If it wasn’t for you medalling kids: Countback denies Leonie bronze at English Schools’ Championships

Biggleswade Athletic Club high-jumper Leonie Brunning was unlucky to miss out on the junior bronze medal at the English Schools’ Championships in Birmingham last weekend, as she finished fifth despite clearing the same height as two athletes who shared third place.

The 14-year-old, representing Bedfordshire, leaped to a highly impressive 1.63m to earn a National Standard badge, hot on the heels of a 1.67m clearance last week in Peterborough which moved her up to fifth in the UK rankings. However, having entered the competition at 1.44m, and managing a clean roster of jumps up to 1.57m, the countback rule began to tell on failed attempts as the competition heated up.

Supported by the club’s high jump coach Chris Watson, Leonie’s second-time clearance at 1.60m was followed by a last-gasp attempt at 1.63m, but as two rivals representinging Leicestershire and Hampshire managed to clear the latter height at the second time of asking, they shared third place.

Amid an outstanding run of form which has showcased her excellent technique, Leonie’s attention now turns to gaining more consistency above the 1.60m barrier, which will enable her to be fresher at the business end of competitions. Her experience among stiff competition at Alexander Stadium will stand her in fine stead for the rest of the season.

In the junior boys’ 200m, BAC’s Cameron Rayner was another competing for his county, and his 24.17sec, run into a headwind, earned him sixth place in a very high quality heat.

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