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St Clement Danes School retained their overall title at the Watford and District Schools Athletics Championships
St Clement Danes School retained their overall title at the Watford and District Schools Athletics Championships on Wednesday.
The Chenies Road school celebrated victory in the 2013 event and their pupils made sure they finished top once again.
For the second year running, their closest rivals were Parmiter’s School while Queen’s School rounded off the top three.
Danes finished third in the boys’ category but the strong performance from their girls meant that when both scores were combined, it was enough to seal first place due to Haberdashers not being eligible for the overall crown due to the schools being single sex.
It is the eighth time in the last ten years that St Clement Danes have won the overall title and Ian Birkett, head of PE at the school, said: “It is a great achievement and we are delighted to have retained the title. We would like to think we were always in with a chance of winning it but of course it is not easy.
“So credit to the pupils and the staff because everybody has worked very hard and winning the championships is the reward.
“Keeping hold of the title is a big accomplishment and the spirit amongst the pupils at the school is fantastic. You’ll see them cheering on other people from the school and supporting them, even if they do not know who they are. It is nice to see how much it means to them.”
When their boys and girls’ scores were combined, Danes finished on 1156.5 points. Parmiter’s ended on 1108 while Queen’s had 974.5.
Head of PE at Parmiter’s, Tim Henson, felt the Championships were a great day for the sport in the Watford area and said: “We know that it usually tends to come down to us and St Clement Danes and this time their girls just had a little bit more than our boys.
“I am very proud of our pupils though, and athletics is something that we have always taken very seriously at the school.
“It’s a great experience for the younger pupils as well and competing against people outside of your school can be a real motivation to improve.”
Mike Hopwood, head of PE at Queen’s, added: “We are really pleased with third and some of the performances from our pupils were really outstanding.
"It was a good event and it was nip and tuck, we didn’t finish too far away from Parmiter’s but I think if we were really honest we probably knew they and St Clement Danes would be in the top two.
“But we are definitely improving and all the hard work from the staff and the pupils was rewarded.”
Pupils from Years 7 to ten competed at the event which was held at Woodside.
The overall winners in the boys’ section were Haberdashers while St Clement Danes came out on top in the girls’ section.
Danes’ girls’ consistency proved invaluable as their girls sides finished inside the top two across all four age groups.
There were a number of new individual records set at the championships.
Matthew Patterson, of St Clement Danes, achieved a new district distance of 4.92m in the Under-13 boys long jump.
Royal Masonic Girls’ Z. Owolana clocked a record 13.1 in the Under-13s 100m while Haberdashers’ J. Douglas achieved a new best district distance of 9.19m in the Under-13 girls’ shot put.
In the Under-14 boys 1,500m, Haberdashers’ J. Harper set a new best time of 4.39.90 and Queen’s Jessica Emery set a record distance of 26.53m in the Under-14 girls’ discus.
Bushey Meads’ D. Ashwell clocked a record 11.3 in the Under-16s boys’ 100m and Watford Boys’ D. Cedro cleared a record height of 3.70m in the Under-16 boys’ pole vault and ensured he finished first by almost a metre.