BERKSHIRE’s young athletes were in tremendous form at the English Schools’ national championships in Birmingham, winning five titles along with three silver medals and two bronzes, writes Dave Wright.

“It was a fantastic weekend,” beamed team official Stella Bacon.

Their first medal came on Friday when Furze Platt pupil Harrison Thorne secured silver in the intermediate boys’ high jump with a personal best leap of 2.01m.

He was later named in the England squad for the Home Internationals Under 17 meeting at Grangemouth being held next weekend, along with Kennet School’s Charlotte Payne, who won the intermediate girls’ hammer title with a throw of 61.77m, nearly eight metres ahead of the runner-up.

Ben East, who attends Park House in Newbury, produced an excellent series of throws in the junior boys’ javelin and his effort of 66.95m secured the gold medal and a new championship record, beating the previous best by more than five metres.

Another title to go Park House’s way came Berkshire’s way in the senior boys’ hammer with Oliver Hewitt throwing 62.85m.

Reading Town Championships record-holder Zara Obamakinwa, who goes to Queen Anne’s in Caversham, was another excellent winner in the junior girls’ discus with a throw of 37.79m, finishing more than five metres ahead of the runner-up.

Her Berkshire colleagues Sophie Wheadon (The Downs) and Lucy James (Holt) finished fifth and eighth respectively.

Berkshire’s fifth national title came from Reddam House (Wokingham) pupil Matt Buckner, who produced the run of his life to win the senior boys’ 200m in 21.54sec, reversing places with Surrey’s Dylan Da Costa who had beaten him the semi finals.

Tade Ojora (Eton College) had an excellent run in the senior boys’ 110m hurdles, setting a new championships record when winning his heat in 13.54, but in the final he clocked 13.74 and had to settle for a silver medal.

Berkshire also picked up two bronze medals thanks to Lauren Watkins (Emmbrook) in the junior girls’ 75m hurdles (11.29sec), and Harry Booker (Kennet) in the junior boys’ discus with a throw of 42.16m.

Eton student Oliver Crawford finished fifth in the junior boys’ triple jump with a leap of 12.76m.

In the junior boys’ long jump, Louie Holzman (Forest) was seventh after clearing 6.06m.

Mrs Bacon commented: “Our team managers were very proud of our athletes, many of whom recorded personal bests as well as achieving national standards. It was a tremendous two days of competition.”

The Berkshire team accumulated 163 points, leaving them 10th in Group A which was won by Essex.