National athletics medals for city kids

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THERE were two silver and two bronze medals at the Aviva English Schools Track & Field Championships in Gateshead for Marshall Milton Keynes Athletic Club.

The Junior Boys javelin was particularly lucrative with silver for Jonathan Pownall with his 49.57m throw, and Redford Curtis who earned bronze with his 48.70m effort.

The javelin brought the second silver medal, this time in the Intermediate Boys competition when Freddie Curtis launched to an impressive 66.02m. Bronze number two came in the Intermediate Girls hammer event as Kayleigh Presswell threw 42.87m.

Commiseration goes to Senior Girl Beth Swords who finished 4th in the 3000m final with a time of 10m 01.36s. Also doing well was Junior Boy Daniel Oderinde who made the 100m semi final for 5th spot in 11.58s after recording 11.4s in his heat.

In the Intermediate Boys 1500m heats, Sam Redding was 11th (4m 11.23s) ahead of 14th place Josh Josh Knight (4m 22.47s). In the shot Lewis Barnes was 11th with a best throw of 12.81m.

In the Senior Boys triple jump it was 11th for Chuko Cribb with a new personal best of 13.79m. Jackson Curtis finished 6th in the javelin with 56.21m and Sam Ridgway came 5th in the hammer with 58.31m.

For the Intermediate Girls the 100m heat brought 6th for Alice Ritchie (13.1s), while it was 4th in the 800m for Rebecca Davies in 12.45s. In the 1500m heat Jasmine Finlay was 4th in 4m 42.24s and 9th went to Jade Leggett (4m 57.60s). Jasmine progressed to the final where she took 12th spot in 4m 44.64s. In the Senior Girls 1500m final Elle Roche was 10 in 4m 58.62s.

The English Schools Championships was particularly successful for javelin thrower Jonathan Pownall as he announced himself as one of Britain’s brightest young athletes by claiming hsi silver medal.

The 13-year-old St Paul’s Catholic School pupil cleared 49.57m to take to the podium at an event which has previously launched the careers of several high profile athletes, including Olympic and Commonwealth champion sprinter Mark Lewis-Francis.

Hampshire’s Joseph Brown took gold in the javelin event with a throw of 51.26m and Redford Curtis, representing Oxfordshire, claimed the bronze with 48.70m, leaving Pownall to toast a job well done.

“I’ve been doing javelin for about a year and that was one of my best results,” said Pownall. “I’m happy with my performance. I threw 51 before so 49.57 was a good throw, but I just wish I’d been able to go a little bit further.

“I just really enjoy the sport, and if I can win some medals along the way that will be a bonus.”

Along with Lewis-Francis, the Schools competition was also where Olympic 400m bronze medallist Katharine Merry cut her teeth. And she is adamant that Pownall will have benefited enormously from his silver medal-winning experience at a packed out Gateshead International Stadium.

She said: “For Jonathan this is the be all and end all. If he can perform to the best of his ability in front of a big crowd and live television, it’s clearly a confidence booster.

“I remember thinking after I won a medal that I’m the best school child in the whole of England, and that really rubberstamps their potential.

“You can’t put a price on the confidence that brings. When you look down the list of past record holders you can see that this competition produces world champions and you just don’t know how many of this group will go on to make a name for themselves.”

>> The javelin proved to be the main event of the week with Michael Cox throwing 58.65m and Jonathan Constantinou 47.80m at the Javelin Carnival in Pihtipudas, Finland,

Also in Finland but at the International Meeting in Nokia, Mervyn Luckwell won the javelin competition with a throw of 68.90m.

In Cambridge, Laurent Stephenson (M20) 49.07m was 3rd in the javelin at the Oxford & Cambridge versus Harvard & Yale match.

>> It was yet another tough day at the top as MIlton Keynes AC’s UK Women’s League Division One team struggled again in their second match at Hendon.

Even Joey Duck just about made the podium with 3rd in the 100m (11.87s) and 2nd in the 200m 24.24s, which was faster than the time she ran to take the England title a week earlier.

The highlight of the day for the team was in the hammer with a great win for Andrea Jenkins throwing 50.99m, and while Emma Beales was 5th, she did set a new personal best distance of 22.79m. There was also a PB in the 3000m when Lara Bromilow was 2nd taking 9m 56.23s and Di Baldwin came 5th in 13m 40.20s.

In the discus Emma and Andrea were back together, claiming 3rd and 5th with throws of 43.46m and 34.65m respectively.

It was 4th for Rachel Gibbens in the pole vault after she cleared, and there were 5th places for Katie James in the 400m, Alana Slater in the 800m and Jessica Balderston in the 100m hurdles.

A special mention also goes to Katryna Hardcastle who finished 8th in the 400m hurdles, but set a new PB of 76.28s.

>> At the East Anglian Schools Combined Events competition held in Peterborough, Rebecca Davies was 7th in the Intermediate Girls heptathlon, recording; 80m hurdles in 12.1s, high jump 1.35m, shot 5.22m, 200m 27.5s, long jump 4.97m, javelin 20.63m and 800m in 3m 09.0s for a total 3257 points.