ATHLETICS PICTURES: Impressive medal haul at national finals

Athletics action from last Sunday's Youth Development League finals at Bedford
Athletics action from last Sunday's Youth Development League finals at Bedford

Rugby & Northampton AC

Rugby & Northampton competed with the country’s best club athletes at the Youth Development League Upper Age National Finals at Bedford International Athletic Stadium last Sunday and won 28 medals, including ten golds.

There was a pair of dominant 100m displays as R&N’s under-20 Men won the double. Rico Ewer produced a personal best time of 10.52 seconds and Caleb Downes completed the set with a B-string victory in a season’s best 10.72s.

Theo Walkley-Bartlett took a 400m hurdles silver medal with a PB of 60.80 seconds, before setting two more PBs in the 110m hurdles (15.08s) and pole vault (3.05m), despite missing out on a place in the top three.

Also winning silver medals were Zachary Stapleton (22.09s) in the 200m and 400m runner Jack Hocking (50.18s), while Jack Bond (9:04.04) won bronze in the 3000m.

Three medals and four PBs were set in the U20 field events. Alex Hamling (13.01m, PB) won shot put silver and, over in the B-string, Josh Arimoro (12.13m, PB) also won a silver while also setting a PB in the discus (39.21m) on his way to a fourth-placed finish.

Jason Dankyi (1.75m) set a new PB in the high jump but was unable to break into the top three, but he did earn bronze with a strong triple jump (12.09m) performance.

The track was the scene for most of the club’s U17 Men’s success with a pair of gold medals over the hurdles. Joshua Faulds (57.52) took top spot in the 400m-hurdles while Jay O’Leary (13.95) won the B-string 100m hurdles.

Franklin Fenning (11.02) set a PB for silver in the 100m and a powerful run by Aidan Leeson (22.34) secured silver in the 200m. Adam Searle’s time of 4:21.16 over the 1500m saw him earn bronze, as did Sam Owusu in the triple jump, thanks to a leap of 12.53m.

A strong throwing display was the highlight of the U20 Women’s team. Kiona McLennon (11.81m) and Rhoda Woller (9.95m) won the A and B-string shot put events, respectively.

The B-string javelin event was won by Tia Clues (27.02m) with a PB, while Evie Harris-Jenkins (37.82m) finished second in the A-string. Harris-Jenkins (25.05m) took bronze in the B-string hammer throw.

Eleanor Broome continued her outstanding form with a leap of 6.15m to win the long jump gold. Broome also won a bronze in the 100m (12.46).

Emma Bond matched that feat with a PB of 10:35.2 in the 3000m and, in the U17 1500m, Amy Walker (5:28.76) also crossed the line in third.

R&N also shone in the relay races with the U20 Men’s 4x400 setting a new club record. The quartet crossed the line in 3:21.60 to win the race, while the U17 Men’s 4x100 (44.18) also took to the podium in top spot.

The U20 Men’s (43.67) and Women’s (50.54) 4x100 achieved a silver and bronze medal, respectively.