SEAA U15/U17 Championships – Ashford 15/16 Aug 2015

The long haul to Ashford for the Southern Champs is always tiring and was doubly so this year with athletes in the first event on both days. A 5 o’clock wake up call followed by a 2 hour+ drive there and then a 3 hour+ drive back (both days!! – thanks M25!!) would inevitably take its toll you would think. NOT SO - Championships are fast becoming de rigueur for Alice Hopkins and Luisa Chantler Edmond.

After last years 3 medals (Alice Bronze in the long jump and Luisa Silver in the shot and Bronze in the discus) the girls knew they were well placed to repeat this year. Alice faced UK number 1 Holly Mills (Andover) in the long jump and Holly would prove too hot to handle as she jumped to a new CBP of 6.29 mts to go 4th on the UK all time list. Alice was solid in her jumps and had a great sequence topping it of with a silver medal winning 5.45 mts. Luisa was not only up against the UK no 1 in the discus but also numbers 2 and 3 – it was not going to be easy to repeat last year’s bronze but she did with the backdrop of yet another CBP by Sophie Mace (Walton). Luisa also faced UK number I Divine Oladipo (Blackheath and Bromley) in the shot. The competition was very subdued with all parties throwing well under par. No doubt something to do with the 10-30 am start! Divine duly won with a modest 13-71 mts and Luisa won the silver with a 12.41 mt throw. Alice was 6th with 10.80 mts.

With three major national events left (English National individual events, Sainsbury’s School Games and the ESAA Combined event finals) it was important to put a marker down to instil confidence. So job done one medal better than 2014 and onward to the inter counties next weekend!!

Pete O’Keefe

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