TWENTY-FOUR young athletes gave everything they had for the cause when they represented Hereford & Worcester in the New Balance English Schools’ Athletics Association Track & Field Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium on Friday and Saturday.
They had fought through school, district and county competitions, as well as chasing entry standards, to take part in the national event – the most prestigious in the schools athletics diary.
The H&W highlight was Joel Khan from Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester, winning silver in the senior boys’ high jump competition, clearing 2.15m.
There was frustration for a number of the county team who just missed out on medals. Waseley Hills High School’s Conor Smith was seven hundredths of a second off a bronze medal after he sprinted in the last 50m of his 3,000m race to try and catch the third placed athlete in the senior boys’ competition.
Danielle Hopkins (The Chase, Malvern) finished fourth in the intermediate girls’ high jump, clearing 1.71m – the same height as athletes in second and third position – but missing out on a medal on countback.
Emma Sherwood (Hagley Catholic High School) placed sixth with a height of 1.68m – again the same as the fifth placed athlete and the third best height of the competition.
Isobel Parry-Jones (Hereford Sixth Form College) achieved fifth in the senior girls’ 1,500m in a time of 4.31.56 and Jack Hocking (Worcester Sixth Form College) finished fifth in the senior boys’ 400m in 49.10.
Sam Chance (Droitwich Spa High School) threw a personal best of 53.48m to place sixth in the intermediate boys’ javelin and Candy Lockett (Bromsgrove School) was eighth in the senior’ girls hammer.
Other athletes reaching finals were Dan Banks (Tudor Grange Academy, Worcester) in the senior boys’ 100m and Ellie England (Heathfield School, Kidderminster) with a personal best in the intermediate girls’ long jump.
Hannah Tapley (Malvern St James) was seventh Joe Hardman (Worcester Sixth Form College) eighth to gain team points in the senior girls’ high jump and senior boys’ javelin.
There was healthy Redditch district representation, including Matthew Griffin (RSA Academy Arrow Vale) in the junior boys’ 80m hurdles and Nikita Gotthardt-Mills (Ridgeway Academy) in the junior girls’ 100m and Lily Saxon (Ridgeway Academy) in the junior girls’ 1,500m.
The intermediate boys’ 400m featured Josh Pearson of St Augustine’s Catholic High School and in the same category Christopher McLeod (Woodrush High School) competed in the 3,000m.