English Schools Duo Impress

13 year old Emily Williams and 16 year old Ella Palmer, both competing at the English Schools National Championships for the first time both put in terrific performances in the Junior Girls & Inter girls 800m races.

Emily Williams was first in action and in the second heat she produced a superb run to slice nearly a second from her previous best to finish in a fantastic third position and qualify for the final the following day with the 7th fastest time in the heats with 2:16.41. Emily was delighted to make the final in her first attempt, qualification from the heats at ES is probably one of the hardest achievements in athletics, such is the quality on show, and to achieve this as a bottom year athletes was a tremendous achievement.

Ella Palmer also tasting English Schools for the first time in the Intermediate Girls 800m heats, went in heat 2 in a large field of 12 athletes. Determined to run well and knowing there were 34 athletes in the 3 heats with only 10 to qualify Ella set off fast and was leading the field at the break point and settled into third position after the 200m mark. Splitting in a scorching 62.5 Ella maintained good pace up to 150m to go where she tired a little and fell back into 5th place where she finished in a hugely credible 2:16.46 just a second off her PB and in 12th place on the day in terms of times. This was a tremendous first showing at a national championships with less than a year’s endurance training so she will take massive confidence from beating 22 other athletes on the day, in her hope of reaching the ES finals as a senior girl in the next two years, a qualification mark for which she has already beaten this year.

On day 2 a slightly more nervous Emily, went into the JG 800m final with nothing to lose and in a race with Featured the remarkable Tilly Simpson who had qualified with ease in 2:09, and 5 of the UK top ranked athletes, Emily raced with confidence and made a terrific start in lane 1. After the break Emily was moving into 3rd place when she made contact with another athlete cutting in at the 200m mark which lost her momentum and dropped her into 7th Place which she maintained through to the bell which was in a fast 65 seconds. Emily maintained this position throughout the final lap and held off a late challenge from Kendal’s Stephanie Driscoll to record another lifetime best of 2:15.06 for 7th place, and in the process break club colleague’s Fran Ashworth’s fine 2011 club record of 2:16.31 by over a second. An exhausted Emily put in terrific back to back 800m race's, set two consecutive PB's and broke her third club record which easily exceeded her weekend's expectations!

The Junior Girls 800m final was won by the remarkable Tilly Simson in a new championship best performance and the fastest time ever set by a junior athlete in 2:06.22 and with 7 of the finalist all setting PB’s in the race it is arguably the best race ever for an English Schools JG 800m and one Emily will be rightly proud to have played her part in.

Congratulations to Ella & Emily on terrific performances at the elite end of the sport, we are sure vital experience has been gained and a solid platform from which to build on in future years. 

Emily Williams a superb 7th place in the ES Final & a new U15G Club Record of 2:15.06