IT has been a summer of firsts for Trowbridge high jumper Tom Gale but even he was taken aback by winning his first senior medal at the England Athletics Championships, writes Kevin Fahey.

By rights, the 17-year-old, who is 10th in the UK senior rankings with his recent personal best of 2.18m, shouldn’t have ended up on the podium, but apart from 26-year-old Mike Edwards, who boasts a lifetime best of 2.25m, that is exactly what Gale did.

He ended up in the silver medal position – matching the medal won at the England U20 Championships last month at the same Bedford stadium to book his World Juniors ticket – winning his first senior medal and continuing an amazing summer.

“I found it quite hard to get into the situation at Bedford and put myself under pressure and get the adrenalin flowing,” said Gale.

“To go from a massive competition like the World Juniors in Poland to Bedford was hard and it was difficult to get pumped up for it.

“I think I was almost too relaxed really but it was a nice surprise to finish second and it wasn’t a bad day.”

Gale was disappointed to jump only 2.10m but that is a measure of how far he has progressed this year that his expectations are now so high. In 2015 he was still 5cms shy of reaching that level let alone being underwhelmed with clearing it.

“I would have liked to have jumped higher but it is the back end of the season now and there won’t be many PBs around,” added Gale.

Fourteen-year-old Will Browne, from Trowbridge, won the U15 boys long jump with 5.52m, which added two centimetres to his PB, which he set last year for Team Bath AC in the latest Avon Track & Field League meeting in Gloucester on Sunday.

Hilperton’s Rory Howorth was runner-up with 5.31m but back on the track he romped to victory in the 1500m in 4:11.3 with clubmate Justin Davies in second clocking 4:34.1 Marcin Olech and Jake Nickerson matched that double in the U17 men’s event with 5.65m and 5.59m respectively and Jenna Blundell (1.55m) and Renee Jelf (1.45m) also secured a one-two in the U17 women’s high jump.

Other Team Bath winners were Phoenix Witchard in the U15 girls’ shot (7.62m), Nynka Rucker in the U13 girls’ 800m (2:37.2) and India Ibbotson in the U15 girls’ 800m in 2.29.7.

Also earning top spot places were Letitchia Faulknor (U17s 100m, 13.2secs), Jessie Davies (senior high jump, 1.40m), Becci Ousby (U17s triple jump, 10.25m), Char Burkey (senior women’s shot, 6.98m), Lawrence Martindale (U13s 1500m, 5:00.3) and Imam Qazi (veterans’ 100m, 12.4secs).

Second places went to Blundell (U17s 200m, 26.6secs and shot, 9.09m), Caitlin Wosika (U17s 800m, 2:27.1), Browne (100m, 11.8secs and 200m in 24.6secs), Oli Sydenham (U15s 300m, 41.0secs), Nickerson (U17s 400m, 54.6secs), John Howorth (400m, 55.0secs), Jordan Earley (senior long jump, 5.75m) and Robert Jedrzejczak (U17s hammer, 25.60m and javelin with 38.10m) as Team Bath finished second overall on 971 points.