ATHLETICS: Loren strikes gold as county athletes shine in national championships (From Wiltshire Times)
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ATHLETICS: Loren strikes gold as county athletes shine in national championships
3:27pm Tuesday 10th July 2012 in Sport News
MARSHFIELD'S Loren Bleaken finally clinched gold at the English Schools’ Championships in Gateshead last weekend.
The 16-year-old Hardenhuish School student, who went into the race as a firm favourite, stamped her authority on the inter girls’ 800m to claim victory in a time of 2mins 07.23secs to add gold to her silver and two fourth places since 2009.
Bleaken’s victory was one of two gold medals won by Wiltshire athletes at the two-day meeting with the second coming from Sophie Merritt of Godolphin School, Salisbury.
She enjoyed a crushing victory in the junior girls’ shot throwing 13.31m, to finish over two metres clear of her nearest rival.
In addition to the two golds the county’s top young athletes also won two silvers and a bronze.
St Laurence School (Bradford on Avon) student Alex Carter bagged second place in the inter boys’ 3000m.
Carter is coached at Team Bath by Adrian Clover, who also coaches Bleaken, and he completed a clean set of medals as Katherine Turner of St Laurence School won bronze in the senior girls’ 1500m in 4:29.99.
The other silver was won by Dauntsey’s Nikko Hunt as the 14-year-old cleared 3.55 in the inter boys’ pole vault, equalling the personal best he set when lifting the Wiltshire title last month.
In the inter girls’ pole vault Dauntsey’s Clare Dyer, who lives in West Lavington, finished just 10cms off gold and silver and on the countback system missed out on the bronze as she and two others girls cleared 3.40m.
Devizes School athlete Emily Hutchinson was also tantalisingly close to the medal rostrum as she threw 10.45m for fifth in the inter girls’ shot, just 55cms off third place while Salisbury-based Lizzie Clifford was fourth in the inter girls’ 300m hurdles.
Matravers School sprinter William Kennedy took fifth place in a highly competitive junior boys’ 200m, the 14-year-old from Westbury clocking 25.35secs.
In the senior girls’ 3000m Sheldon School’s Alex Stainthorpe battled hard to finish fifth and was rewarded with a personal best of 10: 00.69.
On her English Schools’ track debut Sheldon School’s 14-year-old Gemma Shepherd, from Yatesbury, finished seventh in the final of the junior girls’ 1500m after clocking a personal best of 4:40.78 in the heats and going close to that again the next day.
Also in the pole vault former St Laurence school student Hannah Grubb, who lives in Hilperton and was competing for Avon, finished fourth in the senior girls’ event.
Aviva English Schools Championships, Gateshead
Senior boys HJ: 7= Jamie Poulton 1.86.
Inter boys – 3000: 2 Alex Carter 8:38.44.
Junior boys – 200: 5 William Kennedy 23.35 (hts 23.30); hts: Owen Harnett 23.56; 800hts: Jacob Platt 2:04.93; 1500: 12 Callum Bampton 4:19.98 (hts 4:18.22); PV: 2 Nikko Hunt 3.55.
Senior girls – 1500: 3 Katherine Turner 4:29.99; 3000: 6 Alex Stainthorpe 10:00.69; TJ: 14 Morgan Gascoigne 10.83.
Inter girls – 100: 8 Julia Cook 12.68; 800: 1 Loren Bleaken 2:07.23; hts: Alex Mundell 2:16.28; 1500: 10 Lillie Bellamy 4:42.41; 80H hts: Sophie Hay 11.9; 300H: 4 Lizzie Clifford 44.59; 5 Keeleigh Chapman 44.98 (hts 44.42); PV: 4=Clare Dyer 3.40; 16 Danielle Scott 2.80; SP: 5 Emily Hutchinson 10.45.
Junior girls – 100hts: Afeni Payne-Bonnick 12.67; 1500: 7 Gemma Shepherd 4:41.60 (hts 4:40.78); SP: 1 Sophie Merritt 13.31; DT: 18 Ellie Webb 21.80.
REACTION & PICTURES FROM THE ENGLISH SCHOOLS' CHAMPIONSHIPS IN THURSDAY'S GAZETTE & HERALD AND FRIDAY'S WILTSHIRE TIMES