6th September 2017
RUGBY & NORTHAMPTON AMONG THE MEDALS AT NATIONAL FINAL
Athletics club pick up five golds as the nation’s best young athletes compete in Birmingham
Rugby & Northampton’s young athletes were in action at the Youth Development League National Finals in Birmingham last weekend, producing a number of star performances as they came up against the best under-17 and under-20 competitors from across the United Kingdom.
The squad was unfortunately not at full strength for the event at Alexander Stadium, but those attending did the club proud, with 33 medals picked up in total, including five golds, as R&N finished seventh out of the eight competing clubs.
Adam Searle was one of the gold medal winners, adding the U17 1500m steeplechase to an ever-growing list of title victories this season. He stormed clear on the last lap, crossing the line in 4:28.96 to take gold by just short of six seconds.
Eleanor Broome was another to triumph, with her victory coming in the U20 long jump where she snatched gold with a final round lead of 6.10m, and she added a silver to her collection in the U20 100m, taking second in 12.73 seconds.
Back to the field, Kiona McLennon took top spot in the U20 shot put with an effort of 10.76m, while William Ballinger and Jane Akinola registered ‘B’ victories. Ballinger (9.82m) took first in the U17 shot put, and Akinola in the javelin, with a throw of 24.04m.
Under-20 athlete Alex Hamling enjoyed a good day in the field, finishing as runner-up in both shot put (13.39m) and discus (42.99m) events, with the latter of those efforts a new personal best, and he wasn’t the only R&N athlete to seal silver in the ‘A’ events.
Mary Beetham-Green (12.79) took second in the U17 100m, a new PB of 54.74 for Joshua Faulds saw him mirror that feat in the U20 400m hurdles, and Jack Carey took second in the U17 event, with a time of 60.61 seconds.
Podium places didn’t end there, with Joshua Lay taking third in a high standard U20 1500m, just half a second away from silver after clocking 4:03.83. U17 Oliver Lambert bagged a bronze too with a 100m hurdles time of 14.23, an effort matched by Chris Morgan in the U20 race, who crossed the line in 17.09 seconds. The U20 women completed track success by finishing third in the 4×100 relay.
U17 athletes continued to impress in the field with a number of third-placed finishes. Amelia Birkett (2.75m) in the pole vault, Olivia Witts (22.35m) in the discus and Fenton Bishop-Timings (46.60m) in the javelin all added bronze, as did Samuel Tutt (11.01) in the shot put – adding to his second-placed finish in the ‘B’ 100m hurdles, where he recorded a time of 14.88 seconds.
The club are very grateful to Billing Finance, a local family-run business, who have pledged their support to Rugby & Northampton. Managing Director Oliver Mackaness is “delighted to sponsor” the club, and R&N are equally delighted to have them on board.