The Shropshire Schools Athletics Championships provided an opportunity for boys to get officially recorded at their best events, with the chance of progressing through to the ‘Mason Trophy’ regional round, and then potentially to the national final in July.
We took around twenty boys across the three age groups – U15 (Third Form), U17 (Fourth and Fifth Forms) and U20 (Sixth Form). They are very strict on age groups, which meant that both Niklas Amthor (R) and Owen Mock (R) were forced to compete in the U17 age category, against some significantly older (and larger!) boys. Consequently we had a lot of strength in depth in the U17 age group, but the U20 was hit hard by the exam season and only James Plaut (S) and Tom Knight (Rb) were able to compete in this category. It was clear on arrival though that this problem had applied to other schools too, and the U20 events were not particularly well contested, which was a shame of course, but did mean that James and Tom were pretty much guaranteed medals!
In the U15 age group, Johnnie Peel (S) struggled manfully against some very strong competition in both the 100m and the Long Jump, but was unable to progress. Monty Hardcastle (I) had more success, getting into the final of the 300m with a strong performance in his heat, timed at 42.8 seconds. This perhaps gave him a bit too much confidence though, as he went off like a rocket in the final, enjoying a head of about 20m going into the bend, but finally ran out of puff on the home straight and finished 7th in 44.0 seconds. He had better success in the shot put, coming 5th with a great effort of 7.59m.
In the U17 category, we put on a huge show of strength in the middle-distance events. In the 800m, Oscar Dickins (R) ran very strongly indeed to finish second in what we believe to be a PB of 2:08.3. Another PB was achieved for Scott Hatton (S), running in 2:15.8 which placed him 5th. Considering he has another year in this age category, this is a fantastic achievement and shows how much he has progressed this year. Further back, Third Formers Owen Mock and Niklas Amthor both struggled against this very competitive field, finishing in 7th and 8th respectively. The 1500m was even more successful, as Shrewsbury School filled places 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th, with Freddie Huxley-Fielding (R) leading a brave attack against the eventual winner, Alex Burrows of Wellington. Oscar Dickins finished 3rd only a second behind Freddie (4:33.2), with a very powerful final straight which saw him overtake Ben Remnant (Ch) - on his return from injury – with less than 10m to go. Will Hayward ran strongly in 5th, in a time of 4:44.6. In the 3000m, Freddie again led the Shrewsbury School charge, ultimately finishing with another silver medal in a terrific time of 9:33.0 – a PB over this distance. Ben Remnant finished a little further back in 4th, in a time of 9:58.8, with Will Hayward just five seconds behind in 5th.
The sprint events also saw success, with Ladi Okusanya (SH) and Charlie Tait-Harris (S) taking 2nd and 3rd in the 100m, though most were convinced that Nifemi Okusanya (SH) had actually just pipped Charlie on the line – either way, it was extremely close and Nifemi was unlucky not to medal with such a strong run. Charlie went on to take the gold in the 200m with a fantastic effort of the home straight, finishing in a time of 24.5 seconds, close to a season’s best for him. Tim Robinson-Boulton (R) also ran very well to finish 6th in 27.4 seconds.