BEN Coldray shot to the top of the county rankings for the 1,500m with a superb personal best in the opening British Milers’ Grand Prix in Watford, writes Kevin Fahey.
Running in the elite A race, the former King’s School student from Hucclecote ran a superb time of 3mins 43.97ses to carve 1.52ses off his previous best set last year.
It is the fastest start to a season that 22-year-old Coldray, who is a member of Stroud & District AC, has ever enjoyed and suggests that he could be about to realise one of his big ambitions this season.
“I am really happy with that time,” said Coldray.
“The conditions were brilliant and it was a great race to be involved in as almost everyone was still together on that last lap.
“It just went so well for what was only my second 1500m race of the season – last year I had to wait until the end to run a personal best.
“Hopefully that means I can go even quicker this summer and I would really like to get close to breaking that 3mins 40secs barrier.”
Coldray’s time eclipsed the previous county No 1 time set by Will Paulson with his PB of 3:44.15 in America last month.
Coldray was not the only county athlete to relish the warm, still evening in Watford that was perfect for running personal bests.
Gloucester AC’s GB junior international Alex George was coming off the back of a great cross country season and if his performance on Saturday was a guide then his summer is going to be pretty hot too.
Competing in his first 1500m of the season the 18-year-old from Abbeymead delivered his usual storming finish to clock 3:47.93 to clip 1.97secs off his 2013 best.
The time puts George second in the UK Rankings for Under 20 men plus is the sixth fastest time overall on the South West Rankings behind Coldray (third) and Paulson (fourth).
“I got boxed in and elbowed but then a gap opened and I followed James Thie (ex British international) and really went for it,” said George.
“It is a great start for me over 1500m and I felt so comfortable at that pace.”
Twin brother Thomas opted for the 800m and ran a PB of 1:56.30 in the H race although he wasn’t particularly happy having hoped for a place in one of the faster races.
It was good to see Gloucester AC’s Andrew de-Camps racing again after terrible problems with his Achilles tendon and looking competitive to finish fourth in the G race in 1:54.9.
“That was Andrew’s first track race outdoors in 33 months and his first 800m since winning the Midland Counties Indoor title early in 2013,” said father and coach Paul de-Camps.
Brother Richard de-Camps clocked a PB of 3:56.18 in the 1500m D race and Cheltenham’s James Miller ran 4:06.17 in the E race. Harriers’ clubmate Mia O’Connell ran a PB of 4:32.75 in the 1500m B.
In the 3000m steeplechase Cheltenham’s Daniel Owen shaved almost three seconds off his PB with a time of 9:19.94.
Gloucester AC’s Ireland international Rose-Anne Galligan was clearly blow par after a heavy period of training at altitude and last week’s Diamond League race in Doha so not too much should be read into her fifth place (2:04.81) in the elite women’s 800m.