ATHLETICS: Rugby & Northampton AC


Opening round of Midland Masters

This year’s track and field athletics for the Masters age groups began at Leamington with the introduction of scoring events for the Age 70 plus contingent.

John Evans was the first to benefit from this new age group, setting a record for the 100m of 17.5s, but as an 80 year old! Then adding a 2Km Walk record, 15-48.1s. Not to be outdone Carol Birch won both the inaugural ladies’ W70 100m in a club record 24.3s and the 2Km walk. Plus, after 25 years away from the track, a return in the M70 age bracket saw David Birch recording 8:00.2 for the M60 1500m and 6th place.

R&N supports two teams in Division East of the Midland Vets, both of whom performed keenly despite illness and injury; with many athletes adding new events to their repertoire in order to attain points for the team. Although on paper there was an A and B team, Lions and Saints, the results showed a much more even distribution of performances.

There were promising performances for Saints Veteran debutants, Dan Williams 2nd M35 1500m 4:44.9s, and Chris Ballinger 4ths in W40 100m 16.1s, 1500m, 6:36.9s, High Jump 1.05m, and W35 5th 400m 80.9s.

A number of duals permeated the match; starting in the M60 sprints where Lions Dave Cowley and Saints’ Frank Blackwell recorded identical times of 14.9s but Frank given the decision. In the shot Dave just beat Frank, in the HJ 1.25m, another tie, with Frank getting the decision. Dave then had 3rd in the M40 Hammer while Frank gained 3rd in the M60 1500m. Repeating this process were Lions’ Michael Langman and Saints’ Lee Woodward. Michael won the 100m 12.9s, Lee 3rd; 400m Lee 3rd 59.9s, Michael 4th, High Jump 1.45m tied but Michael 3rd and Lee 4th on count back,

Triple Jump Michael 2nd 9.51m, with Lee 9.12m. Since this was Lee’s first time in a TJ competition, having only found out how to do the event the evening before, this was an excellent performance.

Ian Moore, promoted to the Lions this year, won the M35 100m 13.4s, and came 2nd in the 400m 61s.

In the 1500m; Gary Wallace (M40) ran his best for some time, 3rd 4:35.9. Vince Carroll (M35) ran 4:56.2. Mark Barrowclough (M50) was 3rd in the Walk and 5th in the 100m; while Terry Egan (M50) gained 5th in the 400m 68.7s. Terry, Michael, Ian and Gary combined to claim 2nd in the 4x200m relay, behind Leamington but just ahead of the Saints.

Completing the Lions events were wins for Kevin Murch M50 hammer 35.14m and Glyn Hollingworth M35 javelin 48.49m. Both were over 10m ahead of the opposition.

The Saints continued to score well with M40 Dave O’Leary 2nd in the Walk 11:45.9s, and 4th in the 1500m. M50 Mike Devine 3rd in the 100m 14.3s and 7th in the (M35)400m; Adrian White was an excellent 3rd in the M50 400m 67.2. Completing the track events Paddy Lynch moved down from Marathon for 4th in the M70 100m 20.0s and Dave Bunker dropped nearly three age groups to M35 100m for 5th in 18s.

Mike, Lee Adrian and Dave finished off with 3rd in the relay. The remaining 10pts came from John Gercs in the Javelin 27.28m and Dave Spence Hammer 13.50m, both 4th. This produced Saints’ highest ever league position so far, 3rd.

The Lions’ women were on equally good form. Marathon record holder Angela Copson stepped down to the 100m W60 for silver in 18.3s, followed by a win in the 400m in 82s, then 4th in the 1500m W50 in 5:45.5s. Lesley Willis won the W35 100m 14.9s, then 3rds in the 400m W40 in 73s and HJ W50.

Sam Berry won the W35 HJ 1.25m, was 3rd in the W40 100m 15.4 and 4th in the 400m 78.5s.

Tricia Garner won the 2K walk 12:26.9s and Young Helen West ran 5-44.1 for 3rd in the W35 1500m.

Field eventer Debbie Murch had an excellent evening with wins in the W50 shot 9.25m, and javelin 22.10m, plus a second in the 100m 16.2s.

Also on a winning streak was Carol Parker W40 Shot 11.99m, nearly twice as far as the nearest opposition. Completing with the relay of Sam, Lesley, Angela and Helen, were barely visible even with the spotlights. The girls squad were narrowly defeated by Leamington, despite running 2:13.8s, only 0.8s behind but enough to win the league event.

The Saints’ women had a much harder task with only three competitors, not enough for a relay, but still covered 11 events and collecting 50 points.

Maz Allen started the chase with the W50 100m 17.8s, then the W40 400m 95.7s, the walk 4th place, and 4.14m for the Shot 6th. In the M60s Val Cross came 2nd in the 400m, 3rd in the walk and putt the shot W50 4.34m.

Hopefully the ladies will have a few more recruits by the next match at Leicester on May 20.

Final Scores: Men: 1st Leamington 131pts, 2nd R&N Lions 126, 3rd R&N Saints 103, 4th Charnwood 93, 5th Kettering 86.5, 6th Nuneaton 51, 7th Leicester 46.5, 8th Harborough 44.

Women: 1st R&N Lions 127, 2nd Harborough 99, 3rd Leamington 77, 4th Nuneaton 74, 5th Kettering 57, 6th R&N Saints 50, 7th Charnwood 45, 8th Leicester 35.