Suffolk athletes scoop gold medals at English Schools Championship
- Credit: Archant
Michael Bartram and Joshua Hulse both scooped gold medals as Suffolk athletes enjoyed their best ever set of results, at the annual English Schools Track & Field Championships, held at Gateshead.
Suffolk claimed four medals, two gold and two silver, as well as one fourth spot and four fifth places.
In fact, the blues vests of Suffolk had 16 of its squad in the top eight across the various disciplines, with 26 of their 35-strong squad reaching finals, and 11 of them celebrating personal bests.
This was a remarkable feat when considered that their top-class javelin thrower, Harry Hughes, was not even at the Championships due to his competing at the European Junior Championships later this week, in Eskilstuna, Sweden, with fellow Suffolk athlete Callum Wilkinson (race walker).
Over two days of competition at Gateshead, Bartram and Hulse struck gold in the 2,000m steeplechase and 800 metres respectively, while Emily Moyes and Marshall Childs won silver medals in the 1,500m steeplechase and the javelin.
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Bartram, a pupil at County Upper School, in Bury St Edmunds, followed up his gold from 2013 and silver from last year with another gold, to secure a hat-trick of English Schools steeplechase medals.
The 18-year-old ran a fine tactical race to clock a winning time of 5mins 55.6secs.
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“I knew most of my competitors, and I expected a few of them to go off hard,” explained Bartram.
“So I sat behind the front-two, and concentrated on my jumping, to get that technically right.
“I hit the front, with about 400 metres to go, and then attacked the jump on the back straight to open up a gap. I ended up winning by about two-and-a-half seconds.
“Having finished second last year, it was always my goal to win this year.
“I have had to focus on my exams over the last few months, but I’m delighted with the result,” added Bartram.
Bartram lives at Gazeley, near Newmarket, and is coached by Gordon Palmer and David Cripps on the Bury track.
Fellow gold medallist Hulse, from East Bergholt High School, likewise produced a phenomenal performance when coming very close to setting a new English Schools record in the junior boys’ 800m.
Talented 14-year-old Hulse, a member of Ipswich Harriers, won his heat in 2:00.37 before going on to win the final with a massive personal best of 1:56.54.
Moyes, from Stowmarket High, won an impressive silver medal but was also close to striking gold, in the senior girls’ steeplechase. She had competed in the 800m at last year’s event.
After allowing a significant gap to develop between herself and the long-time leader, Moyes closed in over a very fast final lap and only just failed to overhaul winner Aimee Pratt, of Sale.
Less than 0.5 seconds separated gold and silver, with Moyes’ time of 4:55.45 representing a PB by over four seconds.
Competing in the bottom of her age group, Moyes will therefore be back next year, aiming to go one better and strike gold.
There was also a silver medal for Childs in the senior boys’ javelin, to complete a hat-trick of English Schools medals for the 18-year-old Ipswich Harrier.
Childs, of Suffolk New College, had won silver in 2013 and gold last year.
He threw 60.83m to finish second at Gateshead, a little below his PB of 63.61m, finishing behind winner George Davies, of City of York (64.17m).
In the team section, Suffolk’s senior boys won the Group B aggregate trophy, and were eight overall, beating several counties with double the school population.
As one of the smaller counties within the Group B section, Suffolk achieved a commendable fifth place overall.
Elsewhere, the Suffolk quartet of Kyle Potter, Owen Giddings, Mark Ferniz and Toby Eaton finished an excellent fourth in the final of the senior boys’ 4x100m relay. They clocked 42:47.
Gemma Ramsey, of Farlingaye School, was fifth in the junior girls’ javelin with a best of 38.28m, while Copleston’s Eldece Emery also claimed a notable fifth place in the final of the inter girls’ 200m (25:56).
Fellow Ipswich Harrier, Rachel Ryan, of Northgate School, was fifth in the senior girls’ triple jump, thanks to a personal best of 11.58m.
And Farlingaye’s John Millar, another Ipswich Harrier, also finished fifth and set a PB in the 2,000m steeplechase, with a quick 6:04.37.
There was a sixth spot for Benson Craven, of St Albans, in the inter boys’ long jump (6.31m), and sixth for Thomas Hewes, of East Bergholt, in the high jump (1.90m).
Meanwhile, Woodbridge’s Laura Graham was seventh in the inter girls’ javelin with 37.85m.
