All-round stars beat the best in the north west

Ben Whipp from Duxbury with his javelin
Ben Whipp from Duxbury with his javelin

Two Chorley athletes had that golden feeling when they triumphed at the North West Combined Events Competition in Manchester.

Rhiann Beaumont took first place in the women’s under-17 heptathlon by just seven points, while Ben Whipp came first in the men’s under-17 octathlon.

The result is impressive, as both athletes are just 15.

Rhiann’s competition started slowly with a poor showing in the 80m hurdles, leaving her in fourth place.

But a season’s best in the high jump, followed up by a win in the shot putt, and convincing run in the 200m, was enough to leave Rhiann in second after the first day.

The following day started with a solid long jump for Rhiann, and despite an under par throw in the javelin, Rhiann’s strongest event, it was the best of the day and enough to move the teenager up to first place.

The heptathlon concludes with the 800m, Rhiann’s weakest event, but a confident performance was enough to seal gold for the schoolgirl.

Ben’s success came through consistent performances throughout his eight events.

Lying second after the first day, steady performances in the 100m hurdles and the high jump, plus a second place in the shot putt, saw Ben trail leader Robert Makin by 98 points with one event to go.

Ben was not to be beaten, and after beating Makin by nearly a minute in the 1,500m, the Chorley youngster had wrapped up enough points to seal gold.

Both athletes have also had excellent seasons as javelin throwers under the guidance of Chorley coach, Alan Morris. Both are ranked in the top 10 in the UK.