RUGBY & Northampton Athletics Club (R&N) continued their success in the UK Youth Development League at the weekend, with the U17/U20 athletes earning a place at the National Finals after a strong performance in Wolverhampton.
The club were in a fine position going into the event following three wins from the three previous rounds, and they ensured their place in September’s showpiece with a second-placed finish on a wet and windy day in the Midlands.
Despite the conditions and a number of the club’s regular athletes not being in attendance, R&N still delivered a number of dazzling displays to take the runner-up spot behind Birchfield Harriers.
Under-17 athlete Milan Clues set two personal bests as she took first and second in two hurdle races, with a time of 12.8 seconds earning her first place over 80 metres, before running 50.8 seconds to secure silver in the 300m event.
There was more glory for the U17 athletes over the hurdles, with Jay O’Leary and Josh Faulds setting PBs on the way to victory. O’Leary, competing in the 100m ‘A’ string, cruised home in 13.9 seconds, while Faulds eased over the line in 60.3 to win the 400m ‘B’ by over six seconds.
Faulds was not done there, as he teamed up with Aidan Leeson, George Patrick and Tom Jasper in the 4x400m relay. The quartet crossed the line in 3:35.1, equalling a club record as they came home in first place.
The under-20s achieved sprint success with Zach Stapleton (200m – 21.8) and Molly Barnett (100m – 12.7) setting respective PBs en route to track triumph, while Adam Wright and Kirsty Goddard also added new record times, albeit over a longer distance.
Wright set a PB and a new club record as he stormed to success over 1,500m, powering around in a fantastic 3:57.4, and Goddard followed that up with top spot in the 1500m steeplechase, a time of 5:27.0 earning her the gold medal and a PB.
Jonjo Fanning added a silver in the field, as he launched the hammer a personal-best 42.15 metres to take the runner-up spot.
*Elsewhere, Angela Copson set a British and a World Record last weekend, as she won the Mile race at the EAMA Inter-Area Match at Solihull.
With a time of 5:54.59, Copson became the first W65 athlete to run the mile inside six minutes, and she backed up her achievement with 3000m success in 12:32.29, easing home well over a minute ahead of her nearest competitor.
It was a busy week for the veterans, with Terry Egan picking up his 100th NAA County Medal courtesy of finishing the Wellingborough 5 miles as the second-placed male veteran in a time of 30:28.
Also competing in Wellingborough was Brendan Moen who led the way for the club, finish 18th overall in 29:15, just eight seconds ahead of club-mate Pete Currington, who took 20th.
Following Egan home was Bernie Myers who finished as the eight-quickest M50 in 33:46, before 15-year-old Adam Bebbington (135th – 38:10) and Neil Martin (147th – 38:45) completed the line-up, with Martin crossing as the sixth-fastest M55.