Hercules Wimbledon Athletic Club teenager Freddie Arkell gave himself an early birthday present when he stormed to victory in the English age group track and field championships in blustery conditions at Bedford on Sunday, writes Tom Pollak.

Racing just a day before he celebrated his 15th birthday, Arkell stormed to an impressive victory in the boys under 15 200 metres final in a lifetime best of 22.36 seconds. He crossed the line well clear of the runner-up, taking the title by more than a metre. The Hercules Wimbledon youngster, a pupil at St Cecelia’s School, Southfields, was firm favourite to take the 200 metres gold medal after winning his heat in 22.59, the fastest of the eight qualifiers for the final by almost half-a-second.

It also improved on his previous best of 22.7 at a Youth Development League meeting at Battersea Park in June. His performances at Bedford were a massive improvement on his best before the start of this season of 24.1. His winning time in his heat at Bedford, where the wind was within the allowed two metres per second limit, ranks him second in the country this summer just three-hundredths of a second behind the age-group leader.

His winning time in the final was achieved with an above limit tailwind of 2.9 metres per second but no one in his age group has run faster this summer than Arkell’s winning heat time of 22.36. The teenager adds the English outdoor 200 metres title to the indoor one he won at Sheffield in February.

The Hercules Wimbledon teenager warmed up for his gold medal performance on Sunday by taking the bronze medal in the 100 metres final on Saturday when he clocked 11.26, missing out on the silver medal by just one-hundredths of a second. Earlier, he equalled his lifetime best, achieved when he took the silver medal at the English Schools Championships in Birmingham in July, when he won his his semi-final in 11.18. He won his first round heat in 11.27 and was third fastest of the eight qualifiers for the final.

It has proved an outstanding summer for Arkell who is only in his third year with Hercules Wimbledon. He also took silver medals in the South of England 100 metres and long jump championships. At the start of the year Arkell won the Surrey indoor 60 metres and long jump titles. His best long jump of 6.13 metres ranks him eighth in the UK this summer.

Hercules Wimbledon’s talented young high jumper Mabel-Rose Scales was the youngest of the 13 competitors in the girls under 15 high jump at Bedford on Sunday. Aged just 12, she was given special permission to take part in the competition as she is the top ranked under 13 girls high jumper in the UK this summer with a 1.60 metres clearance at a Lily B League meeting at Walton in June. However, she was below her best form in windy conditions at Bedford with a best clearance of 1.51 metres the same height as the eighth place.

However, it’s been a good summer for young Mabel-Rose who improved her high jump best height by 10 centimetres. She also won the Surrey and South of England under 13 high jump titles.

The younger Scales sister, Willow, was in action in the Lily B League Plate final at Kingston on Saturday finishing third in the under 13 70 metres hurdles. Hercules Wimbledon found winners hard to come by with London Schools 200 metres champion Celeste Minkwe taking the under 13 100 and 200 metres A races and finishing second in the long jump. Holly Staveley-Wadham won the under 13 100 and 200 metres B races. Missy Cooper won the under 15 100 metres B race and long jump. Another winner was Lacticia Etse in the under 15 200 metres A race.

Darcey O’Shea won the under 15 high jump and was second in the shot. Millie Doyle and Millie Thorpe took the under 15 1500 metres A and B races while Sophie Thorpe won the under 13 1500 metres. Lottie Harvey took the under 13 800 metres B race. Hercules Wimbledon quartets won both the under 13 and under 15 sprint relays.

Hercules Wimbledon had a pair of parkrun winners on Saturday. Veteran Andy Parker headed home more than 200 runners at Sittingbourne in 18:23. Ellen Weir was top female finisher on the Isle of Wight in 19:59.

Elsewhere, Fred Slemeck was second out of 589 runners at Basingstoke in 16:50, Elena Dauster was second women finisher at Fulham Palace in 19:17 and John Biddall and Lisa Thomas were third male and female finishers on Wimbledon Common in 17:57 and 20:38, respectively. There were 22 Hercules Wimbledon runners in the Wimbledon Common event.

This weekend, Hercules Wimbledon athletes compete in the Surrey track relay championships which are being held at the David Weir Leisure Centre, Carshalton, on Saturday and Sunday.