EMILY Dixon is playing down her medal hopes on what will be her final appearance for Wiltshire in the two-day English Schools’ Track & Field Championships, which were starting today (Friday) in Birmingham, writes Kevin Fahey.

The 18-year-old St Augustine’s Catholic College student finished fourth in the senior girls’ 100m hurdles last year so would have been a strong contender to make the podium this weekend.

But recent problems have meant Dixon is unsure how she will fare.

“I have had a few niggles over the past few weeks and strained my hip while warming up for the England Championships so I am obviously nervous and apprehensive about how I will go now,” said Dixon.

“Before I had these injuries I was definitely thinking about winning a medal and getting onto the podium but now I just have to see how it goes over the weekend.

“On paper, I should still make the final but after that I am not expecting anything else. I will just be concentrating on staying relaxed and then whatever happens, happens.

“It is just so annoying as I would love to finish my Schools’ career with a medal.”

Dixon also has other responsibilities this weekend as she has been named joint women’s team captain with Lizzie Clifford of South Wilts Grammar.

“It is nice to see the younger athletes in the squad and I will be telling them to enjoy themselves because the English Schools can be a daunting event,” added Dixon.

“But it also feels a bit sad that it is coming to an end for me.”

The Howorth brothers – John and Robert – of St Augustine’s Catholic College will be making their debut at the event in the junior boys’ 1500m .

Dauntsey’s Nikko Hunt is third in the UK rankings in the U17 men’s pole vault so the 16-year-old, who has competed sparingly this summer, must have a good chance of retaining the title he won in Birmingham 12 months ago.

Matravers’ Ellie J Webb is also among the best young hammer throwers in the country and the 16-year-old will be looking to match, if not better, her silver in the same age group last year.

A switch to a new coach and new training methods has meant that Grace Davies-Redmond hasn’t enjoyed the same form she did last summer when winning a silver medal in the inter girls 300m hurdles so her expectations aren’t high.

“My season so far hasn’t been great so I am feeling really nervous about this weekend,” said Davies Redmond.

“I have nothing to lose so I’ll just go for it and see what happens but in the long term these changes are for the best for my development.”