Beaminster School bobsleigh team on the fast track to success

Dorset Echo: GREAT RESULT: Emma Harris is pushing Michelle Coy GREAT RESULT: Emma Harris is pushing Michelle Coy

SCHOOLGIRL Emma Harris is set for glory after her debut at the British Bobsleigh Championships in Austria.

The 16-year-old Beaminster School pupil, who was picked as the reserve in the school’s historic bid for success came eighth in the women’s race.

Emma was pushing driver Michelle Coy, who represented Great Britain in Women's Bobsleigh at the 2002 Salt Lake Winter Olympic Games.

Emma and Michelle progressively built up the speed of their push start over six training runs and were drawn first in the race starting order.

Emma and Michelle clocked the seventh fastest push time of 6.52 seconds and reached a speed of 71.5mph before crossing the finish line in a time of 57.75 seconds.

The school’s bobsleigh team-–the youngest-ever British bobsleigh team to compete in the British Championship games – Amy Nicholson, Jonah Ayunga, Skyler Herzog who competed with experienced driver Olly Biddulph – didn’t fare so well.

There was drama at the start of the four-man race, as Amy Nicholson slipped when loading and despite valiant efforts, failed to get in the Beaminster Bobcats bobsleigh.

Their first run was thus completed with only three crew in the bobsleigh, which meant disqualification.

They did re-group though and Amy, Jonah and Skyler, under the guidance of Olly, took their second run without mishap.

They posted the third fastest push start time, recorded the third fastest run time and gave an indication of their true potential.

School governor Mark Carter, who helped get the pupils a chance to race as the youngest-ever team, said: “At 16 years of age, finishing eighth is a fine result for Emma Harris, and the hope is that Year 12 team of Emma, Amy, Jonah and Skyler will represent Beaminster School in next year's British Bobsleigh Championships, as there is unfinished business.”

Weymouth’s Serita Shone crashed coming out of corner nine in the women’s race and crossed the finish line with the bobsleigh on its side – both Serita and brakewoman Sian Huxtable were unhurt.

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