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Stratford Athletic Club hit the ground running at Nuneaton's Pingles Stadium

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STRATFORD AC marked their return to action with a bang, with ten of the 17 athletes competing in the opening track and field event of the year at the Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton achieving personal bests.

In the blue riband 1,500m event, Olivia Robinson ran a time of 5:02.21, smashing her previous PB by around eight seconds. Taylor Stubbins lowered his best performance by ten seconds, clocking 4:17.12 These performances ranked them 13th and eighth respectively in their age groups in the UK standings.

The strength of the club’s junior endurance runners over 1,500m was further illustrated by Maisie-Joy Spriggs’ first effort at the distance, finishing in 5:09.90, a time that places her in the top 20 in the UK for her age.

Other impressive performances from the female 1,500m runners were Charly Marshall (5:10.22, PB), Niamh Hillard (5:18.79) and Ellie Deaner (5:23.68).

Rising star Alex Adams ran in the fastest heat of the day and clocked an impressive time of 4:23.64, one which places him 13th in the early season rankings.

Five of the club’s juniors competed in the 800m. Sam Plumb, running the distance for the first time, won his heat in 2:37.61 to place him 13th in the UK for his age. Caleb Spriggs ran a PB time of 2:04.57, knocking half a second off his previous PB to place him eighth in the current rankings. Maisie-Joy Spriggs ran 2:42.44, Annie Silvers clocked 2:46.8 and Josh Harrison came home in 2:48.12.

In the 300m, Maddie Linfoot lowered her PB by almost two seconds in 48.18s while Ellie Peeke clocked 51.1s.

Masters athlete Dave Wilson represented the club in the 400m and he recorded a PB time of 63.28s to place him third in the UK rankings for his age category.

The other Masters athlete competing at Nuneaton was Brian Gravelsons, who ran the 100m in 14.43s.

There was success for his son Harry, also competing in the 100m, who ran a PB time of 12.61s, an improvement on his previous best of 12.86s. Wilson rounded off a good day at the office by clocking 13.24s in the 100m.

Stratford’s only field athlete competing on the day was Seb Hillard, who recorded a jump of 4.55m in the long jump.

Following on from his success in Nuneaton, Harry Gravelsons donned the spikes again to compete in his first 400m race of the season at the Kettering April Open.

Harry Gravelsons competing at the Kettering April Open.
Harry Gravelsons competing at the Kettering April Open.

He made a good start to the race, getting into his rhythm early and was able to keep the top seeds in his sights, all of whom had PBs that were faster than his 56.7s. At 200m he was roughly around the 26 seconds mark. Nailing the improved speed, now was the time for strength and endurance.

The last 200m were tough, but the leaders were not pulling away and although the lactic was burning, Gravelsons had the stamina to hold on for a time of 54.40s, knocking off 2.3s from last season.

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