English Schools Championsbips, Don Valley Stadium, Sheffield 7 & 8 July 2000

Schools Bronze Medals for Faye Fulerton and Melanie Harrison

A Bronze Medal apiece for Melanie Harrison and Faye Fullerton were the highlights for Havering Mayesbrooks Young Athletes competing in the English Schools Championships - the "Schools' Olympics" - at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium on Friday and Saturday.

  Melanie Harrison produced the performance of her career to claim the bronze medal in the junior girls' discus on Friday afternoon. Despite only placing fifth in the South of England Championships earlier this season with an under par result, the 14-year-old from Grays bounced back when it mattered to throw close to her best with a 30.56m effort to place third in the national event.

Middle distance ace Faye Fullerton (pictured in her heat, left) was again a medallist in the Intermediate Girls 1500m Final, but was unable to improve on her runners-up spot last year, placing third in 4m 38.26secs. In a slowly run, tactical race Cornwall's Zoe Jelbert successfully defended her title, ahead of runner-up Charlotte Moore from Dorset, while a late effort from Fullerton took her ahead of Kent's Charlotte Dale, to clinch bronze.

In the Junior boys 400m a personal best clocking of 52.05 secs was not enough for Bob Thanda to secure a medal, placing him just out of the frame in fourth. In the senior boys 800m despite impressive qualifying form in the heats and semi-final, which saw him twice clock below 1m 55 secs, Glen Coppin had to settle for 6th in the final 1m 57.10 secs. Although disappointed with the placing the talented Barking Abbey sixth form student has another crack at the medals next year.

Of the other club competitors sprinter Matthew Kelsey was unluckiest. Winning his junior boys 100m heat in a new personal best of 11.40 secs, which equalled a club record which has stood for 20 years, Kelsey slipped badly at the start in his semi-final and he was unable to get back into contention. Kelsey's time was later only beaten by the winner and second placed finalists so it's likely that he missed a medal chance due to his mishap.

The other three club members taking part at Sheffield also just missed out on final places. Laurie Cossey placed fourth in the first heat of the senior girls 800m in 2m 15.73 secs, just short of a qualifying place, as the fastest losers' places went to those girls in the second and faster heat. Sara Luck also placed fourth in her heat of the junior girls 800m, misjudging the pace set by the eventual champion, Hayley Beard from Hertfordshire, finishing in 2m 21.04 secs. Sara has another chance in this age category next year and will have learnt from her experience. In the junior girls 75m hurdles Claire Sargent, who had been suffered from a sickness bug the previous day which had d elayed her journey north, placed sixth in her heat in 12.3 secs, over half a second outside her best.

Photo of Faye Fullerton courtesy of Joe Lee Computing & English Schools AA website

Link to ESAA web site for full results