Track duo reach finals at nationals

Grace Baker, Sophie Markwick, Rosa Pitt and Katie Garland
Grace Baker, Sophie Markwick, Rosa Pitt and Katie Garland

Hastings Athletic Club sent four young talents to this year’s English Schools’ Track and Field Championships at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium last weekend.

This is the country’s premier event for young athletes where they are asked to put in highly demanding qualification performances just to be there.

Grace Baker (Bexhill College) and Sophie Markwick (Helenswood School) made the 3,000m senior and intermediate finals respectively.

Baker has had to play catchup this track season after missing over six weeks’ training following surgery to her heel. She could not repeat her medal-winning performance from last year and had to be content with a seventh place finish in a time of 10:11, some 27 seconds outside her personal best.

Markwick will have learned a great deal from her English Schools’ Championships debut, and will hope to better her 11th place time of 10:25 next year.

Also making her debut was Rosa Pitt in the junior girls’ 200m. The Claverham Community College pupil ran a time of 27.27 in her heat. Multi-eventer Katie Garland (Bexhill High School) made the qualification standard in three events and chose to compete in the 80m hurdles, running 12.11 in the semi-finals.

* LEE Emanuel achieved a third place finish in the men’s 1,500m at the Sainsbury’s British Championships.

Emanuel, who was brought up in St Leonards but has spent much of his adult life training in the United States, crossed the line in a time of 3:52.34 in Birmingham on Saturday. The event was won by Chris O’Hare, from Edinburgh, in 3:51.36.

Representing Sheffield, Emanuel also came third in heat two on Friday in 3:44.08.