INTERNATIONAL displays and club success contribued to two great weekends to remember for Rugby & Northampton Athletics Club.
James Wright took on the nation’s best in the England Athletics Under-20/Senior Combined Events Championships in Bedford on May 14-15 and finished an excellent sixth after the 10-event Decathlon.
Wright recorded a season best in the 100 metres (11.21) and he followed that up with a season-best in the high jump (1.82m), discus (37.56) and javelin (39.09).
Personal bests also tumbled in the 400m when he finished third in the heat with a time of 51.27 and in the 1,500m heat (4:42.87) for second.
A second place in the 110m hurdles (14.91) was followed by a 3.3m pole vault, a long jump measurement of 6.63m and a shot put effort of 11.28m.
Elsewhere, closer to home, R&N won 55 gold medals at the Northants Track and Field Championships held at Corby’s Rockingham Triangle on the same weekend.
This included 30 on the track and 25 in the field with four athletes setting Championship best performances along with a treble champion and ten double winners.
The Chronicle & Echo Cup for the best Male Performance went to Adam Caulfield for the second time in three years after he recorded a time of 4:16.4 in the Under-15 Boys 1,500m to knock 1.5 seconds off of Adam Searle’s year-old record.
In the Under-11 Boys 1,200m, Arthur Tilt was timed at 4:08.4 to take almost three seconds off the seven-year-old Championship best, while Mary Beetham-Green broke the Under-15 Girls 300m record, crossing the line in 43 seconds before going on to claim victory in the 100m (12.9).
The Under-11 Girls 600m race also saw a Championship record broken with Alice Bennett recording 1:56.3, before later taking victory in the long jump with 3.65 metres.
Milan Clues won a terrific treble in the Under17 Women’s category. She clinched the 80m Hurdles (12.4), long jump (4.68m) and shot put (9.93m) titles.
Onachukwu Ndefo won the Under-11 Girls 75m (11.7) and 150m (23.6) double, while another sprint double winner was Laurone Ager in the Under-17 Women’s 100m (12.9) and 200m (27.2).
Over in the Under-17 Men’s, Jay O’ Leary sealed a hurdles double recording 13.9 seconds in the 100m before topping the podium the next day in the 400m (60.2).
Connor Dadge took the Under-15 Boys 100m in 12.3 seconds having won the long jump (5.38m) the day before, while Connor Aldridge was also victorious in the long jump, beating his U20 Men’s competition with a leap of 5.53m prior to claiming another gold in the 400m hurdles (58.0).
Another double winner was Ben Hope in the Under-15 Boys 800m (2:09.6) and discus (14.83m), while Joshua Tutt won in the U13 discus (22.37m) and shot put (8.48m).
Olivia Witts won a throwing double in the Under-17 Women’s discus (23.52m) and hammer (32.51m), but the best Under-17 field performance of the whole Championships went to Sam Owusu with a leap of 6.17 metres in the long jump to win the Ernest Boyfield Trophy.
This past weekend, there was an international appearance for R&N’s Craig Murch and Eleanor Broome at the Loughborough International on Sunday 22nd May.
Murch set a new personal best in the hammer – 69.79m – to clinch fourth place. The distance was also enough to extend the club record, while Broome, competing for England, performed well in the long jump, registering a leap of 5.98m.
A day earlier saw the club’s younger athletes take to the track and field to extend their unbeaten start to the Youth Development League lower age range competition.
It was a dominating throwing performance from the Under-15 Girls as six of the eight A and B string events were won by R&N athletes, while coming second in the other two.
Abigail Ward set a personal best and club record of 29.73m on her way to the javelin title and Lily May Pursey repeated the feat in the hammer (38.23m), beating her and the club’s best by two metres. Pursey was also victorious in the discus B and clinched second in the shot put A.
On the track, Under-15’s Mary Beetham-Green won a very strong 200m (26.2) race and came second in the 100m (12.8).
A good jumping display from the Under-13 Girls put the team on their way as Eve Corrigan set two personal bests en route to top spot in the high jump B (1.25m) and third in the long jump A (4.26m). Zoe Gardner also left the competition behind after registering a personal best of 4.16m to win the long jump B, along with a third-place finish in the high jump A (1.3m).
The stand-out track performer for the Under-13 Girls team was Claudia Searle, who won the 1200m in a personal best 4:02.6.
Ben Gidley was dominant in the first week of the YDL and he continued that stranglehold this time around to win the javelin A (44.12m) and hammer B with a personal best throw of 27.15m.
Also setting PBs on their way to victories was Callum Cook, in the discus A (30.74m), and hammer B thrower Thomas Ball (29.17m). Joining them in top spot was Fenton Bishop-Timmings as he came out as the victor in the javelin B (34.14m).
On his R&N YDL debut, Connor Dadge recorded a PB of 24.4 seconds in the 200m to come in second while streaking home comfortably was Adam Caulfield (4:21.2) who crossed the line eight seconds ahead of the second-placed athlete in the 1,500m.
Ollie Scott celebrated a pair of first places as the U13 Boy won the long jump B (4.26m) and high jump B (1.25) with PB performances. The A-string events were also won by R&N athletes as Kaiyuki Crisp (4.38m, PB) came top of the long jump A while Lewis Gurney (1.43m) took high jump A glory.