Last weekend’s English Schools' Combined Events and Walks Championships included the first ever ESAA wheelchair races as a participation event.
Athletes representing Surrey, Middlesex, London and Kent schools' competed in mixed category 100m and 400m wheelchair races, with Illias Zghoundi of London completing the double in 17.96s and 64.02s.
The intermediate race walks were also selection races for next week’s SIAB (Schools' International at Derby). The victors were Abby Hughes of Somerset (15.37.66 in the 3km) and London's Christian Hopper (28.08.8 in the 5km). Other notable performances came from Hannah Hopper (Kent) in the senior girls’ 5km (26.46.27), Ellis Simmons (South Yorkshire) in the Junior Boys’ 3km and Hampshire's Lola Mae Billingham in the Junior Girls.
Although numbers were low in the walks, the combined events saw record numbers with large fields completing all six age groups.
Samuel Wright (Essex) and Joe Stone (Kent) both topped 3000 points in the Junior pentathlon and although Edward Dunford's 1999 record still stands, Wright produced an excellent winning score of 3269 with Stone helping Kent to the team gold. Sammy Ball of Berkshire went top of the Inter Boys' Octathlon all-time list with a magnificent 5820 points, surpassing his PB from earlier in the season by seven points; this despite not actually recording a PB in any of the eight events. He also led his county to the team gold ahead of a strong Essex squad. Stephen Simmons held on to win the Senior Boys' Decathlon gold (6710 points), despite a great effort by Patrick Morgan (Hereford & Worcester) in the 1500m, with the winning margin being just 21 points. Essex won the team prize and a total of 31 athletes completed the 10 events with the top six surpassing 6000 points.
In the Intermediate heptathlon, Eloise Hinds broke the record with a magnificent 5347 points to win by 600 points, dominating the event from day one. The score puts Eloise second on the all-time list behind Morgan Lake. The Oxfordshire athlete was competing as an individual, however, and the team golds went to Somerset. Notably, the top 21 athletes all broke the 4000 point barrier. With 37 senior girls completing their heptathlon, Devon broke the team record by one point, with the individual gold being secured by Derbyshire's Ella Rush (5370 points), who led the whole way after a 14.36s performance in the 100m hurdles, the first event. Going into the final event (800m) of the Junior Girls’ pentathlon the top two athletes (Isabelle Mardle of Norfolk and Thea Brown of Cheshire) were level on points as were the two teams (Surrey and Cheshire). It was, however, Mardle who ran the faster 800m to pip Brown by 31 points (3438 to 3407), with Surrey taking the team award.
Overall the weekend's events saw a total of 130 combined event bests and a whopping 524 individual event PBs.
Report courtesy of Iain Presnell - Event Coordinator