Former European U20 champion Kerr wins third NCAA title

Kerr takes a giant leap in the 1500m
Getty Images

Former European U20 1500m champion Josh Kerr was one of two British winners at the NCAA Indoor Championships

Former European U20 1500m champion Josh Kerr won his third NCAA title at the NCAA Indoor Championships in College Station, Texas on Saturday (10).

Only 20, Kerr defended his title in the mile in 3:57.02, winning by more than one second from Vincent Ciattei in 3:58.36. Kerr swept the indoor and outdoor titles on the US collegiate circuit last year and the University of New Mexico student is halfway to achieving another middle distance double.

Kerr was one of two British winners at the NCAA Indoor Championships. Tim Duckworth, who was on the British team with Kerr at the European Athletics U20 Championships in Eskilstuna, Sweden in 2015, won the heptathlon title with a British record of 6188 points.

Duckworth, 21, set individual lifetime bests in three events: 13.59m in the shot put, an excellent 2.17m in the high jump and 2:56.23 in the 1000m. He also went out to 7.74m in the long jump.

In a competition with European interest aplenty, European U20 silver medallist Johannes Erm from Estonia finished fourth with a lifetime best of 5988 points while his more experienced compatriot Robert Karl Saluri, who competed in London at the IAAF World Championships last year, finished seventh with 5781 points.

Ireland’s Siofra Cleirigh-Buttner was a notable second in the 800m in a national indoor record of 2:02.46 and reigning world U20 and European U23 long jump champion Yanis David from France impressed in the horizontal jumps, finishing fourth in the long jump with 6.42m and second in the triple jump with 13.97m.

A distant runner-up to Poland’s Konrad Bukowiecki at the European Athletics U23 Championships in Bydgoszcz, Poland last year, Denzel Comenentia from the Netherlands was second in the shot put with 20.29m.

World U18 pentathlon best for Vicente

Maria Vicente could be one of the stars of the second edition of the European Athletics U18 Championships in Gyor, Hungary this summer and the 16-year-old has her pick of events.

Vicente won the heptathlon title at the World U18 Championships in Nairobi, Kenya last year before winning the triple jump title at the European Youth Olympic Festival in Gyor less than a fortnight later.

Vicente, who was also ranked inside the top-10 in the 100m hurdles in her age-group in 2017, made headlines on Saturday with a world U18 pentathlon best of 4371 points in Antequera. Her individual marks were: 8.33 (60m hurdles), 1.75m (high jump), 13.06m (shot put), 6.11m (long jump) and 2:22.77 (800m).

Fast times for Neuenschwander and Tesfaye in The Hague

Switzerland’s Maja Neuenschwander took a rare non-African victory at the City-Pier-City Loop Half Marathon in The Hague on Sunday (11), stopping the clock at a lifetime best of 70:46 at the age of 38.

Homiyu Tesfaye might be most renowned for his proficiency over 1500m but he was a very creditable sixth in the men’s race in a lifetime best of 61:20, to move to fifth on the German all-time lists which are still headed by Carsten Eich’s long-standing mark of 60:34.

At the German Cross Country Championships in Ohrdruf on Saturday, European cross country fifth-placer Elena Burkard won the senior women’s 5.2km in 17:33 ahead of reigning European U23 champion Alina Reh in 18:01, who lost ground on Burkard after falling mid-race.

Marathon specialist Philipp Pflieger won the senior men’s 9.9km in 31:07 on the road to the Hamburg Marathon next month when he will attempt to secure the qualifying time for the Berlin 2018 European Athletics Championships.

In muddy conditions, veteran Ayad Lamdassem won the senior men’s 10km at the Spanish Cross Country Championships in Merida on Sunday in 31:14 ahead of European 10,000m bronze medallist Antonio Abadia (31:22) while Trihas Gebre won the senior women’s 10km as expected in 34:53.

Morhad Amdouni and former European cross country champion Sophie Duarte claimed domestic titles at the French Cross Country Championships in Plouay on Sunday while Phoebe Law and Mahamed Mahamed bagged the senior titles at the British Inter-County Cross Country Championships in Loughborough on Saturday.