The Saturday of the New Balance English Schools’ once again played host to a great set of performances from the country’s best young athletes. As well as high quality competition as the track finals were contested, the field saw top competition including record-breaking performances.
One of the most eagerly anticipated races of the weekend lived up to the expectation. In the Senior Girls’ 400m Ella Barrett (County: Derbys, Club: Chesterfield, Coach Daniel Duke) went out hard with Hannah Williams (Herts, Herts Phoenix, Colin Gaynor) to the outside of her. But it was Hannah who led into the home straight, and maintained form beautifully to come away and win in 53.99 taking the championship record beneath 54sec for the first time as she prepares for the World Junior Championships.
Another of the track races that promised to be one to watch was the Junior Boys’ 800m where the top two athletes on the British all-time list for the distance went head-to-head. So it proved. However, Adam Saul-Braddock (W Mids, Wolverhampton & Bilston, John Abbiss) was not intimidated by the calibre of the opposition and led at the bell in 60.77. It was Max Burgin (W Yorks, Halifax, Brian Burgin) who then hit the front and in a lap that seemed to see acceleration after acceleration he held off Ben Pattison (Hamps, Basingstoke & Mid Hants, Dave Ragan) in a tremendous battle that came down to the final strides. With the winning time a 1:56.85 to Ben’s 1:57.03 Adam was rewarded for his boldness with a bronze medal.
The Inter Girls’ hammer competition was another of the events which looked set to be fiercely contested and so it proved with a very high quality of competition. Tara Simpson-Sullivan (Cumbria, Carlisle, John Little) and Olivia Stevenson (Humberside, Kingston Upon Hull, Dave Smith) both threw out to beyond the championship record of 60.05m set last year by Katie Head (Essex, Newham & Essex, Paul Head) with marks of 60.81m and 62.55m respectively. However, Katie was going to retain her title and made a mark that not only extended her CBP but also took the British age group record from Olivia. Her 65.06m was a PB by 2.5m and meant all three of the medallists exceeded the previous championship record.
Phoebe Baggott (Staffs, Wolves & Bilston, Steve Pearson) added 6.80m to her PB in the Junior Girls’ hammer to not only win and set a new championship record, but her 58.01m also saw her become national Under 15 record holder.
A big throw of 73.41m saw Harry Hughes (Suffolk, West Suffolk, Mike McNeill) not only striking gold but also rewriting the championship record as fellow Bydgoszcz-bound athlete James Whiteaker (Kent, Blackheath & Bromley) threw 68.17m for silver.
Back on the track Victoria Weir (Devon, City of Plymouth, Simon Anderson) pulled away from her pursuers to not only win the Senior Girls’ 1500m Steeplechase but also see her to a championship best 4:40.23 in addition to now heading the all-time rankings. Tess Masselink (Cornwall, Tavistock, Dave Chanter) took silver in 4:50.45 as Emily Moyes (Suffolk, West Suffolk, Gordon Palmer) claimed bronze in 5:02.12.
Among the athletes at the Championship who will be heading for Bydgoszcz for the World Junior Championships, Charlotte McLennaghan (Notts, Notts AC David Hourd) added to her collection of English Schools’ 200m titles with a 24.30 win in Senior Girls’ 200m. Alicia Barrett (Derby, Toni Minichiello) claimed the Senior Girls’ 100m hurdles title with an impressive 13.67 into a 1.6 wind. Hope Sarti (Surrey) was safely home for silver with 14.08. There were two athletes selected for Bydgoszcz who did battle in the Senior Boys’ javelin. It was impressive jumping from Tom Gale (Wilts, Team Bath, Denis Doyle) to take the Senior Boys’ high jump with 2.12 as he also prepares for the World Juniors. Ryan Webb (Dorset, Wimborne, Peter Impett) was his nearest rival with 2.09. George Armstrong (W Yorks, Leeds City, Michael Swain) also prepared for Bydgoszcz by taking a New Balance ESAA title. He was more than 6m clear of his nearest rival after throwing out to 55.17m to take Senior Boys’ discus gold.
In other events it was a thrilling finish to the Inter Girls’ 100m as the two Surrey athletes Olivia Okoli (Guildford & Godalming) and Charmont Webster-Tape (Sutton & District, Lorna Boothe) flew across the line. Both were given 12.08 with Olivia taking gold by the tightest of margins from the photofinish. Amy Hunt (Lincs, Grantham AC, Ian Richards) produced a superb display of relaxed sprinting to take the Junior Girls’ 100m title. Her 12.22 saw her 0.31 clear of Nayanna Dubarry-Gay (London, Victoria Park & Tower Hamlets, Alf Vickers).
