TESSA McCormick and Alice Jennings delivered record-breaking performances at the Chester and District Schools Athletics Association Championships, writes ALEC DOYLE.
Their fantastic displays provided the perfect send-off for school sports stalwart Adrian Neeves, who retires as a teacher this summer after 26 years of organising the championships.
Chester Catholic High’s Jennings rose above her peers to clear 1.56m in the Year 8 high jump at Wrexham’s Queensway Athletics Stadium on Tuesday, while Upton High pupil McCormick ran five minutes 18.4 seconds put her name into the record books for the 1,500m in the same age group.
In the boys races, Mostyn House set a new 4x100m Year 8 relay record, crossing the line in 51.6 seconds.
Christleton High’s boys won both the Year 8 and 9 competitions, with Upton taking the Year 9 girls prize and the inter boys title.
Bishop Heber won the overall girls Year 8 competition and Catholic High were girls inter champions.
The championships were tinged with emotion as they will be Mr Neeves’ last.
The head of PE at The King’s School has spent 28 years there, working as one of the main organisers of the district championships for 26 years and also building a good reputation in the world of school football, managing Cheshire U18s football squad for 28 years and running all Chester district cup competitions.
He has overseen an increase in the number of sports available at King’s and masterminded the introduction of girls sport when the school became co-educational in September 2003. He has even run a parents’ keep fit club.
Ray Williams, retired director of sport at Blacon High School, said: “Adrian has made an outstanding contribution to sport not only at King’s but throughout the city and county.
“I would like to thank him on behalf of all the pupils who have benefited from all his hard work and Chester schools PE staff.
“It has been a privilege and a pleasure working with him.”
After Tuesday’s championships, Mr Neeves thanked all the district PE teachers for their help in making Chester’s set-piece sporting events possible.
“In particular, I would like to thank Dennis Dorman, Mike Hollindale, Ray Williams, Steve Graham, Malcolm Williams and Andy Green, whose friendship, encouragement and expertise have always been of great assistance to me in the running of the championships,” he said.