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Last updated 20/01/2014

Watch out for updates on Katherine Merry will be featured shortly and an updated profile on Angela Copson.

Themba Luhana

Date of Birth : 08/03/93

Place of Birth : Johannesburg, South Africa

Event : 100m Hurdles

Themba Luhana has been a member of Rugby & Northampton AC since starting in the Northampton Sprints squad as an U13.

Competing regularly for the Club in the National Young Athletes League, National Junior League and then Senior League doing 100m, 200m, long jump, triple jump, high jump as well as the hurdles; Themba will willingly compete in whatever event is asked of him.

2008 was the breakthrough year for Themba focusing on the 100m hurdles winning the Northamptonshire County Championships (setting a championship record) and reaching the final of the ESAA Championships. He then went on to win bronze in the England Athletics U17 Championships before being selected for East Midlands in the UK Schools Games and this time took the gold medal.

2009 brought continued success with the highlight being his win at the ESAA Championships in Sheffield. Themba was selected and competed for the Great Britain youth team in Finland and earlier in the season broke his own Northamptonshire County Championship record.

International Honours

Great Britain – European Youth Olympic Festival, Finland July 2009

Personal Bests

100m Hurdles12.93
110m Hurdles14.01
60m Hurdles8.09
60m7.29
100m11.5
200m23.4

Championship Bests

English Schools Championships2009100m Hurdles1st
Midland Counties Championships (U18M)2009110m Hurdles2nd
Northamptonshire County Championships2009100m hurdles 100m 200m1st
Midland Counties Indoor Championships2009110m Hurdles1st
Aviva England Athletics Indoor Championships200960m Hurdles1st
UK Schools Games2009100m Hurdles1st

Eleanor Broome   

Date of Birth :  06/02/99

Place of Birth :  Bedford

Event : Long Jump

Eleanor has been a member of  Rugby & Northampton AC since September 2011 aged 12, joining the Club to add an additional sporting activity to the gymnastics tumbling she was doing. A team player who trains exceptionally hard and has a shining athletic future ahead of her.

She first competed for the Club in April 2012, taking part in the 100m at the Rugby Open. She then ‘helped out’ with the long jump in June 2012 for the Heart of England League match achieving a jump of 4.34m. However it wasn’t until Ian Roberts, from Bedford Athletics Club, who was at the club to provide Flying Coach support to Beverley Simms,  noticed Eleanor’s potential in the long jump. She was executing practice jumps that were phenomenally long for her age and ability. Following on from the specialist coaching sessions she produced a jump of 5.22m five weeks later in the second Heart of England League match.

Eleanor visited Ian at Bedford to receive additional jumps training and competed in Young Athlete’s League Midland Final in the July of that year, achieving a jump of 5.45m. Eleanor went on to compete in the England Athletics Age Group Championships and performed exceptionally well, achieving a silver medal with a jump of 5.59m

Eleanor stepped up her training with Ian during the winter of 2012/13.  She commenced her campaign in indoor competition in February 2013 taking the gold medal with a jump of 5.52m in the England Athletics Age Group Indoor Championships and in doing so claimed the number one ranking in the country for an U15 girl. and maintained this throughout the whole of 2013.

The climax of the season was Eleanor’s outstanding triumph at the English Schools Championship – she leaped 5.70m to take the gold medal and earn her place in the R&N AC Hall of Fame.

Eleanor was selected to represented England for the first time for the U20 Indoor International against Wales in Cardiff in March 2015 doing the Long Jump.  She jumped a personal best of 5.98m and won the Gold medal.

Personal Bests

Long Jump5.98m

Championship Bests

English Schools Championships2013Long Jump1st
England Athletics U15/17 Championships2013Long Jump1st
Sainsburys Games2014Long Jump1st
English Schools Championships2014Long Jump3rd
England U15/U17 Championships2014Long Jump2nd

Damien Moss

Date of Birth : 02/09/1982

Place of Birth : Northampton

Event : 800 metres

Damien has been participating in athletics since the age of 12 and first joined Northampton Phoenix in 1995 and competed as a top age U13.  Damien has always had a passion for the 800m and this has been his main event since he started running for the Club.  In his first year of competition Damien was undefeated in events from 200m-1500m competing mainly over the 800m running a personal best of 2:21.70.

Through the age groups Damien’s best year came in 1999 as an under 17 where he won the Midlands title over 800m and finished 4th in the English schools championships in Bury St.Edmunds running a personal best of 1:56.97.

As an U20 his best performances came in the English Schools where he finished 2nd twice over 800m in 2000 and 2001 and also won the Midland Championships in 2000. A breakthrough year  came in 2004 where he won the National U23 Championships in Bedford and went on to run for England and Great Britain in the same season.

