ATHLETICS: Chapman leads Harriers charge at nationals
KEELEIGH Chapman missed out on a medal by just half a second at the English Schools’ Track & Field Championships at the weekend.
Competing in the inter girls category in the rarely-run 300m hurdles at Gateshead, the 15-year-old stormed into the final having won her heat in 44.42.
That time would have been enough to secure the Swindon Harrier a bronze in front of the Sky Sports cameras, but she clocked 44.98 seconds to finish fifth.
The winner was Surrey’s Shona Richards who crossed the line in 42.36, with Georgina Rogers (WMid) second in 44.08 and Chelsea Walker (Humb) third in 44.54. Chapman’s fellow Wiltshire runner Lizzie Clifford was fourth in 44.59.
Meanwhile, there was disappointment for another Harrier, Morgan Gascoigne in the triple jump.
Gascoigne’s standards in the triple and long jump this season have been such that she could have competed at either event in Gateshead, but she eventually opted for the former.
But matters did not go the Calne jumper’s way in the senior girls category.
Having previously leapt 11.71m at Exeter in the South West Schools’ Championships recently, the joint Wiltshire skipper could not replicate that form at nationals.
She finished 14th in the final with a distance of 10.83m, with Mary Fasipe (Midd) winning with 11.97m.
Several other Harriers also took part in Gateshead, with all recording creditable performances and doing their club proud.
Inter girl Julia Cook charged into the 100m final as she finished second in her heat in 12.70 seconds.
Against a tough line-up in the final, she ended eighth with a slightly quicker time of 12.68.
The 16-year-old Lillie Bellamy ran in the 1500m and was fourth in her heat in 4:43.61, which qualified her for the 12-strong line-up in the final.
A slightly quicker pace saw her finish on 4:42.41 and take 10th in the showdown.
Finally, Harriers’ only male representative, Callum Bampton was up against a strong field in the junior boys’ 1500m race.
The youngster was unable to make the final as he finished eighth in his heat in a time of 4:18.22.
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