On Monday 10th June at team of 41 Prep III-VI athletes participated in the ISA North Athletics Championships. The event was held at the magnificent Sports City in Manchester and events included sprints, distance runs, shot putt, cricket/rounders throws and high and long jumps. The relay teams had practiced rigorously for their event and in recent weeks Athletics Club on a Wednesday night had been full.
With 27 schools attending the event, qualification for any final was going to be a tough ask and a very notable achievement. Each sprint race had 54 competitors, making the task of qualifying even more of a challenge for our speedy youngsters. Jessica won her heat in style in the 150m event and went onto finish in a very impressive fifth place in the final. Luca C finished second in his heat and for the second year in a row, missed out on the final by less than 0.5 of a second. However, Alfie ran incredibly well to hold off all challengers to his 60m crown, to take the gold medal once more in this blue ribbon event.
In the 600m race, Tobias, Ellen, Jess, Lukee, Harrison, Molly, Jasmine and Thomas all produced great runs to get into the top 10 in their races. However, it was the Prep IV duo of Luca B and Alfie that once more led the way in their respective races. Luca led from the start in his race and looked to have sealed the win, only to be pipped at the post as he slowed down to cross the line. Alfie left nothing to chance in his race and set off like a train to blast all competition out of the water. Alfie romped home in 2mins 31 seconds to qualify for the National Finals in Birmingham next Wednesday. Luca will have an anxious wait to see if he too has qualified for the event.
In the high jump competition, Jessica and Owen jumped personal bests, whilst in the shot putt, Oliver and Florence also produced season beats. Ellen was defending her long jump title and was up against some talented competitors in the U11 event. She started off badly but her competitive spirit shone through and on her last attempt, leapt to 3m 51 to take first place!
In the cricket and rounders throwing events, Matteo was aiming to go one better than his fourth place last year in the Championships. However, the competition was fierce and he narrowly missed out on a medal, having thrown over 34 metres.
The relay teams were the last in action and it was the Prep IV boys’ and the girls’ team that produced the best performance for Bridgewater. The girls’ team featured Molly, Esme, Abigail and Jasmine and they finished in fifth place in the final for the second year in a row. The boys went one better in finishing in fourth place and next year the team of Alfie, Josh, Luca B and Luca C will be surely looking for a podium place.
Overall, it was a delight to see so many Bridgewater athletes enjoying the day and competing at such a wonderful venue. To win a title is a tremendous achievement but to defend it successfully is monumental and special praise must go to Alfie and Ellen for achieving this rare accolade.
The athletes all achieved faster times and longer throws and jumps that will go towards the ESSA Awards that we are currently completing. Please remember all Prep students have completed the scheme in PE lessons and need to bring in £2 to school to secure their certificate and badge. You can also catch all the Prep children in action at the Bridgewater Sports Day on Friday 28th June.