Esme, 16, puts in an eye-catching performance in first ever heptathlon

Angela Morgan, Joe Morris, Esme Campbell-Marshall, Pyers Lockwood, Barry Morris.
Angela Morgan, Joe Morris, Esme Campbell-Marshall, Pyers Lockwood, Barry Morris.

Four of the Eastbourne Rovers team took part at the end of season County Combined Events Championships at The David Weir Centre, Sutton, writes Barry Morris.  Their ages varied from 15-60 years old.

16 year old Esme Campbell-Marshall gave an eye-catching performance in her first ever heptathlon in the u17s with an amazing personal best (PB) in six of her seven events to win the gold medal ahead of last year's winner.

It all started on the first day with Esme the clear winner in the 80m hurdles with a time of 12.77. This was followed by an improved performance in the high jump of 1.38m but, with other girls clearing higher, Esme dropped down to fourth.

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However, the shot put, her strongest event, saw her throw over ten metres for the first time eventually throwing a massive 10.46m to win. The day ended with the 200m where Esme finished a close third which was the only event she failed to PB in. Esme led the competition overnight a lead which she extended the next morning when she jumped three PBs in a row finishing with 4.90m and another victory.

Esme got 18.40m in the javelin which was a small improvement. However, the reigning champion, Eli Middleton threw close to 30m and closed Esme's lead to just 42 points with the dreaded 800m to go.

Although behind for 600m Esme then began to close the gap on a tiring Eli to finish just one second behind to take the title by just 29 points with a score of 3690 points which ranked Esme second on the club's all time list. Esme's lead coach is Barry Morris with Angela Morgan coaching the throws and Stuart Pelling the high jump.

Fellow squad members Pyers Lockwood (15) in his first ever octathalon and Joe Morris (senior) in the decathlon both also enjoyed successful weekends. Pyers took the silver medal in his competition and also achieved 5 PBs including 1.62m in the high jump and 14.57s in the 100m hurdles finishing with a win in the 1500m in a time of 4.48.6 minutes.

Meanwhile Joe Morris regained his title which he won for the third time despite having aggravated a knee injury during the second event, the long jump. Joe was able to push through and complete the event despite being almost on one leg by the end of the second day! In the absence of his training partner and friend Bradley Eisnor and being 400 points below his best he still won the gold medal comfortably.

At 60 years young Joe's dad Barry and lead coach for all three athletes took part in the veterans' pentathlon which was done on an age related basis. Barry was pleased with his opening event of 25.16m in the javelin closely followed by 4.87m in the long jump. An event at which he recently won the British over 60's long jump with a longest ranked jump of the year of 4.95m.

This performance ranks him 15th in the all time list for his age group. The third event of the day, the 200m, was a victory for Barry with a time of 27.04 beating several competitors up to ten years younger. He was a little disappointed with under 20m in the discus but was able to run a steady 1500m to be sure of winning the gold medal due to a healthy points lead from the previous four events.

What a great end to the season for all involved who will have a well deserved rest before resuming training early in October.