Avon schools pipped in UK sports hall event

THE Avon Schools Under-13 boys team produced a magnificent performance to come within nine points of winning the UK title at the NEC in Birmingham against the other 11 regional UK winners.

THE Avon Schools Under-13 boys team produced a magnificent performance to come within nine points of winning the UK title at the NEC in Birmingham against the other 11 regional UK winners.They were just pipped by Birmingham, 1,357 to Avon's 1,348. They were one of four Avon Schools teams, which had won South West titles earlier in the year Local students from North Somerset featured in each of the teams at this prestigious final, hosted by Olympian Kelly Sotherton.James Lawrence (Worle) had a great day, taking three silver medals. In the vertical jump he reached 60 cms and after winning his heat in 21.8 in the two-lap, improved to 21.5 in the final for a silver medal. He then anchored the 4x2lap relay team to another silver, after taking the baton in fourth place, narrowly missing out in a dip finish to Birmingham.After training on Weston beach all week, Joe Smith (Worle) was magnificent in the shot and improved in each throw to record 10m99,just 1cm shy of second place.Calum Hannay (Backwell) became a UK champion when he teamed up with Josh Evans (Cotham) in the pairs eight-lap relay to win by five metres. He also finished fifth in the six-lap race.In the Under-13 boys team, all track runners made their finals, as did the relay teams and suddenly the prospect of a high team finish was on the cards. With 24 competitors in each individual event it meant a guaranteed top six finish for finalists. The Under-13 boys came within one place of winning the UK title, a tremendous effort.The Under-13 girls team finished in ninth place with nine members of the county team being from North Somerset schools.The one medal came from Rebecca Abbott (Backwell) who jumped a magnificent 55cms in the vertical jump. Other highlights were Molly Bridgeman's (Backwell) personal best in the high jump with 1.33m, for sixth place and Natasha Osgood's two-lap final place finishing sixth in 23.7.In the Under-15 event, Jake Fisher (Priory) took a bronze in his speciality event the speed bounce with 91 bounces, while Emma Smith (Backwell) also took bronze in the same event with 86. Other local athletes to compete well were Ashley Pierson who took a silver medal in the eight-lap pairs relay, and Olivia Withers (Gordano) who achieved a personal best in the standing long jump with 2m23.Mention must also be made of Francesca Allen (Nailsea) who came in at the last minute after Bristol athlete Callesia Brown had to pull out on the morning of the Final. Francesca ran determinedly in the two-lap and relays to help the team to a respectable position at this high level.The Under-13 team event was also won by Birmingham, to achive the double. Team managers Dave Turner and Sue Jones would like to thank all the athletes for the efforts and their parents and supporters for vocal encouragement, and support.


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