THERE was considerable success for the Hereford & Worcester Schools’ Athletics Association team which competed at the Midlands regional round of the English Schools’ Athletic Association Combined Events Championships.
Tilsley Park, in Abingdon, Oxfordshire, was the venue for the two-day event last weekend when seven counties – Derbyshire, Nottinghamshire, Warwickshire, West Midlands, Oxfordshire, Buckinghamshire and Hereford & Worcester – competed with up to 28 athletes in each age group.
It was not only the sun which shone, as the performances of the Hereford & Worcester Schools’ athletes were also sparkling, in particular the intermediate girls who won their age group team competition and will now represent the Midlands region at the National Schools’ Championships in Bedford in September.
The team of Emma Sherwood (Hagley RCHS), Danielle Hopkins (The Chase, Malvern), Hannah Sahota and Daisy-Mai Clements (both Bromsgrove School) scored 1,264 points – 150 ahead of Derbyshire – with whom they had been battling for top spot throughout the seven track and field disciplines over the two days.
Sherwood also reached the podium in the individual competition as she placed third, with Hopkins 200 points behind in fourth. Sherwood achieved six personal best performances and Hopkins two – with both their points totals being higher than those from last year when they also competed in the National Schools’ Championships.
For Sahota and Clements, their points totals were significantly higher than anything they had achieved previously, in this their first year of competition in this age group.
This is only the second time H&W have had a team qualify for the national finals – the first being just two years ago when the junior girls team won through with Hopkins and Sahota part of that team.
The intermediate girls team will be joined at the national finals by James Milburn from Hereford Sixth Form College after he finished third in the senior boys decathlon.
Milburn produced three personal bests in the shot put, 100m and pole vault events and equalled his personal best in the long jump. His points total of 5,305 was not far behind what he achieved at last year’s national finals.
The junior girls team were fifth as Ella Dew from Stourport HS finished 11th, Amber Hopkins from The Chase, Malvern, 12th and Louisa de Vos from King’s School, Worcester 18th. Unfortunately, Abi Timmington (Royal Grammar, Worcester) picked up an injury whilst competing, so her points could not contribute to the team total.
Willem Humphreys (King’s School, Worcester) finished tenth in the intermediate boys octathlon – a creditable performance over two days in his first ever full Combined Events competition.
Matt Griffin (RSA Academy Arrow Vale, Redditch) had to withdraw with injury part way through day two when placed fourth after five events.
Luke Beever (King’s School, Worcester) and Karnell Nunes-Smith (Hagley RCHS) competed in the junior boys pentathlon and finished tenth and 11th respectively.
Junior age group is school years eight and nine, intermediate is years ten and 11 and senior is school years 12 and 13.