ATHLETICS: Incredible victory for Rugby & Northampton youngsters
UK Youth Development League – Midlands Premier Division
The second meeting in the UK Youth Development League was staged at the Rugby track on Sunday (May 26) and host club organised a fine display of committed high quality athletics for the best 15 – 19 year olds athletes in the Midlands.Leading point scorers for the home club were Cian Hutton and Georgia Woodward who between them gained no less than seven top three placings – truly exceptional performances. For the U20 team, Bailey Swift made his league debut cruising to an easy victory in the 200m. Other victories came from Rhys James in the steeple chase, Jack Sumners in the long jump and a double victory for Fenton Bishop-Timings in the discus and javelin. In addition to this the 4 x 100m relay team were majestic in recording a winning time of 44.3 secs.For the U20 women there were four individual victories for Imogen Sheppard in the 400m, Abi Pearce in the steeple chase, Amelia Birkett in the pole vault and Lily Mae Pursey in the discus. There was also a fabulous victory in the 4 x 400m relay at the end of the meeting.The U17 event saw Ed Faulds record an incredible double in the 400mH and 400m flat – both in national standard times, with his time in the 400m hurdles of 56.3 sec now ranking him as the fastest athlete in the country this year! Not to be outdone on the field, however, Ollie Wear also recorded a huge best in the javelin of 53 metres to place in the top dozen athletes in the country. There was also a double victory for Nick Butler in the long and triple jump as well as a gold medal finish for Jake Hope in the steeple chase.The U17 women also competed really well with Georgia Forde Wells producing some outstanding performances in the jumps – crowned with a massive jump in the triple jump of 11m 46 –an effort which currently places her in sixth place in the UK in what was only her second time she can compete in the event. The middle distance athletes were also dominant with victories for Amelia McMurtrie, Georgina Campbell, Sophia Hill and finally Claudia Searle in her debut in the steeple chase. The final event was the 4 x 300m which saw R & N cruise to an emphatic victory by five seconds.The competition was led by Birchfield harriers throughout the day but the final races of the day, the relays and more particularly the steeple chase races, saw Rugby & Northampton surge forward to claim an incredible victory. This sets up the competition with the final match taking at Loughborough on June 30. This will lead on to the National Final Promotion match on July 28. Congratulations to all those who took part – it was a true team effort.