YDL National Finals – Sport City, Manchester – 2nd & 3rd September

Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club has had a stellar year in the National UKYDL league. The competition is split into two distinct competitions – the lower age group (U13 and U15) and the upper age group (U17 and U20) and for the first time since 2016 both teams qualified to National Finals in Manchester, competing against the strongest clubs in the UK.

Saturday saw the younger age group take to the the track and it was immediately evident that the competition was going to be extremely high level! The R & N youngsters and coaches had been training and preparing really thoroughly for the competition and this hard work was obvious with a whole string of record breaking and personal best performances. For the U13 boys, Keanu Thomas and Riley Michaels dominated in the sprints and jumps whilst Ava Hession raced to outstanding performances in the U13 sprints and hurdles. The throwers were outstanding with Jack Hancock, Giane Marsella, Dexter Barrett, James Taylor all throwing prolific distances. On the track, there were a whole string of outstanding performances with personal bests and club records galore. The day finished with the relays and the R & N sprinters rose to dominate proceeding with the day finishing with the R & N U15 girls producing a simply astonishing victory in the 4 x 300m relay. The final result was greeted with jubilation as the R & N team was declared as second in the country for the second year in the row.

The upper age group team last qualified for the National finals in 2018 when they finished in a creditable fifth position but hopes were high of an even better result for the current group of talented athletes. The sprint and hurdles races saw R & N dominant with impressive victories for Fabian Powell, Clinton Igbo, Isabel Mur, Isabella Banks and Sophia Barrett. The endurance races also saw the R & N athletes compete at the highest level with Noah Bennett claiming double victory in the 800m and 1500m. The jumpers shone with David Oduwusi leading the way for R & N with victory in the long jump and high jump. The throws squad have made huge leaps forward this year with Charlie Evans excelling with 65m in the U20 javelin but the whole squad produced a whole string of impressive performances to highlight progress made by the club.

The relays concluded the day with the U17W claiming victory in the 4 x 100m with a record-breaking 47.6 secs but it was the U20 men who stole the day. The team was ranked third in the UK with the two leading teams also in the event. As the race unfolded, R & N took an early lead only to be overtaken on legs two and three. Numeiri Saeed took the baton in second position behind one of the fastest runners in the UK but he tracked him all the way, and overtook him with metres to spare. The team produced an unbelievable time of 3m ins 20 to post a new club and league record and go to number one ranking in the UK. This is the fastest time posted by an U20 club team in the last four years in the UK and one of the fastest all time.


Throughout the day, R & N were in the leading few teams and eventually finished in a simply stunning second position – the best ever performance by an R & N team by some margin – a  true testament to the outstanding athletes, coaches and officials at the club

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By ad-bryac / Administrator on Sep 05, 2023