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Stratford AC settle for second in Midlands Veterans Track and Field League

STRATFORD AC settle for second place in the Midlands Veterans Track and Field League at the end of a successful and promising season.

Elaine Ledden led the way with three first place finishes.
Elaine Ledden led the way with three first place finishes.

Missing several athletes, with a clash in events not aiding their cause, this meant only 21 out of 34 of the women’s events were contested by the club.

The men’s team fared better, though, with entrants in 32 of the 34 events.

Having enjoyed podium finishes throughout the season, the women’s team finished in seventh place in the finals at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton, with the men managing fifth.

The highlight of the day was Elaine Ledden’s three first place finishes, the club’s only wins of the day.

Ledden was victorious in the 100m, despite dropping down an age group to W50 (15.10s), the W60 triple jump (7.31m) and she decimated the rest of the field in the W50 400m (74.28s), winning by a margin of almost seven seconds.

Ledden's overall performance this season was rewarded at the end of the day when she was announced as the league’s female athlete of the season.

She was one of the busiest team members on Sunday competing in six events, a similar number to Christine Coote.

Coote competed in the W60 100m (17.66s), W60 hammer (12.31m), W60 shot (6.00m), W50 discus (11.46m) and W40 triple jump (6.03m) as well as running a leg of 4x100m relay.

With the exception of Emma Bexson (W35 shot, 4.30m) and Kate Sergent (W70 shot, 3.08m), Ledden and Coote competed in all of the other ladies field events the club had entries for.

Emma Bexson managed to take part despite having done a 100-mile time trial on her bike earlier in the day.

There was success for the racewalkers with Gemma Smith finishing in fourth place (14:51.58) in the W40 category and Kate Sergent second (14:24.5) in the W60 category.

Sergent also finished in third in the M70 100m (26.82s).

Meanwhile club chairman Paul Hawkins (13.47.04) also competed in the M60 racewalk.

Sarah Wheeler made a welcome return to the team this season and she had a tiring day, dropping down a couple of age categories to compete in both the W35 3000m (13:11.4) and W35 1500m (6:17.66).

Wheeler also ran a leg of the 4x100m relay.

Sharon Samuel is a recent recruit for the club after a couple of years break from running, having previously competed for Bromsgrove & Redditch.

She dropped down an age group to record a time of 14.98s in W40 100m before running a leg of the 4x100m relay.

The Lee family, Joe and Kim, have proved themselves versatile and always ready to answer the call this season.

On Sunday, Kim, competing in the W35 category, ran 87.6s in 400m and 39.73s in 200m, while Joe ran 11:27.91 in the M40 3,000m plus a leg of the 4x400m relay.

Peter Sugden started his day dashing between the 200m hurdles (33.56) start line and his annual pole vault competition (1.6m), finishing in third and second place respectively.

He also ran in the M50 200m (30.02) as well as a leg of the 4x400m relay along with Joe Lee, Andy List and Drew Sambridge.

List and Sambridge also ran in the 4x100m relay along with Dave Battersby and Mark Reynolds.

Sambridge also had a busy day, as he competed in the M35 200m (2:22.97), 1,500m (5:06.37) and triple jump (9.39m).

Despite still suffering the effects of long Covid after seven months, John Peacock was able to compete in the M60 800m (3:02.10) and 1,500m (6:15.23).

Recently recruited sprinter Mark Reynolds made his team debut by running 13.43s in M40 100m and jumping 4.40m in M35 long jump.

Richard Dobedoe rolled back the years to compete in his first sprint since his schooldays, recording a time of 15.34s in M50 100m. He then ran the M50 3,000m in 11:07.05.

List and Battersby ran the M60 and M40 200ms, recording times of 70.70s and 61.73s respectively.

List also ran the M60 100m in 14.15s, while Battersby ran the M35 200m in 27.53a.

He also grabbed second place in the M35 high jump with 1.40m.

David Jones took second place in the M70 high jump with a jump of 99cm, before throwing the shot put 5.41m.

He then ran times of 17.12s in M70 100m and 36.14s in the 200m at the end of a long and tiring day.

In the field events, Mark Illingworth threw 17.64m in the M60 hammer and 6.85m in the M60 shot.

Brian Gravelsons found the time, despite his officiating duties, to record a throw of 20.88m in the javelin.

Finally, the versatile John Boxall thre 7.49m and 19.64m in M40 shot and discus respectively, before jumping 7.91m in M50 triple jump.

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