Beswick sets the pace in impressive Surrey Schools triumph
KERTIS Beswick set his sights on national glory after not only winning the Surrey Schools U17 100m hurdles title but setting the best time in the country.
The Croydon Harrier ran 13.18 seconds in the heats, breaking the championship record.
He was slightly slower in the final, when conditions had become even windier.
Looking ahead to the English Schools Championships in Gateshead on July 6 and 7 he said: "I want to win it. It's my first time going to English Schools and I'm looking forward to it."
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The Archbishop Lanfranc School pupil paid tribute to his coach, former Commonwealth Games medallist Lorna Booth.
"She's really helped me over the last winter," said Beswick.
"I expected to win. I really wanted a good time and I finally got it. I've been number two in the country for a month, not by a big margin, so I really needed to get the fast time."
Ricardo King, of Harris Crystal Palace, won the U15 boys 400m in 54.04 seconds, a personal best and a dramatic finish as he strived for the line.
"I knew it was entry standard," he said, having qualified for the Surrey team to go to the nationals.
"I started the season not being able to do the 400m because I train for 200m, so I'm happy with my performance considering I've changed events," said the tenth best UK 400m runner for his age.
"This is my event now," said the Croydon Harrier. "I can do javelin and long jump and do relays. I just want to see what I'm best at - and right now I think it's the 400m."
Shirin Irving described her U17 80m hurdles victory as "encouraging" for the national championships.
While her winning time was 11.58 seconds, the Croydon Harriers' PB is 11.24 - from last season.
She has only run the hurdles three times this season and is already ranked UK number one and on course to challenge for a national medal again, having won the U15 75m hurdles last year.
Of her medal chances she said: "I would like to hope so."
The Old Palace School pupil added she did not worry about who she would race.
"At the end of the day you're all going to be in the same race and it's about whether you perform."
Stirling Gibbons, a Croydon Harrier, won the U17 boys 400m hurdles having switched from multi-events.