Stephen Simmons (Fourth Form) won an impressive silver in the 60m
Hurdles in the England Athletics National Indoor Championships on Sunday 26

Read Stephen’s Report on the U20/U17/U15 England Athletics National
Indoor Championships held at the England Institute of Sport at Sheffield

On arrival I was accredited as an athlete, which was a whole new
experience in itself, and given my athletes pass and number. There were two
heats with the three fastest athletes from each heat and two fastest runners up
going through to the final.

When it is 40 minutes before the heats (and final) you enter the Call Room,
where you are told your lane draws and which heat you are in. This is a very
nervous experience, sizing up the opposition, and I could tell the opposition
were sizing me up too. For my heat the Call Room area was such a daunting
experience. As the long walk to the start line is underway your mind thinks of
all that could go wrong but you need to stay focused. I was nervous and my
start was not what is should have been, but with hard work I pulled my way back
through the field to finish 1st with a new PB of 8.78 secs.

The Final was a totally different atmosphere. I felt a lot more relaxed
after getting to know the venue and the competition. I knew exactly what I had
to do and my warm up showed that my start vastly improved. The finals standard
was very good and the call room was not a quiet place but one of friendly chat
and mind games.

The start line was not such a nervous place. As the gun went everyone
flew off the line, my start was much better and I started to pull away with
another athlete. I placed second again with a new PB of 8.66 secs which puts me
second in the UK for 2017 and 21st of All Time for my age group. The winner got
a time of 8.30. I was very proud of what I achieved as I had broken my PB twice
and got a silver in a national competition. Overall it was a very good
experience and a good outcome.

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