BASINGSTOKE and Mid Hants sprinter Owen Richardson’s fine start to the indoor season continued as he claimed the under-17 400m title at the Southern Regional Athletics Championships.

Richardson was on top form throughout the event at Lee Valley, winning his heat in 50.80sec and his semi-final in 51.76sec to qualify for the final.

There, he produced a personal-best performance, clocking 50.57sec to win the event, finishing more than a second clear of his nearest rival and cementing his place at the top of the UK rankings.

Several other members of the Down Grange club also travelled to east London for the championships – and there were more medals in the under-17 pentathlon.

JJ Crookes claimed gold in the boys’ event thanks to a lifetime best in the 60m hurdles and a tally of 3,094 points, while Devon Brimecome produced a personal best tally of 3,012 to pick up bronze in the girls’ competition.

Victoria Butler-Clack was 16th in the under-15 pentathlon, while Peter Watkeys finished fourth in his heat of the senior 800m. Mark Berridge won his heat of the senior 400m in 50.51sec but did not run in the semi-final.

Two other Basingstoke athletes travelled to Sheffield for the national indoor combined championships. Sam Sleap had to withdraw from the heptathlon due to injury, while Gemma Finch finished 14th in the under-20 pentathlon with a personal best tally of 3,014 points, claiming a bronze medal in the south east championships in the process.