SWINDON Harriers are celebrating an English Schools Championships medallist this week after a terrific result by javelin thrower Hannah Lewington, writes Kevin Fahey. 

On her first appearance in the event, the 13-year-old – who is coached by Tom Dobbin - smashed her personal best by over a metre to finish runner-up in the junior girls’ javelin.

“Hannah did really well,” said Dobbin.

“She has a lot of talent and potential but also at the weekend showed what a great competition she is as well.

“She was really up for the competition and keen to do her best.”

Lewington certainly did that, improving her best from 38.53m with a mighty throw of 39.98m in the third round to take the silver behind champion Jess Thompson of North Yorkshire (41.57m).

“The English Schools’ is massive and with Hannah going there for the first time and winning a medal is superb,” added Dobbin.

“Not many kids do that at the first time of asking.”

Lewington, whose throw puts her third in the UK Rankings for under 15 girls, will be back in action in Exeter on Sunday the South West Inter-Counties Championships before moving onto the England Athletics Under 15s Championships next month.

But Dobbin stressed they are being careful not to over-expose Lewington in an event which puts great stress on the body.

He added: “The idea is for Hannah to be at her peak as a 20-25-year-old and not as a 15-year-old.  “So we are taking things steadily and for now making sure she is enjoying herself.”

As a student at St Edward’s School, Cheltenham, Lewington was in the Gloucestershire team while Bradon Forrest’s Amy Warre was in the Wiltshire squad. 

And it was Warre who came closest to adding a second medal for the Harriers.

Warre was making her debut at the championships and finished in that agonising position of fourth in the junior girls’ long jump.

In Warre’s case, the frustration of finishing fourth can be measured in just being two centimetres off bronze and three off silver as she cleared a personal best of 5.31m.

“It is really mixed emotions for me,” said Warre’s coach Tony Jackson.

“I am happy for Amy doing so well in her first English Schools’ but also gutted that she was so close to a medal. 

“Amy is a very talented athlete and now she has the taste and buzz for it she will be back in the triple jump next year and will look to improve upon that.”

Elsewhere, Lydiard Park’s Delleah Belgrave had problems with her run-up and had to settle for 21st place while Malmesbury School’s Willa Gibb finished just 0.17secs off a medal in the inter girls’ 80m hurdles. 

Lydiard park School’s Patrick Mochan capped a terrific debut season in the 15000m steeplechase by smashing his personal best by almost six seconds to finish eighth while Ridgeway School’s Josh Ricketts was making his farewell appearance in the event and placed eighth in the senior boys’ shot.