ATHLETICS: Opening match of the Youth Development League

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Rugby & Northampton AC

Rugby & Northampton’s young athletes were in action last weekend, with the opening match of the Youth Development League taking place at a sunny Stantonbury Arena in Buckinghamshire.

R&N went into the match uncertain of how they would fare, with some of the club’s top performers moving up to Under-17, and others absent due to clashing commitments. However, the team performed superbly, overcoming hosts Milton Keynes, and Birchfield Harriers, to take the overall win.

The field events were where the club excelled, with the U15 girls leading the way. In the high jump, Ella Watford cleared 1.53 metres for a personal best and second in the ‘A’ event, while an identical clearance from Eloise Nowill secured first spot in the B-string.

Watford was also runner-up in the long jump, with a leap of 4.68m, while 4.51 was enough for twin sister Millie to take the honours in the B-string.

Maia Reynolds won both A-String shot put (9.77m) and discus events (25.34m), while Isabelle Thomson won the B-string shot put with an effort of 9.00m. There were A and B wins in the javelin, with respective PBs of 34.57m and 21.60m handing victory to Abigail Ward and Jess Roberts.

On the track, middle-distance runners Amelia McMurtrie and Molly Wlliams were victorious, with the former triumphing over 800m with a PB of 2:22.51, and the latter securing success in the 1500m, in 5:01.33.

The U13 girls also starred, with Florence Matthews winning the long jump courtesy of 4.48m, and taking second in the 150m with a PB of 21.05. Anna Farrow was second in the B-string long jump with 4.15m, while there was high jump success for Xcena Pasqualin (A - second – 1.30m) and Ruby Irving (B – first – 1:30m).

Charlotte Woodward and Elspeth Unitt were second in their A-string races, Woodward in the 70m hurdles (12.51) and Unitt in the 1200m (4:09.54), while Alice Bates won the 800m B in 2:37.61.

Lily Carlaw was an emphatic winner in the shot, with her put of 9.29m more than two metres clear of the next best effort. Charlotte Bowers won the B-string (6.28m), and followed that up with second in the javelin, throwing 16.35m.

As for the boys, U13 duo Lewis Gurney and Ollie Scott were on form, winning the A and B high jumps and 75m hurdles. Clearances of 1.45m and 1.35m were enough for victory in the field, before respective times of 13.48 and 14.71 ensured track success.

In the 800m, Oliver Savage was a B-string winner in 2:34.79, while Oliver Birch (2:28.83) was runner-up in the A-string. Evan Lowe triumphed in the long jump with 4.29m, and Joshua Tutt showed why he is ranked number one in the UK, taking the shot put thanks to 11.12m, three metres ahead of second. For the U15 boys, Lucas Marsella (29.93m) and Connor Cooke (25.02) set new PBs, earning them second in the javelin and discus respectively.