Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club battled against both the weather and their Midlands rivals to secure a superb team success at the UK Youth Development Midland Premier League meeting in Milton Keynes last weekend.
R&N’s under-17 and under-20 athletes fought off wild winds to accumulate 718 points - enough to triumph over Birchfield Harriers (694) and Marshall Milton Keynes (691), with athletes impressing on both track and field.
Tom Cheyne led the way, putting on a superb show to win the 100 metres in 11.77 seconds, before taking second place in the 200m (23.69). Cheyne then moved on to the long jump, securing another runner-up position with a leap of 6.27 metres.
The male relay events were dominated by R&N, with the under-17s winning the 4x100m in 45.74, while the under-20’s were victorious in both the 4x100m (43.44) and 4x400m events (3:29.05).
Those athletes were in fine form individually as well, with two of the 400m relay runners dominating over longer distances. Adam Wright cruised to success in the 800m in 1:57.77 and Hizam Sheekh (4:05.4) set a personal best when crossing the line to win the 1500m.
Their fellow relay team-mates, Connor Aldridge and Aidan Leeson, also sealed individual successes in the 400m hurdles and 200m, with respective times of 60.22 and 23.86.
The sprinters also put in fine efforts. Rico Ewer ran a time of 11.30 in the under-20 A race to take second, while Zach Stapleton (under-20, 11.61) and Adam Williamson (under-17, 12.18) finished second and third respectively in the B race.
Stapleton went on to win over 200 metres in the under-20 ‘B’ race in 23.14 and Clinton Osoba-George took the honours in the A, racing across the line in 22.45.
Isaac Akers put in a mightily impressive run in the 1500m, storming home to an eight-second victory (4:12.23) - a season’s best for the under-17 athlete. Meanwhile on the field, Paddy Price launched the hammer 55.79 metres to grab gold with a new PB.
R&N’s women were also dominant on the day, with double victories for the under-20’s in the 800m, 1500m and 1500m steeplechase among the highlights.
Over the shorter of the distances, Ellie Welch took the glory in the A race with 2:20.89, and Katie Chubb (2:21.95) secured success in the B category. Over 1500 metres, the respective honours went to Emma Bond (5:14.14) and Rebecca Leadbetter (5:14.15), while in the steeplechase it was Kirsty Goddard (5:35.52) and Tilly Lea (5:36.05) who were victorious.
The under-17 steeplechase was also won by R&N with Lily Carmichael storming to a 22-second triumph, crossing the line in 5:23.45.
In the field, there was success for a number of R&N’s under-17 athletes, with Eleanor Broome and Milan Clues securing first place in the long jump and high jump respectively.
Broome leaped 5.76 metres to win, while a high of 1.40 metres gave Clues the gold medal. Clues then moved up a level to compete against the under-20s in the long jump, and impressed again by securing silver with a jump of 5.20 metres.
Evie Harris-Jenkins was second in the under-17’s javelin, throwing 38.01m, a distance only surpassed by Bethan Rees of Cannock & Stafford – the UK’s number one at that age group.
Kiona McLennon took shot put victory with a dominant display, throwing 12.98m - well over a metre ahead of her nearest rival - and she followed that up with second place in the discus, with a season’s best effort of 28.81 to round off a superb day for R&N.