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Rushden Echo Friday, July 27th, 1928, transcribed by Mary Ludlow
Schools’ Athletic Association
‘Master Fred Jaques - Age 14’
Rushden Successes at Stamford Bridge
Red-letter day for local school athletes
Second in Boys’ Half-Mile and
Girls’ Long Jump


F Jaques

Northants Champion 880 yards, 1927 and 1928

2nd English Champion 880 yards, Stamford Bridge, 1928

Rushden and District Champion 100 yards, 1928

At Stamford Bridge on Saturday last the fourth annual inter-county championships of the Schools’ Athletic Association were held. The President of the association, the Duke of York, was present and took the salute in the march-past of a thousand competitors who were the champion representatives of 23 counties. The grand parade, which is a remarkable feature of the meeting, was, as last year, an extraordinarily impressive spectacle, and it will be a sight long to be remembered by all those who witnessed it. The physique of the cream of the junior athletes of the country was truly wonderful and showed how these representatives of the elementary schools of England have benefited by their athletic training. Their manly bearing and rhythmic step as they marched round the track gave rise to enthusiastic applause, and each county group came in for its share of cheers as it came by the saluting base.

Northants took part in the sports for the first time last year, and its representatives were somewhat dismayed then in not securing any honours; but this year they journeyed to London full of hope that some honour would be obtained. In this they were not disappointed, for Northants gained 8¾ points, whereas last year they were pointless. This is a great advance and shows what can be done by training and enthusiasm. In the final positions Northamptonshire came out fifth (the first provincial county).

Rushden and district provided twelve representatives for the county. These had all proved their worth at the local and county sports meetings held a month or so ago. These fortunate youngsters, along with a numbers of teachers, left Rushden by the 8.27 a.m. train for London, where they arrived at ten o’clock. They enjoyed an hour’s ride on the top of a ‘bus through the heart of the Metropolis, and as the journey was made buildings, etc., of interest were pointed out. After their short tour they were taken to one of the London schools, where they were provided with light refreshments and where they changed to athletic attire in readiness for the all-important events.

Northants started well, for in the first event of the day, the 100 yards, Fitzhugh (Brayfield) won his heat in the record time of 11 3-5 seconds. He did likewise in the second round, but in the final, on account of a bad start, he only secured third place in a very close finish, inches only separating the first three.

In the 880 yards F Jaques (Rushden Newton-road) had already showed his worth and ran a magnificent race. The start of this race was a muddle, several competitors falling to the ground. Although not very favourably drawn for position, Jaques soon secured a place amongst the leaders. The second lap round the track told on some of the competitors, but in a great struggle Jaques secured second place, finishing only two yards after the winner. Jaques did the half-mile in 2 minutes 19 2-5 seconds, which was 2 seconds better than the winner last year.

Rushden Boy Causes A Thrill.
Fastest Runner in The National Half-Mile
A Spectator’s Praise.

To be the fastest boy in the race, beating the record, and then being placed second was the experience of Master F Jaques, of Rushden, at Stamford Bridge on Saturday, writes a spectator. There were 40 who started in the half-mile race, and Jaques was in the middle. When they had run about 100 yards one of the boys fell, causing a big spill. Jaques had to jump over two and run right to the top of the bank, six yards out, to clear the smash. When he got round the smash he had to “lay” on the outside for the first lap of the race. On the second lap he started to work his way forward, and in doing so he had to run round each of the boys until he got to No 6. He hung here until he started his sprint, As he sprinted he passed one after another, causing great excitement all round the ground.

Jaques Got First Position

But unfortunately he had started his sprint too soon and could not hold his pace, and he was beaten by two yards after one of the most thrilling half-mile races that had been seen on the ground in these championships organised by the elementary schools.

After the race a stranger walked into the dressing-room and asked for the “fastest” half-mile boy. He was shown to the London dressing-room by the people around, who thought he wanted the winner of the first prize. “No” replied the stranger; “I want the Northamptonshire boy. He was the fastest runner.” The stranger complimented Jaques, gave him a special prize, and told him that by having run to the outside of the course he had actually run 894 yards, 14 yards over the half-mile, and that his time, allowing for the percentage over-run, was 2 minutes 17 9-10 seconds, against that of the first prize winner, who had taken 2 minutes 19¾ seconds.

It is usual for runners in the half-mile to reserve their sprint until they are within 150 yards of home. By misjudgement Jaques started to sprint when he was about 200 yards away, and the extra 50 yards fagged him.

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