Bedford students shine at the English Schools Athletics Championships

Image: Alex Alston & Dan Jarvis (Bedford & County AC)

Manchester SportCity played host to the English Schools Athletics Championships at the weekend, with Bedford students getting in on the act in a successful weekend for the Borough’s shining athletic lights.

Covid restrictions were still in place for the coveted national meeting, so only sixteen athletes were invited to compete in each event.

With a small team of just seven athletes across the Bedfordshire team, six of them came from the Bedford and County Athletics Club, with the team securing three bronze medals in the national competition.

Stephen Simmonds, representing Bedford School, took third place in a dramatic 110 metre hurdles race, securing bronze and a new personal best time of 14.35 despite striking three hurdles along the way.

His effort was matched by Etienne Maughan (Bedford Girls School), who ran 11.23 in winning bronze; running a new club record once again, beating her 11.26 ran only a few weeks ago.

The triumvirate of bronze medalists was completed by Gracie Wall, who cleared 1.65 metres in the Inter Girls High Jump, narrowly missing out on silver due to the countback rule.

In her first competition since a serious ankle injury, it was an impressive return from the Samuel Whitbread School student on the national stage.

Both Etienne Maughan and Gracie Wall have both been named as first reserves for the England Team in the Schools International meeting, rewarding their fine form of late.

Jasmine Wilkins and Daniel Forbes-Harding, both representing Goldington Academy, also ran close to their lifetime bests in solid runs in their respective events on their first national outing.

Jasmine was fourth in the Inter Girls 100 metres “B” final, in a time of 12.35 seconds, whilst Daniel ran 23.03 seconds also for fourth in the Inter Boys 200 metres “B” Final.

Elsewhere, Leonie Brunning (St Thomas More) took sixth place in the Senior Girls High Jump, whilst Zack Grinsted (Ashcroft) also placed sixth with 42.75 metres in the Inter Boys Discus.

Meanwhile, Alex Alston (photo), did not take part as planned, while he pursues European glory in Tallinn, Estonia as he competes in the European Junior Championships this week.

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