BCS English Schools1A SCHOOL’S top athletes are to take on the best in the country at a major championship of track and field events.

Barnard Castle School students have secured prestigious places in the English Schools’ Athletics Association U15, U17 and U19 Championships, due to be staged at Gateshead Stadium on Friday (July 8 and 9).

After enjoying a season of highs, they will challenge their peers in disciplines ranging from 100m to pole vaulting, javelin and high jump.

To reach the celebrated track and field event the athletes have to achieve challenging times and distances in their chosen event.

Barnard Castle School has an impressive five athletes in the County Durham squad at the two-day event.

They include pole vaulter Claudia Barkes, 16, of Greta Bridge, Tom Metcalfe, 18, of Headlam, near Gainford, Rachel Bennet, 14, of Newton Aycliffe, who both run the 100m, high jumper Rory Holden, 18, of Marrick, near Reeth and javelin thrower Ella Bowen, 14, of Durham.

PE teacher Andy Woodward said: “This competition brings together the very best athletes to compete at the highest level. Our students deserve their places and are ranked highly for their ages in the country.

“To have five students from one school in the squad is testament to the depth of talent at Barney. It is going to be an incredible experience and a taste of what is to come as they continue to develop in their chosen sports.”