Morgan Lake and Adam Hague among young athletes to write their names in record books at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium
As the curtain came down on athletics at Sheffield’s Don Valley Stadium it was only fitting that a heptathlete should have the final say as the Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games came to a close on Sunday.
But it was not the Steel City and Great Britain’s golden girl Jessica Ennis-Hill that helped say goodbye but the new generation of heptathlon star Morgan Lake who signed off a fine season in style.
Heading to Sheffield 16-year-old Lake was already able to boast a sparkling 2013 that saw her set the UK Under-17 heptathlon record at 5474 points at last month’s England Under-17 Combined Events Championships.
Lake also raised the UK Under-17 high jump record at 1.90m as she represented Great Britain at July’s IAAF World Youth Championships.
And although she was unable to repeat these heroics in Sheffield her best of 1.82m was good enough for gold and to beat Katarina Johnson-Thompson’s Sainsbury’s School Games record – the event supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust.
Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC starlet Lake is now able to put her feet up after a long but successful campaign, and she admitted her delight at giving her season the send off it deserved.
“I was aiming for the School Games record so to achieve what I set out to do was great,” she said.
“It was really windy out there and one minute it would be really strong and the next it would die down but when you started running it would pick up again so it was tricky but I felt good and wanted to finish my season on a high.
“It has been a long season but a really good one and this is a great way to head into winter training before I start focusing on the World Juniors next year – they are my big aim.
“It also feels special to win here at Don Valley with me being a heptathlete – this is the first time I have competed here and the last so it was a good way to mark it.”
Lake was representing England South West at Don Valley but it was the team from the South East who were left celebrating as they took home the overall title, with Midlands and Scotland having to settle for second and third respectively.
One of the stars of the show for the South East team was Harry Hughes as he set a new Sainsbury’s School Games record in the javelin thanks to a best effort of 69.71m.
England North East’s Tom Somers, who finished fourth in the 200m at July’s World Youth Championships with the second fastest time ever run by a 16-year-old Brit, would have had a championship record too but his time of 21.17 in taking gold was with an illegal wind.
However team-mate Adam Hague was not to be denied as he cleared 4.77m in the pole vault to write his name into the Sainsbury’s School Games record books.
“I am really pleased because I came to the Sainsbury’s School Games looking to do both and I have managed that so I am over the moon,” said Hague, who finished sixth at the World Youth Championships.
“I had a good training session all week and felt good on the training day so I felt confident heading into the competition and I am just happy I saw it through.
“This was the end of my season and it has been a long season but along the way I pulled on my first GB vest so I am really happy with how it has gone.
“I also live ten minutes from Don Valley and I am sad to see it go but at least I got to say goodbye on a high.”
» The Sainsbury’s 2013 School Games, which is supported by National Lottery funding from Sport England and delivered by the Youth Sport Trust, takes place in Sheffield from 12-15 September 2013. Visit www.2013schoolgames.com for more information and see the September 19 issue of AW for reports, pictures and results.