There were silver medals for Mollie Courtney and Annabel Sherry and bronze medals for Chris Bell-Hartley and Melissa Bird as Cheltenham Harriers athletes excelled at the English Schools Championship in Birmingham. Going into the championship Courtney was lying sixth in the under 17 80m hurdles national rankings with a legal 11.6 second clocking and a wind assisted best of 11.55. The Dave Warner coached athlete won her heat in 11.59 before setting a new legal pb and club record of 11.52 to win her semi-final. In the final Courtney’s time of 11.73 into a strong headwind earned her second spot, a first national medal and an England vest for the upcoming British schools international match.
Competing in the under 19 shot, last year’s under 17 champion Sherry claimed yet another national medal with a putt of 12.71m to take silver behind Berkshire’s Danielle Opara. Bell-Hartley was another 2012 champion who had moved up an age group and he made an excellent start to his championship with a new personal best and club record of 13.44 seconds in his under 17 100m hurdles heat. The fifteen year old then showed great consistency the following day by claiming bronze in the final with a 13.45 clocking. The fourth Harriers medal came in the under 15 girl’s discus where Melissa Bird added 37cm to her own personal best and club record to take claim bronze with a throw of 34.42m, her first national medal. Fellow Carolyn Franks coached athlete Beck Phillips placed eighth in the under 15 boy’s discus with a distance of 37.14m.
Ian Moore placed ninth with 5.86m in the under 19 long jump, whilst in the same age group Mia O’Connell came tenth in the 1500m in 4:45.39. In the under 17 age group Linton Gardiner finished ninth in the high jump with a 1.87m clearance and Imran Qureshi placed tenth in the long jump with 6.33m, his furthest jump without an illegal following wind. Harry Mahoney ran a time of 1:59.09 to qualify for the 800m semi-finals where he finished seventh in his race in a time of 2:00.35 whilst Sophie Yorke ran 12.5 seconds in her 100m heat before placing eighth in her semi-final with 12.79. Megan Bishop finished fifth in her 300m hurdles heat in 47.41 seconds.