With the athletes taken to this event having to achieve a fast qualifying time or long distance, we already knew that the standard would be high before we even began. In addition to the high standards, there was also the searing heat in the athletics stadium to contend with – when competing it was a struggle to stay in the shade. Up in the very first round of events was Sophie competing in the 1500m and although nervous as she was competing against athletes a year older she showed a great maturity in her run. It was fabulous to see her cross the finish line in 2nd place in a time of 5m48s to gain selection for Nationals.

At the same time Arjun and Kanav were competing in the boys’ high jump. Both had a steady set of jumps with Kanav achieving a leap of 1m20.

Next up was the 100m heats for both boys and girls with the top six times from the heats getting to the final. With strong athletes in the sprint competitions it is always hard to get to a final and with times for Riah of 16.7s, Elaine of 16.5s and Vivek of 15.3s we only had Silas left. With a time of 15.3 Silas qualified for the final later in the afternoon where he came 4th and ran quicker with a time of 15.0s.

Next came the girls competing in the high jump and whilst Isabella was hugely disappointed with herself she will use the event to grow and develop as an athlete and continued to support her team as Elaine came 4th with a jump of 1.15m.

Next to set off was Anna and set off she did as she completed her first lap of the 800m in just over 1 minute. Although, the other runners started to wind her in, her pure grit and determination to win was not decreasing as she won the 800m a year young with a fabulous time of 2m48s and also qualified for Nationals.

Back to the sprinting and the 200m was well represented with Riah running 33.8s, Remy 31.2s and Jack qualifying for the final with an amazing 29.9s; he also came 2nd in the final and qualified for the National Finals.

Remy also competed in a field event as he took to the runway for the long jump and after several practices the competition started and he managed to claim 2nd place with a leap of 4m10 and again gained a place in the National finals. Meanwhile, Vivek was waiting for his final throw in the shot put, laid in third place and knowing he had to throw another 15cm to take second. After managing another throw of over 7m he just fell short with his best put being 7m15.

Having waited patiently all day to run and the heat becoming unbearable James set off in the start of his 800m race. He led from the start and surprisingly was pushed all the way with another runner on his shoulder. As James decided to go early from approx 230m out, he started widening the gap, and with 100m to go it was clear that James was going to win as he continued to hold his form through the line running an incredible 2m.26.

All of the pupils who competed should be incredibly proud of themselves for their achievements and I wish the athletes well as they go on to compete for Mercia at Prep Schools National Athletic Championships in July.

Mrs Bennett and Mr Gregory