SHE’S done it again!
Chester’s Amy Williams is now a back-to-back national champion after retaining her long jump title at the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Gateshead on Saturday.
The 14-year-old’s victory crowned a successful day for the Cheshire team as Matthew Pagan, Kelly Baker and Lisa James also came away with medals.
But the county’s only gold medal winner was Williams, who took the girls under 15s title with her first jump of the competition.
The 6.07m leap was the best long jump by any British girl under the age of 15 for 28 years.
It was so remarkable that it beat the intermediate and senior champions’ jumps. It also bettered the Cheshire record for women of all ages and saw Williams secure the qualifying distances for next year’s World Youth Championships in Ukraine and also the European Junior Championships in Italy.
Sale Harriers’ member Williams, who became Chester’s first ever English Schools champion last year with a jump of 5.76m, is now closing in on her ambition of representing Great Britain on the international stage.
After Saturday’s giant leap, the Chester Queen’s School pupil, of Dee Banks, is ranked 16th in the women’s UK long jump rankings (all ages).
There were three other medal successes for Cheshire in Gateshead.
Chester Catholic High School student Pagan pocketed a silver in the junior boys 400m final after clocking a new personal best time of 50.61 seconds. He looked to be on course for victory before being hunted down in the closing stages by eventual winner Mahmood Khaisto, from London, who posted 50.39 seconds.
Baker powered her way to a bronze medal position in the intermediate girls shot with a put of 11m, finishing behind Gloucestershire duo Annabel Sherry (12.93m) and Emily Wood (11.16m).
The Bishops’ High pupil said: “It was pouring down with rain which obviously didn’t help so with that in mind I am pleased with my bronze medal.
“If I had thrown my best, though, I would have ended up with a silver but you can’t control the weather.”
In the senior girls long jump, South Cheshire College’s Lisa James claimed the silver medal with a leap of 5.68m.
Michael Bailiff of Upton High cleared 1.86m for 10th spot in the senior boys high jump, while Amy Hinchly (Tarporley High) was sixth in her junior girls 1,500m first-round heat with a time of four minutes 45.44 seconds.
Tessa McCormick (Upton High) clocked 10.28:48 for ninth spot in the senior girls 3,000m.
Two Helsby High School students were also in action. Jessica Parsons was 13 in the intermediate girls 3,000m in 10.32:16 and Matthew Hulse finished 12th in the intermediate boys 1,500m steeplechase, clocking 4.39:40.
Cheshire team manager Sandy Littler said: “I am very pleased with the results our Cheshire athletes achieved. They did extremely well, many acquiring personal bests, and all can be proud of their performances.
“Congratulations to Amy, Matthew, Lisa and Kelly on achieving their medals!”
West Cheshire AC athlete Emily Ball, representing Shropshire Schools, bagged a bronze medal from the junior girls shot with a new personal best put of 11.15m.