ATHLETICS: Club finish a strong third in Midland League meeting

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Rugby & Northampton AC

Midland League Division 2, round 3

On a very busy weekend for the club and with the added distraction of the World Cup football Rugby & Northampton AC produced a strong performance in the Midland League at Abingdon finishing a strong third and only 25 points behind the hosts who won the match.

The team went into the match knowing that they needed a clear victory over rivals Stoke to ease the threat of relegation to Division 3.

On the day the team claimed eight individual victories along with a host of personal bests to record their best performance of the season.

Pride of place went to Lily Mae Pursey who claimed a trio of victories in the hammer, shot and discus, including a huge PB of 39.59m in the hammer. Ella Watford was another who had a busy day, winning the long jump with a pb of 5.38m, taking second in the high jump and then making her debut in the triple jump and taking 4th place with a leap of 9.64m.

Abi Ward warmed up for this week’s ESAA champs by winning the javelin whilst the highlight of a busy afternoon for Harry Salt was his victory in the 100m hurdles.

Ollie Lambert was impressive as he won the 200m on his league debut in 23.4s whilst the men’s 4 x 100m relay team were dominant as they won with a 20 metre margin.

For the Ladies Emma Wilshire made the long journey from Cardiff to take 2nd in the 100m along with 4th in the 200m and 3rd in the B shot putt.

Lauren Nash ran well to take 3rd in the 400H whilst Rhea Cooper ran a smart race to take 4th in the 1500m and Emily Coper & Tilly Lea tackled the 400 & 800m.

Emily, Abi, Rhea and Tilly combined well to finish 3rd in the 4x400m relay.

The team were very short of B string athletes but Adele Blenkinsop and Maddie Wells stepped up to cover as many events as they could.

Adele won the long jump and claimed vital 2nd places in the javelinand triple jump, whilst Maddie did both sprints and the discus as well the 100mH and relay where the team finished 3rd.

For the men the team scored solidly across most events with John Moreland covering all four throws, he took 2nd in Discus, 3rd in Hammer and 4th in Shot along with 3rd in the B string Javelin, whilst Harry Salt added to his hurdles victory with 3rd in the 100m, 2nd in the B Long Jump and leading out the winning 4x100m team. Busiest man on the day was Charlie Barker who tackled five individual events along with both relays.

His best result was 3rd place in the high jump with a leap of 1.75, along with 4th in the 400m hurdles and a victory in the B string 100m Hurdles.

Haydn Arnall and Richard Latimer combined to take 2nd in the A & B string 1500m races on a very hot afternoon for distance running.

Will Price just secured 3rd place in a very close 400m race and Ben Lole secured his 2nd pb of the week as he claimed 4th in the triple jump with a leap of 11.10m.

In the B string races George Edwards claimed a trio of victories over 200m, 400mH and high jump to record a most impressive league debut.

Tom Wilcock also made his league debut taking 5th in the long jump and 4th in the 100m B race.

Finn Hutton also had a busy time, after struggling in the 400 and 800m B races he claimed a valuable 3rd in the triple jump B and then returned to form with a fine leg in the 4x400m relay to help team to 2nd place.

There was disappointment for pole vaulters Dave Cowley and Lee Woodward when the competition had to be abandoned when the bar was broken by one of the competitors and a replacement couldn’t be found.

The team was completed by Rhys James who battled hard in the 800m and John Gercs who stepped in to cover the hammer and javelin

Going into the final round at Stoke on August 4, the team are now lying 4th with a two-point buffer over Stoke, so realistically they need to defeat Stoke again to be sure of avoiding relegation. However, the aim will be to win the match and finish the season on a high, something this predominantly young team are well capable of delivering.