The Sussex Schools team at Gateshead last weekend made history when they won the E W Hanley trophy by winning the senior boys group.
Sussex teams have won Group Trophies in the “B” group but for the past decade they have been in the “A” group.
Since the Counties were split into Groups for team events Sussex were victorious in the “B” group in both 1975 and 1982 when they won the Aggregate title but since they were moved into the “A” group, where they and Lancashire are the smallest Counties, they have not figured.
This year however, after a close battle with Greater Manchester they came out on top in the Senior Boys group, a tremendous achievement. Scoring 55 points the team of Jakes Binns, Rhys Turner, Finley Bigg, Stephen Ferroni, Joe Fuggle, George Turner, Jackson King and Scot Staples, finished just three points clear.
The Intermediate Boys team also did well finishing sixth of the 13 Counties in Group A while the Intermediate girls placed ninth, the Junior Boys and Senior Girls tenth and the Junior girls 12th.
Overall the medal count at ten was one of the highest ever while the total of five Gold medals has only ever been bettered by the 1958 team who collected eight golds.
Fifty eight athletes actually competed for Sussex this year of which 29 reached the finals of their events and three quarters of them gained either an Entry or National standard.
Finley Bigg became the first Sussex Schools athlete to emulate his parents by winning a title when he took the Senior 800metres.
Parents and offspring have competed in the England Schools before but previously only Chris Carter (Steyning) a bronze in the Intermediate half-mile in 1959 and son Richard (Varndean) who took gold in the Senior 5,000 metres in 1982 and 83 have medalled.
Finley’s father and Coach Jon won the Intermediate 800 metres in 1982 while Mother Sally Gunnell won the Junior Long jump in 1980 and Senior 100m hurdles titles in 1983 and 1984 but not for Sussex as she was and still is an Essex qualified athlete.
Two Sussex athletes were selected to compete in the Schools International event this weekend at the Julie Rose Stadium at Ashford and they are Amber Anning (Roedean) in the 300 metres and Edan Cole (Cardinal Newman) in the Javelin throw.
Team manager Judy Lasis and her team can feel justifiably proud of their success.
Since producing the above I have discovered that Andrew Medcalf from East Grinstead, the current U15 Sussex triple jump record holder at 12.83m, won the Junior triple jump bronze medallist in 1997.
Back in 1960 his father had done just that with a leap of 12.85m but for Essex.
Dad is Lester Medcalf who is one of our most reliable horizontal jump judges at County and County Schools championships as well as East Grinstead matches.