ATHLETICS: Young athletes competing with best in country

Distance coach Nick Garner and Adam Wright
Distance coach Nick Garner and Adam Wright

Rugby & Northampton AC

Midweek saw two Rugby & Northampton U20 Men selected to run for England – Midlands in the Cardiff International.

Luke Townsend, Molly Barnett and James Wright

Luke Townsend, Molly Barnett and James Wright

Both loyal R&N athletes, competing in every league match possible for their club, the boys got well deserved representational honours as they move out of the Junior ranks into Seniors next season.

U20 Rugby-based athlete Adam Wright continued his excellent 2015 form taking on the field from the gun in the Men’s 800m.

Never shy to take on any field, going through the first lap in 54s, Wright was determined to set a new PB from the outset.

Up against English Schools Champion for the second time in three weeks, Wright led to 15 metres to go but could not quite hold out the battle to the line taking a fabulous silver medal, new PB and club record in 1:51.19.

Coached by Rugby based Nick Garner, Wright has made continuous progress in distance running since Under 13s at the club, showing that with consistent hard work you can achieve your goals.

In the sprints, Northampton based Clinton Osoba George guested in the 100m in a fast race, again in under 11s, before running an excellent first relay leg to take the England Midlands team to silver medal.

l This weekend saw yet more junior athletes emerging onto the senior stage with an increasing number qualifying for the England Athletics Senior Championships, competing against some of the biggest athletics names in the UK.

Running for Northamptonshire U20 Connor Aldridge finished 5th in his 400m hurdles heat in a time of 59.27s. With three Rugby -based sprint hurdlers qualifying and running in back to back heats, U20 athlete Molly Barnett was first up in the 100m Hurdles.

Drawn next to European bronze medallist Serita Solomon, Barnett had a lightning start and excellent race just missing out on qualification for the finals breaking a long standing club record in 14:40s.

Next up James Wright battled through his heat to finish fourth, taking out many hurdles on the way, still to finish in a fast time of 14.89s, just 0.1s outside finals qualification.

The second heat saw Luke Townsend run a clean race setting a new PB of 15.19 in his first season over the higher hurdles.

The only club athlete competing in the field was Craig Murch in the hammer competition.

Throwing 60.82m to reach the finals, Murch finished the day in sixth spot with a throw of 63.65m.