Rugby & Northampton celebrate landmark UK Youth League victory

Rugby & Northampton Athletic Club is celebrating after a landmark victory in the UK Youth Development League Premier Division.

By Jeremy Casey
Friday, 13th May 2022, 9:05 am
Rugby & Northampton's Under-15 girls 4x100m relay team of Grace McCollin, Lucy Boyes, Olivia Monk and Savannah Morgan
Rugby & Northampton's Under-15 girls 4x100m relay team of Grace McCollin, Lucy Boyes, Olivia Monk and Savannah Morgan

The first Development League match of the summer was staged on home soil in Rugby, and the R&N youngsters were virtually unstoppable.

They showed all their class and quality to win the meet in emphatic style, beating the famous Birchfield Harriers into second place - by a mere 219 points!

Proud club chairman Adrian White said: "Competing in the Youth Development League Premier Division against some of the top clubs in the midlands, the club finished more than 200 points ahead of second place Birchfield Harriers.

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Rugby & Northampton's record-breaking 4x300m relay team

"Birchfield, with good historical claims to be the premier athletics club in the UK, have produced some of Great Britain’s top athletes.

"They include Ashia Hansen, Mark Lewis-Francis and Olympic gold heptathlete, Denise Lewis.

"With two fixtures to go, the top three clubs will progress to the Regional Final."

R&N won the meeting with 652 points, with Birchfield second on 322 and Marshall Milton Keynes third on 396.

Solihull & Small Heath (393), were fourth, Notts AC (370) fifth and Northampton AC sixth with a total of 333 points.

Having already won the opening match of the Heart of England League, hopes were high the team would put in a strong performance, and they delivered.

The whole team performed superbly across the board – from sprinters and endurance runners to throwers and jumpers.

The hurdle squad set the scene as they produced a whole string of outstanding performances.

There were individual A string victories for Zak Thorpe, Jacob Vural and Isabella Banks.

The sprinters continued this run of victories through Olivia Monk, Ernest Kisel, Isabelle Knight, Robert Mitchell and Robbie Dale.Nathan Lamb and Ella Darby then both stormed to glory in the 800m races, while Isabelle Knight and Robbie Dale struck gold in the long jump.

It was in the throws, however, where R&N really excelled.

There were no fewer than five individual A string winners in Moyo Stumphusen, Josh Mozley, Afua Agordo, Charlie Cooke and Daisy Anne Hollingworth.

Cooke managed to claim a double victory, and Hollingworth went one better as she claimed an unprecedented triple win.

Those results ensured a team victory was never in doubt, but the icing on the cake came in the relays.

The U13 boys and girls both claimed impressive victories, but the performances of the day came through the U15 girls.

The 4x300m team smashed the club record claiming victory in the fastest time in the UK this year, with 2 min 55.0 secs.

This was bettered by the 4x100m quartet of Grace McCollin, Lucy Boyes, Olivia Monk and Savannah Morgan, who stormed to an unbelievable time of 49.31 secs – one of the fastest times ever by an British 4x100m club team.

The second event in the series takes place in Milton Keynes on May 21, where R&N will look to cement their position at the top of the table.