All-round talents in the medals

Hastings Athletic Club duo Harmony Cooper and Elise Lovell with their medals from the Sussex Combined Events Championships

Hastings Athletic Club duo Harmony Cooper and Elise Lovell with their medals from the Sussex Combined Events Championships

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Two Hastings Athletic Club talents won medals at the Sussex Combined Events Championships.

Elise Lovell struck gold in the senior women’s heptathlon and Harmony Cooper took silver in the under-13 girls’ pentathlon competition.

The pair composed themselves well in windy conditions which made it difficult for athletes to reach their full potential in the track

events at the David Weir Leisure Centre in Sutton.

Lovell started with the 100m hurdles (15.11s, 827pts), shot put (9.26m, 481pts), 200m (26.73s, 734pts) and a personal best in the high jump of 1.62m (759pts), giving her a lead of 398 points going into the second day.

Sunday began with an impressive long jump of 5.75m (774pts), followed by the javelin (29.60m, 469pts). With little challenge from the other athletes in the final event, the 800m, Lovell ran 2:31.05 (680pts) to claim the gold medal with a total score of 4724 points, finishing 1222 clear of the silver medallist Becky Owen (Crawley AC).

After winning the Sussex Schools’ Combined Events Championship in May, Rye College pupil Cooper competed in only her second ever pentathlon.

Personal bests were achieved in the long jump (3.57m, 214pts), shot put (5.56m, 243pts) and high jump (1.35m, 460pts), as well as running close to her best in the 70m hurdles (14.55s, 355pts).

Cooper was sat equal fourth going into the final event, the 800m, trailing the lead by over 400 points. Knowing she had to beat the other girls by a considerable margin to get a medal, Cooper started the race quickly and had a lead of over 50m after the first lap.

At the end of the race the gap wasn’t big enough to take the gold, but a time of 2:35.63 (624pts) was enough for second place overall with a total of 1896 points.

Cooper now begins her cross-country and road running training, and her first competition was due to be the SEAA Road Relays last weekend in Aldershot.

Lovell begins her intensive winter training block ready for the start of the indoor track and field season at the beginning of January.