On Saturday 7th July, Bromsgrove Preparatory School Boys’ athletics team capped off a truly memorable year by representing ten counties from across the Midlands at the prestigious English Schools’ National Cup Final at Gateshead International Stadium.
The day could not have started any better when Louis Upton won his heat and came third overall in the 80 metre Hurdles and ran the fastest time ever by a Bromsgrovian in a national cup final. Billy McDonough ran the fastest time ever by a 'B' string hurdler and Louis and Billy amassed a staggering 52 points jointly in the hurdles. Next up was Sebastian Purvis who ran the race of his life and led for most of the first heat of the 1500 metres, to clock a huge new life time best performance of 4 minutes 47 seconds, coming fifth overall and third on the Prep School all time list and only two seconds off the Prep School record. William Hobbs also ran well in the 1500 metres and was close to his fastest time. Sebastian and William became the first Bromsgrovians ever to score over forty points jointly in the 1500 metres. Joe Morgan, Neil Cai, Morgan McKinley and the only Year 7 representative, Joe McLoughlin, all ran well in the 100 and 200 metres and Callum Wilkinson and William Brown both ran two big personal bests over 300 metres.
In the field events, many impressive performances were recorded, with the highlight being Harry Draper Barr winning the discus and breaking his own Prep School record. Zach Armstrong came third in the shot put, just 2cm short of his own school record. Fyodor Shaskin, who had shown great commitment to the team, flying back from Moscow the previous day, threw a big new life time best performance in the hammer, finishing third. Louis Upton also finished third in the javelin and equalled the Prep School record of 55 points in the competition for two events. Only two boys out of 168 from the twelve schools scored more points than Louis and they just scored one more point than him. Alex Ranger, despite carrying an injury, still managed to finish seventh in the javelin.
The above performances are right up there with some of the best performances ever recorded as a school in a National Cup Final. Many families rearranged their family holidays to enable the School to contest this national final a full week into the School’s holiday. When all the points had been tallied, Bromsgrove finished in 11th position as a team from an initial entry of 540 who contested the first round back in May. A huge well done to the entire team below:
Louis Upton, Harry Draper Barr, Billy McDonough, Sebastian Purvis, William Brown, Joe McLoughlin, Joe Morgan, Morgan McKinley, Callum Wilkinson, Fyodor Shaskin, Zach Armstrong, Alex Ranger, William Hobbs, Neil Cai.