This weekend was saw the last major events of the athletics indoor season taking place in The Emirates Arena in Glasgow and the England Institue of Sport in Sheffield.
The Emirates hosted the Scottish Combined Events Championship on Saturday when two of Arbroath & District Athletic Club athletes competed in the Under-15 Pentathlon category.
Gavin Lee was taking part in his first ever combined event at a national level and produced some excellent performances, including a personal best in long-jump of 4.33m. His 1.36m in the high-jump and 3:02.52 in the 800m were also indoor pbs. Gavin also ran the 60m hurdles in 12.36s and had a shot-putt of 6.00m, giving him a total of 1030 points and overall eighth place.
Arbroath’s Joel McFarlane made a compelling claim for the headlines by winning the Scottish Under-15 title on Saturday in Glasgow and setting a Scottish record following day in Sheffield.
In Glasgow, Joel started the first day of a unique double assault on the Scottish and English titles in the same weekend. He won the Scottish title with 2799 points to go third on the All-Time Scottish ranking, ahead of silver medalist Matt Chandler (Central AC) with 2580 points (6AT) and bronze winner, Benjamin Wightman (Perth Strathtay) with 2518 points (8AT).
Joel from the first event, winning three of the five disciplines and was second and third in the other two. A fantastic championship combined event gold to add to the three championship individual golds in long-jump, hurdles and high-jump won in February.
Having received his gold medal at 5 p.m., it was time for the second half of the weekend. Joel took the long journey down to Sheffield and completed the double winning the England Pentathlon title and breaking the 2003 Scottish record in the process with a total of 2947 points!
He improved his performances in three events on the Sunday, running 8.83(pb) for the 60m hurdles (9.09 at Glasgow), putting the shot 11.57m(pb) as against 10.75 in the Scottish, and running the conclusive 800m in 2:18.44 (pb), almost three seconds faster than the day before.
His other two events; the long-jump (5.94m) and high-jump (1.69m) were identical on both days. Joel was in third place after the first event, but managed to move into second place after producing the best long-jump. He remained in second place after shot-putt and high-jump. It meant Joel went into the final event knowing that although he was faster on paper than the event leader, the previous nine events of the weekend had left him exhausted.
Trailing by over 200 points going into the 800, he was able to run on pure adrenalin, running almost 19 seconds faster than the leader William Adeyeye to achieve a personal best at 800m and claim the title by just 22 points, completing what was a remarkable weekend for Joel and testament to the great coaching he has received by an extremely talented and hard-working coaches at Arbroath and District Athletic Club.