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Stratford athletes out competing far and wide

David Jones.
David Jones.


WITH competitive athletics events gradually returning, members of Stratford AC have been in action far and wide.

In the Czech Republic, Alex Hill took part in the Brno 10k and won the race, finishing 25 seconds ahead of the second-placed runner.

Hill said: "It was a relatively flat course. It was actually 6.63 miles which I completed in 40.11 and I completed the 10k in 37.45."

Alex Hill.
Alex Hill.

Meanwhile, Cadie Hibberd competed in the Bath Two Tunnels race where she was first female to finish, finishing in sixth place overall.

Her time of 41.01 was a personal best.

There has been plenty of activity on the track and field front with Stratford AC members competing in both Nuneaton and Rugby this past week.

At the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton, five members competed in a Seniors and U20 T&F competition.

Peter Coote discovered that shedding 13kg during lockdown doesn't exactly help when competing in throwing events.

Despite this, his best throw in the shot put of 7.19m was sufficient to earn him a new club record.

In the javelin, Coote's best throw was 29.13m and he retains his No.1 UK ranking in his age group for this year.

Dave Wilson had a mixed day. He only entered the triple jump because he wasn't sure he could secure a place in his favoured 400m.

Cadie Hibberd.
Cadie Hibberd.

In jumping 9.4m in the triple jump he broke his own club record.

Having done that he thought he would throw caution to the wind and went for broke with his next attempt.

Unfortunately the result was a tweaked hamstring meaning he had to withdraw from the 400m. He also had to withdraw from Wednesday's "Night of 100ms" event at the same venue.

Imogen Sheppard doubled up on the day by competing in both the 100m and 200m and was pleased with her races, especially as, like lots of athletes, she hasn't raced much this year.

Her 100m time of 13.04 was just 0.3s of a second off her PB and 0.08s of a second off her season's best.

In the 200m she finished in a time of 26.87.

Emily Field also doubled up, but this time in the longer distances of 400m and 800m.

Despite this, she recorded a three second season's best in the 800m with a time of 2:19.86.

In the 400m she was three-quarters of second off her season's best, running a time of 62.4s.

In the 800m David Jones managed to shave just under a second off his season’s best with a time of 2:48.08 and he retains his No.1 spot in the UK rankings for his age.

Jones also ran his first 200m for a couple of years, finishing in a new club record time of 35.33.

On Wednesday at The Pingles it was a night of 100m races, an event that attracted a truly top-class field from all over the country, with the top three finishers in the A race ranked third, fourth and fifth in the year's UK rankings after the evening’s racing.

The winning time by James Williams of 10.35 has only been beaten by Chijindu Ujay – 10.17 and Adam Gemili – 10.28 this year, with Gemili's time being achieved on the same day in Hungary.

Both of these times were then beaten at The Pingles on Sunday, but by wind-assisted times.

Representing Stratford was M60 master athlete Mark Illingworth.

Illingworth's time of 14.39 was just outside his club record time of 14.22 achieved at the same venue in July.

On Sunday, The Pingles hosted another T&F competition with club members Sheppard and Jones once again competing.

Jones was running in the 1,500m but the wet and windy conditions were far from ideal.

Despite this his time of 5:49.8 was a season’s best and puts him in third place in this year’s UK rankings for his age.

Sheppard competed in the 200m and her time of 25.98 was a season’s best and just 0.19s off her personal best and almost a second quicker than her time the previous week.

It was then the turn of the club’s juniors, five of whom were competing at Rugby, where once again the windy conditions made racing difficult.

In his first official competitive 1,500m race, U17 Taylor Stubbins ran a superb time of 4:35.13.

Siblings Niamh and Seb Hillard competed in 1,500m and 800m races respectively, recording times of 5:21.85 and 2:40.36.

Finally, Zach and Elfric McKenzie competed in 300m and 600m races.

Zach finished in second place in the 300m with a time of 42.36 and Elfric ran a personal best time of 2:01.38 to win his 600m heat.

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