The Sussex Schools team has suffered a severe blow as they head up to Birmingham on Thursday for the English Schools Track and Field Championships.
With excellent results in past few years they have lost two potential champions through injury.
Amber Anning (BHASVIC) would have been favourite to take the senior 400m title at her first attempt was optimistic that everything would be alright for these championships she has succumbed to an injury that has played havoc with her track season. Also having to withdraw is reigning senior 400m hurdles champion Orla Brothers (Millais).
Last year’s championships were one of the best ever for Sussex Schools but of the six champions two will not be competing and only one will be defending.
That will be Lillie Franks (Haywards Heath) who was a surprise winner of the senior high jump last year with 1.72m and has already leapt 1.74m this season. Exams are always a problem the second year as a Senior and it is not very often that first year seniors successfully defend their titles though we hope that this year will be the exception that proves the rule.
Last year Ben Hawkes (Sion) won the intermediate hammer throw but moving into the senior age means he is no longer such a dominant competitor though still in with a shout for a medal.
Lizzie Korczak (Brighton College) took the junior javelin title last year but will find competition much tougher in the higher age group this season and much the same applies to Adam Lindo (Downlands) who is the reigning junior long jump champion.
Last year, as in 2016, Sussex won ten medals and it would be a tremendous achievement if that could be matched this year.
South of England Champion
One athlete warmed up for the English Schools last weekend at the South of England Combined Events championships at Oxford.
Isabelle Humphreys, who has recently switch from Horsham to Crawley strung together some fine performances with a win in the U15 Pentathlon title with 2930 points having long jumped 4.76m, clocked 12.10s in the 75m hurdles, shot putt 8.62m, cleared 1.59m in the high jump and clocked 2:36.95s for the 800m.
Humphreys will be competing in the Junior High jump at Birmingham.
Katie Ridley (Brighton & Hove), who is in her first year in the U15 age group did well to place seventh with 4.81m, 12.56s, 7.24m, 1.35m and 3:37.2s for a total of 2536 points.
Southern Athletics League
The penultimate round of the Southern Athletics League for senior, male and female athletes, will be held at various centres across the South of England on Saturday.