English Schools' AA Combined Events & Race Walk Championships
The combined eventers and race walkers headed to Boston, Lincolnshire, to contest their English Schools' Athletic Association titles.
There were some excellent performances and great competition being seen across the weekend and throughout the age groups.
There was a great competition between the medallists in the Decathlon with all recording personal bests. Caius Joseph (Hants, Basingstoke & Mid Hants, Rafer Joseph) was off to a strong start with a 11.02 (+2.7, 856pts) 100m, 7.08 (+2.3, 833pts) long jump and 10.94 (542pts) shot putting seeing him into the lead. But he lay second to Liam Reveley (Durham, Blaydon, Liane Brown) after the first day of competition after Liam’s 1.92 (731pts) high jump moved him top, with Tyler Adams (Kent, Ashford) in the third of the medal positions at that point.
A 38.73 (639pts) discus put Caius back into the lead, and he backed this up with a 3.90 (590pts) in the pole vault to ensure that this event which often shakes up the positions caused him and the others in medal positions no undue drama as Liam went over at 3.60 (509pts) and Tyler 4.00 (617pts) to also retain their places.
A throw of 52.20 (621pts) in the javelin put Tyler into silver medal position and now close to the lead, but with Caius clocking 4:55.60 (585pts), Liam a 4:51.71 (608pts) and Tyler 5:43.59 (335pts) the medals were settled in that order with points of 6747, 6577 and 6424 respectively.
Chris Snook (Hamps, Aldershot, Farnham & District) produced a ranking leading 21.31.27 to take the 5000m walk title. The England Athletics U20 10,000m walk champion won from England Athletics U20 and UK CAU silver medallist Tom Partington (West Yorkshire, Manx, Steve Partington) who clocked 22:26.90 with Marshall Smith (Kent, Ashford AC, Stella Bandu) taking bronze in 24:37.19.
Jade O’Dowda (Oxfordshire Oxford City, Marcia Marriott) produced a strong display across the seven events of the Heptathlon to lead from the off and take the Senior Girls title. She was away quickly, literally, with a 14.29 (+2.2) 100m hurdles, a windy best for her, and by following up with a 1.65 (795pts) high jump and 11.69 (641pts) shot she was clear of second placed Bethan Burley (Dorset, Wimborne) and Anya Turner (Devon, Glenn Walpole) at this point. It was Bethan who was quickest over 200m with a 25.28 (+0.9, 861pts) but a 25.39 (+0.9, 851pts) meant that Jade had a good overnight lead.
Day Two saw her start the same way as she had the previous day. A 6.00 (+0.9, 850pts) long jump extended her lead. While Bethan closed the gap slightly with a 39.98 (667pts) javelin personal best and 2:26.76 (734pts) 800m Jade’s winning score was 5542 to Bethan’s 5015 with Anya taking bronze with 4668.
In the 5000m walk Emily Ghose (Kent, Tonbridge) claimed the title in 26:59.87 from Abigail Jennings (Hamps, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Verity Snook, 27:59.55).
The top three in the Octathlon competition set personal bests as England Athletics U17 high jump silver medallist Jack Turner (Somerset, Exeter, Kevin Skinner) progressed through the places as the competition went on. Moving into third at the end of Day One after the 400m he then produced a 13.59 (+2.1w, 847pts) 100H to go second and a 1.92 (731pts) in the high jump to stay there when leader Dominic Ogbechie (London, Highgate, Marious Guei), who had been showing great form went over at 1.95 (758pts). Jack made the most of the situation when Dominic did not record a mark in the shot, to take the lead and did not relinquish his position, seeing out the competition on 5207 points. Silver went to English Schools 400m silver medallist Lewis Davey (Lincs, Peterborough AC, Karl Eve) who had unsurprisingly jumped six positions to fourth after clocking 50.17 in the 400m (807pts) before moving into silver medal position in the shot and clocking a 4:38.06 (693pts) 1500 to secure his medal and 5041pt PB. Cameron Darkin-Price (Notts, Charnwood) was bronze medallist having been in a medal position from the second event of the first day when he launched the discus out to 40.79 (681pts). His strong throwing continued with a 47.66 (554pts) javelin and 13.02 (668pts) shot as he finished with exactly 5000pts.
England Athletics silver medallist George Wilkinson (Suffolk, Enfield & Haringey) lowered his PB to 26:15.00 to take the ESAA title at 5000m walk. Silver went to Matthew Crane (Kent, Bexley, Denise Peeney) in 27:41 with bronze won by Rhys Thomas (Somerset).
