ATHLETICS: Young teams through to national finals

After the rain...Ewan Roberts at Saturday's athletics meeting at the Rugby track
After the rain...Ewan Roberts at Saturday's athletics meeting at the Rugby track

Success in Youth Development League for Rugby & Northampton teams

A second-place finish in their home meeting secured Rugby & Northampton’s under-13 and under-15 teams a place at the national finals of the Youth Development League.

A 19-point haul after Sunday’s fourth round captured the divisional runners-up spot for the Northants and Warwickshire outfit, behind Swansea (24pts) but ahead of Birchfield (15), Cardiff (14), Charnwood (8) and Solihull (4).

Strong performances from the under-15 boys aided R&N’s efforts as they placed an athlete in the top three of each track event. Aiden Leeson took bronze in the 100m (12.0) and 200m (23.7) A races, while Oliver Lambert was also a winner in the 200m B race (24.5), adding to his third in the 100m B (12.4). English Schools bronze medallist Tom Jasper cruised to victory in 300m A in 37.3, while team-mate Jay O’Leary took the honours in the B race with a time of 39.5, as well as third in the 80m hurdles A (11.8). Sam Tutt was a winner in the B race in a time of 12.5.

Ryan Hodges’ PB of 29.74m saw him take third in the discus A, which he followed up with another massive PB of 42.94m in the javelin A to take second. James Ball’s big PB of 29.05m in discus B saw finish as runner-up, adding third in the hammer A later on with 31.23m, while William Ballinger threw a PB of 35.94m to win javelin B.

Another impressive performance from Adam Searle saw him win the 1500m A race in 4.25.1, with Josh Lay taking an excellent second in the B race with a PB of 4.30.7. There was also a PB of 2.12.5 from Joe Musgrove to take second in the 800m B.

In the under-13 boys the star performance came from Bradley Whitehead, who produced three PBs to finish as runner-up in the 100m (13.5), 200m (27.6) and long jump A (4.50m) competitions. Will Dean continued his development with a PB in 100m B to finish third (13.8), while Sam Whittaker took a PB in 200m B to cross the line second in 28.1

A PB time of 13.1 secured second for Alfie Bowers in the 75m hurdles A, adding to his win in the javelin B (23.96m) and third place in the high jump (1.35m), again with a PB performance. Ben Gidley remains unbeaten in the Youth Development League after winning javelin A (30.96m) for the fourth successive match.

Katie Print continued her outstanding season with first place in the under-15 girls 100m A (13.0), matching the finish of Poppy Carmichael in the 800m A (2.22.2). A strong PB performance from Caitlin Mills saw her take second in the B race with a time of 2.25.6. Emer Wintsch (A, 4.58.3) and Amy Walker (B, 5.10.1) both took second in the 1500m events with strong performances while Anousha Salehi, Milan Clues, Laurone Ager and Katie Print took third with a promising relay run of 53.2.

In the under-13 girls, a pair of fifth-place finishes were scant reward for Elizabeth Truslove, who set new personal-best times in high quality 75m (10.5) and 150m (20.6) A races and anchored the 4x100m relay team to an excellent second place alongside Fenella Downes, Adele Blenkinsop and Abbie Draper in 56.9. Draper won the 70m hurdles B race in 12.5, while Georgina Woodward finished a strong second in the A race thanks to a time of 12.0

It was an excellent day for Adele Blenkinsop who produced PB performances in the non-scoring 75m (10.6), shot put A (second, 7.82) and long jump A (third 4.36). Abigail Pearce continued her domination of the javelin with a comfortable victory in the A string thanks to a distance of 25.98, and a PB of 20.39 from Abigail Ward saw her take a close second place in the B string with her first 20m throw.

A much-improved Amelia Tutt continued her consistent progress by taking second in the B string shot put with 6.63. Solid runs from Abigail Pearce, (3rd 800m A, 2.35.4) and Georgina Woodward (2nd 800m B, 2.38.3) were backed up by Molly Williams’ 1200m A third place (4.01.6) and Holly Walker’s 1200m B second (4.13.9).

The club’s under-17 and under-20 teams will be looking to emulate their younger team-mates this weekend as they travel to Swansea for the final league round of their Youth Development League, needing a solid performance to secure a place in September’s National Final.