By William Kearsey

The 2015 Schools Championships were held at King’s Park on Saturday 14th June. Although the manure remained deposited next to the track, air quality was much improved on the County Championships of three weeks earlier. There was still the occasional agrarian aroma which was caught on the wind and blown across the venue, giving an air of authenticity from a Dorset farmyard setting one may expect to find in a Thomas Hardy novel.

The first two finishers from each discipline at the County Schools for Junior, Intermediate and Senior levels usually progress to the Regional Schools Championships, to be held next Saturday at Exeter against Cornwall, Devon, Somerset, Avon, Gloucestershire and Wiltshire. A limited number of places are sometimes available to those finishing 3rd  . Athletes are only able to compete in two disciplines at county and regional level.

As Year 7s do not progress further, they have been given first mention here. Yasmin Bridet won the 100m with Elle Ward coming 2nd. Elle went one better in the 200m, winning the event. Not to be out done, Yasmin Bridet won the 70 hurdles with a Championship Best Performance of 11.4, and Hollie Yule was 2nd. Also not to be outdone, Hollie came equal 1st in the High Jump. Unfortunately BAC Boys had no top two finishers.

Junior Girls saw Gemma Kennard have a magical few moments that make the days of hard winter training seem so worthwhile. Having won the High Jump just short of English Schools Standard, she hurriedly changed spikes and within seconds sped off down the track to win the 100m, with Izzy Wedderburn coming 2nd. Izzy then won the Long Jump. In 75m Hurdles Amelia Dobson won, with Hollie Lowther 2nd, meaning they will recommence battle on the track at Exeter.

Intermediate Girls saw Charlotte Sidaway finish 2nd in the 100m. Bridget Dence, with little training due to her studies and exams, blew away the cobwebs to win the 1500m. Olivia Galloway finished 2nd in 80 Hurdles with a time just outside English Schools Standard. High Jump saw Verity Cowell come 2nd. Long Jump saw Olivia Galloway win by knocking Madeleine Smith off top spot with her last jump. Madeleine already had the satisfaction of earlier winning the Triple Jump with a jump well in excess of English Schools Standard distance. Danielle Broom won Discus with an English Schools Standard throw. In Hammer she reached National Standard and broke the Championship Best Performance with a distance of 51.88 metres.

Angel Kerin was agonisingly close to the National Standard, winning Senior Girls Triple Jump with 11.36m. Rosie Wootten won High Jump with 1.60m.

Junior Boys had no BAC members finishing in the top 2 positions.

Intermediate Boys saw Lewis Sainval finish 2nd in the 800m and finish well clear of all challengers to win the 1500m, making sure he would definitely be making his first trip to Exeter Arena. Patrick Sylla won the Long Jump with a National Standard distance. Jack Howlett came first in the Shot with an English Schools Standard putt despite carrying an arm injury. Ben Dickinson maintained his good form with a win and English Schools distance despite being hampered by the blustery conditions.

In Senior Boys, Ben Arnold finished 2nd in an English Schools time of 11 seconds. Muiris Egan won the 400m. Jamie Williamson came 2nd in the High Jump, thus ensuring a scenic drive through the Dorset and Devon countryside. In the past Jamie has competed for Hampshire and travelled to such exotic spots as Erith along the M3 and M25. Matthew Ridge won both Shot and Discus, the former with a National Standard putt of 14.36.

Meanwhile in the Hampshire Schools Championships, Iona Sheerin came 2nd in the Intermediate Girls High Jump.

Congratulations to all those selected (and hopefully accepting the invitation) to represent Dorset at Exeter. Commiserations to those who didn’t make it to the next level and better luck with the rest of the season, which is only half way through it’s calendar. Well done to the coaches who give their time and effort 3 or more times a week throughout the year, and to the parents and carers. Finally, thank you to the officials, judges and starters.

Apologies if I have missed anyone in the report. If this is the case, please let me know if this is the case, so I can change it.