Southern Schools Inter-County Championships

On a gloriously sunny day the Couplands, minus the daughter, headed down to Crawley to compete for / cheer on the Hampshire Schools team. Robbie was selected to run in the 1500m, and we were expecting to cheer him on, in what should be the toughest race of the year to date. As we have seen so often this year Robbie set the pace for the race, completing the first 300m in 48 seconds, continuing with lap times (400m) of 70 seconds. With about 700m to go Harry Boyd from Surrey took on the mantle and pushed forward, taking  Zac Mahamed with him and dropping Robbie in to 3rd place with Jesse Magorrian from Kent sitting on Robbie’s shoulder. The burst lasted for only a short period but it was enough to see Harry pulling away from Zac in second creating a gap of approximately 15m. Robbie kicked to try and close up on Harry, and Jesse went with him the pair pulling past Zac and putting Robbie back in to second place. The battle for first place was well and truly won, and with 300m to go Jesse surged past Robbie to take second, it looked a little bleak, would Robbie be pushed out of the medal places? As it happens, NO! Robbie kept Jesse well within his sights and at the 200m to go point kicked hard, closing the small gap between them and urging Jesse onwards. The final placings had Harry (Surrey) in 1st with 4’14” Jesse (Kent) 2nd with a PB time of 4’17” and Robbie (Hampshire) a very close 3rd with another PB of 4’18.5″. A great run by all the boys and a great day for Hampshire. Well done to all athletes who competed in very hot conditions and who showed the South that Hampshire has some bite.

Southern Schools Inter Counties

Robbie pushing the Pace with Harry Boyd keeping close.

Hampshire Schools County Championships

The Hampshire Schools County Championships doubles as the Hampshire Schools selection event for the Southern Schools Inter Counties and the National Schools Championship, which is the fourth biggest athletics event in the world, or so I’m told. With all that said, it was always going to be the most important event of the summer calendar, for now at least.

Although Robbie has already achieved the English Schools National qualifying time, it means nothing unless the county select him to race, he needs to win this Inter-District Championship, and in reality he needs to win it with a good time and a convincing performance. I am more than pleased to say he did both, running for Aldershot District (Orange Vest) he once again lead the pack from the start, by the half way point only Zac Mohamed was still with Robbie, and he took the opportunity to try to push past, Robbie however was having none of it, re-took the lead and pressed on. With 400m to go Robbie was pulling away, with 200m to go he kicked round the bend and by the finish line was a good 50m in front of all opposition.

A great run, leading to an excellent time of 4’18.9 a PB for Robbie improving on his English Schools qualifying time, and once more with all the work under his own belt. Great result another gold and another county champion title, this time for Hampshire Schools.

Qualified !!!

With less than two weeks to go before the Hampshire Schools Championships Robbie has managed to push out a National Schools qualifying time. Running in the 1500m at the Watford Open, with a heat target time of 4’15” Robbie was hoping to use the fast pace of the other runners to pull him round for a schools qualifying time. Unfortunately the race wasn’t as fast as hoped and Robbie ended up having to set the pace, once again leading the pack from the front and doing all the work, this didn’t bode well for a great time, but in the end it was good enough to provide the needed qualifying time, and another new PB.

The finishing 300m saw Robbie knocked back in to 2nd, then 3rd place but not by far, the race being won in 4’19” and Robbie finishing in 4’20”. A good run, well run but a better field would definitely see Robbie improve his times even further.

Pushing the Pace from the front - Watford Open 4th June 2014

Pushing the Pace from the front – Watford Open 4th June 2014