English Schools Championships - Nottingham 12th - 13th July 2002  

Havering Mayesbrook's eight young athletes in the Essex Schools squad returned home with three medals from the 72nd English Schools Championships at the sun-soaked Harvey Hadden Stadium, Nottingham on Friday and Saturday. 

Lauren Deadman ran superbly to win silver in the senior girls 1500m final, repeating her position in last year's championships when she finished runner-up in the 3000m event. Determined not to come home from her final English Schools appearance empty-handed Lauren took the race on leading until the final 300m when unexpected winner Manchester's Danielle Woods went past but Lauren hung on for a 4m 33.97 secs clocking, just short of her best, and good enough on the day as she came her home a clear second. The winner had finished only ninth in the AAAs u20 race two weeks earlier when Lauren placed fifth but both finished ahead of more fancied contenders, including AAAs medallist Charlotte Best.  

On Friday Mel Harrison defied the 10am start to three  times improve her discus PB and win bronze in the Inter girls event. After a safe opening throw she added 35 cms to her best with a second round 35.89m, before launching the 1kg discus even further to 37.24m to put her in the frame for a medal. A fifth round effort of 38.04m bronze confirmed her third place position and held off the challenge of Essex champion Hollie Redman who had to settle for fourth. Only fifth in the South of England event earlier this year, Mel again rose to the occasion just as she had two years before, when she bounced back from a poor Southern champs to win bronze in the junior girls event.

Megan Foley also won bronze - but in more controversial circumstances. She ran an excellent heat on Friday in a time close to her best to secure her final place and today battled to place fourth across the line in a new PB of 2m 13.95 secs. But moments later soon after crossing the line she was elevated to the bronze medal position when "winner" and pre-race favourite Charlotte Browning was disqualified for pushing on the first lap.  

Sara Luck - whose appearance in these championship was in doubt until a few days before due to a foot injury - did superbly to make the final, unlike Essex schools champion and rival Linzi Snow. Sara ran close to her PB in her heat despite missing two weeks training through injury and later on Friday had to run a semi-final as well in which she qualified for the final. She ran bravely in the final to go through the bell with the pack in around 63 secs but ran out of steam on the last lap to jog home last. 

Chloe Van Wulven, making her debut at this national level after her third place in the South of England champs, was very unlucky to miss a final place in the junior girls'  75m hurdles. She ran well to place fourth in her heat equalling her best legal time of 11.8 secs while other girls with faster times fell by the way side. As eight fastest her performance would normally have been good enough to gain a final place but unusually the track has only seven lanes so she was not one of the seven qualifiers. 

Lauren Deadman- Senior Girls - 1500m silver

Mel Harrison displays her discus bronze 

Megan Foley leads Charlotte Browning in her heat

Christina Kalejaiye, who received a late call up, gained useful experience when finishing fifth in her junior girls 200m heat. Essex schools junior girls' 100m champion Cherelle Westlake had a nightmare introduction on the national stage when she was confused by the lane markings at the 100m start and ran out of lane, failing to finish.

Chloe, Christina and Cherelle made up for the disappointment of missing out on final placings by reaching the relay final as three-fourths of the Essex team (joining Ilford's Hannah Frankson) in which they were fifth in 50.81 secs.

The final member of the eight-strong HMAC component in the Essex Schools squad was Claire Sargent who was also eliminated in the inter girls 80m hurdles heats running 12.2 secs, into a headwind, placing fourth in her heat.

Start of Senior Girls' 1500m heat- Lauren Deadman third from R. 

Senior Girls' 1500m heat- Lauren Deadman (27)

Mel Harrison 3rd Inter Girls discus

Mel Harrison after receiving her medal

Sara Luck (27)  - Inter Girls 800m heat 

Chloe Van Wulven (2nd from right) - junior 75m hurdles

Claire Sargent (28) after her race (Sorry Claire -messed up race pics!)

Claire Sargent 

Christina Kalejaiye (27) - awaiting her JG 200m heat

Christina Kalejaiye (27) - JG 200m heat

Full results - http://www.esaa.net 

Apologies to Cherelle Westlake - for not getting picture of her