ATHLETICS: Two silver medals in England Athletics Senior Championship

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Rugby & Northampton AC


Athletics club continue recent success following Youth Development League triumph

Rugby & Northampton’s athletes were in action at the England Athletics Senior Championship in Bedford over the weekend, where two silver medals were picked up in a competition of high quality.

Eleanor Broome – still an U20 representative – was one of those among the medals, finishing second in the long jump with a fine effort of 5.99 metres. Craig Murch was the other, delivering a season best 68.83m to finish as runner-up in the hammer throw. Hayley Murray was an impressive eighth in the women’s event, throwing 57.67m.

The week prior, R&N’s young athletes made it through to the National Finals of the Youth Development League, after emerging victorious in the upper age Area Final.

The match ended in premature fashion, having to be abandoned due to a prolonged storm that came over Yate in the afternoon. However, the club had done enough before the rain fell to ensure first place and a spot in September’s national event.

Matthew Broome was jumping for joy, winning the under-17 long jump in 5.74 metres, before grabbing third in the triple jump with a distance of 11.66. Connor Dadge followed up Broome by winning the B string long jump, leaping 5.28m.

There was double delight in the men’s javelin – Fenton Bishop-Timings and William Ballinger winning the A and B strings, with respective efforts of 44.72m and 39.24m. The women followed the trend with Georgina Woodward (2.00) winning the B, and Amelia Birkett’s 2.60m securing second in the A.

Alfie Bowers continued the B success for the U17s, winning the 100m hurdles (16.22) and finishing as runner-up in the 400m hurdles (1:06.17). Over the longer distance, Adam Caulfield eased to 3000m B success with a time of 9:12.30

There were more good displays from the women, wth Abbie Draper (second – 80m hurdles – 12.29), Woodward (second – 300m hurdles – 49.99) and Olivia Sheehan (12:50.03) impressing.

In the field, there were runner-up finishes by Amelia Birkett (pole vault – 2.60) and Lily-Mae Pursey (shot put – 10.18), with Iola Grant (long jump – 4.35) and Abigail Pearce (javelin – 29.44) securing third.

For the U20 athletes, there was B string sprint success for Daniel Banks – winning the 100m in 11.21 seconds – and Ollie Biddle, who took the 200m in 22.93. Alex Byers clinched the 400m hurdles comfortably, crossing the line in 1:04.09.

Banks and Biddle also added third-placed A string finishes, the former posting 22.33 for the 200m, and Biddle crossing the 400m line in 51.55. Franklin Fenning was another to earn third, with 11.09 in the 100m.

Over the A string hurdles, Jay O’Leary missed was edged out over 110m, coming second in 15.75, and Christopher Morgan was third around 400m in 1:02.44.

In the field, Thomas Lea won the B string U20 hammer with a throw of 20.57 metres, and took second in the A javelin with 44.39m. Jason Dankyi (second – javelin – 12.68) and Jonjo Fanning (third – hammer – 42.10) also impressed.

Eleanor Broome impressed around the track and in the field, winning the U20 100m (12.38) and long jump (5.67), before taking second in the B javelin with a throw of 16.50 metres. There were third-placed finishes for Gemma Jones (400m – 1:00.17), Lucy Stevens (1500m – 5:12.95) and Kiona McLennon (shot put – 10.36).

The National Finals will be held at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham on September 3.

In addition, 126 of the club’s athletes were involved in the Chairman’s Cup in Kettering last Sunday, where the club retained the trophy for the fourth successive year. All four relays were won by R&N, while plenty of personal best times and club records were broken.

Arthur Tilt set two new club records in the U11 200m (30.0) and 800m (2:29.5) events, while William Drage set a new 100m quickest at the same age group, in a time of 14.3 seconds.

The 100m, 200m and 800m records also went tumbling in the girls’ events, with Ava Thomas sprinting home in 14.5 to set a new best sprint time. Savannah Morgan took 2.2 seconds off the 200m best with 29.0, and Olivia Willison’s run of 2:41.2 was enough for a new 800m record.

In the U11 girls’ relay, Thomas, Morgan, Amelia Carlaw and Aveline Desdoits-Pitman’s combined 58.5 took a staggering 2.9 seconds off the record, while the U11 boys took 2.7 seconds off – Drage, Tilt, Finlay Grant and Tremell Foster joining forces for a time of 59.8 seconds.

Lewis Gurney got in on the act for the U13 boys, beating his own high jump club record with a leap of 1.57m.