Sidmouth College athletes double up at nationals

PUBLISHED: 10:00 24 July 2009 | UPDATED: 09:44 18 June 2010

Sidmouth College had two representatives at the English Schools Track and Field Championships held at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.

Sidmouth College had two representatives at the English Schools' Track and Field Championships held at the Don Valley Stadium in Sheffield.

The two day event is the climax of the Schools athletics season and the entry standards and limited places allocated to each County ensure that only the best in the country take part. The importance of the event on the athletics calendar is reflected by the four hours of live coverage on the Saturday by Sky Sports television.

Julia Walkden, a discus specialist, has been competing at this level ever since 2006 in the Under-15 category. In 2007 she just missed out on a medal but brought home the Under-17 Gold the following year with a throw of 37.30m and was selected for the English team to take part in the Schools' International.

This year, having again moved up to the first year of a new age category, she took third place with a throw of 41.25, which puts her in seventh place in the UK Under-20 rankings despite being the youngest of the top ten. More honours are sure to follow for this dedicated athlete.

Sixteen-year-old Byron Fitzgerald was taking part for the second year in his favourite 400m hurdles event. Last year he was eliminated in the heats, but this time a personal best of 56.24 secured his place in the final. Perhaps it was over enthusiasm that then saw him knock over two hurdles and lose his stride pattern, but the resultant 57.20 in the finals kept him out of the medals. His objective had, however, been achieved and he has moved up into eighth place in the UK age group rankings. Next year his challenge will be to cope with the higher hurdles used by the Senior men.


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