TOP Wiltshire hammer thrower Owen Merrett has paid tribute to his coach Matt Spicer after completing the best season of his young career, writes KEVIN FAHEY.

While the 14-year-old from Chippenham has a few low-key meetings remaining before he takes a break his recent silver medal at the recent England Athletics Championships in Bedford capped a terrific summer.

The silver medal certainly eclipsed his bronze at the English Schools Championships and in addition he also improved his personal best from 48.83m to 49.11m to put him third in the UK rankings for U15 boys.

“That was definitely my best performance of the season and I was so happy to finish second and throw a personal best,” said Merrett.

“My coach Matt Spicer did his magic again.He has been incredible for me as this time last year I was only throwing 36 metres. If someone had told me that I would improve to 49 metres 12 months later I would not have believed them.

“But over the winter there was a hard push in training and commitment. I was doing three sessions a week training at bath University, Whitehall track in Bristol and at Yate, where Matt is based.

“My mum and dad have driven me all over the place for training and competitions this summer but I think it has been worth it.”

With four open competitions still remaining, including the Mark Cawte Memorial in Swindon, there is still a chance of Merrett breaking the landmark 50m metres barrier for the first time.

“That would be the icing on the cake but even if it doesn’t happen, this has been my best summer so far,” added Merrett.

“Soon I will be back starting the winter training programme which is where all the hard work is done but I am looking forward to it after this season.”

Also at Bedford St Augustine’s Catholic College student Femi Akimbobola finished sixth in his heat of the U17 men’s 200m in 23.29secs while Malmesbury’s Eleanor Webster was eighth in her heat of the U17 women's 800m in 2.23 .6 and Ellery Cole who finished fifth in his heat of the 400m hurdles in 60.97.

The Disability Age Group Championships for U20 athletes were held in conjunction with this meeting and Joel Mattacks finished with a second place in the 400 m in 59.86, third in the 200 m in 24.78, a PB and fourth in the 100 m in 12.49 - all despite being a year young for the age group.