Pupils fought to be crowned Essex Schools champions and to win places on the county team for next month’s English Schools Championships at Melbourne Park, Chelmsford. As usual there were some stunning performances with the Essex Schools selectors facing plenty of headaches when they come to choose their team for the nationals. RYAN GOAD looks at the best of the action.
Mae Bullman on her way to winning a silver medal in the high jump
JADE Packer (Southend) topped a south Essex 1-2-3 in the 200m as she took the gold medal in 26.21s leaving Shannon McNeill (Basildon, 26.62s) and Sophie Rickner (Southend, 26.91s) trailing in her wake.
Packer’s Southend AC team-mate Shereen Raouf took gold in the 300m with the Greensward Academy pupil stopping the clock at 42.03s, while Southend High School for Girls’ Michelle Hughes won the 300m hurdles in 45.51s.
Shereen Raouf winning the 300m
Helena Taylor (CP&R) was the bronze medallist in the 80m hurdles (13.06s).
Castle View School’s Jodie Judd (10m 35.60s) got the better of Southend’s Victoria Hiscock (10m 53.31s) to win the intermediate girls 3,000m while Basildon AC’s Isobel Ives (representing the Havering borough) cruised to a win in the 800m in 2m 15.68s.
Jodie Judd tracks Victoria Hiscock in the 3000m
Kiera Tippett (CP&R) won a bronze medal in the 1,500m (5m 6.83s), while her King John School team-mates Maddy Bourne and Frankie Roast also went home with medals.
Bourne won bronze in the 100m (12.85s) and Roast silver in the long jump (4.93m).
Deanes School’s Rachel Eayrs won a silver medal in the javelin (31.80m) while there were bronzes for Jasmine Ruscoe (Southend, triple jump 9.86m), Jessica Ewers (CP&R, shot 8.75m), Maddie Cannell (Southend, discus 24.79m) and Olivia Bullis (Southend, hammer 39.11m).
Beauchamps School’s Mae Bullman jumped higher than she has ever done before to win a silver medal in the high jump (1.58m) with Southend’s Paige Hutchings winning bronze (1.49m).
Faridah Usman-Buhari and Elena Iruskieta are neck and neck in the junior girls 80m hurdles
FITZWIMARC School’s Gabrielle Quigley continued her fine season by winning the discus with a throw of 32.90m while Mayflower School’s Connie Forman was an agonising four centimetres away from the national standard as she won the long jump with a leap of 5.16m, finishing ahead of Charlie Bruce (Southend, 5.04m) who won silver.
There was a thrilling finish in the 75m hurdles where Southend pair Faridah Usman-Buhari and Elena Iruskieta could not be separated on the line. Both Usman-Buhari, from Westcliff High School for Girls, and Iruskieta, from Southend High School for Girls, finished in 12.08s and were both given silver medals.
Southend High School for Girls’ Hannah Badger won the high jump with a clearance of 1.43m while Sewa Adejoa (Southend, 10.10m) won bronze in the shot, one place ahead of Laura Runciman (CP&R 9.44m).
There were bronze medals for Southend’s Dolita Shaw in the 100m (13.20s) and Ashley Hart (CP&R) in the javelin (27.63m).
Uche Okafor winning gold in the Year 7 girls 200m
YEAR 7 GIRLS
SOUTHEND High School for Girls’ Uche Okafor highlighted her potential again by storming to a gold medal in the 200m in 27.33s while another Southend borough athlete, Abena Oteng, won bronze in the 100m (13.98s).
Basildon AC’s Kiera Bainsfair (Mid-Essex) won a silver medal in the 70m hurdles in 11.83s.
Maddie Condon (CP&R) won a bronze in the Year 7 girls long jump with a leap of 4.01m.
Eastwood School’s Felicity Galbally was the silver medallist in the Year 7 girls 600m (1m 48.55s).
Felicity Galbally won a silver in the Year7 girls 600m
CASTLE View School’s Levi Causton won the battle of Essex’s top hammer throwers and jumped to fourth in the national rankings with his huge throw of 59.41m, getting the better of Alex Reynolds (56.55m) and Billy Praim-Singh (Southend, 55.01m). All three will be hoping to do battle again in the colours of Essex at the English Schools Championships.
