Oliver stars for Rugby & Northampton AC in Midland Counties Open

Oliver Lambert was the star of the show for Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club at last weekend’s Midland Counties Open, while a number of the club’s youngsters also impressed at the event in Birmingham.

Lambert was victorious in the 100-metre sprint and the 60-metre hurdles, setting personal-best times in the process. The under-15 athlete sprinted home in 11.87 seconds to triumph in the first event, and he doubled up by clearing the hurdles in 8.74, meaning the R&N youngster is now ranked fourth and sixth in the UK respectively in those events.

Rhania Akii-Bua was also in top form, racing to glory in the under-15 100m and the 75m hurdles. Akii-Bua’s time of 12.20 across the hurdles ranks her fifth in the UK, while she also set a PB in the sprint by triumphing in 13.59.

A whole host of R&N athletes also shone over the weekend, with personal bests being set across multiple events. William Dean was victorious in both the 60m and 100m with respective personal records of 8.75 and 14.03, while Abbie Draper set four PBs over the weekend with the highlight being her 100m success of 13.91. Draper went on to set new best times in the 60m (8.74), 60m hurdles (10.04) and the 75m hurdles (13.11), and three of her under-15 club-mates - Elizabeth Truslove (8.52), Adele Blenkinsop (8.76) and Iola Grant (8.85) - joined her in setting PBs over the 60m sprint.

Four R&N youngsters set new best times in the under-13 100m, with Maia Reynolds sprinting to success in 14.46, followed by Annie Saghri (14.77), Mica Quinn (15.38) and Millie Watford (15.51). Saghri, in a winning time of 9.14, Reynolds (9.20) and Quinn (9.35) also picked up PBs in the 60m sprint, along with Ella Watford (9.34) and Chloe Bevan (9.54).

Further victories came for Luke Townsend, Luke Gosling, Molly Barnett and Brittany Wood. Townsend grabbed first place in the senior 60m hurdles in 8.52, and later set a PB over the extended distance of 110m, racing home in 15.62 to finish second. It was a similar story for both Gosling and Wood, with the former winning over the 60m hurdles in 11.32, before taking second over 75m courtesy of another personal record, of 15.77. Wood was first in the 60m hurdles (9.31) and then finished as runner-up in the 80m in 12.28, a race in which saw Milan Clues set a PB of 13.73.

Barnett, meanwhile, was triumphant in the under-20 60m hurdles, crossing the line in 8.95. Hannah Shepherd followed in fourth with a new best time of 10.22.

A further six R&N boys set PBs across a number of events. Chris Morgan impressed in the under-17 hurdles, completing 60m in 9.40 and the 100m in 14.97, and in the under-20 category Theo Walkley-Bartlett raced over the 60m hurdles in 9.03 and the 110m hurdles in 16.20.

Samuel Whittaker and Bradley Whitehead went head-to-head in the under-15 60m and 100m sprints, with both setting new best times. Whittaker sprinted across the line in respective times of 8.61 and 13.69, while

Whitehead was just ahead in both races as he clocked 8.29 and 13.33.

In the under-17 100m, Lloyd Blanks set a new PB when he finished second in 12.78, and there was also success in the field events, where Sam Owusu took the honours in the triple jump by leaping 11.88m for victory.