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UK Athletics

ESAA Sainsbury's English Schools' Champs - Day 1

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Field eventers Vikki Hubbard and James Campbell produced world-class performances on the opening day of the ESAA Sainsbury’s English Schools’ Championships at the Gateshead International Stadium on Friday 7 July.


On a day when the searchlights were all concentrating London 2012 prospects, 16-year-old high jumper Hubbard added a sensational 6cm to her lifetime best by clearing 1.88m while 18-year-old Campbell broke the Scottish Senior javelin record for the third time this summer by throwing 71.94m.


Both performances captured the imagination of the crowd towards the end of an action-packed day – and with good reason with the IAAF World Junior Championships in Beijing looming large: only five other Under 20 Women in the world have jumped higher than Hubbard and Campbell is now in the World Junior Top 10 javelin throwers.


First to congratulate Hubbard on her Senior Girls’ Championships Record was Michelle Dunkley, now the UK Athletics Senior Co-ordinator (Field and Combined Events) and one of the previous holders of the record, having cleared 1.87m in 1995. The common denominator is the coach: Graham Ravenscroft, who guided Dunkley to GB Junior status, has been looking after Hubbard since she was 11.


“I’m shocked,” smiled Hubbard, explaining that she had arrived this morning intent merely on improving her PB of 1.82m. “I thought 83. My coach said, ‘No, 84.’ I don’t really know what happened. But I felt in really good shape when I got up and the day just got better.”


So now she’s looking forward to the World Juniors in Beijing? “If I get selected,” she replied. “The Trials aren’t for another fortnight. If I get there, it will be a brilliant experience. But I’m not 17 til next week so I’m still young enough to go to the World Juniors in two years’ time. This one would be just a very good stepping stone.”


Not that 1.88m is a bad stepping stone for Grantham’s best-known female since Lady Thatcher. “Oh, my goodness,” smiles Hubbard, who is almost 1.76m tall, “it was way over my head!”


Her performance was the icing on the cake for a crowd that had been almost sated by a wonderful series of throws by Campbell in the Senior Boys’ javelin. Four of his six attempts flew beyond 70 metres and his sole regret was that he did not break the Championships record of 72.89m set by David Parker (North Yorkshire) in 1998, a few weeks before he won the World Junior title.


But there were good reasons why Campbell ‘only’ improved his PB and Scottish record to 71.94m. His coach, Carolyn Franks, who has looked after him since he was 13, explained: “He’s only just finished his A levels. His dad has been living and working in Scotland for the last two years and last Friday the family moved their home up there so James is lodging with his granddad in Cheltenham.


“This was his best series yet. But I’m not surprised. On Tuesday afternoon, we had the best series we had ever had in training at Cheltenham. We knew something special was there.


“He’s disappointed he hasn’t broken David Parker’s record but the important day to produce the goods will be in Beijing.”

And there were more good omens down the age groups. For examples…


  • Jordan Henwood (Cornwall) cleared 3.50m to win the Junior Boys’ pole vault – the same height at which Steve Lewis, now the Commonwealth Games Bronze medallist, earned the same title only six years ago.
  • A year after lowering Katharine Merry’s Junior Girls’ 100m record to 11.58 seconds, Ashlee Nelson (Staffs) won her Intermediate Girls’ 100m heat (wind: +0.4 m/s) in 11.82 seconds, within a hundredth of the Championships record set by Joscelynn Hopeson (Surrey) two years ago.
  • Chris Clarke (Bucks), who won the Intermediate Boys’ 400m in a Championships record of 47.55 seconds 12 months ago, cruised through the first round of his defence with a heat win in 48.84.
  • European 5000m Champion Emily Pidgeon (Gloucester AC) won her 1500m heat in 4:31.65 and might have the Championships record of Maxine Newman (Leicestershire) – 4:17.1 in 1989 – in her sights come the final on Saturday. After all, she already owns the Junior Girls’ 1500m Champs record at 4:27.70 in 2003.
  • The Junior Boys’ 100m record of 10.93 seconds run by Mark Lewis-Francis (West Mids) in 1997 looks in grave danger. In first round heats, Dijon Archer (London) clocked 10.96 seconds (aided by a +2.3 metres per second wind) and Tom Mosley (West Yorks) 10.98 seconds (pushed by a +3.1 m/s gust).


With most of the track finals being run on Saturday – when there will also be plenty more action in the field – the omens can only get better!


