Combined successes

The junior girls were 2nd
The junior girls were 2nd

Warwickshire School’s athletes competed at Bedford in the English Schools Athletics Association Combined events final with great success, each producing at least two personal bests and claiming one National trophy.

Setting the standard, the U15 boys continued their Midland team success by winning the National team Pentathlon Cup, despite being the smallest county and having to bring in a reserve only three days before the competition.

Harry Sutherland (Rugby School) battled in the top two throughout the day producing PBs in the hurdles, high jump and total score but had to settle for silver, only 45 pts. off gold behind Reuban Esien (West Mids).

Team mate Rory Dwyer (Stratford High) gradually moved up the ranks thanks to PBs in the LJ and HJ, finishing fourth with his seasons best score raised by 300+ points. Both Harry and Rory were selected for the English four-man Junior team.

Super-sub Thomas Bailie (Ashlawn) completed the team after only a short time to prepare for the final when two of the original team dropped out due to injury.

Playing catch up after the hurdles, although close to his best, he gradually upped his score with PBs in the long jump, high jump (23cm improvement in a week) and even the dreaded 800m concluding a score of 300pts higher than his previous round and catapulted the team into the winning position.

n The inter Boys had to cope with near disaster in the Octathlon when during the first event Luke Townsend (Ashlawn) fouled on all 3 LJ attempts. He rallied with PBs in the Javelin, 400m and 1500m to move from 38th to 17th but the mistake cost him a top four place.

In contrast Alex Grant (St Benedict’s) who had suffered similarly in the previous Midland round produced PBs in the hurdles, javelin, 400m and equalled his HJ best improving his best score by 700pts finishing 11th. Tyler Selway (Nicholas Chamberlain)who had entered the previous round as a reserve added another 400pts to his best score achieving PBs in discus, 400m, hurdles, and shot putt to finish 31st.

The final 1500m had all the supporters on the edge of their seats when the Warwickshire Trio took on the rest to move from 4th to Bronze in the team standings overhauling Durham’s 80 point advantage.

Reserve Adam Wright (Lawrence Sheriff) started the first day but withdrew for the final day.

n Senior Girls Hannah Scales (Rugby High) and Mary Donaldson (Aylesford) both achieved two PBs in the U19 Heptathlon in the Hurdles and 800m; Hannah a 6 seconds improvement – 800m finished 24th while Mary was 30th.

n Completing a very successful final day the Junior Girls Pentathlon team finished in runners up spot behind Hampshire having raised their team’s best score by 200pts thanks to each member doggedly pushing the final 800m to stay ahead of Greater Manchester.

n In combined events consistency is required to lift the top places and for Warwickshire U15’s Anna Gamble (Alcester GS) was the most successful this time claiming 4th with PBs in LJ and 800m and a 300 point improvement on her June’s performance. Teammate Annabelle Pask (Princethorpe) showed a 100+ points improvement helped by PBs in the hurdles and shot finishing close behind in 5th.

Although not PBs, Annabelle’s hurdles and LJ were the second best in the whole competition.

The team’s third counter was Georgia Parris (Nicholas Chamberlain) after an amazing 700pt improvement on her Pentathlon score due to PBs in shot, LJ, and 800m; it could have been more if she had not hit the last hurdle!

Fourth counter, Felicity Bee (Kings High), also improving her best score by 100pts sporting PBs in the hurdles, shot, and long jump to finish 18th overall

Anna was the third County squad member to make the ESAA national team with Annabelle as reserve, this is the highest representation of the county in national teams in the history of the event, and greater than any other single county this year in the Combined Events.

Dave Cowley