JOSH Ricketts smashed his own county record as he retained his senior boys’ title at the Wiltshire Schools’ Track & Field Championships last weekend, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

The 18-year-old Ridgeway School student launched the hammer to 52.52m to easily beat his 2018 record of 46.40.

The throw, on his home track at Swindon, was also a personal best and eclipsed the 52.05m he recorded to win the Wiltshire clubs’ title last month, confirming his status as the number one thrower in the South West and 15th best nationally.

For good measure, and to complete a satisfying day, Swindon Harriers member Ricketts added the senior shot title with a throw of 12.76m.

“I was pretty happy with that considering the windy conditions which didn’t help at all,” said Ricketts, who is coached by Bob Broadbridge.

“Plus that PB throw wasn’t very good technically at all, so I will be looking to improve again at Exeter at the South West Schools’ Championships on Saturday.”

But it was a good way to sign off his schools’ career at county level as Ricketts secured his fourth successive title, setting a record that will take some beating.

Younger brother Harry was a little below his best form as he won the bronze medal in the inter boys’ event, in which champion Owen Merrett, from Chippenham, set a new county record of 50.32m.

On the track, Abbeyfield School’s Ethan Pierce did what was necessary to win the senior boys’ 1,500m, improving upon his silver in 2018, while Lydiard Park School’s Patrick Mochan won the inter boys’ 1,500m steeplechase as he notched up another sub-five-minutes clocking.

Ridgeway School runner Ayla Tonkin had a breakthrough win in the inter girls’ 1,500m steeplechase as she celebrated victory – her first ever in a county schools’ event – with her first sub-six-minutes time, clocking a big PB of 5mins 54.51secs.

That carved over six seconds from her previous best to underline her coach Bryan Clifton’s belief that she is a real talent in this new event.

In the shorter stuff, Lydiard Park School sprinter Delleah Belgrave won the junior girls’ 100m in 13.4secs and was runner-up in the long jump with a PB of 5.34m, beating her previous best by 10cm.

Training partner Tye Leo-Stroud, who is also in Tony Jackson’s coaching group, was runner-up in the junior boys’ 200m where the head-winds affected the times.

Over 400m, St Joseph’s Catholic School’s Joseph Knibb continued his improvement as he notched up another PB of 54.75secs for a dominant victory in the inter boys’ age group.

Jessica Kinneir, also of St Joseph’s, improved from silver in 2018 to gold in the junior girls’ high jump clearing 1.45m, five centimetres below her PB.