ATHLETICS: Bronze and England vest for Annabelle

Annabelle Pask
Annabelle Pask

Princethorpe heptathlete’s dream comes true

Resilient Princethorpe combined events specialist Annabelle Pask has put the disappointment of last year’s season behind her to emerge with a bronze medal at the English Schools’ National Final.

Held over two days at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium Pask competed one year under her age group of U17s. Having followed an intensive training schedule involving thrice weekly sessions at Birmingham’s High Performance Centre in addition to throwing coaching at her home club of Coventry Godiva Harriers the 16-year-old from Napton was ready to make her dream come true.

Day one began with Pask’s signature event, the 80 metre hurdles. Having won the National Independent Schools title earlier in the season she came away frustrated with her time of 12.05 seconds. A disappointing high jump of 1.49 metres did not deter her as she went on to produce a magnificent pb in the shot with 10.15 metres. The fourth event of the afternoon, the 200 metres, once again saw Pask put in a solid show with 27.05 seconds and a fighting chance of an England vest.

Day two began with another favourite field event, the long jump. A well judged leap of 5.42 metres began to steady her nerves as she went into the javelin. Secure in the knowledge that her technique was on form she produced the goods with another pb of 31.46 metres. With six events under her belt Pask was astonished to find herself in first place going into the final event, the 800. She explained: “I was so nervous. The 800 isn’t a favourite event and I knew there were faster girls out there in my heat. I had to stay calm and believe in all the rep and endurance work I had been doing.” With another sparkling result and a long awaited pb of 2.40.01 seconds the Year 11 student had done more than enough to secure her England vest. With a bronze medal in her hand and an invitation to represent England at the forthcoming Home Countries International to be held in Glasgow in December, Annabelle’s dream had come true.

She went on to say:“Coming third meant so much to me especially after the bitter disappointment of just missing out on making the England team last year. I can see how the training has paid off especially with my endurance work and the throwing events. I have work to do and am looking forward to getting into the winter conditioning that starts next week.”

Pricnethorpe Head Master Ed Hester congratulated Annabelle on her exceptional achievement.

“Annabelle is a remarkable Year 11 student who successfully balances training with her academic work. Her determination to overcome last season’s disappointment reflects the true essence of the great sportswoman she is.”