English Schools’ Athletics Association Combined Events

English Schools’ Athletics Association Combined Events

Last weekend saw the regional finals of the English Schools’ Athletics Association Combined Events, with 3 BRAT Junior athletes in attendance.   U17 Isabelle Carruthers and U15 Robert Lee were sporting the red of West Midlands Schools, whilst  U15 Evie Rendell was in the yellow of Warwickshire Schools.  The competition was held at Moorways Stadium in Derby over a very warm and muggy weekend.

U15’s complete a Pentathlon (80m Hurdles, Shot Put, Long Jump, High Jump and 800m) and U15 boys were up first on the Saturday.  This was Robert’s first ever Pentathlon and he started strong with a 12.35s PB in the Hurdles putting him in 4th place.  His Shot Put wasn’t quite a PB but still moved him up to 3rd place.  This was followed by some difficult jumping where he struggled to find his form in both his Long Jump and High Jump.  However, he did what was needed, getting legal jumps (off the wrong leg) in Long Jump and getting over the bar in the High Jump to put himself into 8th place before the last event.   

It is worth mentioning that at this point the West Midlands U15 boys team had been in the lead by approximately 600 points all day and so were most likely guaranteed a spot in the final, as all members of the winning team go through.  It was also lovely to see how the boys had supported each other all day, despite usually competing for rival teams.  Knowing that he likely had a team spot in the final wasn’t enough for Robert , he was determined to prove himself in the 800m and that’s exactly what he did, coming in second.  His well timed running had him finish in 4th overall with a club record of 2074 points and his West Midlands Schools’ team have made it to the finals in Bedford in September.

U17 girls complete a Heptathlon over 2 days  (80m Hurdles, High Jump, Shot Put, 200m, Long Jump, Javelin and 800m), so Izzy had a gruelling weekend of competing.  Izzy’s U17 girls team also only had 2 members, so they had to compete as individuals to get to the final  which added an extra layer of difficulty.  Izzy started well in a competitive field with a good hurdles run putting her in 7th place.  High Jump was a challenge, but she got a scoring jump and moved into 8th place.  Shot Put saw her get a PB of 9.16m and move back into 7th place; this was followed by her last event of Day 1, a strong 200m to leave her in 7th place.

Day 2 didn’t start as well as Izzy would have liked, but she did get a legal Long Jump which moved her back into 8th place.  This was followed by a Javelin PB throw of 19.72m which kept her position in the Heptathlon.  All she had to do now was run the best 800m of her life, which she did, finding the energy for a final kick to get a PB of 3.06m.  This left her in 9th position overall, so no place in the finals but a fantastic PB of 2937 pts.

Last up, but by no means least, was Evie completing her Pentathlon on the Sunday.  Again, we had a strong start in the Hurdles, this time with not only a PB of  12.53s but also a club record!  Evie’s Shot Put wasn’t quite a PB, but did enough to keep her up in 2nd place.   High Jump was probably the toughest event of the weekend, but yet again points were scored by getting over the bar and this left Evie in 4th place.  Long Jump was more successful, with her achieving another PB of 4.78m; quite an achievement for the 4th event of the day and it took her back up to 3rd place.

Again, it is worth mentioning how well the U15’s worked as a team, warming up together and supporting each other.  (It helps that this is the second year that they have competed together so they knew each well.)  Like the West Midlands boys team from the day before, the Warwickshire girls had been in the lead all day but Evie still wanted to give it her all in the 800m.  She left everything that she had on the track to maintain her 3rd place (with 1st and 2nd going to her Warwickshire team mates), getting a PB and club record of 2479pts. For Evie this is the second year in a row that she has made it to the English Schools’ Athletics Association Combined Events finals in September; quite an achievement!

All 3 BRAT’s did themselves their clubs and coaches proud.  They challenged themselves to achieve PB’s, overcome mental blocks in their least practiced events, show good sportsmanship and pushing all the way to the finish line in their final events.  Let’s hope they inspire some of the younger athletes to try combined events!

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