There was a great battle for the Inter Girls medals in the Heptathlon that saw the top of the year’s rankings list given serious revision. Pippa Earley (Surrey, Kingston & Poly, John Shepherd/ Lloyd Cowan) holds the age group record for 80m Hurdles and at the end of a successful season was over the barriers in 11.17 (+2.5, 919pts) to take the lead as Emily Race (Notts, Worksop, Peter Fendley) clocked a swift 11.23 (+2.6, 910pts) to go second. With Emily and Olivia Dobson (Devon, Exeter, Richard Derrick) both clearing 1.74 (903pts) they held the one-two after two events with Jessica Hopkins (Essex, Chelmsford, Steve Mitchell) in third. Olivia held the lead after a 14.14 (803pts) in the shot but at the end of day one it was Emily who led from Olivia and Jessica, with Pippa in fifth less than 80 points off the medal positions.
Day two started with Emily holding the lead with a 5.73 (+2.2, 768pts) long jump as Jessica moved to second courtesy of her 5.75 (+2.4, 774pts) jump, before then returning to the bronze medal position when Olivia’s 39.15 (651pts) javelin throw put her back up to second place once again. With medals far from decided going into the final event of the day the two lap event was going to be significant. It saw a fast 2:17.32 from Pippa which carried her from fourth to second by just nine points from the bronze medal winning 5114 of Olivia. Gold went to Emily on 5214 points.
Ana Garcia (South Yorks, Sheffield & Dearne, Mark Wall) improved on the silver medal she won at the England Athletics championships in the 5000m walk to win the ESAA 3000m walk title in a commanding 15:12.16. Isabelle Bridge (Kent, Blackheath & Bromley, Mick Jones) and Pagen Spooner (North Yorks, Wetherby, Andi Drake) took silver and bronze respectively with 16:44.21 and 16:47.01.
Joseph Harding (Essex, Basildon, Stephen Peaty) impressed from the off in the Pentathlon with a 10.55 (+1.6, 871pts) 80m hurdles which was just outside of his best and his own age group record which was set at the English Schools. He retained the lead throughout the competition including an 11.79 (594pts) shot PB and a windy best of 6.87 (+2.4. 783pts) in the long jump before closing out the competition with a 2:17.82 (482pts) 800m for a PB 3258 total. All three medallists set pentathlon PBs. Silver went to Archie Yeo (Humber, Scunthorpe, David Harmess) who moved into the medal positions with a 6.58 (+2.6, 716pts) long jump before a 1.68 (528pts) high jump and 2:18.27 (476pts) 800m took him to silver with 2964. He finished 21 points ahead of Jami Schlueter (Somerset, Yeovil) who finished his competition with an 800m PB of 2:16.65 (499pts) to score 2943.
Alex Macheath (London, Cambridge Harriers) was a clear winner in the 3000m walk with a 16:41.23. Silver and bronze went to Jack Childs (Kent, Medway &Maidstone, Peter Selby) and Nick Hart (Hamps, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Verity Snook) in 17:06.54 and 17:18.15 respectively.
Abigail Pawlett (Cheshire, Stockport, Joe Frost) continued her outstanding summer by setting a new PB to top the year’s rankings and adding the English Schools Pentathon title to the England Athletics combined events and 100m title she has won this year.
With silver medals from both the ESAA and England Athletics championships at 75m Hurdles it was no surprise she led after this event and a new PB of 11.04 (+2.0pts) maximised her advantage over Ruby Bridger (Essex, Thurrock, Karl Sumun) who was also quick in this event with 11.14 (+2.0, 780pts). She extended this with a 10.73 (577pts) shot to Ruby’s 10.15 (539pts) before a 1.59 (724pts) high jump saw Ruby close the gap slightly. The long jump had Abigail going out to 5.60 (+1.7, 729pts) and Ruby 5.40 (+2.6, 671pts) as the two had a clear gap at the top. But this gap was always going to be needed with Emily Misantoni (Cheshire, Stockport, Joe Frost) in the field. With English Schools 800m silver and England Athletics bronze medals at 800m it was inevitable she would improve on her fifth position going into the two-lap finale.
Abigail clocked a 2:45.74 (509pts) to ensure gold with 3298 as Emily moved second on a PB 3223 with 2:23.74 (773pts) and Ruby secured bronze with 2:49.79 (466pts) and a PB 3180.
The 3000m walk saw a tremendously close battle for the medals as Lois Carty (Hamps, Aldershot, Farnham & District, Verity Snook) came home in 13:27.31 and less than 0.8 of a second separated the silver and bronze medallists. It was Grace Whittingham (Kent, Ashford AC) who took silver with bronze going to Hannah Hopper (London, Cambridge Harriers) as they came in with 17:31.14 and 17:31.91 respectively.
Full results available at www.esaa.net.