Top under-17s in action at Loughborough, with 800m and steeplechase among a number of championship bests

Autumn may be officially with us but that hasn’t slowed performances – as the 2016 School Games in Loughborough perfectly illustrated, reports Paul Larkins.

Championship best performances fell in several events and sharp sprinting – be that in the 100m and 200m or over the final 400m of some super, tactical 1500m race – produced a set of eye-catching performances.

The girls’ 800m and 1500m steeplechase two of the records as Anna Burt (pictured) ran 2:07.58 for two laps and Yasmin Austridge clocked 5:05.50 over the barriers. With 6.00m, Holly Mills also leapt to a championship record in the long jump.

Bayley Campbell was within a metre of his UK under-17 lead as he won the hammer with a last-round 68.99m, while Tara Simpson-Sullivan’s victory in the girls’ event was also last-gasp as 60.72m just missed her PB.

Molly Caudery was impressive in winning the pole vault with 3.90m. Jade O’Dowda went to the top of the UK 2016 under-17 rankings for 80m hurdles with 11.27 victory over English Schools champion Pippa Earley.

The School Games works to an Olympic-type format in that the country’s best under-17s are brought together for four days of sport in a variety of different disciplines from fencing to hockey, plus para-athletics events. There is even the obligatory opening ceremony, along with a village-type atmosphere to enjoy.

» See the next issue of Athletics Weekly, out in shops on September 8, for reports, results and photographs from Loughborough