The World Championship Team Trials staged at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham over the weekend proved to be a happy hunting ground for Iona Lake. Having fully recovered from a long term injury and re-established a sound endurance base she tackled the 3000m Steeplechase, her first run over the distance for over 12 months!
Iona lined up with odds on race favourite Lennie Waite, matched the early pace and felt comfortable. Soon after the 1000m mark, Iona moved to the front, leaving Lennie struggling to maintain the increase in tempo. Her confidence grew and grew as the race progressed and was never headed, crossing the line in a winning 9.57.53 – a tad short of a new personal best.
As her victory was totally unexpected, listening to the TV pundits, it was clear that they had little knowledge of Iona’s previous achievements and were searching for comments!
Iona, having previously represented Great Britain at Junior and Under 23 level, this was her first major success at senior level. The first of many congratulatory messages came from CoNAC Life Member Barbara Parker, who still holds the British 3000m Steeplechase record. Now married and living in the US, she follows the successes of the club’s endurance athletes with great interest.
Tom Hook was another club member to make a breakthrough. Contesting the 1500m he qualified for the final in impressive form finishing 4th in his heat in a fast time of 3.43.96. As is frequently the case in the final in championship races, the first 3 laps are pedestrian. This proved to be the case and with 250m to go Tom was still in contention. However, on this occasion, he was found wanting for pace but dug deep to finish 10th in 3.51.25. There is no doubt that there is much more to come from Tom Hook!
Callum Brown was also at Birmingham this weekend competing in the hammer (for the second year in a row). Sadly it was a day of bitter disappointment for him as he was unable to register a valid throw. We know there are many more great performances to come from Callum, only in his first season as a senior, as he continues to develop and progress in an event dominated by older athletes.