During the indoor season of 2008 Damien had another breakthrough year by coming second in the National Indoor championships and running the fastest time in the country with 1:47.32 in the Birmingham Grand Prix. As a result of these performances he gained selection for the World Indoor Championships in Valencia, Spain.

In 2009 he came second in the National Outdoor Championships and also fulfilled a personal goal by competing at the Crystal Palace Grand Prix in London. He also won his first British Milers Grand Prix in Manchester and  achieved another goal by winning the Loughborough International Meeting.

International Honours

England – Cork City Games, Ireland – 2004

Great Britian – U23 Home International, Manchester – 2004

England – Elan Indoor Meeting- Slovakia – 2005

Great Britain – World Indoor Championships – Spain 2008

England – Elan Indoor Meeting, Slovakia – 2009

 

Personal Bests

400m48.9
800m1:47.27
1500m3:48.99

 

Championship Bests

English Schools Championships1999800m4th
Midland Counties Championships1999800m1st
English Schools Championships2000800m2nd
Midland Counties Championships2000800m1st
English Schools Championships2001800m1st
National U23 Championships2004800m1st
National Indoor Championships2008800m2nd
National Outdoor Championships2009800m2nd

John Gercs

Date of Birth : 07/06/69

Place of Birth : Rugby

Event : 800 metres

John  has been a member of Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club since 1979 joining, aged 10 years old.

A good young athlete, competing at cross country and a variety of track and field events, it was not until he was 16 that he started training specifically for 400m with Club coach John Evans.   He was 5th at the UK U17 Championships in  a time of 50.6 secs and two years later finished 2nd in the English Schools Senior Boys in a time of 48.4 secs.

It is worth noting that he also ran senior Birmingham League cross country that year and also finished 81st in the English Schools Cross Country !

He went on to study at Loughborough University and made the transition to 800m.  He regularly competed for the Club  both on the track and cross country and on one occasion travelled back from studying in Germany to help Rugby AC secure promotion to the Birmingham League Division One cross country.

He won the Midland Championships in 1995 and regularly represented the region against athletes from the likes of Canada, Scotland and Wales. In the same year he finished 2nd in the BMC Championships in a time of 1min 49.56.

John continued to compete for the club and at the age of 40 made a determined effort to return to full fitness and this paid off when he won the World Masters 800m Championships in Finland in a time of 1 min 57.50.

John continues to run for the club and also coaches and officiates wherever possible.

In 2012 he was given the honour of being Honorary President of the Club.

Personal Bests

400m48.4
800m1:49.56
1500m3:50.6

Championship Bests

UK Under 17 Championships1985400m5th
England Schools Championships1987400m2nd
Midland Counties Championships1995800m1st
BMC Championships1995800m2nd
World Masters Championships in Finland2009800m1st

Angela Copson

Date of Birth : 20/04/1947

Place of Birth : Brixworth, Northants

Event : Endurance Running

Angela only started running late in 2006 when she was 59 to raise money for heart research at the John Radcliffe hospital where her husband, Harry, had been treated in the cardiac ward, successfully, a short while before.

Angela’s first “fund raising” marathon was the 2007 London Marathon in which she did 3:57.  She said after this run “that with lots of chatting on the way, I am more than pleased with the time”.She enjoyed this race so much that she has continued running since then.

She joined Rugby & Northampton AC in August 2007 and with guidance from running friends she has made significant progress.

In 2008 she won the British Masters W60 cross country championship, a title which she retained in 2009.  Also in 2008 she ran 3:18: 29 gun time and 3:16:54 chip time in the London Marathon for a British W60 Best performance.  She lost this in September 2008 to another very fast 60 year old, Ann Furbank who ran 3:18:08 in the Berlin Marathon.  But Angela regained it in 2009 with 3:15:18 gun time and 3:14:51 chip time, again in the London Marathon.

Since then Angela has raced prolifically on the road, cross country and track and by early in 2010 held  five British Masters W60 track records at 800m, 1500m, 3000m, 5000m and 10000m plus six British W60 road best performances including 5k, 5 miles, 10k, 10 miles, half marathon and of course the marathon.

Angela’s times at 3000m and 5000m on the track are World Masters W60 records.Not surprisingly in the 2009 British Masters track and field rankings Angela is ranked first in all distances from 800m to 10000m and second at 400m.

Angela has represented Northamptonshire in the 2009 senior Inter-counties cross country championship, and in 2008 and 2009 the Midland Masters in the Masters Inter-area track and field match, and in 2008 and 2009 the English Masters in the home countries cross country international.  Angela won the W60 group in both of these cross country fixtures.

