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Six Stratford athletes help Midlands masters squad win first indoor crown




David Wilson, Elaine Ledden, David Jones, Brian Gravelsons, Paula Williams and Paul Hawkins at the England Masters Inter-Area Challenge.
David Wilson, Elaine Ledden, David Jones, Brian Gravelsons, Paula Williams and Paul Hawkins at the England Masters Inter-Area Challenge.

ATHLETICS

SIX athletes from Stratford AC played their part in helping the Midlands win their first ever indoor title at the annual England Masters Inter-Area Challenge held at the Lee Valley Indoor Track and Field Centre, reports Brian Gravelsons.

First to compete was seasoned professional Paula Williams who competed in the W35 age group for the day, a full age group lower than normal.

Having finished second in the hurdles in 9.72s, she then followed that performance up with a PB of 11.33m in the shot put to win with compelling ease.

Williams then later competed in the high jump where she cleared 1.30m to finish third.

David Jones, with one eye on the European Indoor Championships later in the month, stretched his legs in the M70 1,500m where he finished fourth in 5:49.91, his quickest time in almost three years.

Jones also competed in the M70 800m race where he took first place with aplomb, clocking 3:00.15. Representing the Midlands Masters for the first time were Elaine Ledden, David Wilson, Paul Hawkins and Brian Gravelsons.

Ledden took on the W60 400m challenge and finished third in a time of 77.30s. She then went on to finish third in the long jump with a PB of 3.38m.

Wilson, after an injury-free winter, ran a superb lap of 27.08s to finish sixth in the M50 200m event.

Hawkins was due to compete in the M50 2km walk, but in a last-minute decision to enable a full team to be fielded, he was asked by the team manager to compete in the M35 category.

Hawkins was more than happy to oblige and stormed to first place in a time of 12:30:47.

Gravelsons competed in the M50 4x200m relay where he took the third leg and helped the team finish second in a time of 1:53.24.

Wilson was part of the M35 relay team which finished second in 1:46.96 and then took the anchor leg to bring the M70 team home in first place in 2:12.83.

Williams then guided the W35 relay team to first place in 1:55.35 before Ledden capped off a fantastic day to help the W60 team win their race in 2:21.24.

Overall the Midlands team earned 167 points in the women’s match to finish first and earned 207 points in the men’s category to also finish first.

These results translated to an overall first place for the Midlands squad.



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