RUGBY & NORTHAMPTON YOUNGSTERS PROGRESS TO AREA FINALS
Young squad to compete in Cardiff after Youth Development League victory
Rugby & Northampton’s young athletes won a thrilling UK Youth Development League match, narrowly overcoming Charnwood and Marshall Milton Keynes AC to reach the Area Finals, which will be held in Cardiff on 15th July.
The under-15 girls were the star performers yet again, with multiple victories over track and field. Amelia Tutt set a new personal best to win the 75-metre hurdles in 12 seconds, while Maia Reynolds took first in the shot put (9.89 metres) and second in the discus (25.04m).
In the ‘B’ events, Claudia Searle crossed the line in 5:07.2 to take the 1500m, and there was more track success in the 4x300m relay, won convincingly by Fenella Downes, Abbie Hall, Megan Burge and Abi Ward in 3:00.1.
Individually, Downes (44.3) and Ward (30.86m) took second spot in the 300m and javelin, with a runner-up spot also earned by Eloise Nowill (1.55m), Ella Watford (5.22m) and Molly Williams (5:02.2) in the high jump, long jump and 1500m events respectively.
Millie Watford (1.50m) in the high jump, Eve Corrigan (8.15m) in the shot put and Mica Quinn (17.84m) in the javelin grabbed further ‘B’ string glory in the field.
Winning momentum continued with the U13 girls, and there was double joy in the 800m and the long jump. Alice Bates (2:34.4) and Alice Bennett (2:36.0) triumphed around the track, while it was Flo Matthews (4.68m) and Anna Farrow (4.11m) who leaped to victory.
Farrow added a second-placed finish in the javelin (20.93m), while Matthews – joined by Bethany Blundell, Maddy Drage and Ruby Wood – was part of the 4x100m relay team which came second in 54.7. Lily Carlaw was another to triumph, beating the shot put competition with 9.86m.
For the boys, the U13s performed well, with Josh Tutt easing to another shot put victory (11.6m), retaining his place as the UK’s number one. Lewis Gurney took second in the 75-metre hurdles (13.9) and high jump (1.45m), and a javelin PB of 26.03m helped Luke Turner to second.
Ollie Scott dominated the ‘B’ events, helping himself to not one, not two, but three first-place finishes. Shot put and high jump efforts of 7.18m and 1.35m proved enough, backed up by 14.3 in the 75m hurdles.
Rounding off the day, U15 Ed Faulds (20.46m) took first in the hammer, while Connor Cooke’s throw of 26.49m secured second in the discus.
Elsewhere, in the Harborough 5-mile, Dominic Jones achieved his second victory for R&N in the sixth round of the East Midlands Grand Prix Series, crossing in 26:40.
In doing so, the 23-year-old became the first R&N athlete for 10 years to win two races in the same year after claiming victory in the Corby 5 three weeks earlier.
The next man over the line was Stephen Marks in fourth place in 27:15, and Matthew Chronicle made it four wins in the M20 event, coming home in 28:51 to clinch the overall series. The 16-year-old finished in 14th position overall, and hot on his heels was veteran Dean Oldfield just one place and four seconds adrift to finish as the sixth M40.
The performance was only enough for second spot in the senior men’s team competition, and they can now only tie at best for the overall series.
On the other hand, the veteran men won their fourth race to take the overall lead, and victory at Weedon next week will clinch the title. Joining Marks and Oldfield in that team were Iain Botheroyd (19th – 29:23) and Mike Andrews (32nd – 30:34).
There were good performances in the senior race from Pete Currington (23rd) and Jonathan Burke (37th) with times of 29:53 and 30:56 respectively, while Alan Mould gained his first top-three place in the M55 race with 34:09.
The senior women maintained their unbeaten record with six wins out of six, and leading home the R&N squad was Tori Green in third place on exactly 31 minutes, which also maintains third in the overall standings.
Vicky Nealon was timed at 31:56 for fifth spot, and the team was completed by Jane Westley in eighth position in 33:53, giving her second in the F40 category. In the F70 race, Angela Copson BEM took her fourth victory (36:12) for 16th overall, and closing out the veteran team was Judith Rose in 18th in 36:21 (F40 – fourth).
The squad finished in second place on the night, knowing the overall title was already secured.