English Schools Championships - Birmingham
Friday 12th & Saturday 13th July 2019
Club athletes excelled against the best that England can offer as they returned from this weekend's English Schools Championships at Birmingham with five medals and a club record, as the Essex Schools squad again won the team honours.
Alice Brown had won medals in the past two years in the junior girls' ranks but she stepped up into the Intermediate age group in style to top the podium after victory in the discus. Her first round throw took the lead and a second round effort of over 40m was a new career best and would have proved good enough for gold but the Upminster athlete extended her lead in the last round to finish with a 40.95m effort. Her reward - not only a gold medal but selection for the English Schools team which competes in this weekend's Home counties School International in Swansea.
In contrast triple jumper Chris Brown, a recent club recruit, was in his biggest competition to date and he rose to the occasion perfectly to win junior boys' gold. His opening leap of 13.25m, added 40cms to his best and he held off the challenge from Lancashire's Kresten Calvert to strike gold and top the UK rankings.
Max Law had hoped to add senior javelin gold to his impressive medal tally but he faced a strong challenge from Hampshire's defending champion Tom Hewson who had beaten Max to the Intermediate title in 2017 and had already beaten Max earlier in the season. Hewson put together a fine series of long throws to take gold with a new PB and UK lead of 70.80m as Max's 66.72m best secured silver.
Bradley James had won junior javelin silver last year but had shown patchy form to date this season in the Intermediate age group but he came good when it mattered with a new best of 59.31m for bronze in a close contest for the medals as UK Lead & favourite Ben East failed to make the cut.
Jacob Blanc completed the club's medal tally with bronze in the junior boys' 80m hurdles and his new career best also earned him the club record, beating the mark set last summer.
The medal roll was almost one higher. Poppy Ellis ran a superb race and led throughout in the Intermediate 300m but had a medal snatched from her grasp as she fell within 10m of the finish as she battled it out with eventual winner Surrey's Cedelle Agyei-Kyem.
Mayi Hughes was unable to sign off her schools career with a third consecutive medal and had to settle for fourth in the senior girls' triple jump, and Patrick McLean-Tattan was very close to his junior boys' discus best in placing fourth in his first experience at this level. Other finalists were Denzel Achi who was a fine fifth in the junior boys' long jump in his first English Schools appearance, Kate O'Neill who clocked a season's best for sixth in the senior girls 3000m, and Sam Sanusi who placed eight in the Intermediate 100m hurdles.
Also in action on the national stage were Olivia Boachie who just missed out on a place in the junior girls 300m final after a fast heat run, Chimdi Okpalauko was 10th in the senior shot, after missing out last year through injury, and junior javelin thrower Oliver Yexley who also placed 10th.
The club line up was completed by Toby Bishop who has struggled with injuries since his fine early season form in the Intermediate 400m hurdles but ran despite limited training and sadly trailed home in his heat in some discomfort.
300m : Heat: Olivia Boachie 41.24s
300m: 8th - Poppy Ellis 47.22s(Fell) Heat: 40.23s
Discus : 1st - Alice Brown 40.95m PB
3000m : 6th - Kate O'Neill 9:56.70s. Jess Mitchell DNS
Triple Jump : 4th- Mayi Hughes 12.02m
Shot : 10th- Chimdi Okpalauko 10.35m
80mH: 3rd- Jacob Blanc 11.20s PB & Club record (Heat: 11.68s)
Triple Jump: 1st Chris Brown 13.25m PB
Long Jump: - 5th - Denzel Achi 5.98m
Javelin: 10th - Oliver Yexley 44.91m
Discus: - 4th - Patrick McLean-Tattan 39.05m
100mH: 8th - Sam Sanusi 13.78s (Heat: 13.68s)
400mH: Heat - Toby Bishop 62.54s
Javelin: 3rd - Bradley James 59.31m PB
Javelin: 2nd Max Law 66.72m
Pics: Tony Benton, Rob Brown to follow