In the 2009 Masters Inter area track and field meeting Angela won the W60 800m in 2:42.9 which is a British Record and the 3000m in 11:06.5 which is a W60 world record.  Angela’s winning time in the 2009 BMAF 5000m Championship of 19:04.03 is also a W60 world record.

Personal Bests at 22/02/2010 achieved as a W60

Track

200m34.713/08/08Loughborough
400m75.214/09/08Birmingham
800m2:42.916/08/09SolihullBritish W60 Record
1500m5:22.9204/07/09BirminghamBritish W60 Record
1 mile5:48.012/07/09Kettering
3000m11:06.516/08/09SolihullWorld W60 Record
5000m19:04.0305/07/09BirminghamWorld W60 Record
10000m39:43.8113/09/09OxfordBritish W60 Record

 Road

5K19:2422/06/08HorwichBritish W60 Best
5 miles31:3902/08/09WellingboroughBritish W60 Best
6 miles38:3819/05/09Bedford
10K39:3419/07/09Magor MarshBritish W60 Best
10 miles68:0111/10/09PortlandBritish W60 Best
Half Marathon88:5602/12/07NorwichBritish W60 Best
Marathon3:15:1826/04/09LondonBritish W60 Best

Championship Bests

Midland Masters W60
Solihull08/06/081500m5:28.7
Solihull08/06/085000m20:06.7
Solihull14/06/09800m2:43.1 CBP
Solihull14/06/091500m5:32.0
British Masters W60
Horwich22/06/085K road19:24
Prestwold Hall29/06/0810K road40:48
Birmingham05/07/09800m2:43.62 CBP
Birmingham04/07/091500m5:22.92 BR
Birmingham05/07/095000m19:04.03 WR
Magor Marsh19/07/0910K road39:34 CBP
Portland11/10/0910miles road68:01
Stevenage01/11/09Half Marathon89:31

Ellena Ruddock

Date of Birth : 23/02/76

Place of Birth : Coventry

Event : 60m, 100m, 200m

Ellena started her athletic career at the age of 14 years, having been approached by her current coach, Roy Humphries, at the Coventry Schools ESAA trials in 1993, and then joined Coventry Godiva Harriers AC where Roy was coaching.  Ellena soon became a leading member of sprint group that became the leading ladies sprint group in the Midlands.

Ellena has won many County and Midland titles at 100m/200m and 60m/200m titles, and her talent was recognised by the AAA with several England/GB vests at Junior/U23 and Senior International level.  In her 23 years of competition, Ellena has reached seventeen AAA Finals with eleven of them being Outdoor Finals and six of them being Indoor Finals.  In those Finals there have been 3 bronze medals, two Outdoor and one Indoor.

Ellena joined Rugby AC when Roy moved from Coventry Harriers AC, when he decided to move back to his roots with the Club that started his athletic career in 1958.  Since then Ellena has supported the Club in its Midland and UK Women’s League competitions, and has never finished outside of the first two places, a remarkable achievement.  Although Ellena is now 37 years old, she is beating class athletes who can be up to 20 years younger then her, and that is underlined by the fact that as a Senior, she is still Midland Indoor Champion at 60m and 200m and Midland Outdoor Champion at 200m and second in the 100m.

On becoming an Athletic Master at 35 years, a new opening had been presented to her, and a new career.  Ellena is ranked No.1 in the UK Masters rankings, ranked No.1 in the European Masters Indoor Championships, No.1 in the World Masters Indoor Championships and No.1 in the World Masters Games that took place in Turin, Italy in August.  Next year will see Ellena defend her European Masters Indoor Championship in Budapest in March and then on to another Outdoor season.

International Honours

Great Britain Junior  – Warsaw  – 1994

Great Britain Junior  – Germany & France – 1995

Great Britain Junior – European Championships, Hungary – 1995

Great Britain U23 – Hexham – 1996

Great Britain U23 – Indoors, France – 1997

International select – Leeds – 1998

Great Britain – U23 – Hexham & Dresden – 1998

Great Britain –  European Cup Final – 1998

International select – South Africa – 1999

Personal Bests

60m Indoor7.54
200m Indoor23.91

 

100m Outdoor11.49
200m Outdoor23.41
400m Outdoor56.00

Championship Bests

UK Indoor Junior Championships1995100m1st
English Schools Championships1995100m2nd
Inter Counties Championships1998100m1st
AAA Championships2002200m3rd
AAA Championships2003200m3rd
AAA Indoors Championships2004200m3rd
UK Masters Indoor Championships201260m & 100m1st
UK Masters Outdoor Championships2012100m & 200m1st
World Masters Indoor Championships201260m & 200m1st
UK Masters Indoor Championships201360m & 200m1st
European Masters Outdoor Championships2013100m & 200m1st
World Masters Outdoor Championships2013100m & 200m1st

Richard Quennell

Date of Birth : 14/05/1968

Place of Birth : Northampton

Event : 24 Hour Racing

Richard ran his first marathon in 1994 and joined Northampton Phoenix in 1996. As well as running for the Club he spent six years on the Committee as Treasurer until the merger with Rugby AC.

