It was an historic weekend for Wimborne AC at the England Athletics Under-23 Championships at Bedford. For most events this meeting also saves as trials for the European Under-23 Championships.
Piers Copeland was competing in the 1500. Earlier in the month he had been invited to a meeting in Germany where he ran 3:39.50. The qualifying time for the European U23 Championships is 3:46. At the time this saw him ranked ranked No. 1 under-23 in the UK and No. 2 under-23 in Europe over 1500m. Piers knew that if he could add a gold medal at the EA Under-23 Championships at Bedford he was certain to be selected for the European U23 Championships at Gävle in Sweden in July. First he had to negotiate a qualifying heat. This was achieved in relative comfort, with Piers second (3:49.56) as he and Archie Davies of Brighton Phoenix eased off down the final straight knowing they’d got the job of qualification done.
Of those who lined up on the start line for the final, PIers had the fastest time this year. In a tactical race, he spent the early part of the race at the back as the pack ticked off two 67 second laps. A 55s Lap 3 from Piers really stirred things up, and coupled to the final 300m being covered in 40 seconds, this saw Piers put daylight between himself and his nearest challenger. His time was 3:50.49. This result sees Piers book his place with Team GB on the trip to Sweden. His first Team GB call-up. We look forward to the meeting at Gävle with anticipation.
Ryan Webb, now based at Birmingham City University, still maintains his second-claim Wimborne AC membership. He was in action in the colours of Birchfield Harriers. Ryan’s training continues to go well, but although it didn’t quite go together quite as he would have hoped on the day, his 2:10m jump ensure his place on the podium. Well done Ryan.