Test of strength for Jess as indoor season begins

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Jessica Ennis is entered for the Northern Indoor Championships which take place at at Sheffield’s EIS today and tomorrow.

Millhouses-based Ennis, at a crucial stage in her preparation for the Olympic heptathlon, is listed for the shot.

Runner up in the event last year to her City of Sheffield team mate Amy Hill, Ennis threw 14.11 metres.

Hill is not competing this time and so Ennis, who is defending her world indoor pentathlon title in Turkey in March, will be looking to win, although more important will be distance.

Considering that she is smaller and lighter than most world class heptathletes, Ennis does remarkably well in the shot and has a best of 14.67 set in last year’s World Championships. Many consider that she can go over the 15 metre mark and this would be the year to do it. The action starts at 10:30am on both days and Ennis’s event is first in Saturday’s programme.

Former Rotherham athlete Louise Bloor goes for the 60 and 200 metre double.

In the men’s events a trio of Sheffield runners, John Kelley, Matthew Quine and Tom Grantham should be prominent in the 400 metres whilst Rotherham’s Rhian Hastey is a leading contender for the 800.

Top pole vaulter Luke Cutts (Dearne ALC) was somewhat inconsistent last year and will be looking to return to previous heights. It was at this meeting three years ago that he cleared 5.62 and that remains his personal best.

City of Sheffield pair Jamie Williamson and Daniel Brunt will be challenging for medals in the shot.

In the under 20 age group Rotherham sprinter Ben Shields goes for a sprint double in the 60 and 200 metres whilst City of Sheffield’s Adam Khan goes for three medals in the hurdles, long jump and triple jump.

In the under 20 women’s events Abigail Bishell (City of Sheffield) should do well in the 200 metres whilst Hallamshire’s Calli Thackery has entered for the 800, 1500 and 3000 metres.