Last weekend saw Oakham athletes competing at the IAPS Athletics Championships held at Bedford Stadium and the County Championships held in Leicester, during which they took away a handy haul of 22 Golds 13 Silvers and 2 Bronze medals.
Director of Athletics, Mr Tref Vandoros tells us more:
The glorious weather, brilliant sunshine and a gentle cool breeze provided the perfect setting for the IAPS and County Championships. However, words will fall well short of the performance. The efforts of all Oakham Track and Field athletes surpassed expectations once again, keeping our school flag in this sport flying high.
In the IAPS, several immense performances stood out.
Bertie P& Mimi P powered themselves over a long set of hurdles to win their heats and secure places in the finals. Bertie finished in 4th place and Mimi, doing what Mimi does best, snapped up 2nd and a place at the Nationals.
Both Hattie J & William G fought hard for their way to 4th and 5th place in the 1500m and were cheered on immensely by the team every step of the way. However, the grit that Alexi P showed to get around the 800m should be an inspiration to all. Her placing will not justify the drive she had on the track and her future in any event on the track or in the field looks strong.
Lottie L, a star performance to find the 5th place. Fighting for the finish is a common place for this young aspiring athlete and her smile lights up the track, but behind that smile is an engine working well beyond its capacity. The team all know this and keep her going, one step at a time.
The Lower School Sprinters then had to play their part, and a part they played alright! The two stand-out races included both Cayden P (F2 Boys 200m) and Fleur L (F1 Girls 100m) surpassing their own expectations and winning their heats. Not seen faces like these two in my time at Oakham. Cayden finished with a 5th in the final and Fleur tied her time with a rival runner, and only an hour later did she find out her race was a win and a chance to run at the Nationals in Nuneaton.
Our field events were more of an opportunity to experience, explore, and excite. And that was just what we did. Travelling to Bedford to do a track and a field event was far more worthwhile and I know these athletes took advantage of the opportunity.
In the County Championships, there was another set of awesome results.
The County Championships began with a bang. Nothing like a set of hurdle heats to lift the spirits of all the track athletes. Highlights include Jacklin (Junior Boys), Hill (Junior Girls) and Wilson (Inter Boys) securing places in the final, Jacklin and Hill earning Gold and Wilson stealing a silver.
However, Osuji (Inter Boys Triple) was the first to bring in the gold, with a champion jump in the Inter Boys Triple.
The Sprinters followed swiftly for their heats. Lloyd (U13 Girls), Kaczmar (Junior Girls) and Bell (Inter Girls) all cruised their races winning their heats with both Kaczmar (New School Record 12.6s) and Bell earning Gold and Lloyd a Bronze.
The Boys were equally impressive. Powell (Inter Boys) and Taylor (Senior Boys) both represented Oakham and proved their speed on the track. Powell finished with the Gold and a time that continues to show dedication and perseverance to achieve a speed he knows he can reach in the not-too-distant future.
The 200m races included Carr (U13 Girls), Tyres (Junior Girls) Smith (Inter Girls) Urban (Junior Boys), Osuji (Inter Boys) and Bell (Senior Boys) who all showed grit to the finish, making it through to the finals at the end of the day. Smith secured Gold in her race and Carr made an absolute smashing effort to hold her silver position to the finish.
The MD Sprinters (300m and 400m) followed. This event is not for any athlete who hides from pain, and all athletes recognise the immense effort that goes into preparing for a race of this nature. Courtman and Healey (Junior Girls), Barrett (Inter Girls) and Skelton (Senior Girls) all showed just what hard work can achieve. Ricketts (Inter Boys) held the flag for the boys and proved too, that he has the capacity to fight to the finish regardless of pain and discomfort. It is always an honour and a privilege to watch Skelton show precision and pace and earn her last Gold at the County Championships in style. But it is equally great to watch those who have looked up to her follow in her footsteps. A great run from Barrett also earned her the Gold.
MD endurance athletes, all of whom we admire for efforts well beyond the call in training, showed their metal. The highlight of the day must go to Southwell (Junior 800m), sprinting the last 200m like Robocop to steal the Gold in the last 10m of his 800m. Silver Medals went to Braddock (Inter Boys 800), Harry Dadd (Inter Boys 1500m) and Cannings (Inter Girls 800m) all showing the guts and determination required to fight off the Charnwood athletes that often take the top positions in these races.
Oakham in the Field made their mark too. Starting with Osuji (Inter Boys TJ) earning Gold, Brockwell (Junior Boys LJ), Hobill (Junior Boys Shot), Jones (Junior Girls Javelin), S Blackman (Inter Girls Shot), Erewa (Inter Boys Disc), Northcott (Senior Girls Shot) and Alex Mee (Senior Boys Shot) then all followed suit with Golds. Impressively, Mee returned for the chance to continue the run of good fortune in the Discus, being a Senior, and confidently secured the Silver.
Lastly, Oakham pupils always give their all to the County Relays, and more than not they are out in the front showing the way. This year, we earned Gold in the Senior Girls, Inter Girls and the Junior Girls relays, but perhaps the highlight of the day was the Inters leading the way to the finish, just 10m ahead of the Senior Girls. It would be fitting therefore to say, Skelton has handed the Baton on and left an incredible team of athletes in her wake, to continue the Oakham Spirit and light up the track in 2023.