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Williams takes her 2nd English Schools Title!

European U18 Silver Medallist Emily Williams continued her dominance on track in the U17 age group by winning her 2nd English Schools title with a fine display of championship 1500m running to win her second successive English Schools title and secure her 5th England vest to represent her country in the British & Irish SIAB international competition in Glasgow in a weeks’ time. Williams who was English schools champion in 2017 over 800m showed she is mastering the longer distance which she is UK ranked No1 and adding to her expanding repertoire, including an English Schools cross country title.

Emily Williams taking her second successive English Schools title

Fresh from her European U18 Silver Medal, Williams went into the competition a clear favourite, but she needed to ensure she qualified top 4 in the second heat. Prior to her heat Williams was the victim of an inadvertent error when her rucksack containing her race spikes were taken from the warm up area. Panicking as her call time drew nearer and fearing she would need to race in her trainers Williams did not have time to complete her warm up routine but thankfully a stadium announcement resulted in the bag being identified and retuned just as her final call approached.

In the heat Williams started well and was setting the early pace, and was prominent in the first two laps but she become boxed twice in the race on the final 600m as athletes took up position for a fast finish and she had to rely on her blistering turn of pace and to exploit a gap which opened up to power by her rivals in the final 100m win her heat in a comfortable 4:36.24.

The final the following day was all set up with all her main rivals safely through qualification and Williams was determined to ensure she could control the race and avoid becoming boxed. From the gun Williams was sat right at the front out of trouble and controlling the pace and with a modest opening 800m of 2:33, the plan was for Williams to stretch the pace with 600m to go. She executed this to perfection with a significant injection of pace at the 200m mark to open a 20m gap at the bell, Williams continued to extend her lead on the back straight, and when the following pack fighting for the minor medals started to close the gap with 200m to go, she again found an extra gear and kicked for home to win by 20m from Olivia Mason in 4:31.46 to take the title in style.

Gold for Emily Williams in the Inter-Girls 1500m

Williams will go into the SAIB British & Irish championship as favourite to take her second International title, something she is looking forward to which will cap off an amazing season which has seen her quickly master the longer 1500m distance and add to her already significant reputation as a complete middle and long distance athlete.

Also competing at English schools in their first experience of top level competition were Katie Gibson & Cynthia Ike who both put in highly respectable performances on their debuts. Gibson finished midfield in 9th place with a throw of 38.65m someway from her consistent 40-44m she has thrown this season, perhaps the nerves of the occasion affecting her performance. In warm up she threw a monster 50m+ throw which was measured which would have put her in strong medal contention. Sprinter Cynthia Ike finished a respectable 4th in her heat with an electronic timed PB of 12.75 in the 100m, and could consider herself unfortunate as her time would have seen her progress to the final if she had ran in the first heat.
Both girls will take massive heart from their performances and the experience of competing at English schools will hopefully inspire them and others to continue to push hard in training, and both will undoubtedly feature in future ES championships.

Cynthia Ike & Katie Gibson both put in very respectable performances in their first English Schools

Well done to all three Girls.