ATHLETICS: Rugby & Northampton AC


New 100m PB of 10.57s for 16-year-old

A phenomenal personal-best run from Caleb Downes was one of the many highlights for Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club at the weekend’s Midland Counties Under-20 and Senior Championships in Birmingham.

The 16-year-old smashed his previous 100m record with a brilliant time of 10.57 as he crossed the line in second to claim the silver medal – a tremendous achievement for the youngest runner in the under-20 men’s final.

Downes then repeated the feat in the 200m final as he produced another personal best of 21.35 to once again take silver.

R&N’s success continued with Brett Mason, as he joined several club athletes in picking up a gold medal. Competing in the under-20 men’s 400m hurdles, Mason ran a personal-best time of 56.91 to cross the line more than half a second ahead of his nearest challenger.

Luke Townsend’s time of 14.47 saw him take home the gold in the under-20 men’s 110m hurdles, while Emma Wiltshire was also a winner in the senior women’s 100m as she recorded a time of 12.21 to finish ahead of her club-mate Ellena Ruddock, who was second in 12.37.

Megan Exley’s throw of 34.43m was enough to secure her top spot in the under-20 women’s javelin, while Adam Wright’s time of 1:55.63 saw him take silver in the under-20 men’s 1500m. There was a bronze medal in the senior women’s 1500m for Emily Waugh, whose scored a PB with a time of 4:39.6. Waugh was competing in the senior ranks despite being an under-23 runner, and was the leading athlete in her category with the two ahead of her both being seniors.

Further impressive performances saw a number of R&N athletes just miss out on medals in several categories.

Elsewhere, Angela Copson is one of two of R&N’s Masters athletes to have broken British records recently following her success in the Peterborough 5k Grand Prix Series. Copson broke the British W65 best with a time of 21.01 to take 37 seconds off the previous record, which had stood since 2003.

Kevin Murch is also a record-holder after a throw of 53.73m in the M55 javelin at the Midland Masters Championships took him to the top of the list. Murch also finished second in the hammer (2.35m), shot put (10m) and discus (30.34m).

The event at Nuneaton was hugely successful for R&N with winners across the board. Sally Hine claimed four titles in the W60 age group – the 80m hurdles (15.6), 100m (15.8), 200m (34.4) and long jump (2.92m). John Love in the M75 group managed the same feat in the discus (20.34m), shot put (7.71m), javelin (17.70m) and hammer (20.92m), as did Deborah Murch in the discus (23.37m), shot put (9.68m), javelin (22.56m) and hammer (35.09m).

Lesley Willis recorded a hat-trick of W50 victories in the 100m (14.3), 400m (71.1) and shot put (7.35m), which she also backed up with second spot in the 200m (30.7) and third in the long jump (3.97m).

John Evans and Richard Bowers were double winners; Evans in the M75 100m (16.5) and long jump (3.33m) along with second in the triple jump (7.25m), while Bowers’s two titles came in the M45 200m (25.6) and 400m (56.7).

Completing the list of R&N successes from the event were Copson, who ran a time of 2:49.7 to win the W65 800m and Cecil Moven, who totalled 12.8 to win the M55 100m.

Copson, meanwhile, was also a winner in the latest round of the East Midlands Grand Prix series of road races, which took place at Banbury. Her time of 34 minutes 55 seconds saw her triumph in the W65 category.

R&N’s Rosanna Andrews came second in the senior female 5k race with a finish of 31.34. Kirstan Boynton posted 40.56 to finish 15th in the F35 standings, Penny Andrews finished fifth in the F50 breakdown with 36.28 and Valerie Cross was second in the F60 age group in a time of 50.54,

R&N also had six runners in the senior male 5k race – Stephen Marks (13th, 28.29), Daniel Mould (25th, 29.59), Alistair McDonnell (50th, 32.36), Daniel Williams (62nd, 34.08), Dean Shears (82nd, 36.06) and Paul Baxter (97th, 43.42) all finishing inside the top 100.