Eastbourne Rovers fifteen year old Sofia Cunningham and sixteen year old Mary Adeniji travelled to Gateshead at the weekend to represent Sussex in the English schools championships.
Competing as an under seventeen girl in the 100 metres Sofia being a year young will still be in the same age group next year.
The 100 heats and semis were both on the Friday in difficult conditions with a very strong wind against resulting in very slow times but really it was about qualification. Sofia finished comfortably in third in the fastest heat of the day to qualify for the semi-finals. In her semi Sofia got away well but with three girls clear it was close for fourth fifth and sixth but the photo finish showed Sofia to be fourth giving her the last spot into the final.
On the Saturday the wind had dropped and the light wind was with this time.
In a very high standard race four girls broke twelve seconds with Sofia finishing eighth in 12.38 seconds.
Sofia’s coach Barry Morris said: “Naturally initially Sofia was disappointed with her race but equally proud to of made the final.
Half of the top ten will be too old next year and the others have all been competing for four or more years while Sofia is in only her second seasonBarry Morris
“Half of the top ten will be too old next year and the others have all been competing for four or more years while Sofia is in only her second season.
“She will be better for this experience I’m sure and with a full winters training behind her I am confident she will be back next year much quicker and stronger.”
Mary Adeniji who took part in the triple jump and had recently jumped over eleven metres in winning the Sussex title.
Unfortunately a back injury meant Mary had only been able to manage light training in the previous four weeks or so.
None the less Mary gave it her best and a jump of 10.73 was good enough to give her eleventh place on the day. Which given her lack of an ideal preparation was a very respectable effort.
Sussex surprisingly only took one sprinter in each of the 100,200 and 300 events.
However this did give Mary the opportunity to join 4x100 relay squad along with Sofia, Sophie-Anne Haigh(200 semi-finalist) and Orla Brothers the winner of the 300 metres.
The girls comfortably won their heat in 49.06 seconds all be it the slowest heat of four. In the final they improved this to 48.80 to finish a very respectable sixth.
Sofia is back in action again at Bedford on the 19th of July in the 4x100 South of England relay championships with her training partners Rebekah Morris, Millie O’Hara and Issey Siggs.
The team having recently won the county title in 49.8 equalling the championship best performance.
It must be remembered these competitions are for clubs only as opposed to English schools which were county representative teams.
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