English Schools’ success for B&H athletes

July 1, 2023

It was an excellent second day for Sussex Schools athletes at the 82nd English Schools Championships in Birmingham, as they more than doubled their medal tally in 24 hours. Rachael Wall of Brighton & Hove AC shone as Girls’ Team Captain in her final Championships. She led by example, claiming victory in the Senior Girls’ Javelin with a PB of 45.05m. Wall’s triumph came shortly after her national under 20 title win, so she ends her Schools’ career on a high note.

Emilie Oakden – Pole Vault

Meanwhile, the defending Senior Girls Pole Vault champion, Emilie Oakden from Lewes AC, sailed over 3.70m to retain her title. This marked Oakden’s third championship victory, having also won the Junior Girls’ title in 2019, the year after her first appearance, where she was a bronze medallist. Thus, Oakden has medalled in four of the five English Schools competitions, in which she’s competed and topped the podium three times. A formidable record.

Alex Riley 1500m and Miles Waterworth 800m

Brighton’s Alex Riley and Phoenix’s Miles Waterworth had battled over 1500m just a couple of weeks ago at the national championships, where they were third and fourth, respectively. Miles dropped a distance in Birmingham to 800m (1:56.66), and Alex stuck with 1500m (3:55.25), and each secured a silver medal. Forget the times; it was all about the positions!

In their final year of ESAA competition, Lewes pole vaulters Gemma Tutton (3.50m) and Isaac Lancaster (4.00) both achieved bronze medals.

In total, Sussex ended the 2023 English Schools with an excellent haul:

  • 3 golds (Rachael, Emilie and Alice Howie – hammer)
  • 4 silvers (Alex, Miles, Dylan Calvey – high jump and Beth Boyes – pole vault)
  • 4 bronzes (Gemma, Isaac, James Pratt – javelin and Dulcie Yelling – javelin)

On Friday in the Intermediate Boys High Jump, Brighton and Hove’s Dylan Calvey battled to silver, jumping a four-centimetre personal best of 1.94m, just missing out on gold on countback. Dylan will now represent England at the SIAB Schools International next weekend.

Dylan Calvey

Thirty-two of the 63 Sussex athletes selected were English Schools’ first-timers. Over the two days, Sussex athletes achieved 16 personal bests, 17 English School standards, and 14 National standards.

Eight times our athletes narrowly missed the podium. Eastbourne’s Eleanor Strevens ran a PB of 5:06.29 in the Senior Girls 1500m S/C, while Boys’ Captain, Crawley’s Alexander Sproston, clocked 6:08.21 in the Senior Boys 2000m S/C. In the same age group, Pelumi Dosumu leapt to 12.47m in the Triple Jump.

Beth Boyes – Pole Vault

Hastings Rae Le Fay, the recent Sussex under 17 women’s steeplechase record breaker, ran barrier-free and achieved a fine PB of 4:29.65 in the Inter Girls 1500m. Lewes’s Imogen Clarke sailed over 3.11m in the Inter Girls Pole Vault, and Brighton Junior Girl Sophie Bliss and clubmate Inter Boy Louis Opoku (58.42m) were both fourth in the javelin. Sophie’s throw of 34.90m was a near four-meter PB, and she’s still a junior next year! Crawley’s Isabella Akpoveta was just 2/100ths off a podium position in the Junior Girls 100m final, where she clocked 12.47s.

There was a fine fifth-place finish for Crawley’s Braimoh Busari in the Inter Boys Pole Vault (3.70m) and sixth-place finishes for Lewes’s Amelie Smith-Jarman in the Senior Girls Pole Vault with 3.00m and for Ava Hayes in the Junior Girls Pole Vault with 2.70m. Their clubmate Charlie Wright ran a PB of 6:12.72 in the 2000m S/C and another Lewes athlete Ava James clocked 5:17.10 for sixth in the Inter Girls 1500m S/C. Luke Dronfield posted a time of 56.73 in the Senior Boys 400m Hurdles

Brighton’s Barney Hastings threw a PB of 53.37m in the Inter Boys Javelin, and Arun Gibbons was sixth in the Junior Boys shot with 13.05m.

Brighton’s Amber Purcell, Henry Yelling and Stella Kalman were seventh in the Senior Girls Triple Jump (11.12m), Senior Boys 2000m S/C (6:17.95) and Inter Girls Long Jump (5.18m), respectively. Crawley athletes Sophie Hogton and Noa Maoundus were seventh and eighth in the Senior Girls’ 100m Hurdles in 15.06s and 15.23.

Amelia Cox secured eighth place in the Senior Girls 1500m S/C (5:13.81), while her sister Alice also finished eighth in the Inter Girls S/C (5:21.22).

Only the Top eight athletes in each event score, but many of our competitors delivered impressive performances: https://entry4sports.co.uk/#/results/482.

Team Manager Judy Lasis praised the athletes for their excellent support of each other and enthusiastic participation in the traditional parade on Saturday afternoon. Special thanks to the team managers: Sue Thomas, Jason Jeffery, Ryan Doyle and Tim Brown. Judy also highlighted the work of Ryan and Leanne Buxton, who handled a significant amount of the administrative organisation of the event for Sussex Schools.

Finally, we are sending our best wishes to coach Trevor Simcox, a dedicated Sussex AA and Sussex Schools stalwart who was team managing at the event when he fell ill early on Saturday. Trevor has since been discharged from the hospital and is back home. We hope for his speedy recovery.

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Thanks to Andy Cox  – AC_Phots – for the wonderful pictures.