Golden glory for Wigan Harriers duo

Harry Coppell
Harry Coppell

DANIELLE McGifford and Harry Coppell both won gold at the English Schools Athletics Championships in Gateshead last weekend.

The two day track and field competition, which was featured live on Sky Sports saw the Wigan Harriers’ athletes find themselves among the six medal winners from the Robin Park based club.

McGifford, who attends Carmel College in St Helens, took gold by storming ahead of her fellow competitors in the Senior Girls’ long jump with a massive leap of 5.90m.

A colossal 32cm ahead of her nearest challenger, McGifford’s gigantic jump ensured she clinched first place. Coppell took gold in the Inter Boys’ pole vault after clearing a height of 4.60m, which matches his personal best, and amazingly matched the vault of Senior Boys’ pole vault silver medallist Jack Phipps of Surrey.

Coppell adds the medal to the United Kingdom Schools’ Games gold he picked up in the Olympic Stadium in May, where he captained the North West team.

Harriers Rachel Williamson and Emily Borthwick both earned themselves silver medals at the championships as Borthwick jumped a personal best 1.69m in the Junior Girls’ high jump event.

Williamson took silver in the Senior Girls’ triple jump with her jump reaching 11.58m .

Bronze in the Senior Girls’ long jump went Michaela Brindle – just back from injury – who leapt 5.66m, which ensured that two Harriers athletes finished in podium places for the event as Brindle’s bronze added to the gold won by McGifford.

Liane Bibby won bronze in the Senior Girls’ javelin with her throw of 44.18m gaining the 17-year-old from Merseyside a new personal best in the process.

Fellow Wigan Harriors athletes Katie Farrimond, Gemma Kinsley, James Taylor, Oliver Lythgoe, Katy Johnson , Nicole Wainwright and Ben Whipp – fifth in the javelin – were also commended for their performances at the competition.

Wainwright and Kinsley also both reached the final.

Harriers General Committee Member Don Moss said: “Congratulations to all Wigan Harriers athletes who took part.

“They are a credit to their schools and their club.”