

He clocked 50.28sec to comfortably get through his heat in fourth place.

But in the semi-final he finished sixth with a time of 50.01.

‘Harrison was a bit tired,’ said Paul Farres.

‘He had the heats and the semi-finals on the same day and would have had the final the next day if he had made it through.

‘It’s been a busy schedule of races for him.’

Both Parkes and Tom Farres have another year in the under-20 age group, while Pocock will now move up to the under-23s.