Superb Sprint Performances at National Champs
Ideal conditions on Saturday 26 August saw Henry Lawes and Graig Anya Joseph take on the might of the fastest boys in the country over 100m on the first day of the England Athletics U15 /U17 Championships held at Bedford International Stadium.
In his first ever national championship and only his fifth meet of the year, a nervous Lawes managed to bag himself a new PB (11.65s) and a place in the semi-final following a fourth-place finish in a heat which saw him drawn alongside the English Schools Champion Jaleel Roper.
Going into the competition as one of the favourites can put a lot of pressure onto a young athlete, however a composed Anya Joseph executed a good first round to win through comfortably in yet another PB and club record of 11.07s.
The semi -finals left the crowds on their feet when despite a poor start, Anya Joseph raised his game even further to storm through the first semi in an astonishing time of 10.94s, smashing his previous best and with it gaining pole position in the final. Not to be outdone, Lawes, drawn in lane one of the second semi, ran an accomplished race which also saw him lower his best time to 11.58s to take 7th place, not quite enough for a place in the final but a great end to his season.
With anticipation at fever pitch, the U15 boys’ final had the photo finish officials paying close attention to their screens, and the supporters screaming in the stands as Anya Joseph and Roper prepared once again for a spectacular show down. Second year Roper had come through his semi in 10.97s, ensuring a close final was on the cards. And so it proved and after a tense wait Anya Joseph – who still has one more year in this age category – just lost out by one-hundredth of a second to claim a superb silver place in a time of 11.02s.
Anya Joseph will round his season off on 10 September when he competes for Essex at Horspath in an inter counties match.