Wimborne Athletic Club

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Jack Snook claims a pole vault PB at English Schools Championships

Many of you will know that Jack Snook qualified to go to the English Schools Championships representing Dorset in the Junior Boys Pole Vault competition.

In order to be considered for this he had to achieve a minimum qualifying standard set by the English Schools Athletic Association. This year the standard required from him was 2.85m. Despite having 5 weeks or so out of training in April/early May due to a broken finger sustained playing rugby, he managed to achieve the qualifying height one week before the deadlines set by ESAA and Dorset county. In fact he vaulted 2.90m a further four times that week in different competitions, proving it was no fluke.

After their selection deliberations, the Dorset county selectors gave Jack the opportunity to go to the championships in Sheffield – season’s mission nearly accomplished.

A nasty summer cold decided to pay Jack a visit on the Tuesday of the week that the Dorset team were due to travel – typical, we blame the weather at Braunton the Sunday previously! A lack-lustre final training session on the Wednesday did not seem an ideal confidence booster either. Nonetheless, Jack was delivered on Thursday morning to the team bus at Kings Park, by this time still coldy but considerably improved.

The championships take place over 2 days (Friday and Saturday) and the timetable pixies had contrived to give Jack a start time of 10:00 on the Friday – one of the first events to take place.

After a reasonable night’s sleep and a very early start, Jack was delivered to the athletes’ marshalling area by Trudi about 20 minutes before the event start time. Jack was a little apprehensive but couldn’t wait to get started – even his cold didn’t seem to be bothering him too much.

The athletes were lead in to the arena and they began their final preparations before starting the competition. Family was installed in the stands waiting with anticipation as we watched the different techniques of the athletes during their warm-up.

Opening height was 2.70m – one athlete was unfortunate enough to ‘no-height’ which was a shame, but Jack was fine. Next height 2.85m the ESAA standard height. Again Jack cleared. Now the bar was raised to 2.95m a new PB height. A first time failure was followed by a great clearance by Jack after some sage advice from Trudi – surely the next height, 3.05m, was on? Unfortunately Jack failed to clear the next height, but he was so close.


His final position was 12th equal. Jack was happy to get a new PB, but a little disappointed to not break the 3.00m barrier – however, you can’t argue with a PB in a national championship.

At least he could settle down and relax watching the rest of the two days competition.

Jack would like to thank his coaches, Trudi and Dave for all their time, effort and support in helping him to achieve his goal, and looks forward to working at moving through the 3.00m barrier. He would also like to thank everyone who sent him their best wishes for the competition.

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