ATHLETICS: Outstanding performance in opening league meeting

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Rugby & Northampton AC

UK Youth Development League – Midlands Premiership Upper Age Group

On Sunday (May 5), Rugby and Northampton AC took part in the first round of the UK Youth Development League at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham, looking to reach the National Finals in September.

The club has an outstanding record of achievement at this level and it looks set to continue.

Many of the athletes were new to their respective age groups of U17 and U20 but all performed well beyond expectations. The team had numerous new faces, many of whom were competing for the club for the first time and they all integrated well and were part of the team.

The standard of the event was extremely high, providing an outstanding level of competition for Rugby’s athletes to test themselves against the best in the Midlands, with many achieving personal bests as well as Regional and National standards.

The day started well with individual victories in both male 400m hurdles races with both Alfie Bowers 60.1secs and Ed Faulds 59.1secs posting impressive performances.

For the U20 men, there were two further A string victories for Jack Sumners – 7.09m in the long jump and Fenton Bishop – Timings with 47m in the javelin. There were three B string victories for Oliver Cresswell 14.4 secs in the 110m hurdles, Cian Hutton with 65sec in the 400mH and Matthew Milward Brookes with 6.18m in the long jump.

The U17 boys also had three individual victories through Ollie Wear, Nick Butler and Noah Bennett. Ollie won the javelin with 46m, Nick the triple jump with 12.73m and Noah Bennett with 1m 59secs in the 800m. There was also a B string victory for Ben Lole in the triple jump.

For the U20 ladies there were three individual A string victories, with Abi Pearce winning the steeplechase in 5mins 51secs, Imogen Sheppard the 400m in 58.4secs and Amelia Birkett with 3.10m in the pole vault. In addition, there were two B string victories for Georgina Woodward in both the pole vault and steeplechase.

The U17 ladies produced arguably the outstanding team performance of the day, with no less than five A string victories. Fenella Downes stormed to victory in the 300m in a time of 44.8secs and she was followed by Amelia McMurtrie and Georgina Campbell taking victories in the 800m and 1500m with times of 2mins 20 and 4mins 42 respectively.

In the field, Georgina Ford Wells jumped to victory in the triple jump with 10.90m in her first outing at the event and the team finished the day with an outstanding victory in the 4 x 300m. There were three further B string victories for Scarlett Street in the 300mH, Mica Quinn in the long jump and Claudia Searle in the 1500m.

Overall an outstanding performance with the team finally finishing in 2nd place – over 100 points in front of 3rd place. Congratulations to all those that took part. The second match will take place at Rugby on Sunday, May 26 with R&N looking to overtake the current leaders, Birchfield Harriers.