Selection for a County Schools team is the pinnacle of achievement for young athletes. Qualifying standards are very high and ensure only those at the top of their particular events are in contention.
The Chiltern athletes competing were James McCarthy (Bucks Schools Senior Boys 1500m), Will Perkin (Bucks Schools Intermediate Boys 1500m), Hannah Thear (Bucks Schools Intermediate Girls 800m), and Scarlett Wager-Leigh (Herts Schools Intermediate Girls 800m).
James had a long wait until Saturday afternoon for his straight final of the Senior Boys 1500m. This was James’s fifth English Schools championships. Always being involved in finals, James won the bronze medal in the Inter Boys 800m three years ago and hopes were high that he could place highly again. In a very tactical race, James followed a break with a lap to go but couldn’t quite stay with the leader, nevertheless earning a well-deserved silver medal. His time was 4.01.76.
Will Perkin had a heat on Friday morning of the Inter Boys 1500m. In his third English Schools, Will had narrowly missed making the final in previous years. This time though, Will ran strongly to place second in his heat and earn a place in Saturday morning’s final. There, in another tactical race, Will ran well but couldn’t quite match some of the others’ last lap speed, finishing a creditable eighth in 4.07.36.
Scarlett and Hannah were in consecutive heats of the Inter Girls 800m on Friday afternoon. Scarlett was a late call-up for Herts Schools, and was delighted to be taking part in her first championships. In heat two, despite being spiked, Scarlett ran a good race to finish sixth in a solid time of 2.18.48. Hannah was in heat three and was eighth in 2.30.45.