Double National Finals for R&N AC

Rugby & Northampton will be making a bid for two national final titles in September.  The Upper Age Group secured a berth in their national final in Manchester after a convincing win at the weekend over Birchfield, Nottingham, Team Avon, Cheltenham, and Swansea.

The final 744 to 690.5 margin of victory, means that the U17 and U20 athletes will be joining their U15 and U13 R&N counterparts at the top table of British junior Athletics in a double header weekend.  With over two hundred clubs involved across England, Scotland and Wales, the UK Youth Development League provides the ultimate test for the best junior athletes in the nation and R&N AC are vying to be the best of the best.

The club was particularly dominant in the long sprints, with over a third of the individual victories coming in the 300m or 400m events.  Numeiri  Saeed and Poppy Fox-Rowe were outstanding in their respective U20 400m events, while  Oliver Parker took the 400m hurdles gold.  Sofia Barrett and Maia Thompson similarly shone in their respective U17 300m and 300m hurdles events.

Outstanding among the sprinters was Savannah Morgan. She was victorious in both the U17 100m and 200m, and led 4x100m girls, Olivia Monk, Isabel  Mur and Esme Du Bois home to glory.  Further sprint glory came for Joel Masters in the U17 100m, Jaydon Allen-Bramble in the 100m hurdles and Isabel Mur in the 80m hurdles.

Madeleine Jacks was the pick of the middle distance winners with her U20 3000m victory

There was further success for Jaydon Allen-Bramble in U17 long jump and David Oduwusi in the high jump, while Esme Du Bois was first in U17 triple jump.

There was glory too in the throws for U20s Hayley Dimond in the shot and Charlotte Bowers in the hammer.

Further team successes came for the 4x100m U17 quartet of Ernest Kisel, Clinton Igbo, Harrison Nash and Joel Masters.  The long sprints dominance was finally crowned by victories for the 4x400m U20 quartet of Louis Star, Oliver Parker , Aaron Warmington and Numeiri Saeed  and the U17 4x300m foursome, Sofia Barrett, Maia Thompson, Nicole Newman-Howe and Olivia Monk.

Rugby & Northampton AC last had both age groups at the finals in 2016, when the Lower Age Group finished eighth and the Upper Age Group sixth.  The form book suggests that this current crop of juniors could well surpass this.

The previous best ever performance by a R&N team was the lower age group’s tantalisingly close second in last year’s final when they missed out on the title by just three points in the very last race of the day.

Last week the club’s youngsters also secured the division 1 title in the Heart of England Athletics League.  Road running success was sealed with three out of four team titles in the East Midlands Grand Prix.  Even the veterans are getting in on the act, heading for a twentieth successive Midlands final and hoping for their fifteenth  title win since 2002.  The club is certainly currently mining a rich seam of success.  Vice Chair, John Gercs, said, “Athletes perform best when they are enjoying themselves.  We try to look after people, whatever their age or ability.  Success when it comes is a great by-product of that.  But we are not at Manchester to make up the numbers.  We believe in winning!”

The UK YDL finals will take place on Saturday 2nd and Sunday 3rd September at the Regional Athletics Arena in the Etihad complex, Manchester.

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By ad-bryac / Administrator on Aug 13, 2023