After some scintillating early season performances from our school athletes, the House Athletics finals were eagerly anticipated. In a week dominated by sun; the pupils rose to the occasion. 

Day 1
The week started on Monday with the Junior and Senior events. Sedgwick proved strong in the junior boys’ category, although Charlie Churchouse (SH) took wins in both the Triple and Long Jumps.

However Powell House’s consistency across the board in both age groups saw them take a narrow lead ahead of Sedgwick at the end of Day 1. It was a similarly close start in the girls’ competition too; with Lupton juniors dominating to win all track events.

Molly Barret (L) took the 1500m; Natasha Cookson (L) decimated the 400m record by 5 seconds in a time of 63.96; India Haydon-Wood (L) took the 200m, narrowly missed the record set by last year’s victor Elle Heathcote (R); and the girls combined with Scout Turner-Richards (L) to win the 4x400m relay.

Not to be outdone though, Olivia Clarke (CH) took wins in the field in both the Triple Jump and Discus. Robertson responded admirably to the onslaught of the Lupton Juniors by matching their feat and taking a clean sweep of the senior track events.

Josie Coulthard (R) started by rewriting the record books in the 1500m with 5:21; Tabby Holdsworth (R) followed with victory in a closely contested 400m; Sarah Long (R) won the 200m to add to her win in the Triple Jump, and the seniors also added 4x400m champions to the list.

Again, Lupton were still to have a say as Joy Stanley (L) shone in the field; winning the discus with a new senior record of 25.32m to now hold the Junior, Intermediate and Senior records!

The boys refused to be outshone by their female contemporaries, with Fergus MacMillan (SH) starting the track events off with a bang by rewriting his own 1500m record in 4:33.06.

Fellow housemate Guy Hollins (SH) also took wins in both the Triple and Long Jumps. Joe Bird (E) continued his fine running form to win the 3000m in 9:08 minutes, exactly equal to the time posted by OS John Campbell (SH) last year. In the field Josh Hodge (P) starred when winning both the High Jump and Javelin, the latter with a throw of 50.90m which was only 2m below the record which has stood to RWD Birchenall since 1974.

Watch this space in 2018… Hodge then anchored Powell House to victory with a strong finish in the 4x400m.

Day 2
It was the turn of the intermediates on day 2. Starting with a nail-biting 1500m between Jamie MacMillan (SH) and Oliver Melville (S), Melville triumphed by merely 0.6 of a second.

Fraser Jones (W) won a very competitive 400m in a time of 54.75, and at that point the field events took over. Harry Sheil (W) matched his housemates win with one of his own in the long jump with 5.77m, and then added a further victory with the discus title in 27.66m.

Taran Stewart (P) and Michele Brighetti (E) continued the Kenyan form in the throws events with shot putt victory in 12.76m and javelin victory in 48.43m respectively. 

The girls’ competition saw Robertson match their senior feat by taking a clean sweep of the track events. Alex Duckitt (R) winning the 1500m; Christina Peart (R) the 400m; Holy Dale (R) the 200m in a new record time of 28.69 seconds, and the 4x400m team of Duckitt, Dale, Heathcote and Peart set a further record in finishing in 4:40.4. Again, a Carus House girl had a say in the field events, with Rosie Herman (CH) setting a new record in the javelin in 23.05m.

On a day when girls’ records tumbled, Holy Dale (R) set a new shot putt record of 9.83m and Elle Heathcote (R) soared out to a new long jump record of 4.73m.

Finals Day
Unfortunately we had now rode our luck with the sun, and as the crowds gathered for finals day so did the clouds. However in true Sedbergh spirit our pupils were not to be deterred, and as the thunder clapped above, so our ardent supporters continued to clap in appreciation of the athletes’ performances. 

Records continued to tumble, as the Lupton Juniors of Cookson, Turner-Richards, Haydon-Wood and Barrett set a new 4x200m record of 1 minute 55 seconds. This was swiftly followed by the Sedgwick juniors repeating the feat in a time of 1 minute 48 seconds; the team consisting of Cooney, Naylor, Booth and Lawson.

Both of these teams would go on to win the double later in the day, adding the 4x100m titles to their house totals. The Sedgwick boys in another school record time of 51.10 seconds. 

As the rain began to pick up pace, the Winder boys took a valiant and closely contested win from Evans House in the intermediate boys 8x200m. Distraught at this loss, the Evans senior boys went one better and claimed the 8x200m win for their own.

The 800m races were combined in the adverse weather, with James Naylor (S), Natasha Cookson (L), George Rigal (W), Alex Duckitt (R), Fergus MacMillan (SH) and Olivia Murray (L) all taking home the plaudits. 

The blue riband 100m was soon to follow, with the crowds descending upon the banks of Buskholme. The juniors were up first, with Matt Cooney (S) speeding home in 12.0 seconds. Natasha Cookson (L) followed in the girls’ event, with a time of 13.10 to lead a Lupton House 1-2 from Scout Turner-Richards (L).

The intermediate boys’ race was a closely contested affair, with Ben Burridge (S) edging ahead of Michele Brighetti (E) in 11.6 seconds. Another record was then to fall to the Robertson girls, with Elle Heathcote (R) dashing through the finishing line in 12.9 seconds. Cameron Redpath (S) completed a rouge clean sweep of the 100m races, completing the trio in a time of 11.0 seconds in a race where a blanket could have been thrown over the first three finishers. 

Winder were then to wrap up their intermediate boys relay dominance with the 4x100m win, and Robertson were to stamp their authority further over the track with wins in both the senior and intermediate 4x100m races; the latter again in a new record time of 55.70 seconds. That made it 5 track records for the Robertson intermediate girls and 2 in the field. 

Stepping up to longer distances the traditional ‘Open’ mile saw individual wins for Joe Bird (E) and Josie Coulthard (R); the two also leading their houses to team victory in the mile runs. 

As the day drew to a close, the many victors rightly earned the congratulations of the still assembled crowd. At the conclusion of a gripping and record breaking week, Sedgwick took the overall boys title for the first time in nearly 20 years, whilst Robertson pipped Lupton in a hotly contested competition by merely a single point.

The strength of Sedbergh athletes shone through even when the sun did not, with scintillating performances and undiminished house passion displayed throughout. We now look ahead to the forthcoming County Championships on Saturday 10th June and the continuation of the competitive season in the second half of term. 

Mr C. M. Wakeford
Prize Winners
Open Mile Boys                       –           Joe Bird (E)
Open Mile Girls                       –           Josie Coulthard (R)
Open Mile Boys House            –           Evans
Open Mile Girls House            –           Robertson
Senior Boys Track                   –           Fergus MacMillan (SH)
Senior Boys Field                     –           Josh Hodge (P)
Senior Girls Track                    –           Josie Coulthard (R)
Senior Girls Field                     –           Joy Stanley (L)
Inters Boys Track                    –           George Rigal (W)
Inters Boys Field                     –           Harry Sheil (W)
Inters Girls Track                     –           Alex Duckitt (R)
Inters Girls Field                      –           Elle Heathcote & Holly Dale (R) – JOINT AWARD
Junior Boys Track                    –           James Naylor & Alex Booth (S) – JOINT AWARD
Junior Boys Field                     –           Charlie Churchouse (SH)
Junior Girls Track                    –           Natasha Cookson (L)
Junior Girls Field                     –           Olivia Clark (CH)
Boys Overall                            –           Sedgwick
Girls Overall                            –           Robertson
Victor Ludorum                       –           Joe Bird (E)
Victrix Ludorum                      –           Elle Heathcote & Holly Dale (R) – JOINT AWARD

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