ATHLETICS: Rugby & Northampton AC

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Townsend and Ewer top of UK rankings

Two Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club athletes head the United Kingdom rankings in their respective disciplines after the weekend’s Midland Open Meeting.

Luke Townsend and Rico Ewer are topping the lists having both recorded personal-best performances at the Birmingham event.

Townsend, in the under 20 men’s category, tops the UK standings in the 110m hurdles after winning the race in 14.47 – his fastest time yet – and it was a double success for the Midland Indoor Champion as he also won the 60m hurdles in 8.18 to continue his great start to the year.

His fellow Midland champion Rico Ewer, competing in the under 17 boys category, moved to the number one spot in the 100m by recording a personal best of 11.12, having also won the 60m to make it two triumphs over the weekend.

The event, held at the Alexander Stadium in Perry Bar, serves as vital preparation for the forthcoming start of the UK Youth Development League season and saw R&N’s athletes put in a series of personal bests and high-quality displays.

R&N’s under 13 girls had a stellar weekend of competition with Elizabeth Truslove, Adele Blenkinsop and Georgina Woodward leading the way.

Truslove posted personal bests in the 60m (8.55) and 100m (14.07) – an achievement matched by Blenkinsop who recorded 8.77 in the 60m and 14.37 in the 100m. Woodward backed them up with an excellent 10.39 in the 60m hurdles, 12.55 in the 70m hurdles and two personal bests in the 60m and 100m – 8.93 and 14.53 respectively.

Abbie Draper was another to shine with personal bests in the 60m and 60m hurdles, while also putting in further impressive times in the 70m hurdles and 100m.

Further pleasing performances were recorded by Mary Beetham-Green, Victoria Merry, Iola Grant, Fenella Downes, Lateisha Henty and Amelia Tutt on what was an excellent day for the team.

It was a good day too for the under 13 boys with Alfie Bowers making it a hat-trick of personal bests, clocking 11.13 in the 60m hurdles, 8.88 in the 60m and 13.96 in the 100m.

There were personal-best performances from Sam Whittaker in the 60m with a time of 8.78, and Bradley Whitehead continued his impressive season with 13.86 in the 100m, and their colleagues Will Dean, Daniel Carey,

George Gammage and Sam Holdsworth also posted PBs.

Twelve of R&N’s under 15 girls were competing across a series of events and they all contributed to a run of excellent results.

Katie Print posted a personal best of 8.27 in the 60m with Laurone Ager also demonstrating good progress by recording her best over the same distance, 8.31, and a further personal high of 13.39 in the 100m.

Anousha Salehi went one better with a treble of top times, recording personal bests in the 100m (13.8), the 75m hurdles (12.6) and the 60m hurdles (9.81).

Outstanding personal-best displays came from Mia Rudman and Alice Grocott in the 60m and 100m, and they were added to by very good debuts for Lucy Laight, Tamzin Blenkinsop and Ellie Cox.

Ollie Lambert returned to action in the under 15 boys category and in some style by improving his personal best in the 100m to 12.09.

Sam Tutt notched a personal best in the 80m hurdles of 12.67 and he also posted 9.28 to finish second in his 60m hurdles race, with Jay O’Leary coming first in his race across the same distance with a time of 9.34.

Another personal best came in the javelin with William Ballinger extending his longest throw to 31m 56cm, and there were further promising performances from Jack Carey, Lewis Tetley and Josh Faulds.

Simone Ager starred in the under 17 women category with a time of 12.47 in the 100m, 7.92 in the 60m and a distance of 5m 4cm to win the long jump.

Tia Clues continued her resurgence following an injury-ravaged 2013 by posting times of 8.42 and 13.54 in the 60m and 100m respectively, while Brittany Wood’s progress at the age group carried on as she posted a personal best of 13.07 in the 80m hurdles.

Tom Cheyne’s debut at under 17 men’s level showed lots of promise with personal bests of 11.52 in the 100m and 7.36 in the 60m, along with a very solid 5m 66cm in the long jump.

In the under 20 age category, Harriet Sumnall began her 2014 efforts in the discus with a series of impressive throws, headed by a distance of 29m 61cm – very close to her personal best – despite blustery weather making throwing conditions difficult.

R&N’s athletes will be competing in further open meetings over the coming weeks, including the Rugby & Northampton Spring Open at Rugby on Saturday, April 12 and the Kettering Open a week later.

These events are in preparation for the first round of the UK Youth Development League on Sunday, April 27, when the under 17 and under 20 teams return to the Alexander Stadium.