Eighth places went to Farlingaye’s Theo Passmore (2,000m steeplechase), Northgate’s Kieron Sadler (junior boys’ javelin), Ipswich High’s Tilly Thomas (PB of 58.5secs in the senior girls’ 400m) and King Edward VI School’s Seb Anthony (senior boys’ 800m).
Anthony can be satisfied with his final English Schools appearance, after making the final of his 800m with a second spot in his heat in 1:53.76, which was just outside his PB.
This effort probably took its toll on him in the final, where he finished eighth in 1:56.
West Suffolk AC were well-represented elsewhere, with Holly Davies setting a PB of 5:21.43 on her way to 11th place in the intermediate girls’ 1,500m steeplechase.
Christy Williams had a tough draw in heat one of the intermediate boys’ 800m.
Williams bravely took the pace on from the front and these tactics almost paid off, before he faded to fourth in a swift 1:56.29, which was close to his PB. He missed out on a fastest loser spot by just 0.3 of a second.
Megan Newton, competing in her first English Schools event, was up against it in the intermediate girls’ 3,000m, although she stuck with the main field until the final lap. Newton finished 17th in 10:34, again close to her PB.
Suffolk results at English Schools Championships
Michael Bartram (County Upper) won gold in SB 2,000m steeplechase in 5mins 55.6secs.
Joshua Hulse (East Vergholt) won gold in the JB 800m, in 1:56.54 (PB).
Emily Moyes (Stowmarket High) won silver in the SG 1,500m steeplechase in 4:55.45 (PB).
Marshall Childs (Suffolk New College) won silver in the SB javelin in 60.63m.
Lana Fulcher (Copleston) ninth in IG hammer with 44.26m.
Gemma Ramsey (Farlingaye) fifth in JG javelin with 38.28m.
Mia Browne (St Benedicts) 10th in her pool of the IG hammer with 43.55m.
Meg Bartholomew (County Upper) 13th in JG javelin with 32.44m.
Olivia Allum (Culford) seventh in heat of JG 1,500m in 4:48.01.
Eldece Emery (Copleston) fifth in IG 200m in 25.56, after second in heat in 25.83.
Thomas Hewes (East Bergholt) sixth in IB high jump with 1.90m.
Katrina Kemp (County Upper) seventh in pool of JG triple jump with 4.96m.
Kyle Potter (West Suffolk College) fifth in heat of SB 100m in 11.52.
Christy Williams (County Upper) fourth in heat of IB 800m in 1:56.29.
Seb Anthony (King Edward VI), eighth in final of SB 800m in 1:56.66, after 2nd in heat in 1:53.76.
Owen Giddings (Northgate) fifth in semi-final of SB 100m in 11.37, after third in heat in 11.35.
Rachel Ryan (Northgate) fifth in SG triple jump with 11.58m (PB).
Benson Craven (St Albans) 6th in final of IB long jump with 6.31m.
Mark Ferniz (Suffolk New College) sixth in heat of SB 100m in 11.40.
John Millar (Farlingaye) fifth in SB 2,000m steeplechase in 6:04.37 (PB)
Bella Keeley (Royal Hospital School) sixth in heat of JG 75m hurdles in 11.98.
Megan Hughes (Northgate) 12th in JG javelin with 32.50m.
Holly Davies (County Upper) 11th in IG 1,500m steeplechase in 5:21.43 (PB).
Isabella Blowers (Copleston) sixth in heat of IG 80m hurdles in 12.20 (PB).
Daniel Cole (East Bergholt) 12th in IB javelin with 50.06m.
Laura Graham (Woodbridge) seventh in IG javelin with 37.85m.
Amy Davies (County Upper) 15th in JG hammer with 35.87m (PB).
Toby Eaton (Royal Hospital School) seventh in heat of SB 200m in 22.92.
4x100m SB relay team (Potter, Giddings, Ferniz and Eaton) finished fourth in final in 42.47, after second in heat in 42.69.
Levi-Jack Roper (County Upper) 16th in IB hammer with 48.51m.
Megan Newton (Stour Valley) 17th in IG 3,000m in 10:34.63.
Tilly Thomas (Ipswich High) eighth in SG 400m in 58.5 (PB) after fourth in heat in 59.39.
Kieron Sadler (Northgate) eighth in JB javelin with 41.33m.
Chantelle Kilpatrick (Suffolk College) 14th in SG triple jump with 10.68m.
Theo Passmore (Farlingaye) eighth in SB 2,000m steeplechase in 6:30.53.
Janae Duporte-Clarke (WA) 10th in IG triple jump with 10.68m.