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Athletes show their class

Ashford's Jack Green was in fine form
Ashford's Jack Green was in fine form

Kent Schools finished fifth overall in the Sainsbury’s English Schools Championships at Gateshead International Stadium at the weekend.

Five athletes gained selection to represent England Schools at this weekend’s Schools International Athletics Board match at Bedford Stadium and there were 14 medals won,including five golds.

The new English Schools champions are Lucy Underdown of Medway and Maidstone in the senior discus (43.15), Will Grist of Tonbridge in the junior 400m (50.05), Stephen Cavey of Blackheath in the intermediate 1500m (4.01.88), Jack Green of Ashford in the intermediate 400m hurdles (54.18) and Dwyte Smith of Ashford in the intermediate long jump (6.89).

The class act of the weekend was the 400m running of both Grist and the silver medallist Farren Morgan of Bexley (50.43), who go to the top two places in the UK under 15 rankings for 2008 with their superb times.

Only the intermediate age group athletes can be considered for international honours so England vests go to 3000m silver medallist Beth Carter (9.51.13) from Invicta and the 400m runner-up Thomas Bensted (49.32) of Blackheath together with the 1500m champion Cavey, 400m hurdler Green and long jump winner, Smith.

Michael Baker and James Alcock of Medway and Maidstone AC were among the athletes who just missed out on the highest honours. After the gold medal success of Lucy Underdown – her first victory in her final appearance in these championships – there were high hopes also for Baker in the 400m hurdles and Alcock in the long jump.

Baker qualified well for the senior final with 54.56 seconds and improved to an excellent 52.95 to claim the silver behind Niall Flannery of Northern Ireland (52.48). Alcock took the bronze in the intermediate long jump with 6.45 metres behind the new champion from Kent and Rhys Macdonald from Suffolk (6.57).

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