Rugby & Northampton AC’s senior team travelled to Wolverhampton lying 2nd in the league and looking to secure promotion back to Midlands Division 1. In spite of all clubs having many athletes on holiday it turned out to be by far the most competitive match of the season as hosts Wolverhampton and BRAT pulled out all the stops to avoid relegation. In the event the final result was in doubt until the last field event which was the men’s discus. The final result had the top 3 teams separated by just 2 points with Gloucester claiming victory and the league championship, BRAT finished 2nd and so avoided relegation whilst R&N took 3rd place so finished a comfortable 2nd in the league and so secured promotion. They also secured local bragging rights with a convincing victory over friends and rivals Coventry Godiva.
On a hectic day of competition victories were hard to come by, but the team got off to a great start as John Moreland & Kevin Murch claimed a double victory in the Hammer whilst Gigi Woodward claimed victory in the Pole Vault, she then opened the track programme by winning the 400m Hurdles. The next highlight was the men’s 200m where for third match in succession the club claimed a double victory. this time it was Aidan Leeson and Sam Whittaker who did the business demonstrating the depth of sprint talent in the club, whilst Kyle Ennis was on holiday and Bailey Swift excelling on international duty. Other victories came from Will Price who ran a fine race in the 400m and Megan Burge who won the Triple Jump for the third time this season. The were also B string victories for Ian Gidley in the High Jump, John Moreland in the Shot and Kevin Murch in the Javelin.
In addition to the victories there were a number of Personal Bests, in spite of the windy and humid conditions in the arena. Tom Saunders underlined his improvement by picking up a PB of 59.63 in the 400m Hurdles and followed it up with a further PB in the 110m Hurdles. Sophia continued to demonstrate her improvement as she clocked 2.23.9 in the 800m whilst Ewan Roberts scored valuable points all afternoon and also claimed a PB in the Long Jump. In the ladies throws Lily Pursey and Debbie Murch had a busy day against some strong competition but both came away with valuable points.
For R&N the highlight of the afternoon came in the relays where the team turned in a set of dominant performances to secure a clean sweep of all four events. This is the first time that the club has achieved this feat in a senior leagues and helped to demonstrate the strength in depth and unity of the team this season. Thanks also to our hard working and dedicated officials without whom the meetings couldn’t take place.
This marks the end of a highly successful track season for the senior team as well as both of the Junior Teams in the YDL, many athletes will take a well earned rest to prepare for the winter, whilst others will try their luck in the various open meetings which are available.