Bicester AC’s Sam Rayson represented Oxfordshire in the recent midland heat of the English Schools combined event held recently in Nuneaton.   Making his debut in the octathlon coverings eight disciplines, Rayson finished a creditable 3rd overall amassing 3,691 points which was just nine points short of the runner up.  Rayson’s performance was good enough to earn him selection for the ESAA championships to be held on 10 July in Manchester. 

Rayson started well with the second longest jump in the competition (5.69m).  This was followed by throws in the discus (15.77m) and javelin (27.51m), both personal bests and his first attempt at these disciplines since 2016.  He then ran a superb 57.5secs for the 400 metres, which was his first attempt at the distance.

Rayson’s highest points haul was in the 100m hurdles where he was just short of his personal best, set a couple of weeks previous, clocking 15.3secs.  This was followed by a superb high jump of 1.83m, the 2nd highest jump in the competition and a new club record.  Rayson then produced the 2nd highest putt in the shot (9.71m).  Rayson finished off with a new personal best in his final event the 1,500 metres (5mins 24secs).    

Also competing was Sam’s younger brother Kyle, who was competing in his first ever combined event in the shorter 5 discipline pentathlon.  He performed creditably to finish an overall 11th with 1,435 points.  He started off well with a 14.3secs clocking in the 80m hurdles which matched his personal best.  This was followed by a new best in the shot (6.27m but his long jump (4.23m) was below his season’s best.  Rayson then produced a new personal best clearance in the high jump (1.44m) finishing off with another best in the 800 metres (2mins 52.9secs).    

Written by N Dolden