Having  concentrated on the marathon distance, running the Luton Marathon in December 1999, he also took part in the Birmingham League Cross Country as well as a number of track meetings where as well as doing the 3000 metre steeplechase he threw the shot, discuss and javelin on occasions.

Richard turned to ultra running in 2007 and was finishing consistently within the top five without ever winning a race until 2009 when he finished equal first in the Atlantic Coast Challenge which was 3 marathons in 3 days along the Cornish Coast.

He then took part in his first 24 hour race in October 2009 which he won covering a distance of just short of 146 miles which allowed him to qualify to run for GB &NI at the IAU 24hr World and European Championships in Brive-La-Gaillarde, France.

In 2010 Richard was ranked No2 in Great Britian and No1 in England.

International Honours:

Great Britain & Northern Ireland -IAU 24 Hr World & European Championships Brive-La-Gauillarde France

Personal Bests

Luton Marathon 19992:42:32
Ultra Running 12 Hour134.51km
Ultra Running 24 Hour246.121km

Michael Aldridge

Date of Birth :  14/09/73

Place of Birth :  Caracas, Venezeula

Event : Endurance Athlete

Michael has been a member of R & N AC since 2011 joining at the age of 38 and since then has set personal bests in every distance  from 3k to marathon.

Michael was a keen sportsman at school and represented his county at rugby, cricket, athletics, cross country and even chess, but it was his love for running that has bought him most enjoyment and success.

By his own admission, he ‘didn’t do much’ in his 20s and was well into his 30s before he took up running more seriously. A ‘bet with a friend’ saw him enter his first marathon in 2006 where he finished an impressive 3rd at Abingdon. He followed this up the following two years by coming 2nd at the Jersey Marathon and 3rd at the Leicester marathon finishing the latter in 2hrs 33 in a good quality field. In 2010 he completed the very tough Snowdon marathon in 2 hrs 40 taking the bronze medal behind 2 welsh international athletes.

It wasn’t until his late 30s that his running really developed. Fearing that he was nearing the end of his running career he sought advice from his now coach, Ian Wilson and what an incredible partnership that proved to be. In their first year together, Michael went on to win the British Masters age group title (35-40) for the half marathon on a very tough course in Leek followed a few weeks later by the British Masters 10 mile title.  Michael was then selected for the England masters cross country team and represented them at the British championships in November of the same year.

Michael joined Rugby & Northampton AC in 2012 and is still working with Ian Wilson as his coach and mentor and has gone on to achieve more success, winning the British Masters cross country age group title, the Midland Masters cross country title, the British Masters 10.000m on the track and the 10k road running title. He was selected again for the England Masters cross country team that year.

In 2013, he ran 15.39 for a 5k Park run, came 9th overall and 1st in age at the prestigious Edinburgh marathon in 2 hrs 30 and took the British Masters 5000m title the day after he turned 40 in a new pb of 15mins 27.  He finished a great year by then winning his age group title at the Great Eastern half marathon (a new pb of 70.48 in very poor conditions) followed by winning the Nene Valley 10 mile race in an outstanding 52 mins 33 leaving him at the top of the English age group rankings.

And he still thinks he can get better !

International Honours

England Masters cross country team 2011 & 2012

Personal Bests

3000m8.54
5K15:39
5000m15:27
10000m32.42.73
10K32.33
10mile52.33
Half Marathon70.48
Marathon2:30.50

Championship Bests

British Masters2011Half Marathon1st
British Masters201110 mile1st
British Masters20115000m2nd
British Masters2012XC1st
British Masters201210,000m1st
British Masters201210K1st
British Masters20135000m1st

Honorary and Life Members

Bryan AcfordTerry Egan Steve Phillips
Terry AkiensKen HowlettBob Rollings
Neil BarfordJohn LoveEllena Ruddock
Carol BirchTony LoveJudith Shaw
Dave BirchPaddy LynchJudy Simpson
Bob CooperMichelle MarsellaDerek Smith
Paul CooperKatharine MerrySandra Smith
Bob BradleyAdam MoleGrant Taylor
Stewart HarrisJohn MorelandSheila Taylor
Gary HerringtonMary PayneGary White
Sue HerringtonTony ManningPete Wyatt