A 51 strong team of pupils headed to sunny Gateshead for the annual Northern HMC Athletics competition, the largest team Sedbergh has fielded, and returned with their best results ever achieved at this event. In a field of 18 schools our Intermediate Girls, Intermediate Boys, Senior Girls and Senior boys all won their categories. The first time Sedbergh has achieved this feat. The Junior Girls finished 5th, and the Junior Boys 7th. 

Our seniors put in an excellent showing, with wins for Charlie Graham (400m), George Rigal (800m), Reuben Copley (1500m), Josh Hodge (Javelin) and Tabby Holdsworth with a double win (Javelin and Discus). Notable mention must go to three year 10 girls who admirably stepped up into the senior competition to compete against athletes 3 years older; all winning their events. India Haydon-Wood (Long Jump), Tash Cookson (800m) and Molly Barrett (1500m). Ben Burridge repeated this step up into the senior boys; finishing 2nd in the long jump and 3rd in the 100m.

The intermediates put in a raft of competitive performances, with event wins for Bruno Flores-Bortoluz (Long Jump), Carwyn Tuipulotu (Shot), Elle Heathcote (300m) and Chess Cooke with a double (Discus and Javelin). In a very competitive age group, our athletes were rarely outside of the top 2 across 25 events. Another special mention goes to Alicia Newing (R), who also stepped up an age group and finished a very good 2nd in a large Intermediate Girls 1500m field. 

The individual performances of the day came in the junior age groups, with Ava Taperell (L) breaking the competition record in the junior girls’ 800m. Similarly leading from gun to tape, Fraser Sproul (S) dominated the junior boys’ 3000m field. Finals were made by all sprinters; Finn Williams (W), Cool Atsavasililert (E), Oli Spencer (S), Ruby Ferguson (R) and Samira Lomax (L); highlighting that whilst there were plenty of individual winners, it was the strength in depth and the competitiveness of the team across both track and field events that enabled the team to do so well.

Whilst junior field eventers found it challenging against tough competition, it is important to note it is early days for our year 9’s who are just finding their feet, many of them in events new to them. This bodes well for coming fixtures in their season. Indeed, the close nature of the competition is highlighted by the junior boys finishing position of 7th; which would have been 1st were it not for a lone disqualification in the 300m. 

Our six 4x100m relay teams all finished within the top 2; with the Junior and Intermediate girls dominating their races and a fast finishing Emily Stuart (L) narrowly held off in the seniors to prevent our girls taking a clean sweep of wins. 

Finally, the ‘Open 4x400m’ at the end of the day allows athletes of all ages and genders to race together, with Sedbergh showing the depth of determination and competitiveness amongst our pupils despite it not being a contributory event to the final standings. Of the 14 teams to start, Sedbergh fielded a record 10 of these. All showed real strength at the end of a busy day. Rouban Birch (H) proved he can go the distance; advancing his position 3 places with a fast finishing 100m, and our girls A team of Elle Heathcote (R), Alex Duckitt (R), Tash Cookson (L) and Ava Taperell (L) were bested only by a mixed RGS Newcastle team containing 3 senior boys. 

Following the event, Emily Stuart (L) was awarded with her Athletics colours for outstanding contribution to the club across all her years at the school.

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