First day medallists…


Senior Boys


3000m: 1 Lee Carey (Warks) 8:31.68; 2 Craig Peters (Avon) 8:31.93; 3 Adam Hickey (Essex) 8:35.80.

Long jump: 1 Oliver McNeillis (Hereford and Worcester) 7.10 (wind: +0.5 m/s); 2 Francis Baker (Norfolk) 6.94 (+1.1); 3 Jamie Blundell (West Mids) 6.93 (-0.3).

Triple jump: 1 Jeremy Odametey (London) 14.67 (wind: -0.2); 2 Matthew Burton (London) 14.64 (+0.6); 3 Lanre Ali-Balogun (London) 14.41 (+0.1).

Shot: 1 Daniel Tinkler (Cambridgeshire) 16.13; 2 Dan Brunsden (Dorset) 15.50; 3 Paul Dawson (Kent) 13.77.

Javelin: 1 James Campbell (Gloucs) 71.94 (Scottish record); 2 Stuart Harvey (Kent) 63.12; 3 Richard Wooley (Notts) 58.63.

Senior Girls


High jump: 1 Vikki Hubbard (Lincolnshire) 1.88 (Championships record); 2 Sophie Hine (Warks) 1.75; 3 Lucy Hodgkins (Bucks) 1.72.

Long jump: 1 Gemma Weetman (Shropshire) 6.07 (wind: -0.4); 2 Dominique Blaize (Surrey) 5.90 (+1.0); 3 Hannah Frankson (Essex) 5.70 (-0.6).

Intermediate Boys


High jump: 1 Phil Collins (Durham) 1.99; 2 Cameron Lake (Bucks) 1.99; 3 Tsidi Dagadu (Surrey) 1.96.

Long jump: 1 Nonso Okolo (Middlesex) 6.86 (+1.4m/s); 2 Daniel Gardiner (West Yorks) 6.64 (-0.6); 3 Laurence Fitch (Warks) 6.60 (+0.6).

Triple jump: 1 Trevor Okoroafor (Surrey) 14.34 (wind: +1.8); 2 Daniel Lewis (Middlesex) 13.99 (-1.1); 3 Clive Bartlett (Warks) 13.90 (-1.5).

Shot: 1 Jamie Stevenson (Channel Islands) 15.55; 2 Kareem Imbert (Essex) 15.54; 3 Matthew Baptiste (Essex) 15.34.

Discus: 1 Curtis Griffiths-Parker (London) 48.09; 2 Lee Mathurin (Essex) 46.84; 3 Martin Bartholomew (Staffs) 46.74.

Hammer: 1 Peter Smith (Humberside) 67.69; 2 Sam Coe (Cumbria) 59.84; 3 Michael Jennings (Humberside) 54.65.

Javelin: 1 Daniel Pembroke (Bucks) 59.29; 2 Stephen Reynolds (Durham) 57.41; 3 Jamie Broadley (Hamps) 57.27.

Intermediate Girls


High jump: 1 Rebecca Pottinger (Durham) 1.74; 2 equal Katherine Connolly (West Mids) and Suzi Boast (Cambs) 1.65.

Pole vault: 1 Abigail Haywood (West Yorks) 3.55; 2 Jasmin Hicks (Cornwall) 3.35; 3 Rachel Amheim (Kent) 3.35.

Shot: 1 Rachel Wallader (West Mids) 12.26; 2 Suzie Scott (West Mids) 11.76; 3 Finesse Thompson (Essex) 11.38.

Discus: 1 Shaunagh Brown (London) 42.70; 2 Katie Wickman (Somerset) 37.78; 3 Jodie Jacobs (Sussex) 36.33.

Hammer: 1 Hayley Murray (Warks) 47.13; 2 Melissa Cooper (Kent) 45.88; 3 Vicky Johnson (Merseyside) 42.41.

Javelin: 1 Sarah-Anne Dekremer (Leics) 44.27; 2 Simone Huggins-Ward (West Mids) 39.29; 3 Jemma Tewkesbury (Dorset) 37.95.

Junior Boys


Pole vault: 1 Jordan Henwood (Cornwall) 3.50; 2 Tim Parkin (Northumberland) 3.20; 3 Thomas Gibson (Wilts) 3.10.

Javelin: 1 Harry Hollis (Leics) 49.27; 2 Georgie Bean (Essex) 48.15; 3 Stephen Light (Middlesex) 47.15.

Junior Girls


Discus: 1 Tyne Breen (Durham) 30.41; 2 Helen Broadbridge (Berks) 30.00; 3 Laura Baker (Manchester) 29.39.