KAYLEE Dodd brought the curtain down on her English Schools career with her fifth medal in as many appearances at the biggest event on the calendar of teenage athletes.
The 18-year-old produced a trademark last 200m to win a silver medal in the senior girls 800m and set a new personal best of 2m 6.44s in the process.
The Basildon AC athlete now has a collection of two golds and three silver medals to show off to her new team-mates at Oklahoma State University, where she is off to in under a month’s time.
“I’m so happy,” said Dodd. “I wanted to end it on a high. Of course, I wanted to win and make it three gold medals and two silvers but I ran a personal best and you can’t ask for any more than that.
Dodd had her family in the crowd in Birmingham panicking with 250 metres to go as she let athletes overtake her on the back straight, but she insists she had everything in control.
“I think my mum panicked at bit at that point,” Dodd laughed. “I was struggling a bit. My legs didn’t feel great all weekend but I was in control. I knew I could let them go past me and then kick with 150m to go.
“I don’t know what it is with English Schools that brings out the best in me. I always seem to perform. I had a little bit of a blip earlier in the season but I wasn’t worried because I know I always run well at these championships.
“I’ve always tried to peak for the championships and I think at least three out of the five years I have set PBs at English Schools. I just love the event and love the whole weekend.”
Dodd loves the competition so much she was in tears at the end of the weekend when she realised she had now outgrown the competition.
“Maureen (Quinn, one of the Essex team managers) made me cry,” Dodd said. “It was quite emotional. I will miss it so much though, being with the team and all the team managers.
It’s been a chapter of my life that I will never forget but that closes now and I’ve got another one in America. I’d love to go up and watch it as a fan next year though when I’m back from university.”