Hampshire Schools Championships 2017

Another sunny day in Portsmouth, Robbie’s original plans to run the 1500m were altered with less than a week to go due to the fact that no other runners were running the Senior Boys (SB) 1500m, with the 3000m being merged in to a single event for Inter boys (IB) and SB, and with 2 other SB competitors it seemed like a better option. On the day however Robbie was the only SB runner in the event, so a gold was guaranteed, but a race was still on with Lachlan Wellington and Jacob O’Hara from the IB race both having better times this year than Robbie’s PB.

Lachlan took the bit in his mouth early on, and led the race from the begining setting an approximate 70 second 400m pace looking good for a Robbie PB smashing 8’45” time. Robbie tucked in nicely behind Lachlan, with Jacob tucking in nicely behind Robbie, the three gradually pulled away from the rest of the runners, with fellow AFD athlete Theo Doran leading the chasing athletes, by the 1600m mark Jacob was falling off the pace, with Lachlan leading and Robbie still tucked in tight a situation that continued until about 700m out when Lachlan put a bit of a kick in and Robbie failed to respond. Ultimately Robbie came second in the event finishing in 8:53.2 but obviously taking first place for the SB race, behind Lachlan (8:48.4).

Senior Boys:
1st Robbie Coupland 8:53.2

Inter Boys:
1st Lachlan Wellington 8:48.4
2nd Jacob O’Hara 9:24.0
3rd Theo Doran 9:34.0

Well done to all runners, and good luck to the Junior and Intermediate athletes due to represent Hampshire at the Inter-Counties next week.

Lachlan, with Robbie tucked in and Jacob tucked in behind Robbie

Aldershot District – Inter Schools 1

The first, and likely only, inter-schools event for Robbie this year was held at Basingstoke and for a change, in good weather conditions.

With 1500m being the only middle distance event Robbie prepared himself, once again a very limited warm up time was available, and set his mind to winning the race. A race out front on his own was always likely, even if he took it steady, so with that in mind the aim of the day was to win, be dammed with the time.

As it happened, Robbie took a very steady approach to the race, finishing well in front in a time that was only half a second slower than his PB, though his PB dates back two years after his injury filled summer season last year.

So 1st place in 4:19.0 looking comfortable and feeling good, can’t ask for much more from him. Great run.

Aldershot District - Inter Schools Approaching the Bell

Aldershot District – Inter Schools
Approaching the Bell

Aldershot District Schools Championships

Another odd day, at least as far as weather is concerned, from glorious sunshine, to black clouds, gale force winds, and even hail on the day adding to the fun. Robbie, running for Calthorpe Park chose to race in the 3000m and from very early on it was fairly obvious that he was going to walk away with the gold. By the 5th lap he had lapped 4 of the 8 competitors, and coming in to the finishing straight on his last lap was chasing down 4th and 3rd place, with 2nd place only half a lap away. A convincing win, but not unexpected in the GCSE exam timetable reduced field, Robbie finishing in 9:35 with second place crossing the line almost a minute later.

As a note: The 1500m race was won in 5:00, Robbie ran the first 1500m of his 3000m in about 4:30. Something that was noted by the selectors, who contacted Robbie and asked him if he would be willing to run the 1500m at the County Championships, because of his win at 3000m he had a confirmed place, but as a district we were struggling for 1500m runners. Robbie subsequently chose to run the 1500m at the Hampshire School Championships.

200m in to the 3000m, already forming a gap.

200m in to the 3000m, already forming a gap.

Aldershot District Inter School League – 1 – Basingstoke

First of the school summer track and field events saw Robbie up against fellow AFD runner Jack Boswell in the 1500m, despite both boys stating that they were going to take it easy, the race set off at a fair pace, hitting 300m in approx 49 seconds with Jack in front and Robbie just off his shoulder. The race continued to build as expected with Jack slowly pulling away from Robbie, and ultimately finishing approx. 15 seconds in front of Robbie, who in turn was probably 15 seconds in front of 3rd place.

Jack winning in 4:15 with Robbie coming in at about 4:29.


Robbie chasing Jack in to the line for the first time (300m point)

Robbie chasing Jack in to the line for the first time (300m point)

Calthorpe Park Sports Day

Calthorpe run a number of heat events during normal PE lessons to select runners for the finals on Sports Day, the exception to this is the 1500m race, which is run as 2 heats, with the times taken and positions sorted based on time, not on a final. So before Sports Day, Robbie had already won the 1500m, and was down to race in the 800m final/ The Year 9 (Robbie) and Year 10 boys races were merged in to one, obviously with the boys scoring within their own age group only. Robbie went out from the start to try and beat the School Sports Day Record for year 9 currently standing at 2’15”, and his time at the half way point looked very good, Robbie had a convincing lead and was looking very strong running the race from out in front, with Billy Kilcoyne (Y10) in second place but some distance back.

Robbie finished in a new record time of 2’13.89″ breaking the old record, that had stood since 1972.

Heading down the finishing straight for the first time.

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.

Personal Best’s

The table below shows Robbie’s Track PB’s as they currently stand, details curtesy of www.thepoweroften.info

Event PB 2013 2012 2011 2010
75 11.3       11.3
100 15.2   15.2 15.5  
150 23.0       23.0
200 31.6   31.6 31.9  
600 1:59.5       1:59.5
800 2:19.5 2:19.5 2:28.0 2:37.2  
1000 3:07.2   3:07.2   3:25.9
1500 4:35.0 4:35.0 4:55.5 5:02.09  
3000 9:53.56 9:53.56      
5K 19:46   19:46   
Parkrun (5K) 18:02 18:02     

That’s about all folks !!!

Well that’s about it for track and field 2013, not much else to see or do. Robbie and Jade have disappeared with their Grandma and Grandpa Blogg for a week.

We may try to squeeze another open track event in over the summer, but all the leagues and county events are now completed. The next big race is the Southern Road Relays, to be held in Aldershot on the weekend of 21st and 22nd of September, then back in to Cross Country for another season.

The 2013/14 XC season will see Robbie competing for AFD in the bottom year of the U15 age group, much like he has done over the summer track season. The Schools and Club events split the age categories slightly differently, so he will be competing in the upper year  of the Schools U15 age group which means for the next XC season his core focus will be on schools events, and in particular trying to get in to the England Schools XC team.

Hampshire Schools Junior Championship (Year 7 and Year 8)

The Junior championship targets single years, not the two year mix that the normal athletics championships target. So all athletes compete against children from their own school year, of course there can still be nearly a year difference in age at times but the playing field is definitely levelled out. Teams from each school district within Hampshire came together to compete against each other, and for individuals to compete for places in the Hampshire Schools Junior Inter Counties team.

Robbie ran in the year 8 (U14s) 1500m race, held at 13:30hrs and once again in blazing sunshine and record temperatures.

Hampshire Schools Athletics – Junior Championship U14 Boys 1500m

Position Time Athlete Team
1 4’32” Alex Forster New Forest
2 4’35” Robbie Coupland Aldershot & District
3 4’52” Archie Ives Eastleigh & Winchester