Amber Anning (Sussex, Brighton & Hove, Stephen King) added to her growing collection of gold medals. Her clocking of 38.81 was just outside her 300m PB but made saw her take another national title.
The Inter Girls’ 800m was off to a swift start courtesy of a 61.58 first lap from Emma Alderson (Merseyside, Southport Waterloo, Ron Scott). Emily Thompson (Oxon, Banbury, Ros Kelling) went to the front and pushed on before Khahisa Mhlanga (Essex, Chelmsford, Mick Judd) kicked hard on the backstraight and moved away to win in 2:07.18, as Thompson held on for second in 2:09.40 with Katy-Ann McDonald (London, Blackheath & Bromley, Phillip Kissi) just 0.06sec behind.
Alex Botterill (N Yorks, City of York, Ian Wilcock) kicked ferociously off the front to take the Inter Boys’ 800m in 1:52.61 from Josh Hulse (Suffolk, Ipswich, Eric Phillips) who clocked 1:53.68 just two one hundreths ahead of Ricky Lulakome (Surrey, Sutton, Maureen Hancock) after Adrian Lloyd-Davies (Shrops, Bridgnorth, Stuart Hamilton) took the bell in 56.92.
Tilly Simpson (Derbys, Steven Marshall, Hallamshire) looked in tremendous form as she moved up a distance from last year to win the Inter Girls’ 1500m title in 4:21.47. As well as a new personal best, the performance was the fastest by an English athlete this year.
Jeremy Dempsey (Herts, George Harrison, Shaftesbury) showed tremendous fighting spirit in the Inter Boys’ 1500m. Leading from 800m out he passed the bell in 3:00.11, closely followed by Max Pearson (Northhumberland, Tyndale, Peter Venus) who accelerated past with 150m to go. Matthew Rawlings (Berks, Reading, Rob McKim) also came by him but Dempsey was not finished. Battling back down the home straight he came back to win in 4:00.08 from Matt’s 4:00.21 and the 4:00.50 of the Tyndale athlete. The Junior Boys’1500m saw Luke Van Oudtshoorn (Surrey, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Mick Woods) lower his personal best by more than four seconds to 4:08.45 to take the title in the homestraight charge for the line.
The Inter Girls’ 3000m saw Phoebe Barker (Kent, Tonbridge, Richard Owen) and Amelia Quirk (Berks, Bracknell, Beverley Kitching) swap the lead repeatedly but it was Faye Ireland (Liverpool H, Lynn Webb) who kicked for home to take the title in 9:50.92 ahead of Claudia Lance Jones(Guildford, Sue Goode) with Phoebe getting bronze and Quirk fourth.
There was a confident win for William Battershill (Devon, Erme Valley, Kirk Salmon) in the Senior Boys’ 2,000m steeplechase (5:49.44) but the crowd save the biggest cheers for John Millar (Suffolk, Ipswich) who claimed silver in 5:56.83 despite losing a spike on the first lap.
Finley McLear (Devon, Exeter, Kirk Salmon) produced great speed and technique on the last lap of the Inter Boys’ 1500m steeplechase to catch long-time leader Chey Kemp (Berks, Reading AC, Rob McKim) and come home in 4:19.74 – the fastest time this year. Kemp took silver in 4:24.41 ahead of Alfred Yabsley (Marshall Milton Keynes, James Bennett).
Max Law (Essex, Havering, Sam Harrison) had a comfortable margin of victory in the Junior Boys’ javelin. He came within 43cm of the championship record with his 59.99 winning throw.
Lucy Hadaway (North Yorks, City of York, Matt Barton) went over 6m for the first time with a leap of 6.01 (+1.3) to take the Inter Girls’ long jump. The day’s field events got off to a cracking start with one of the first events being the Junior Boys’ long jump where just one centimetre separated the two Essex athletics who took gold and silver with Tamilore Mustafa producing a winning leap of 6.39m (-3.3) and Michael Akhigbe (Basildon) taking silver (6.38m, -1.4).
Glen Quayle (Mersey, Northern (Isle of Man), John Whitlow) produced a 15cm PB in the Junior Boys’ pole vault which moved him joint top of the year’s rankings. His clearance at 3.65m was enough to take gold with Matthew Brining (Cleveland, New Marske) also going clear at 3.65m.
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