CIARAN Cooper has been named as the captain of Wiltshire men’s team at the 84th annual English Schools’ Track & Field Championships.
The 17-year-old Swindon New College student admitted he was very proud when he was given the news, especially as it will be only his second time at the two-day event which begins at the Alexander Stadium on Friday (July 11th).
“I was pretty happy when I got the new that I was being made captain, it is really good,” said Cooper, who lives in Lower Stratton.
Cooper will be looking to set an example on and off the track as he will be first in action at 10am on Friday with the heats of the senior boys’ 800m.
“I have the heats at 10am and then the semi finals at 5pm with the final scheduled for Saturday and the aim is to reach the final,” added Cooper.
“Last year I reached the semi finals but was knocked out but I know what to expect this time and I feel I should reach the final.”
Cooper set his personal best of 1min 52.88secs when winning the South West Schools’ title last month to put his 15th in the UK Under 20 Rankings. Some of those above him won’t be running so, on paper at least, Cooper is more than capable of reaching that final eight.
“I am really excited and looking forward to it,” said Cooper. “And whatever I achieve this year I know that I will be back again in 2015.”
Another New College student in the county squad is 17-year-old South West Schools’ champion Emma Piatek, who will contest the senior girls’ 400m.
Malmesbury School’s Zoe Wassell runs the inter girls’ 3000m and Grace Davies-Redmond, the daughter of former Olympic swimming star Sharon Davies and Olympic sprinter Derek Redmond, will run the inter girls’ 300m hurdles.
Swindon Harrier Will Crisp, who along with Cooper is in Bryan Clinton’s coaching group at the Harriers, will be representing Oxfordshire in the junior boys’ 1500m.
Another Harrier in action at Birmingham will be Lillie Bellamy. The 18-year-old Cirencester College student – she celebrated her birthday on Sunday - has been selected for Gloucestershire to run the senior girls’ 800m in what will be her final appearance at the event.