Eastern Masters team managers raise the Indoor Inter-Area Challenge trophy

Eastern Masters AC emerged victorious in the 2023 Indoor Inter-Area Challenge, beating defending champions Midland Masters in a contest which swung between the two sides throughout an action-packed day.

Rounding out the podium was Southern Counties Veterans AC, as the event saw nine teams battle it out across a full day’s programme.

Highlight of the day’s proceedings was a British indoor record* in the shot put from M60 Allan Leiper, which you can read about here.

Eastern Masters were helped to victory by their victory in the men’s competition, as Midland Masters took home the women’s trophy by five points.

Elliott and Williams start strongly

The day started with the 60 metre hurdles, and the opening race was won by multiple British record-holder and SCVAC athlete Mensah Elliott.

The M45 was competing two age groups down, and won in 8.12, not a long way off his M35 British record of 7.95, set in 2016.

Midland Masters’ Paula Williams set a championship best performance over the women’s barriers, the British W50 indoor champion recording 9.79.

Leiper leads the way

In winning the W35 shot for SCVAC, Eleanor Gatrell’s put of 11.73 was not far off the British W45 record of 12.06. On the men’s side, Allan Leiper secured a British record*, going out to 14.52 for M60 victory.

Mastering middle distance

There were a pair of championship best performances in the 1500 metres, as Williams’ teammate Dean Richardson and Yvonne Crilly set new marks.

Richardson’s 4:10.57 was less than a second outside the British M50 record, while Crilly, the Scottish Veteran Harrier, took a dominant W60 victory in 5:27.15.

Mitchell chases two lap world record

Virginia Mitchell is barely a month into her time as a W60, and is already bearing down on Caroline Powell’s 400 metres world record of 64.76. The Vets AC athlete clocked 65.46 for a championship best, improving on the 65.97 that won her the British W60 title last weekend.

Mitchell during her 400 metre race | Photo: James Davis

Sprint success for West

In the shortest race of the day for the men, M45 Dominic Bradley easily beat those a decade younger in the M35 race, crossing the line in 7.17. In the M50 event, Giuseppe Minetti won in a championship best 7.60.

Southern Counties Vets’ Moira West was the pick of the women’s 60 metre competitors, winning the W70 contest in 9.82, a three-hundredths improvement on her British record*.

West after her race | Photo: James Davis

Copson improves British record

W60 Yvonne Crilly followed her 1500 metres victory with another in the 800 metres, 2:38.33 for second championship best of the day.

In the W70 race, Angela Copson improved yet again on her W75 British record* to clock 3:18.62, an agonising seven-hundredths from the European record.

Mark Russell of Eastern Masters secured a championship best in the M50 race, with 2:07.37, with M65 world record holder Paul Forbes also a comfortable winner in the M60s (2:18.60).

Forbes on the way to M60 victory | Photo: James Davis

High jump

British indoor M40 champion Martin Lloyd jumped 1.93 to win the M35 high jump by some margin, the two-metre man continuing a strong season that saw him clear 2.01 in January before taking the British title last weekend.

NEMAA’s Sarah Johnson competing in the high jump | Photo: James Davis

Triumphant trio in 200 metres

Sharon Wilkinson of Northern Masters secured a championship best of 28.59 in taking W50 200 metres victory, as there were a pair of bests on the men’s side for Giuseppe Minetti (24.55, M50), and Simon Barrett (28.44, M70).

*All records subject to usual ratification procedures

By James Davis

James is Track & Field Communications lead for BMAF, as well as an athletics official, event organiser, and sports journalist.