Athletics: Isobel finishes top of high-jump class

Top girl: Isobel Blake is getting used to life at the top of the podium after her success at the Independent Schools Association Championships.
Top girl: Isobel Blake is getting used to life at the top of the podium after her success at the Independent Schools Association Championships.

Isobel Blake was left jumping for joy when she won gold at the Independent Schools Association Championships at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

The 10-year-old goes to the Grove Independent School in Loughton and won the Year 5 national high jump final with a best leap of 1m 15cm.

She cleared every height at the first attempt, apart from the last which she managed convincingly on the second.

Isobel also competed in the 600m and finished in 6th place. She was running at the back of the field until the last 200m when she sprinted past eight runners to cross the line in 2 minutes 5 seconds.

That time was some way off Isobel’s personal best of 1 minute 58 seconds, which she had achieved to win the regional London North heat at the Bedford International Stadium last month.

In fact it has been a great season so far for Isobel, who lives in Caldecotte, as she was also a part of the successful U11 Buckinghamshire county team that won the South East Sportshall championship in January.

The Milton Keynes Athletic Club youngster is passionate about athletics and hopes to follow in the footsteps of club star Greg Rutherford by one day winning Olympic gold.

Meanwhile a total of 11 MK Athletic Club members have been selected to represent Bucks at the English Schools Championships.

They are: Naomi Greener, Archie Rippin, Ebony Carr, Lee Westley, Lucy Johnston, Jonathan Pownall, Emanuella Motta, Laura Zialor, Kayleigh Presswell, Dorothy Oduguwa and Laeken Impey.

Meanwhile club sprinter Craig Pickering was in 100m action at the International Meeting in Prague, recording 10.50s for 3rd in his heat and 10.57s for 6th in the final.

And a silver medal and new club M20 record was Freddie Curtis’ reward for his 69.48m throw in the javelin at the England Athletics U23/U20 Championships at Bedford, while Kayleigh Presswell was just out of the medals with a club record of 51.32m in the hammer.

A depleted team travelled to Chelmsford for round three of the Sweatshop Southern Athletics League, resulting in a disappointing 4th place.

The MK women were more successful than the men, but even they struggled on the day, especially on the track.

But among the highlights was a double win in the 100m by Joey Duck 12.2s and Alice Ritchie (F20) 13.5s. Joey then narrowly missed the league record by winning the 200m in a superb 24.5s.

Two 3rd places came in the 400m thanks to Alana Slater (F35) 64.4s and Katie James (F20) 67.5s, and there was a 2nd place in the B 1500m for Carly Scott 5m 38.0s.

Aother great win came in the 3000m for Lara Bromilow 10m 40.5s, with 2nd for Diane Baldwin (F55) 12m 13.4s. But a super double win in the 400m hurdles by Alice Ritchie (F20) 69.2s and Sophie Gibbens 77.5s was followed by another in the 1500m steeplechase as Sophie 5m 58.1s and Diane 6m 41.9s both won.

The Gibbens sisters paired up in the high jump as Rachel took top honours by clearing 1.55m, with Sophie in 2nd spot leaping 1.40m. And it was 2nd in the pole vault for F17 Laura Zialor 2.50m.

Two more 3rd places came in the long jump through Rita Twum (F20) 4.52m and Carly Scott 3.27m, and there was 1st in the triple jump from Laura Zialor (F17) 10.78m.

The shot putt yielded a 3rd for Rita 8.27m, while in the hammer Laeken Impey (F17) won with 42.91m and Rachel Gibbens came 3rd, throwing 21.89m. In reverse order the pair claimed 3rd in the javelin as Rachel threw 22.35m and Laeken 19.92m, and finally the 4x100m relay squad won in a time of 53.3s.

The men really struggled with very few podium places, although there were still a few great moments, especially the double win in the 500m from Marcin Fudalej 15m 38.0s and Tom Comerford 15m 49.9s.

They also had unexpected success in the 400m hurdles with 1st from Moritz Zwerger 58.2s and 2nd for Steve Tuttle 68.8s, who added a 3rd in the 2000m steeplechase, taking 6m 39.2s. And there was a 3rd also in the 200m from Nick Williams (M20) 23.6s.

In the field events Chuko Cribb (M20) claimed 1st in the triple jump 13.85, 2nd in the long jump 6.17m and 3rd in the high jump 1.75m, with 3rs in the hammer from Mark Roberson 45.30m.

And the Southern Men’s League team faired no better, finishing 4th on their trip to Erith, and sadly they remain firmly fixed to the bottom of the table.