2023 SIAB Track & Field International Round-Up
The Welsh Schools team travelled North to Scotland for this year’s edition of the Schools’ International Athletic Board’s U17 Track & Field International.
It saw the top athletes from Welsh Schools, English Schools, Irish Schools and hosts Scottish Schools compete at Grangemouth Stadium near Falkirk. A team of 60 athletes were selected to represent the Welsh Schools Athletic Association team in this traditional showpiece event.
The experienced Cara Scott (Ysgol Botwnnog) and Osian Parry (Radyr Comprehensive School accepted the invitation to take on the roles of male and female team captains respectively.
Following the early morning start by coach, the team arrived at their accommodation on Friday evening ahead of the competition which began in the hammer cage on Saturday morning.
The majority of athletes chosen were from the Middle age grouping (under 17s) with a few outstanding juniors given the opportunity to gain experience at this level of competition for the first time. The team included recent Welsh champions, record holders and two members of the Team Wales squad heading out to the Youth Commonwealth Games in a few weeks’ time.
The pupils were supported throughout the weekend by an experienced management team of twelve, including delegates and specific coaches across all track and field disciplines - sprints, endurance, jumps and throws.
Awarded on the day were the Charlie & Mona Hughes Awards which go to the most meritorious performances at the event (male and female). Congratulations to Luca Phillips and Olivia Schrimshaw, this year’s recipients.
Phillips’ first round jump of 7.15m * in the long jump was a new U17 & U18 Welsh record, beating the previous best of 7.11 set in 1986. In the final field event of the day, he did the double by taking the triple jump title. Schrimshaw went beyond 12 metres for the first time in the triple jump pit. Her best recording of 12.12m * is a new UK under 15 all-time best as a result by 21cm.
*Records to be ratified.
Welsh Schools produced one of its best overall results to date at this annual international, with 17 medals returning home and a third-place finish in the team standings. There were three winning performances, five silver and nine bronze medals presented, surpassing the thirteen picked up in Belfast on the same weekend 12 months ago.
A successful day ended on a high, with both the 4 x 100m and boys’ 4 x 400m relay teams finishing on the podium.
Medallists in Grangemouth were:
Gold / Aur:
- Luca Phillips (Cowbridge Comprehensive School) – Long Jump – 7.15m & Triple Jump – 14.39m
- Lewie Jones (Olchfa School) – Javelin – 61.34m
Silver / Arian:
- Amy Beynon (Bishopston Comprehensive School) - Pole Vault – 3.15m
- Olivia Schrimshaw (Ysgol Brynhyfryd) – Triple Jump – 12.12m
- 4 x 100m – Lewis Stephens, Joseph Berry, Benjamin Parker, Max Evans
- 4 x 100m – Olivia Schrimshaw, Olivia Gillespie, Menna Grant, Nell Desir – 47.10
- 4 x 400m – Callum-Fox Byrne, Osian Parry, Harry Bradley, Gethin Tomos Griffith – 3:24.32
Bronze / Efydd:
- Nell Desir (Radyr Comprehensive School) – 100m – 11.94
- Joseph Berry (Caerleon Comprehensive School) – 200m – 22.14
- Anna-Rose Merchant (Porthcawl Comprehensive School) – 800m – 2:12.84
- Millie Gold (St IIItyds Catholic High School) – 3000m – 9:52.88
- Cameron Eley (Bassaleg School) – 100m Hurdles – 13.87
- Osian Parry (Radyr Comprehensive School) – 400m Hurdles – 54.60
- Megan Taylor (Cardiff High School) – Long Jump – 5.74m & High Jump – 1.65m
- Matilda Quick (Morriston Comprehensive School) – High Jump – 1.65m
For other members of the squad, there were new season and personal bests set across several disciplines, valuable experiences gained and new friendships made. The full 2023 International team and their schools can be viewed here.
Thank you from Welsh Schools AA and team leaders Zane Maynard (WSAA International Secretary / Morriston Comprehensive School) and Andrew Jenkins (WSAA Support Officer) go to…
- All Welsh Schools Athletic Association Support Staff, Officers and SIAB delegates who supported the team in Grangemouth.
- Welsh Athletics for their assistance with the team administration and financial support towards this event.
- Scottish Schools AA for organising an excellent international and for their hospitality throughout the weekend.
- Army of parents, family members and coaches who made the journey from Wales to Scotland.
Looking ahead to next summer, the SIAB Schools U17 Track & Field International in 2024 will be hosted by Welsh Schools! Swansea University was the venue when Wales last staged this end-of-season fixture back in July 2019.