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Stratford athletes loaned out to Rugby & Northampton AC to get into much-needed competitive action

EIGHT of Stratford’s upper-age athletes had the chance to get into action when they were loaned to Rugby & Northampton AC to take part in the Youth Development League.

Millie Leighton and Charlotte Gravelsons in the hurdles.
Millie Leighton and Charlotte Gravelsons in the hurdles.

Due to Covid-19, the normal divisions have been put into local areas to minimise travel and the timetable has been altered for the first two matches so that some events are alternated between males and females.

Nevertheless it was great for the second claim athletes to get out on to a track and for most of the Stratford members in action, it was their first chance to compete for at least 12 months.

U20 Alex Powell finished fifth in his heat of the 100m in 12.6s.

Powell was then disappointed by his performance in the long jump, managing one legal jump of 5.48m to take third place.

After winning the U20 triple jump with 9.76m, Kaili Woodward returned to compete in a high jump competition for the first time in two years and after only two training sessions she jumped superbly to win with a best jump of 1.60m, just 6cm off her PB.

Catherine Reynolds made her debut in the U20 400m and finished in an encouraging time of 59.8s. Another debutant over 200m was U20 Noah McDonald who finished fifth in his heat in 24.2s and U17 Caitlin Buckley had a good run, winning her heat in 28.00s.

The organisers decided to include 3,000m races to conclude the programme and Georgie Campbell and Taylor Stubbins ran brilliantly to give their coach Paul Hawkins a welcome boost while he is out of action.

Campbell looked like she really meant business and pounded round the track relentlessly as she ran away from the other competitors and finished in a time of 10:24.4.

Taylor was making his debut over 3,000m and over the last three laps he looked like a big game fisherman as he reeled the Birchfield athlete in and ran away from him, finishing in a time of 9:17.9.

Cheltenham Restart Open

THERE was plenty of positive results for the seven Stratford AC junior athletes who took part in the Cheltenham Restart Open.

U20 athletes Millie Leighton and Charlotte Gravelsons had their first run of the season in the 400m hurdles, pacing each other around the track. They both finished with personal bests of 70.2s. Leighton also had a single jump of 10.55m in the triple jump.

U23 Imogen Sheppard was just 0.2s outside her PB in the 400m with 57.5s and for some added speed work she also ran 13.1s in the 100m.

Ruby Edwards in the long jump.
Ruby Edwards in the long jump.

U15 Ruby Edwards jumped over 50cm more for a new PB in the long jump, but was disappointed not to be able to run the hurdles after the schedule was delayed and it clashed with the long jump.

Unfortunately, U17 Charlie Whorrod fouled all his long jumps and didn’t get a legal jump.

Caitlin Boyle had a good day finishing with two PBs in the U15 800m (2:37.6) and high jump (1.35m) while Luca De Freitas Pires finished second in his heat, also recording a PB in the U15 100m with a time of 14.1s.

Elsewhere in the Kettering Open, 11-year-old Sam Plumb ran his first official 1,500m in 5:23.58.

Sam Plumb on the track.
Sam Plumb on the track.

It was a case of another week another PB for club member and Cardiff University student Cadie Hibberd.

Competing at the British Milers Club Millfield PB Classic, she ran a time of 11:07.61 in the 3,000m, a nine-second improvement on her previous best time.

Not to be outdone by the juniors, masters athletes Dave Wilson and Simon Curran were among 200 athletes who took part in the Night of 100 metres at The Pingles Stadium.

Both just missed out on PBs with times of 13.19s and 13.58s respectively. The pair are currently placed tenth and 16th in the UK rankings respectively for their age.

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