Harvey becomes English Champion
Harvey produced a storming finish to claim the English Schools' under-15s
cross-country title in Maidstone at the weekend.
The exciting 14-year-old prospect had been lying in third place out of 352
competitors at the Mote Park meet with just 200 metres of the two-mile
event left to run.
But Harvey, representing Devon, changed up a gear and pipped old rival Sarah
on the line and also edged Rachel Pounds into third place.
Harvey and Hopkinson
both finished the gruelling contest in the same time
of 11 minutes 29 seconds, with Manchester's Pounds a further two seconds
But for Harvey the victory was a case of sweet revenge, as
had beaten her only two weeks earlier in U15s
National Indoor Championships at Birmingham's NEC.
Hopkinson, who trains with the highly-rated
Emily Pidgeon, won the 800m
event with Harvey claiming bronze, and in a personal best time.
Harvey will now be among the favourites for a medal in the Home
International Cross-Country Championship, which will be held in Ayr on
Saturday, March 27.
won the English Schools Junior Girls' 800m in a time of 2:12.10. She won
her heat in 2:14.50.
HEA HEAD HEA
2004 - thissisexeter
Devon athletics chiefs
celebrated the county's commendable showing at the English Schools' Track
and Field Championships this weekend - before branding 2004 "a good
year". Devon's brightest teenage prospects were among the hundreds of
young athletes who took part in the English Schools' Athletic Association
event in Gateshead on Friday and Saturday.
And the county's youngsters put in some tremendous performances to earn
two gold medals, two silvers and two bronzes, as well as a string of other
Devon ended the weekend with 103 points, which was enough to earn them
eighth place in the Bradford Cup for counties with a schools population of
between 100,000 and 225,000.
And Devon Schools Athletic Association secretary Eileen Mander said the
34-strong squad had done themselves proud.
"We were pleased
with the team. To get six medals, including two winners, and a fair few
finalists was a great result,"
"We had a strong
year last year, but this was also a good year for us.
"I think the team probably exceeded expectations this year."
And the success enjoyed by many of Devon's competitors in recent years
makes Mander believe that athletics is growing more and more popular in
"I think we got
a creditable score this year and it shows athletics is on a high in Devon
at the moment," she
"We have been
looking strong for the last few years and we've really got a depth of
"We've got good athletes across the board in both track and field
events. There was a fair distribution of athletes this year, which is
On the English Schools' competition's second day, Devon claimed their
second gold medal when Ivybridge's cross-country champion Joanne Harvey
convincingly won the junior girls' 800m in a personal best time of 2mins
Devon Schools' Athletics Association chairman Terry O'Brien agreed the
competition was a success for the county's athletes.
"Overall I think
we did very well - it was a very successful weekend,"
"We got more
medals than I thought we would and most of our athletes performed beyond
"It was pretty well on a par with recent years and it was good to
score more than 100 points for about the fourth year running. That's a
great standard to reach because for several years we were stuck around the
70 or 80 mark.
"The standards are pretty good in the county at the moment. It's
going well, but I would like more boys to take part - we only had nine in
the team this year."
After completing a successful weekend of competition, the Devon team then
had the honour of meeting former West Buckland School pupil and Olympic
and world triple jump champion Jonathan Edwards.
The retired world record holder was a member of the Devon schools' team
when he was learning his trade back in the 1980s.
TEAM ARE BEST IN THE WEST
September 2004 - thissisexeter
Devon came out tops at
the South West Inter-Counties Championships at Exeter Arena, beating
Dorset, Cornwall, Somerset, Avon, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire.
Devon women won their section. Joanne Harvey ran 2.21.7 to win the under
15 girls 800m, well inside the elite standard time of 2.25.0 for her age
was second in the under 15 girls end of season track rankings for 1500m
with 4:34.82, behind only Gloucester's Sarah Hopkinson. She was 3rd in the
ran the fourth fastest time in the under 15 girls Southern Road Relay Championships
at the end of September, with a time of 11 minutes dead, running the
second fastest time on the third leg of the race.
The Exeter Harriers
team also just missed out on the medals, finishing in fourth place.
Joanne Harvey from Ivybridge was the Intermediate Girls' winner at the
English Schools Cross-Country Cup final in Oswestry. Close runner-up was
Gloucester's Sarah Hopkinson.
Harvey produced an impressive victory for Exeter Harriers in the Devon
Cross Country Championships in Whipton. The talented youngster, competing n
the under 15 age group,made
easy work of the hilly two-lap course - just over 4,500m -and took the
extremely muddy conditions very much in their stride.
500m, Harvey, the current English Schools cross country champion, a pupil
at Ivybridge Community College, was in a breakaway group of five which
also included Exeter's Garnet Mackinder, who eventually took the bronze.
Harvey pulled clear of the pack on the steep hill on the first lap, and
once a commanding gap had opened up she looked comfortable and in control.
Harvey will be in action again next week in the Devon Schools Cross
Country Championships in Plymouth. Here, in an older age group, she will
find herself up against Sunday's under 17 winner, junior international
Kirsty Hamilton from North Devon AC.
||English Schools XC
Cross-Country, Fukuoka, Japan
6km race was dominated by African athletes with Kenya taking all three
individual medals. Pauline Korikwiang won in 19 minutes 27 seconds in a
sprint finish against Veronica Wanjiru with Mercy Kosgei third in 19:45.
Edwards’ time was 20:10.
took the Team Gold medals with only 10 points. Ethiopia were second with
29, Japan third with 58, Eritrea fourth with 83 and Norwich Union GB fifth
with 116 – 17 points ahead of Russia – Sian
Edwards (Kettering Town Harirrers) 10th in 20:10; Stephanie
Twell (Aldershot, Farnham and District AC) 31st in 21:14; Non
Stanford (Swansea Harriers) 37th in 21:24; Danielle Sale
(Orion Harriers) 38th in 21:24; Jessica Sparke (Woodford Green
with Essex Ladies) 44th in 21:41; and Joanne
Harvey (Exeter Harriers) 51st in 21:59.
Stanford (Swansea Harriers), who turned down the opportunity to go ‘On
Camp with Kelly’ to Melbourne so that she could make her major
championships debut at the age of 17, also carried out to perfection Team
orders to avoid going out too fast and fading. She was 60th in
3:29 at the first checkpoint, but up to 36th in 9:46 by
halfway. She picked up two more places in the next section, passing the
checkpoint in 17:07 as the Norwich Union GB athletes continued to work off
Harvey (Exeter Harriers), the UK Inter-Counties Under 20 Silver medallist
making her Norwich Union GB debut at the tender age of 16, was 65th
in 3:30 at the first checkpoint, 45th in 9:54 at the second, 52nd
in 17:39 at the third and maintained her form by picking off one more
rival on the run-in.
said: “It was a really good
experience. I didn’t run as well as I thought I could. Training has been
going really well but this week I’ve had a few problems. I don’t want
to talk about them but I just wanted to finish the race.”
Union GB Junior Women’s Team Leader Stella Bandu summed-up: “The
whole team did absolutely fantastically in a highly competitive race. By
finishing fifth, they have beaten a lot of very good teams. It’s been a
real privilege to be their Team Manager and I hope what they have gained
from this will help them towards fulfilling their long term goals and
potential. It’s been a good learning experience.
policy of enabling young athletes to compete at occasions like this can
never be under-estimated. If they were all asked to write a short essay on
what they have learnt, I think they would end up with very long essays!”