ATHLETICS: Victory for Youth Development League team in Nottingham

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Rugby & Northampton AC young stars overcome blustery conditions

Rugby & Northampton were in UK Youth Development League action last weekend, with the club’s young athletes battling blustery conditions to record victory at the event in Nottingham.

A number of the club’s top performers were unavailable to take part in the competition but, despite the under-strength squad, and the very strong winds, R&N came out on top to take the overall win from Birchfield Harriers, with hosts Notts AC close behind in third.

Throwing and jumping events proved more difficult due to the weather, but that didn’t bother Alex Hamling, who set personal bests in the shot put (13.85 metres) and discus (39.65m) on the way to two runner-up finishes in the under-20 male category. Paddy Price went one better, taking first in the hammer with a distance of 57.07m.

Kiona McLennon was a double runner-up in the shot put (11.15m) and discus (32.44m), while Evie Harris-Jenkins added another second place for the under-20 women, following a javelin throw of 38.74m.

For the under-17 men and women, there was multiple success in both A and B-string events. Ben Gidley and William Ballinger were the javelin winners with respective throws of 46.65m and 42.20m, while Lily May-Pursey and Parisse Linton-Shaw mirrored the feat in the shot put, thanks to efforts of 10.41m and 8.70m.

There was more dominance in the jumps, with U20W Eleanor Broome leaping 6.06m to triumph in the long jump. Sam Owusu (6.39m) achieved the same for the U20M, while Bradley Whitehead (5.56m) took first in the U17M B and Matthew Broome was third in both the A-string event (5.76m) and the high jump (1.70m).

Amelia Birkett cleared 2.45m to take first in the U17W pole vault, and a clearance of 1.65m in the U20W high jump handed Danielle Hopkins victory.

There were some great performances on the track too, with the club setting the benchmark over the hurdles. For the U20M, Josh Faulds (56.20 seconds) and Jay O’Leary (61.70) took 400m A and B honours, while O’Leary (14.30) was victorious over 110m too, with Chris Morgan (14.50) completing the clean sweep with A-string success.

In the U17 400m hurdles, Alex Byers (‘A’ second – 63.30) and Alfie Bowers (‘B’ first – 65.70) impressed for the men, and for the women, Anousha Salehi secured third in a time of 47.90. Over the shorter distance of 80 metres, Rhania Akii-Bua’s time of 12.80 took third in the A-string, while Abbie Draper claimed top spot in the B-string with 12.20.

Franklin Fenning set a PB of 10.80m as R&N continued their good form in the sprints, registering second spot in the 100m A event, while Daniel Banks recorded the exact same time to take first place in the B-string. Jaime Nalus was second in the U17M A race with a time of 11.20.

Eleanor Broome (12.30) was second in the U20W 100m A race, while Mary Beetham-Green – a first year U17 athlete – stepped up to U20 to win the B in 12.70. Lucy Laight added further glory by winning the U17W B courtesy of 12.90.

The U17W were also in fine form when it came to middle distance as Selina Scott won the 800m with a brilliant run of 2:25.00. Over 3000m, there was A and B success for Olivia Sheehan (12:24.90) and Emma Barker (12:42.50). The achievement was echoed in the 1500m steeplechase – Amy Walker (5:24.20) and Abi Pearce (5:49.10) triumphing over the barriers.

Adam Caulfield’s time of 9:23.50 handed him first in the U17M 3000m, and Josh Lay ran a superb PB of 4:02.10 to take second in the U20M 1500m, in a race which saw him and the winner leave the rest of the pack in their wake.

Last but not least, there was 400m joy for Aidan Leeson, who also set a new PB and club record, winning the U20M race in 48.70, while Cara Clarke (59.00) won the U20W 400m, and William Price secured second for the U17M in 52.40.