Four medals for school stars at Gateshead championships

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YOUNG stars from Rugby & Northampton AC were among the gold medals for their county teams in the English Schools Athletics Championships at Gateshead last weekend.

There were victories for Rugby School boys and R&N club members Tim Kerr-Chin in the junior boys’ long jump with a stunning 6.50m leap and supremely talented multi-eventer Harry Sutherland in the junior boys’ shot with 15.79m - nearly a metre clear of the opposition.

Tim was joined in the long jump by Adam Shaw, who just missed the cut-off for extra jumps with a creditable leap of 5.65m.

After safely battling through the rounds hurdling duo and training partners Luke Townsend (inter boys) and James Wright (senior boys) ran their finals with live TV coverage and a large club following watching at home, knowing there were bronze medals up for grabs.

In a fitting end to the weekend both boys showed they are true championship performers and pulled two medal-winning races out of the bag. Anyone who knows them would agree they were much deserved and would expect them to be much celebrated. They are testimony to the fact that dedication to the cause and hard work gets results.

Both boys are talented multi eventers; starting their athletics as most children do at their school sports days and local schools cross country races for Paddox Primary School, joining Rugby & Northampton AC at eight years old and moving on through the ranks, competing at every opportunity given to them.

One medal that got away on was in the junior boys’ 4x100m relay. The team went into the finals with the third fastest time.

The strong team of Tim Kerr-Chin, Rory Dwyer, Adam Shaw and Harry Sutherland were just dipped out of the bronze by 1/100sec by Leicestershire, with the new ESAA championship record holder for 100m on the anchor leg.

The 400m hurdler Patrick Mills was the only other Rugby athlete for a top-six spot and much prized English Schools certificate. Pat qualified for the finals after competing in atrocious weather in the last event of the day on Friday, taking a very creditable sixth spot in a new pb of 56.74sec.

It was a sad day for talented Rugby sprinter Ciaran Wardle, who after running a time in the 200m heats of 22.39 that would surely have qualified him for the final, had to pull out of the semis with a hamstring injury that hadn’t quite recovered in time for Gateshead.

In somewhat unpredictable conditions three of Rugby’s female javelin throwers were in action. Kerry Murch finished tenth with a throw of 39.78m in the senior girls, Megan Exley and Louise Hanby, representing Northants in the inter and junior girls, threw 29.23m and 29.11m respectively.

Also competing in her first English Schools, Tia Clues finished 13th in junior girls’ long jump again with a good leap of 4.74m.

With only three weeks to go to the Olympics in London a very exciting week for athletics in Rugby.