Another who looks to have booked his place in Birmingham for the English Schools is FitzWimarc School’s Michael Shields who ran the fourth fastest 100m hurdles time in the country this year to win gold in 13.43s. Shields’ Basildon AC team-mate Lewis Beard (Thurrock schools) was second in 13.97s and Aaron Mensah (Southend, 14.67s) third.
George Elliott (Southend, 4m 13.57s) won the 1,500m comfortably with Dan Ashley running well for silver (4m 20.66s), while Ollie Cantwell (Basildon) won a silver on his 1,500m steeplechase debut (4m 57.09s).
Parama Obi (CP&R) won an exciting high jump battle with Thurrock’s Joe Winn. Both athletes cleared 1.87m but Obi won on countback.
Parama Obi won gold in the high jump
Brandon Heath (Basildon) won the triple jump with a distance of 13.17m with Ben O’Donovan (CP&R) finishing third with 12.84m.
Another gold medallist from the Basildon borough was Atanas Stoichkov whose putt of 12.12m was unbeatable in the shot, while Harrison Smith (Southend, 3.30m) won pole vault gold ahead of Kareem Codabaccus (CP&R, 2.27m).
Keiran Pottle leapt out to 6.51m to win a silver medal in the long jump with Fluke Ladphanna (CP&R) winning bronze in 6.02m.
In the javelin, Kristian Brown won a silver medal (47.14m) ahead of Castle Point & Rochford team-mate Craig Maskell in bronze (43.53m).
Eastwood School’s Matthew Robinson won a silver medal in the discus (32.20m).
In the sprints, Aron Pollock was the silver medallist in the 200m (23.15s), De-Armani Shelton picked up a bronze in the 100m (11.64s), while Rhys Collings won bronze in the 400m hurdles (59.77s).
CASTLE Point & Rochford’s Adam Liddell had arguably the performance of the entire championships as he won the triple jump in a UK-leading distance of 12.76m, though Castle View School’s Victor Adebiyi could justifiably lay claim to that title too with his putt of 13.75m which won the shot in another distance that was the best in the country this year.
Finishing behind Abebiyi in silver and bronze medal positions were William Adeyeye (Thurrock, 13.21m) and Michael Buckley (Southend, 12.18m).
Albert Wilton (CP&R) was another to hit gold in the pole vault with a clearance of 3.20m ahead of Edward Hawney (Southend, 2.35m) and J Hedges (CP&R, 2.35m).
Mason Webb (Basildon) was the victor in the 1,500m (4m 21.29s) with Gus Withers (Southend) claiming bronze in 4m 29.28s.
Mason Webb leads Gus Withers in the 1500m
Sweyne Park School’s Rob Runciman picked up gold in the high jump (1.72m) with Sam Jones (Southend) finishing third with 1.66m, while Alex Skingle (Southend) won the hammer with a throw of 38.89m.
Scott Kingman (Southend) was the silver medallist in the 80m hurdles (12.05s), finishing one spot ahead of Tom Hayes (CP&R, 12.32m).
Mosope Oyelola (Southend) also won a silver medal in the 800m with a PB of 2m 3.24s while Louis Dunmore (Southend) won the same colour medal in the discus (34.84m) and Mason Daley (CP&R) the same in the 200m (24.31s).
Mosope Oyelola won silver in the 800m
Basildon’s R O’Connell picked up a bronze in the 300m (38.70s) and E Thompson (Basildon) a silver in the javelin (37.53m).
YEAR 7 BOYS
SOUTHEND’S THOMAS Farquharson stormed to the gold medal in the 75m hurdles, clocking an impressive 12.04s while Ethan Hussey (CP&R) just edged out Southend’s Michael Akhigbe in the long jump with Hussey reaching 4.85m to Akhigbe’s 4.82m.
Luca Albon (Southend) was the bronze medallist in the 800m (2m 22.81s), David Olusina was second in the shot (10.13m) and L Jackson, of Castle Point, won silver in the high jump (1.28m).