TEENAGER Jacob Paul said he "really enjoyed" his first UK Athletics Championships last weekend.
The 17-year-old from Banstead was not aiming to make the Olympics, for which the Birmingham event was also the trials.
But he was hoping to get closer to the World Junior Championships qualifying time by being in a race with top Brits Dai Greene or Jack Green.
That didn't happen – and a lane seven draw did not help, either.
"I really enjoyed the experience," he said. "I got in a race with Rhys Williams who was second at the European Cup last year and third in the Commonwealth Games a couple of years ago."
He "went out hard" for the first 200 metres, using it as a time trial - although he felt the WJC standard was beyond him.
As a result, his stride pattern went astray later in the race as he finished fifth in 53.41 seconds. His best is 52.11.
While Green, only a couple of years older than him, gives him a senior benchmark, Paul is now concentrating on another English Schools title.
"I'm looking to claim my third title in three years," said U19 runner Paul. "At the U20s trials in Bedford I raced a few people who are probably going to English Schools. I won that, so hopefully I can go and win again."
Also in Surrey's team for the event, in Gateshead on July 6-7, will be Oxted School pair Oliver Newport (U19 boys' long jump) and Rachel Dickens (U19 girls' 400m). Both competed at the trials. Newport leapt 7.16m and Dickens was deemed to have false started in her heat.
Also included are: Reigate Priory trio Laura Gent (U19 3,000m, Reigate Grammar School), Niamh Brown (U17 1,500m, St Bede's), Alice Chandler (U17 800m, Reigate School) and Croydon Harriers' Emma Fossett (U15 javelin, Warlingham School).