JARROW high jumper Anthony Hogg bettered his personal best by nine centimetres to take gold at the 81st English Schools’ Track and Field Championships at Gateshead International Stadium.
The 14-year-old took first place with a winning leap of 1.87m – three centimetres clear of the rest of the junior boys’ field. He admitted to being stunned by his own success.
“I normally specialise in multi-sport events so I really wasn’t expecting anything,” said Hogg.
“The nerves were horrible when I woke up in the morning but I managed to calm down when I got to the track.
“I had never performed in front of a crowd as big as it was in the stadium before but I managed to block it all out and I am delighted with what I achieved.”
Others competitors taking success close to home, and even on their own track, included Gateshead Harrier Brad Sansom, who won bronze in the junior boys’ shot putt.
The 14-year-old Duchess Community High School pupil, who also plays rugby for Alnwick, threw 13.20m and the budding second-rower-cum-athlete was delighted to get on the podium.
He said: “I have had a lot of problems with my shoulder because I play a lot of rugby, so it is a real achievement to win a medal in front of so many people.”
Fellow Gateshead Harrier, 14-year-old Lucy Turner, also took third place in the junior girls’ 75m hurdles and she said: “I really did not expect to win a medal, I just wanted to get into the final.
“So for me, getting a medal was a real bonus.
“It was amazing to have such a big crowd cheering me on and I am glad to have come away with something.”
The North East’s only other gold medal in Saturday’s final day of the two-day meeting came on the track as the Northumberland junior girls’ relay quartet of Emma Gilmour, Davina Nylander, Jenny Gilmour and Sydney Robertson shaved 0.12 secs off the Gateshead club record.
Durham athletes figured prominently with several claiming medals – Cameron Boyek took second place in the senior 1,500m, while in the same age-group Scott Lincoln finished third in the shot putt and Alan Toward claimed bronze in the discus.
Michael Bleasby took the bronze in the Intermediate 1,500m and Lucy Turner was 3rd in the Junior Girls’ 75m Hurdles.
Cleveland gained two medals. Mark Shaw lost out on a sprint finish to take second place in the Senior 3,000m, while Jack Crosby finished third in the Intermediate 200m.
Both athletes clocked personal best times, with Crosby’s mark, coming in the semi-final.
Cumbria gained a second gold medal when Nick Miller won the Senior Hammer and Abbie Hetherington finished a creditable second to top Junior International, Jessica Judd in the Intermediate 1,500m.
Meanwhile, a weakened Gateshead Harriers squad finished in eighth place in Saturday’s second British League Division 1 fixture at Kingston.
After winning the first match, Gateshead now slip to sixth, four points behind leaders Kent.
Gateshead won three individual events. Niall Flannery was successful in the 400m hurdles, David Riley won the 400m and Graeme Level was first in the discus.
Kieran Flannery took second place in the 800m behind established international Andy Baddeley of Harrow.
Level was also third in the hammer and both relay teams finished third.
Jodie Williams completed a sprint double at the Bauhaus Junioren Gala in Mannheim by winning the 200 metres yesterday.
The 17-year-old world junior 100m champion clocked a season’s best 23.05 seconds to claim victory.
Williams, who won the 100m on Saturday, is warming up for the European Junior Championships in Tallinn later this month, having opted not to go to the senior World Championships in South Korea in August.
Andy Pozzi clocked a British Under-20 110m hurdles record of 13.29secs to take victory on the second day of the competition.
Elsewhere, David Bolarinwa won the men’s 200m in 21.18s and Megan Southwart the 400m hurdles in 55.90, while the women’s 4x100m team of Annie Tagoe, Bianca Williams, Jennie Batten and Marilyn Nwawulor also took gold.
Holly Bleasdale set a new UK senior national pole vault record and global best by a teenager on Saturday.
The World Junior Championships’ bronze medallist, finalising her preparations ahead of the forthcoming European Under-23 Championships, cleared 4.70 metres.
Bleasdale, who cleared a career best 4.53m to win the England Athletics age group title a week ago, exceeded Kate Dennison’s previous best of 4.60m and is now ranked joint second in the world this year at senior level.