A Knight to remember for Jess
12:40pm Friday 13th July 2012 in Athletics
After two years of missing out on selection for the Surrey team for the English Schools Championship, Jess Knight vindicated her inclusion in the team for this year’s event by romping to victory in the senior girls’ 400m by a margin of almost a second.
In the process, she broke the Herne Hill Harriers senior and U20 women’s records with a stunning run in the biggest race of her season in a packed out Gateshead International Stadium.
This superb win was a fitting reward for the hard work she has put in in preparation, training with her coach James McDonald, who has again brought an athlete through to deliver on a big stage.
Herne Hill had another first claim athlete winning a senior girls’ title as Funto Fabunmi-Alade, racing for Berkshire Schools, won the 200m for the second year in a row, clocking 24.3 seconds to win by 0.4 seconds.
Another HHH team member, Shanice Harrison, placed third in 24.7, clocking the same time as the silver medal winner.
A third athlete with HHH affiliation won gold in Maddy Austin, whose tactical astuteness saw her to victory in a slow 800m race.
Other HHH athletes to perform with distinction were Zanson Plummer (fourth inter boys 100m), Marvin Popoola (sixth inter boys 200m), Rebecca Zelic (eighth senior girls triple jump) and Tayo Andrews (ninth inter boys high jump).
Meanwhile, at Crystal Palace, the South of England Athletics Association chose to stage their U20 Championship over the same weekend as the English Schools, which led to a depleted entry in many events, but there were still some fine performances and some worthwhile competition for a handful of HHH athletes.
The only gold medallist was Rushane Thomas, who won a well-contested 110m hurdles race in a PB of 14.71.