sky-very warm (but this is Gateshead!) and on the 10th
and 11th of July the place was buzzing as 1,600 of the
best athletes in the country were in town for the English Schools
Athletic Association Championships.
contributed seven of the Dorset Schools team of 25, equalling our
best-ever showing but with more national standards to their credit.
was first up in the junior girls long jump. The pit was tucked away
outside the stadium. Unfortunately for
she found it difficult to get on to the board and just missed out on
proceeding to the final.
Then followed a
remarkable numerical sequence for the club:
Eighth was Bethan Burley in the intermediate girls shot with
Seventh was Ellie White in the intermediate girls hammer.
Ellie only hit the qualifying standard with her third throw of 50.03
metres but then went on to throw 52.59 in the final – a national
Sixth was Abbie Hine in the senior girls 1500 metres
steeplechase in a time of 5.06.49 – a national standard and more
than five seconds faster than her personal best.
Fifth was Piers Copeland in the intermediate boys 1500m.
Piers recorded a personal best of 4.01.44 in the heat having led
for much of the way but had to settle for a fastest loser’s slot.
This was national standard and a time better than the eventual
winner of the final. But the final was more tactical and Piers’
time was 4.05.30.
Fourth was Grace Copeland in the junior girls 1500m. Grace
was way off the pace for the first 1,000 metres of her qualifier but
dug deep in to her racing ability and made it to the final and a
very competitive fourth place in 4.38.27 another national standard
and only half a second off her personal best.
Third and bronze medallist in the senior boys high jump was
Ryan Webb with a new personal best of 2m06. Ryan went clear through
to 2 metres and had one failure at 2m03 and at 2m06. His second jump
at 2m09 only just wobbled the bar off. The atmosphere was electric
and when Ryan bowed out, his two opponents just could not be
separated as they had identical jump records. In the end both
athletes were awarded a gold medal having both cleared 2m10. An
inspiring and riveting competition.
Next year we will
get a gold and silver to complete the set!! In a single meeting four
club records had been broken. Well done to the athletes and to the
coaches who gave so much time to their athletes.