English Schools Championships - Birmingham

Friday 5th & Saturday 6th July 2013  

The club representatives at the English Schools Championships can hold their heads high after all of them made the finals & three returned home with individual medals – one of each colour

After finishing fourth last year Rachel Forder entered the inter girls’ discus as a strong gold–medal contender and was top ranked among those competing.  She did not disappoint but her gold medal was hard won as Oxford’s Kathryn Woodcock pushed her all the way with Rachel winning gold by just 4cms.”My throwing was very poor”, said Rachel, “but I’m glad it was enough to win!”  Rachel’s reward is an English Schools international vest, competing in the Schools’ Home Countries International in Dublin on Saturday 20th July.”

Modupe Shokunbi had entered the competition unbeaten in club & county 100m & 200m competitions this summer and had posted the fastest U15 girls’ 100m time in the UK this year but so far this summer had not competed before against other leading contenders in the Junior girls 100m.  After finishing second in her heat on Friday she won her semi-final to qualify fastest for Saturday’s final where Yorkshire’s Billy Jo Harris took gold but Modupe performed brilliantly to win her first national medal winning silver in a photo finish from London’s Vera Chinedu, both being given the identical time,

In contrast to Modupe, the third club medallist Robbie Clarricoats was no stranger on the national stage, competing in these championships for the third year , having won Inter boys 100m hurdles silver last year, and this year stepped up to the senor boys 110m hurdles with high hopes of another podium place.  A comfortable heat third place saw him qualify as only seventh fastest but Robbie always performs when it matters and he came through strongly to win bronze, only one-hundredth of a second away from silver. 

George Hadler had hoped to be challenging for medals in the senior 400m hurdles after winning bronze in the Inter boys equivalent last year but the final went to form and the fourth-ranked athlete finished in exactly that position in the final.  Debbie Knight was pleased to finish sixth in the senior girls’ javelin after ninth place last year and was only just short of her season’s best.  Josh Olawore had twice won medals at these championships including long jump bronze last year but despite a consistent series was sixth this year, in his fifth & final appearance at these Championships. He now hopes to make amends in the English Schools Decathlon Championships in September. There was some consolation however as Josh didn’t come home empty handed as along with Robbie Clarricoats he was in the silver medal winning Essex senior boys’ sprint relay squad.

Lydia Hallam was satisfied with her sixth place finish in the Inter Girls 1500m and would have needed a massive PB to make the podium and Freya Gutteridge also gave a good account of herself in gets her first taste of English Schools action in the junior girls’ discus. Ranked sixth nationally Freya matched that placing in the final. Michelle Hughes made her first English Schools’ final, after going out in the heats last year, finishing eighth in the Inter hurdles & new recruit Sonny Nash, competing for Kent, was also eighth in the junior boys javelin.

Junior Girls:

100m : 2nd Modupe Shokunbi 12.43s (heat 2nd 12.50s; semi 1st - 12.38s);

Discus : 6th – Freya Gutteridge 29.87m

Inter Girls:

1500m  6th Lydia Hallam – 4:34.67  (Heat - 3rd - 4:39.73s)

80m Hurdles  8th - Michelle Hughes 12.21s (Heat: 3rd 11.99s; semi 4th 11.77s)

Discus  1st - Rachel Forder 39.62m

Senior Girls

Javelin 5th Debbie Knight 40.68m

Junior Boys:

Javelin 8th Sonny Nash - 46.98m

Senior Boys

110m Hurdles  3rd Robbie Clarricoats 14.23s (heat - 3rd 14.49s)

400m Hurdles  4th George Hadler 55,51s;

Long Jump   6th - Josh Olawore 6.93m