THE WEATHER was kind to the hundreds of athletes who competed at Saturday’s annual Hereford & Worcester Schools’ Athletics Association Track & Field Championships.
Athletes had been selected to represent their district at Nunnery Wood Sports Centre in Worcester following qualifying events in the eight districts across the two counties.
As well as hunting medals, athletes were bidding to earn selection for this Saturday’s Mason Trophy (the Midlands Region Inter-Counties competition for junior and intermediate age groups) and then to be considered to represent Hereford & Worcester Schools’ in the forthcoming English Schools’ National Championships.
Both these events will be held at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.
In the junior girls age group, Nikita Gotthardt-Mills (Ridgeway Academy, Redditch) retained her 100m and 200m titles whilst Millie Clemson from Prince Henry’s High School in Evesham won silver in both races.
Another Ridgeway Academy athlete – Lily Saxon – convincingly won the 1,500m for the second year running whilst Abi Timmington (Royal Grammar School, Worcester) won gold in both the high jump and long jump.
It was a good day for Hereford athletes as Lily Fennessy (St Mary’s RCHS) became county champion in the javelin and discus. Her javelin throw of 34.51m set a new championship record.
Another St Mary’s pupil – Charlotte Colbert – won gold in the hammer and silver in the javelin, whilst Molly Smith (Hereford Cathedral School) was second in both the shot put and discus.
Sydney Green (Bishop of Hereford Bluecoat School) won the 300m which, being a new age group event this year, set a H&W schools’ record.
It was two golds for junior boy Andrew Wong (Bromsgrove School) who won the shot put and discus competitions and Ben Brinsdon from Heathfield Knoll School near Wolverley won the 300m race in an English Schools Entry Standard time of 37.0s.
He narrowly lost out in the 200m to Nathan Biggs (North Bromsgrove HS) with both athletes given the same time.
The junior boys’ 100m race was exceptionally fast with Mandras Kyeremeh (Bishop of Hereford Bluecoat School) gaining a National Standard time of 11.4s and silver medallist Callum Brassington-Meehan (Pershore High) achieving an Entry Standard time.
Another Entry Standard performance came from Dylan Menhennet (John Kyrle HS, Ross-on- Wye) in the hammer competition.
Two Redditch schools athletes retained their county schools’ titles from last year – Luke Richardson (RSA Academy Arrow Vale) in the 800m and Josh Robins (Trinity HS) in the 1,500m. Meanwhile, Josh Leonisio, from Bromsgrove School, placed first in the javelin and third in the hammer.
In the intermediate girls’ events, Danielle Hopkins (The Chase, Malvern) retained her high jump and long jump titles and Sarah-Jane Ollis, also from The Chase, won gold in both the 100m and 200m competing in her first year at this age group.
She narrowly beat last year’s 100m champion Florence Ikpeme (Prince Henry’s, Evesham), with both athletes given the same time.
Three Bromsgrove School athletes achieved a total of seven medals. Hannah Sahota won gold in the 80m hurdles and silver in the long jump, Daisy Clements gold in the triple jump and silver in the 300m hurdles and Emily Gittoes won three medals – triple jump, 300m hurdles and 80m hurdles.
Deanna Clarke (Nunnery Wood, Worcester) retained her title in the 300m hurdles and Jorja Hope, from King Charles (Kidderminster), placed second in the 200m and third in the 100m.
The intermediate girls’ shot put competition saw both the first and second-placed athletes break the existing county record through Vivien Kruse (Malvern College) and Emilia Wright (St Augustine’s, Redditch) respectively.
The intermediate boys’ competition also saw a number of athletes leave with multiple medals. Darian Moore from Royal Grammar School, Worcester, achieved first place in both 100m and 200m.
Another Worcester-based athlete – Nathan Kelly (King’s School) – easily won the shot put and placed second in the hammer and Owen Marles (King’s School) won gold in javelin and silver in triple jump.
Sam Roberts from Bromsgrove School again won two medals – placing first in the triple jump and second in the 100m hurdles – whilst Kieran Valley (Bromsgrove School) achieved first place in the discus and second in the shot put.
Nabil Abdullah from Lucton School in Leominster won the long jump and finished third in the 200m, whilst Vansh Ladwa (Malvern College) picked up two bronze medals in shot put and long jump.
Stewart Greenhalgh (South Bromsgrove) stormed to victory in the 400m, achieving another English Schools’ Entry Standard time (50.3s).
Entries in the senior competitions were low this year. The outstanding race was the senior boys’ 100m in which Dan Banks from Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester, was aiming to make it six 100m titles in a row in his last year of schools’ eligibility.
He was pushed by Oli Gould (Worcester Sixth Form College) but it was gold again for Banks in a time of 11.1s. Other Worcester-based athletes gaining two medals were Josh Bentley (Worcester Sixth Form College) and Will Revill (King’s School).
Hereford Sixth Form College was well represented at the championships as James Milburn again won two titles – discus and high jump – to add to his gold and silver from last year. Levi Hughes won gold in triple jump and silver in 200m, whilst Liam Bentley placed second in both triple jump and long jump.
Redditch district featured in the medals, with Will Harman from St Augustine’s winning gold and bronze in the long jump and triple jump respectively, whilst in the senior girls’ competition Abbie Roberts (Hereford Sixth Form College) won gold and silver in the 800m and long jump respectively.