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Making the grade!

As the nation remains absorbed by the success of British athletes at the Rio Olympics, two students from The Grange who have been earmarked for future international success have been reaping the benefit of working hard in and out of the classroom in their A Level year.

Ashley Hogg and Harry Lord, long distance swimmer and multi-event athlete respectively, both gained three A grades at A Level, despite the onerous demands of their elite level training.

Ashley gets up at 4.30 a.m. 5 times each week to train before school at Manchester’s Aquatic Centre, one of two daily training sessions. During the past year he has won a junior silver medal and adult bronze at the Berlin International, as well as making it to the final Olympic trials for the 400 Individual medley, in addition to his excellent academic performance.

"I couldn't have achieved this much without the support of the school: I have to take time off to train daily and they allow for me to do this while supporting me with my studies," said Ashley, who will be studying Chemistry at Manchester University next year so that he can continue to train in the city with his current coach, Mark Rose.

Knutsford resident Harry Lord is ranked 2nd nationally in the men's Under 20 decathlon, and won 2nd place in both the National Junior Championships and the English Schools Athletics finals.

His achievements and academic ability have gained him an athletics scholarship to Princeton University in New Jersey, where he will continuing his training with decathlon coach Fred Samana. Harry’s aspiration is to represent Britain as a senior and compete in either the 2020 or 2024 Olympics.

Headmaster Chris Jeffery, who leaves Cheshire for a new job as head of Bootham School in York next week, praised the boys’ effort. “It’s a great achievement by both Ashley and Harry to manage the demands of academic work and sporting excellence with such conspicuous success. They deserve huge credit for all they have achieved, and we can’t wait to see where they end up. Hopefully one or both of them will be competing at future Olympic Games”

The rest of the Grange students were also on top form as usual. More than 88% of entries were awarded a grade between A* and B, with more that 42% of candidates scoring nothing less than an A grade, keeping up the school’s remarkable run of success over the past twelve years.

“As ever, these fine results only tell one dimension of each individual story. There are so many great achievements represented by the grades our students have achieved, and so much value added to their potential by their hard work, as well as the inspiration and dedication of their teachers,” said Mr Jeffery.