Brighton & Hove AC athletes had a tremendous start to the English Schools track and field championships at Gateshead on Friday morning when Edan Cole won, not only the first Sussex Gold medal of the championships but as the Inter (U17) Boy’s javelin was the first event on the programme became the first champion for 2016.
Conditions early in the day were uncomfortable with wind and a torrential shower soon after the meeting got underway. Cole, who is the top ranked British U17 thrower this season was not going to be upset by a little wind and rain and although he was a little shy of his season’s best a fine throw of 59.81m was a National Standard and a full metre ahead of his nearest rival.
Last year Amber Anning won the Junior Girls 200m title. This year she moved up an age group and a distance to contest the Intermediate girls 300m. Like Cole, she went into the competition as the UK rankings leader, however it is performance on the day that counts and Anning comfortably won her heat on the Friday, holding back for Saturday’s final. The next day Anning blasted out of the blocks and within 100 metres had overtaken the athletes in the lanes outside her. She increased the pace down the home straight to beat the second placer Alex Shaw from Surrey by more than five metres in an national standard time of 38.81s.
Both Amber and Edan have been selected to represent England in the Schools International this weekend at Ashford.
There was just one silver medal for the Sussex team and that came from a Brighton & Hove AC athlete too – Cameron Fillery -in the Senior Boys 110m hurdles, where after his usual steady start he powered his way through and was closing rapidly on winner William Aldred (Manchester) at the finish clocking 14.75s into a strong head wind to the winner’s 14.53s.
In his final ever English Schools Stephen Ferroni ran a measured race to take the bronze medal in the Senior Boys 3000m running a national standard time of 8:26.84. Stephen has represented the county at the highest level and gained international vests both on the track and in Cross Country.
Well done to all the Brighton & Hove AC athletes who competed at the English Schools.