The Sussex Schools teams have lost the services of three potential medallists from this weekend’s English Schools Championships at Birmingham.
Amber Anning, who was eager to defend her Inter 300m title but was told that she should withdraw following her selection for the Commonwealth Youth Games later this month and Toby Harries who will be racing in the European Junior event later this month and has also withdrawn.
Archie Davis is the third athlete to withdraw.
Last year the Sussex team came home with five gold medals plus five other medals which was an excellent result and team manager, Judy Lasis, was aiming to improve on that tally this year.
They still have a chance a getting close to last year’s total as they have ten potential medallists but the English Schools Championships is probably the toughest British Championship of the season.
Ben Hawkes, Inter hammer throw, Orla Brothers senior 400m hurdles and Abigail Packham junior hurdles are all currently top of the British Ranking lists but at the Schools, particularly in the junior age group this is no guarantee of victory.
I can see another eight possibilities to get amongst the medals, three in the junior javelin throw, so we must keep our fingers crossed but not rely on everyone turning up trumps on the Day. The Junior age groups are particularly fraught as for many youngsters this will be their first ever trip away from their families and that sometimes causes extra stress.
The athletes left on Thursday and will compete Friday and Saturday.
Sussex Under 13 Championships
The accent is very much on the younger element of the sport again on Sunday when we may see the members of future Sussex School's team tackle their first County championship event.
The Sussex Under 13 Track and Field championships and Under 11 Quad Kids event take place at the Withdean Stadium.
The Girls Discus starts the competition at 10.45 while the Track events start at 11.00m.
Anouska Fairhurst (Lewes) who is both the reigning Discus and Javelin champion is now too old for this competition but she was on the Sussex Schools coach to Birmingham and is strongly fancied to fight for a medal in the Under 15 javelin event.
The Sussex U15 and U17 Boys 3000m championships will be incorporated in the day’s events.
Southern Athletics League
On Saturday this season’s penultimate Southern Athletics League matches will be held at various venues across the Southern Counties with Crawley, Horsham and Lewes all holding home matches.