Records fell at the 89th English Schools Championships in Birmingham as the latest generation of teenage athletes showed their talent
Not only did Mia McIntosh break the championship record for the junior girls 75m hurdles in Birmingham but she set a British under-15 record too.
The Hertfordshire athlete clocked 10.75 (0.1m/sec) to smash Pippa Earley’s championships mark of 10.90 and the youngster’s time also took a tenth of a second off Shirin Irving’s national record of 10.85.
“I was mainly trying to break 11 dead because I’ve run 11.01 three times in a row previously,” McIntosh (pictured above) said. “So to finally get under that time is amazing. When I saw my time as I came through the line I was shocked.”
In warm yet cloudy conditions at the New Balance-sponsored event at the Alexander Stadium, Joel Pascall-Menzie smashed Mark Lewis-Francis’s championships record of 10.54 in the inter boys age group with 10.48 (1.1m/sec).
Was Pascall-Menzie (pictured below) expecting to run that fast? “I’d run the championship record the previous weekend,” he said, referring to a 10.54 he ran at the British League in Sheffield on July 6. “So I was hoping to run that kind of time again here.”
Pascall-Menzie was also busy in the relay as he helped Essex break the inter boys championship record in the 4x100m in both the heats and final. In the rounds on Friday the team ran 41.58 to beat London’s 2010 best of 41.85, but in the final on late Saturday afternoon they improved to 41.04.
The junior girls 4x100m also saw a relay championship record, meanwhile, when Middlesex clocked 46.46 to beat Surrey’s 2012 mark of 47.37.
Emilie Oakden of Sussex was another championship record-breaker as she beat Sophie Ashurst’s mark of 3.55m with 3.62m. It was one of several lively pole vault contests on the back straight and saw Oakden go to No.3 on the UK under-15 girls all-time lists.
Top-class sprints finals are always a feature of the English Schools and one of the best this year was the junior girls’ 100m where Nia Wedderburn-Goodison of Middlesex ran 11.91 to beat Trezeguet Taylor by one hundredth of a second.
Tom Hewson sealed a hat-trick of English Schools titles with a win in the senior boys’ javelin. The Hampshire athlete threw a 70.80m PB, too, in order to see off the challenge of Max Law – and the mark was also the second-best by a British javelin thrower of any age this year.
“That was pleasing,” said Hewson (pictured below). “I knew I had 70m in my as I’ve been doing it in training over and over again. So it’s nice to do it in competition finally.”
A few records at the English Schools have truly stood the test of time. The oldest is Kevin Steere’s inter boys’ 3000m mark of 8:20.0 from 1971. Here, Will Barnicoat was not far away from it with 8:27.06 but he was simply happy to win with an impressive front-run that saw him draw 10 seconds clear of his rivals.
Similarly, Charlotte Alexander would have been hard pressed to beat Paula Radcliffe’s championship best of 9:04.37 in the senior girls’ 3000m but the Surrey athlete still impressed with an emphatic 9:35.08 victory.
Orla Brennan of Berkshire, whose parents were both English Schools winners in the 1970s, clocked 59.42 to beat Jasmine Jolly in an exciting senior girls 400m hurdles.
Shot put legend Geoff Capes never won an English Schools title but his grandson, Donovan Capes, took junior boys’ gold for Lincolnshire with 14.94m.
Also in the shot, Lewis Byng warmed up for the European Under-20 Championships in Sweden this month with an 18.57m win in the senior boys’ event.
Shot putters also shone on day one of the championships, including Nana Gyedu, who set a championship record which you can read about here.
Next year the event moves to Manchester for its 90th edition but will doubtless return to Birmingham following its refurbishment for the 2022 Commonwealth Games.
» See the July 18 issue of AW for 9-10 pages of coverage from Birmingham