SCHOOLS from across Bracknell competed in a range of activities at the Indoor Athletics Championship.

Bracknell Leisure Centre was the venue for the first round of heats for the 2019 competition.

The event is organised by Bracknell Forest Council's Young People in Sport Scheme, in conjunction with the Berkshire School Games.

Following the success of previous years, this year saw the biggest ever commitment from Bracknell schools, with 27 schools in total taking part.

The schools were divided into two group heats with the 12 schools from each heat qualifying for the final at the end of the month.

The final will consist of two sessions with five winning teams from each session progressing to the Berkshire County Final along with the two remaining places determined by results from the 6th and 7th placed schools from both sessions.

In the morning session the teams were into their stride immediately with some tense finishes in the hurdle relays. The first phase of the field events also produced some close finishes as every athlete gathered points for their teams.

Next on the track were the individual athletes and with the rest of their teams behind them they strained every sinew to score as many points as they could. The two-lap relays were a little more sedate, but equally competitive as the lead within the race changed hands a number of times.

By the second set of field events the leaders were pretty well established, but there were several teams within a few points for the last couple of qualifying places.

Throughout the morning the leading school changed a few times and by the final relays qualifying places were still up for grabs. Whitegrove and Ascot Heath were assured of places in the final, but there was a scramble for the remaining places. There was little to choose between the chasing teams but in the end Sandy Lane, Uplands and Jennett’s Park secured the 5 spots available leaving Binfield and College Town to go forward for consideration for the final two places.

There was more of the same in the afternoon with the remaining 12 teams determined to reach the final. If anything the competition was even closer with just a handful of points separating the teams at the half way stage. It remained close as the second set of field events took place, but gradually one or two teams opened a gap and looked set for the final with the battle for the remaining qualifying places being quite intense.

Once again the final relay races finally settled matters. St Joseph’s took the top spot just ahead of Warfield and St Michael’s (Sandhurst). Wildridings fought hard to safely make it through along with Crowthorne who were delighted that their efforts had paid off.

From the afternoon session the 6th and 7th placed schools were St Michael’s (Easthampstead) and Wooden Hill who joined Binfield and College Town to be calculated for the 2 last places to be put forward to the final. Once all of the results from the 4 schools had been examined it turned out that both schools from the morning session (Binfield and College Town) would complete the line up for the final.

With so many close results the Bracknell Forest Schools’ final on 25th January promises to be really exciting with any number of potential champions.