To win a medal at the English Schools track and field championships is one of the greatest accomplishments that a young athlete can ever hope to achieve. Last Saturday four Dartford Harriers athletes achieved that feat each winning English Schools silver medals and it was all done in less than an hour.
The medal haul began at 2 pm when Inter Girl, Emily Newnham, ran a superb 300-metre hurdles race finishing second in a time of 43.68 seconds. It was her first-ever English Schools track championships and she was overjoyed to pick up a medal.
Only 25 minutes after Emily’s race, Kaliyah Young took to the track in the final of the Inter Girls 200 metres final. She ran a fabulous race but was narrowly pipped for the gold by just 0.08 seconds running a time of 24.29. She was disappointed at being beaten by such a narrow margin, meanwhile, at the same time out in the throwing arena, Kai Barham was showing a different emotion, he was in absolute delight as he had just thrown a lifetime best of 45.55m to take the silver medal in the Junior Boys hammer. For someone who had only taken up throwing a year ago, this was a huge achievement, this was also his first English Schools athletics championships.
Kai walked out into the stadium to receive his medal some 20 minutes later, just as Maisy Rose was finishing the final of the Inter Girls 1500 metres steeplechase. It was an exciting race with some athletes falling after hitting barriers. Rose, again in her first English Schools, ran a lifetime best of 5 minutes 7.76 seconds to take the silver medal. She was so overwhelmed that she spent the next 30 minutes in tears of delight.
Emily Newnham, Kaliyah Young, and Maisy Rose will now go on to represent England at the Schools International Athletic Board meeting in Swansea next week. All of them earning their first international vests as the first two athletes in each event in the Inters age group get picked to represent their country. They all said that they felt privileged to be picked to represent England and will be excited to perform in their England kit next week which they will wear with pride.
Report written by Jason Marchant.