THIRTY-FIVE top athletes from Herefordshire and Worcestershire (H&W) schools starred at the English Schools’ Athletics Association Track and Field Championships in Gateshead at the weekend – and there was silver medal delight for Danielle Hopkins of The Chase School, Malvern.
Pupils who had made it through school, district, county and inter-county championships then had to wait for the decision from the regional selectors to see if they had made the team for the national event, which brings together the best young athletes in England.
Hopkins won silver in the junior girls’ high jump with a height of 1.72m – 1cm over her previous previous best – and there was a bronze medal for her H&W team-mate Isobel Parry-Jones of Hereford Sixth Form College who ran the 800m in 2mins, 13.5secs.
In amongst tough competition there were other H&W athletes who performed well, including Jonathan Jones from Herefordshire and Ludlow College who improved his personal best by 3m to finish fifth in the senior boys’ hammer with a throw of 61.07m.
Bryony Haines from The Bewdley School & Sixth Form Centre was seventh in the senior girls’ 3,000m as she finished in 9.59.15.
Incredibly, Haines has represented the county every year in both track and field and cross country events throughout junior, intermediate and now senior levels.
William Richardson from Baxter College, Kidderminster, has achieved a similar representation for Hereford & Worcester Schools over the years and he finished ninth in the senior boys’ 3,000m.
In the relays the intermediate and senior boys’ teams reached the finals.
The intermediate boys’ team (Harry Liversidge of Bromsgrove School, Oliver Gould of The De Montfort School, Evesham, Dan Banks of Tudor Grange Academy Worcester and Josh Pearson of St Augustine’s Catholic High School, Redditch) were sixth.
The senior boys missed out on a bronze medal in the final few metres of their race as they finished a frustrating yet very respectable fourth.
The H&W team was made up of Ollie Biddle of Worcester Sixth Form College, Jack Hocking of Worcester Sixth Form College, Tom Kenwright of Pershore High School and Cody Cooke of Herefordshire and Ludlow College.
In the various age group team competitions, the senior boys were the highest ranked H&W team, finishing seventh out of the 14 counties in their group, whilst both the senior girls and junior girls teams finished in ninth position.
The team was missing intermediate boys high jumper Joel Khan from Tudor Grange Academy Worcester who has been selected to represent Team GB at the European Youth Championships in Georgia.