There were seven Chiltern Harriers taking part in the biggest meeting of the season for juniors, the English Schools Track and Field Championships, held this year at Sportcity, Manchester. All bar one were competing for Buckinghamshire Schools, one for Middlesex Schools. Warm sunshine made for great conditions.
All did well and the highlight was second place in the Inter Boys 800m for Oakley Denson. The first two in the Intermediate age group events are offered the chance to represent England in the SIAB meeting the following Saturday, so Oakley is off to Belfast next weekend to do that.
Oakley was in a tough heat on the Friday, comprising all three athletes at the top of the rankings. Fortunately all three made it through to Saturday’s final with Oakley logging 1.56.42. In the closing straight in that final it was those three again that contested the places and Oakley, who was always well placed, finished strongly to secure second and his ticket to Belfast. His time was 1.54.07.
Also in Inter Boys 800m was Isaac Jessop-Tranter, who ran well in his heat to record 1.58.35, fourth place and two hundredths off his PB, but not enough to make the final. Lily Jessop-Tranter got a late call up to run Junior Girls 800m and gained her first experience of a meeting at this level. Lily was outside her recently set best and was tenth in her heat in 2.25.10. Tom Emery was selected for Senior Boys 1500m for Middlesex Schools and ran well to record 4.02.49 for tenth in his heat, not enough for the final but a great effort in his first English Schools Championships.
On the Saturday the remaining Chiltern athletes were all involved in straight finals. First up was Thomas Redmond who ran well to be 16th in Inter Boys 3000m in 9.05.08, just outside his recently set best. Immediately after that Maddie Hughes ran well for seventh in Inter Girls 3000m, gaining a PB of 10.05.83. Frankie Baxter continued her progress in a new event for her, running a PB of 5.18.84 to be sixth in Inter Girls 1500m steeplechase.
All the athletes enjoyed their experience of top level athletics.