Six youngsters travel to Birmingham this weekend for the biggest competition of their careers to date, the English Schools Track and Field Championships.
The championships are the fourth biggest athletics event in the world, attracting many hundreds of athletes and are run to military precision.
This year, the Gloucester club is represented by Ellie Wheeler-Smith (Junior Girls 100 metres), Chloe Jones (Senior Girls discus), Ollie Keitley (Junior Boys triple Jump), Joel Townley (Inter Boys Triple Jump) and Rory Cawkwell (Senior Boys 200 metres).
Of these, only Townley has competed at the Championships before, placing 9th in last year’s triple jump final. This year, he goes to the event as the outstanding performer in the country having jumped a clear metre further than his rivals.
However, like every single competitor who shall be present, he knows that pre-competition form counts for nothing and he shall have to be at the very top of his game if he is to even win a medal.
Of the other City athletes travelling to Birmingham Ellie, Ben and Ollie are still in their first season of proper competitive athletics making their selection a remarkable achievement.
Rory is now in his third full season while Chloe’s selection comes as a fitting reward for many years of hard training and competing in what will be her last opport- unity to compete in the Championships.
Club spokesman Richard Blackwell says: “Competing at the English Schools Cham- pionship is the pinnacle of every young athletes’ career and these youngsters fully deserve the opportunity. Their work ethic and attitude is fantastic and we are all very pleased for them. We wish them the very best of luck.”
Joanne Willoughby continued her recent good form when she took a double victory in the Inter-Area Masters match at Solihull on Sunday. Competing for the Midlands team, the recently-crowned British Champion won the long jump in W50 4.63 metres and the triple jump in 9.78 metres. She was also a member of the Midlands team that won the 4 x 100m sprint relay.
The warm evening conditions clearly suit- ed Gloucester Athletic Club’s Jeremy Mower as he led his team mates home in Monday’s Frampton 10K road race, placing 12th overall and first M50 in 37:05
Behind him was newcomer Simon Mead- ows who, in his first 10k race, placed 15th in 37:26 while Max Sheppard continued his return to racing following a series of injuries by running his fastest-ever time when clocking 38:25 in 23rd place.
Matt Powell was next home, just creeping into the top 50 with a 41:04 clocking in 50th place, with Anna Midgley leading the Club’s ladies home when placing 79th in 43:30.
Clive Poole kept to his race plan and came away with a season’s best 44:01 in 87th place, while Amy Walker also ran her fastest 10k of the year as she clocked 44:07 in 91st place.
Tina Wickens was just four seconds outside her best time when placing 94th in 44:37, Lindsey Lyes placed 151st in 48:09 and Simon Barnes, treating the event as a training run, 369th in 59:42.
Also on the roads, Gloucester Athletic Club members came away from the final Aztec West Fast 5K road race of the summer with series wins in two age groups and a second place in another.
On the night, Jeremy Mower was the first Club runner, placing 36th overall and first M50 both on the night for the whole series in 17:49.
Arthur Daley was the second age group winner, placing 87th overall and first M65 on the night and for the series in 20:14 which was almost identical to the 20:13. 13 which he clocked in the British Mast- ers track event two days before.
Nicola Waters placed 154th overall and 3rd W55 on the night in 24:06, but her placing was good enough to clinch second place in her age group for the series.
One of the features of the series is the awarding of a ‘spot prize’ in each race. This time, the award went to Gary Fraser who placed 76th overall in a personal best time of 19:30, 33 seconds faster than his previous best mark.
SEVERN Athletic Club
Chris Brown missed his Five Kilometre personal best of 16:45 in the Bristol Aztec 5K but recorded a best placing in the race series.Finishing 19th in 16:58, his previous best placing was 23rd.
Returning to action Steve Hale was Severn’s next runner placing 84th in 20:07, Andy Brown(V55) was 88th in 20:24, Alex Jenkins was 100th in 20:47, Kevin Probyn (V45) improved his PB by two seconds when 132nd in 22:26, John James (V65) was 178th in 28:44 – 182 ran.
Severn 5K Parkrun performances were:
Crystal Palace: 6th Rich Brown 19:14 – 283 ran;
Gloucester North: 12th Neil Taylor(V45) 21:56, 14th Andy Brown (V55) 22:02 and 55th Sandra Brown (LV55) 29:02 – 121 ran;
Kingsway: 8th Chris Brown 19:18, 48th Kevin Probyn (V45) 22:58, 62nd Phil Reece (V50) 24:02, 80th George Scully (V65) 24:52 and 139th John James (V65) 27:52 – 296 ran.
In the Boddington 10K Severn placings were 19th Kevin Probyn (V45) 48:04 and 49th John James (V65) 59:49 – 64 ran.