Sussex Schools sent a team of nearly 60 county champions to compete against the rest of the country at the English Schools Championships in Gateshead last weekend. Brighton & Hove City AC had a significant number of athletes in the team and they brought back 4 silver medals and many life time best performances. The highlights were:
Two B&H AC athletes in the Intermediate (U17) age group not only winning silver medals but being called up to the National team to compete for English Schools in an international competition in 2 weeks time at Cardiff. Grace Hailstone threw over 40m to lose out on the gold by only 20cm and Jordan Auburn was winning his 100m hurdles race only to clip the 6th hurdle and lose the gold by hundredths of a second . Both Jordan and Grace are now recognised as leading athletes in their events.
Will Gray, in the Senior Boys (U20) age group won a silver medal in the 2000m steeplechase after coming 4th last year in the same event. Will let the winning athlete just get out of range of his fast finish. He won silver in a time of 6:00.30s and was easily ahead of the third placed athlete.
Nathan Parker, a Junior Boy (U15), who only took to hurdling seriously this year, was a surprise qualifier for the County team just making the standard at the County Championships. He exceeded all expectations, made it into the final and then with an exceptional run came from last place to overtake all but one athlete to win a well deserved silver medal in PB of 11.55s.
The Sussex team also included several B&H AC athletes who performed exceptionally in this top level competition, overcoming nerves and the pressure, for some, of competing at this level for the first time.
Keri Ann Body ran against stiff competition in the Senior Girls (U20) 400m to achieve a life time best performance which she hopes to improve when she competes in this age group next year.
Holly Turner vaulted in the Intermediate girls (U17) pole vault – the largest number of entrants of the championships- to perform at her best but was outside the medals this year – she is still in this same age group next year so will be in a strong position.
Paddy Vermes, Senior Boy (U20) was battling against an injured foot but still competed in the discus throwing to within 30 cm of his best and getting a top 10 result.
Emma Kirk-Odunubi In the senior girls age group took sixth place in the discus with a throw of 35.83m.
Matt Hewitt, Senior Boy (U20) has been injured for the last few weeks and was hoping to have recovered by this weekend for his last chance to compete in this competition – his performances earlier in the season suggested the outside chance of a medal – In warm up his hamstring pinged again and Matt was unable to compete. A sad end to his schools career.
Jack Valeri (U20 Boy) – appearing in his first English Schools Champs performed close to his very best Triple jump but missed out on the final 8 by just 10 cm.
A top performance from all our athletes.