8th / 9th JULY 2005


The 25 strong Dorset team travelled north on Thursday 7th July to take part in the 75th English Schools’ Track and Field Championships. We stayed at the Holiday Inn next to Junction 7 of the M5, barely ten minutes from the track. The convenience and the comfort of the accommodation were second to none and with the promise of good weather the team was optimistic.


The first day was a rude shock as the strength of the opposition was daunting, nerves jangled and some relatively disappointing performances were recorded. However, the team managers were unanimous in their observation that the team was as focused and as determined as any they could remember. The team spirit was faultless too as team members supported their county team mates in their various disciplines. The team had the now traditional profile of being dominated by field event athletes who filled nineteen of the twenty-five places, and indeed seven of the nineteen field eventers were javelin throwers!


It was in the final event of the first day that Dorset saw gold with Louise Watton achieving a well-deserved victory. Last year she was injured and unable to compete; in 2003 injury prevented her from competing more than a couple of times before the championships and her second place was a major achievement; in 2002 she won the Intermediate Girls’ category to add to the Junior Girls’ title and record set in 2001. This year she had four throws better than her nearest rival, dominating the competition from the first round.


Although he did not make the “cut” Matthew Calver can be proud of his achievement in registering a personal best of 13m32 in the Intermediate Boys’ Triple Jump even though he is a year young in this category. Poole Grammar School pupil, Declan Foley, another javelin thrower finished eighth in the final with an entry standard of 44m08, while Sherborne’s Jamie Payne finished 5th in the final of the Intermediate Boys’ javelin with an entry standard throw of 52m38. Tom King finished fourth in a small but select band of Senior Boy high jumpers.


Saturday was a better day: more athletes achieved personal bests, equalled or bettered entry or national standards, made it onto the podium and in two cases came away with gold medals. Inspired by Louise Watton’s success the previous evening, Weymouth’s Jemma Tewkesbury’s third round throw of 33m46 in the Junior Girls’ javelin was too good for her rivals. Boys’ captain, Dan Brunsden, snatched victory in the final round of the Senior Boys’ Shot with a putt of 15m61, a personal best and a national standard. Meanwhile, Beaminster’s Andrew Mapstone sneaked into the 400m semi-final where he proceeded to smash his personal best, improving from 51.1 to 50.34 and qualifying for the final in the process. Dorchester’s Serita Shone achieved a personal best in the Long Jump with a leap of 5m61 for 4th place and has been selected to compete in the Schools’ international match in Ireland next weekend. Another member of the strong Poole Grammar contingent, Ross Taylor, finished 6th in the final of the Junior Boys’ Shot with a personal best and national standard performance of 13m53. Continuing the Dorset tradition of javelin throwing was Aaron Harris who, in the Senior Boys’ event, finished 8th with 51m56.


Overall, the team finished 5th in the Minor Counties category, lower than we have achieved in recent years, but with seven of the team a year young there is optimism that we can improve on this in 2006 in Gateshead.



SB       Shot               1st        15m61             Dan Brunsden            (Bournemouth College)

SG       Javelin           1st        43m44                        Louise Watton           (Lytchett Minster)

JG       Javelin           1st        33m46                        Jemma Tewkesbury  (Wey Valley)

IG        Long Jump     4th        5m61               Serita Shone              (Thomas Hardye)

SB       High Jump      4th        1m90               Tom King                     (Bournemouth School)

IB        Javelin            5th        52m38                        Jamie Payne               (Sherborne)

JB       Shot                6th        13m53             Ross Taylor                (Poole Grammar)

IB        400m               8th        50.34  (s-f)    Andrew Mapstone     (Beaminster)

JB       Javelin            8th        44m08                        Declan Foley              (Poole Grammar)

SB       Javelin            8th        51m56             Aaron Harris             (Kingston Maurward)

IB        Triple Jump    9th        13m32             Matthew Calver         (Corfe Hills)

SB       Long Jump      9th        6m51               James Warsop           (Poole Grammar)

IB        3000m                        10th      9-04.25           Matthew Clark          (Poole Grammar)

IG        Javelin            14th      31m49             Laura Carr                  (Purbeck)

JG       Discus             14th      26m31             Georgina Howlett      (Parkstone Grammar)

SG       Shot                14th      10m41             Rachel Cork                (St. Mary’s)

JG       Javelin            16th      26m89                        Lucy Waller                (Canford)

IB        Discus             19th      36m47                        Martyn Elkins                        (Lytchett Minster)

JB       High Jump      22nd     1m64               Archie Dodge             (Sherborne)

IG        Triple Jump                10m89             Sarah Warsop            (Corfe Hills)

IG        Triple Jump                10m 70            Ellie Burn                    (Thomas Hardye)

JB       800m                           2-09.3             Conor Mugan              (St. Peter’s)

JB       800m                           210.8               Tom Moore                 (Winton)

SB       100m                           11.29               Lee Christopher         (Bryanston)

SB       800m                           1-59.32           Karl Welch                 (Bournemouth College)


Team managers:

Keith Hayman            (Bournemouth)

Sarah Davis (Bournemouth)

Liz Scott (Bournemouth)

Brian Camp (Bournemouth)

Peter Fryer (Canford)



Peter Fryer

(Chairman Dorset Schools’ Athletic Association)