The 16-year-old’s success was one of the highlights of a day that saw around 700 young athletes battle it out against each other – and the weather - for titles at the Crystal Palace National Sports Centre.
There was also a title apiece for the Sinha sisters – Sabrina and Natasha – and a fourth title in the last five years for Alexander Allen, a pupil at Millfield School in Somerset.
Emily Jenkinson (pictured) from Southampton has dominated her year group at the championships since winning the Year 6 title back in 2007.
Now a pupil at Peter Symonds College in Winchester, she came third in her 100m swim today and set the fastest time in the Year 11/12 girls’ 1000m run to make sure of her seventh title.
She plans to return to the competition for the last time next year with the aim of making it eight in a row.
“I wasn’t expecting this many titles, to be honest,” she said. “I’m a bit shocked that I’ve won so many.
“The run wasn’t easy this year, it was a lot colder than I expected, but I’m really pleased that I won again.”
Earlier in the day Bromley High School pupil Sabrina Sinha won the Year 8 girls’ title – her second title in two years. Moments later her sister, Natasha, a pupil at James Allens Girls School in London, took the Year 9 title – her third in a row.
And there was a fourth title in the last five years for Millfield School pupil Alexander Allen. He dominated the competition, knocking a second off his personal best to win the 100m freestyle swim and then setting the fastest time in the 1000m run too.
Alexander has now won titles in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013 – he missed out in 2010 when a heavy cold forced him to withdraw from the competition.
This year, just for good measure, he joined forces with James Rustom and Jason Haw to win the Year 10 & 11 boys’ team title for Millfield School.
“The swim went really well with a one-second personal best. It was just a case of sticking with them in the run then, I knew it was in my grasp,” he said. “We really wanted to win this team title this year, we haven’t done that for a while.
The first winner of the day was Tom Randolph of the Landau Free Academy at Tamworth. Eighth after the swim, he produced a strong 1000m run in the stadium to win the boys’ Year 9 title. Randolph had taken silver in the Year 8 competition last year.
After the event Jon Austin, Chief Executive Officer of Pentathlon GB, paid tribute to everyone who helped make the championships such a big success again this year.
“It’s been an enormous challenge to pull the championships together in the current weather conditions,” he said.
“I would particularly like to thank Sue Hyde our National Competitions and Events Manager, who, despite the uncertainties over the weather, remained resolutely determined to make sure the championships took place.
“I’d also like to thank all of the volunteers and staff who worked tirelessly to ensure the event happened today, as well as the schools, parents and athletes for showing the commitment to making the championships the successful event it has proved to be over the years.
“Thanks too for everyone at Crystal Palace National Sports Centre for their support in making sure the competition could go ahead.”
The schools biathlon is run by Pentathlon GB, the national governing body for the Olympic sport of modern pentathlon, and gives young athletes an opportunity to have a go at a multi-sport competition featuring a run and a swim. They could also try out fencing and shooting at taster sessions.
This year young athletes also got the opportunity to meet Heather Fell, who won modern pentathlon silver for Great Britain at the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games.
Heather, who presented medals and trophies to many of this year’s winners, said: “Being involved with the championships this year really brought back fond memories. It was great to be a part of it today and to meet so many talented young athletes.
Barbara Woodward, Director General of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and a member of the Pentathlon GB Board, also made a number of presentations.
Some former participants have gone on to represent Great Britain on the senior international circuit. They include Jamie Cooke, Britain’s 2011 world junior champion and Joe Evans, who won bronze on his World Cup debut in California a month ago. Both are currently in Rio for the second World Cup of the year.
There were individual and team awards up for grabs in each year group from Year 5 up to Years 12/13.
Year 5, 6 and 7 pupils and teachers complete a 50m swim and a 500m run, with Years 8 to 13 pupils tackling a 100m swim and 1000m run.
For results go HERE
Words by Steve Ballinger