ATHLETICS: Disappointing finish for depleted team in national final

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Club fifth in Youth Development League at Bedford

RUGBY & NORTHAMPTON FALL SHORT AT YOUTH DEVELOPMENT LEAGUE NATIONAL FINAL

Leading local athletes combine to finish fifth overall in Bedford at the weekend

Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club experienced a disappointing finish to their Youth Development League campaign in the National Final in Bedford on Sunday. The club were competing for the sixth consecutive year – one of only three who have contested every final since the competition began six years ago.

With 20 athletes unavailable for the event, many through injury and some, regrettably, declining the opportunity to compete in the most prestigious event for the club in the season, they went into the day severely depleted.

With a number of gaps to fill, the remaining team worked hard to score as many points as possible and there were some outstanding individual performances. The seven-hour competition brought with it the additional challenge of competing in very windy conditions and Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club finished fifth overall, behind Blackheath & Bromley, Shaftesbury Barnet, Team Edinburgh and Team Avon.

In the U20M, Jack Sumners claimed two golds, finishing first in the 110m Hurdles (14.36) and Long Jump (7.00m) and also took bronze in the 100m (11.11). There was also an excellent throwing performance from Alex Hamling, who won the Shot with a personal best of 15.14m to move to fifth in the UK rankings and followed that up with another PB of 45.35m to take silver in the Discus.

Other medal winners in A string events included Abedom Beyene, who took bronze in the 3,000m (9:11.71) and there was a gold for Bailey Swift, stepping up form U17, in the B string 100m and clocking 11.24. The 4x100m relay squad picked up a hard-earned bronze medal in a very close race, Sumners combining with Chris Morgan, Sam Tutt and William Price to clock a time of 44.40.

Medals were also at a premium for the U20 Women, with co-team captain Emily Madden-Forman taking gold in the High Jump (1.65m) and silver medals in both Long Jump (5.15m) and Triple Jump (10.67m). There were a further three bronze medals in middle distance events for Selina Scott, 800m (2:22.82), Eloise Coombs, 1,500m (5:03.87) and Amelia McMurtrie, 1,500m steeplechase (5:53.73). The 4x100m relay squad of Madden-Forman, Tia Lynch, Iola Grant and Maddison Wells combined well to take a creditable bronze medal in 51.76.

The U17 men rose to the challenge of a very competitive field to secure several medals. The team dominated the throws with athlete of the match, Lewis Byng, breaking the League record to win the Shot (18.26m) and also taking silver medals in the Hammer (37.33m) and Javelin (56.58m). The Discus was won with a PB by Chris Dyrmishi (36.78m) and he also won gold in the B Shot Putt with another PB (14.74m). It was also a good day for Fenton Bishop-Timings who won three B-string golds in the Discus (31.40m), Hammer (24.12m) and Javelin (49.28m).

On the track, Tom Wilcock defeated a strong field to take gold in the 100m hurdles (13.70) and there were silver medals for Bailey Swift, 200m (22.28) and Archie Parkinson in the 3,000m (9:05.63). In the B string, there was a strong run from Adam Caulfield, who finished third, just behind Parkinson in the 3,000m (9:11.81).

The U17 women faced an equally tough task and Mary Beetham-Green continued her excellent form to record a commanding victory in the 100m (12.39). There were silver medals for Gemma Jones, 300m (41.11), Danielle Hopkins, High Jump (1.65m) and Amelia Birkett, Pole Vault (2.90m). There were also four bronze medals for Amelia Tutt, 80m hurdles (12.25), Maia Reynolds, Discus (27.91m), Iola Grant, Triple Jump (10.54m) and Abigail Ward, Javelin (39.31m). Ella Watford took the B string High Jump gold medal with a leap of 1.60m.