English Schools Championships - Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield 11th - 12th July 2003  

Havering Mayesbrook's ten young athletes in the Essex Schools squad returned home with two medals, three club records and seven PBs from the superb 73rd English Schools Championships held at sun-baked Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield on Friday and Saturday. 

Pride of place went to medallists Lynsey Clark and Chloe Van Wulven whose intermediate girls' silver medals earned them selection for the English Schools team at Cardiff next Saturday, in an annual international schools match against Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

Big-time performer Lynsey Clark again produced a PB when it mattered to spin the discus out to 40.90m, over two metres further than her previous best and second best ever by a Havering Mayesbrook U17 girl. It was a repeat of her medal winning performance in the junior girls category two years ago.

Chloe Van Wulven continues to amaze. Her results coming into the championships had suggested something special was in the offing and she delivered in style, demolishing her PB and club record of 11.7 secs with a stunning improvement to 11.36 secs to win her heat and at a stroke put her into unexpected medal contention. In the final she recovered from a sluggish start to catch her rivals over the last few hurdles and produce a finishing lunge that took her over the line into second, just one-hundredth of a second ahead of third placed Harriet Robinson in 11.37 secs. 

Lucy Sargent was a thickness of a vest away from a sprint medal in the junior girls 100m. She had run faster than ever before in her heat, aided by a strong wind, but went even faster in the final to run 12.31 secs for a new club u15 record in fourth, just three-hundredths off a medal. 

Kirsty Smith also marked her English Schools' debut with a club record in the Intermediate girls triple jump. Her 11.07m leap was three cms further than her former best, but in a high class competition good enough for just eleventh place.

Three other club youngsters finished one place off a medal.  

Megan Foley made all the running in the Inter Girls' 1500m leading throughout in a blistering pace, passing the bell in 3mins 19 secs. She held the lead until 200m from home when rivals Hannah England and Dani Christmas went past, but Stephanie Wilson produced a tremendous kick to come from fourth to first in the last 100m, pushing Megan out of the medals. Her time, 4m 30.43 was three seconds faster than she had ever run, but she was disappointed to miss out in the medal stakes.

In contrast training partner Katie Richardson was delighted with her fourth place. She had struggled in her heat on Friday in her English Schools' debut race, finishing fourth and qualifying for the final as a fastest loser by the skin of her teeth.  But she was back on song in Saturday's final, settling in the middle of the pack as Gloucestershire's Emily Pidgeon set a blistering pace that eventually brought a championship record. Katie set off with a vengeance on the last lap back in seventh and stormed round the last circuit to come through into fourth, slicing four seconds off her best with 4mins 40.42 secs.

Mel Harrison was fourth in the senior girls discus, losing out on a medal as Essex rival Hollie Redman turned the tables on last year's Inter girls placings to take bronze. Mel's 37.67m throw was a season's best, with much more to come. 

Sara Luck came away from the inter girls' 800m final with a new PB of 2m 12.24 secs and fifth place. After winning her heat she had struggled in her semi final, placing fourth and progressing as a fastest loser. Sara started positively in the final but was unable to go with the break at the end of the first lap and after that was chasing to keep in touch with the leaders. After the race she said she never felt comfortable but was pleased to come away with a PB.

Ashley Reece made the final after winning his heat in 4m 17.44 secs, just outside his best. But in the final he drifted off the pace on the third lap and despite a strong last lap effort finished eighth in 4m 20.73 secs.

Final club member in action Terry O'Leary had the misfortune to suffer a recurrence of an ankle injury when warming up. He took one throw but this aggravated the problem and he was forced to withdraw. His only throw of 40.18 was way down on his 52m effort which had won him South of England silver.   

Full results - http://www.esaa.net