ATHLETICS - Stratford athletes impress at various County Championships - The Stratford Observer

ATHLETICS - Stratford athletes impress at various County Championships

Aaron Sutcliffe 28th Jun, 2024 Updated: 28th Jun, 2024   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club took part in the County Schools Championships with more than 40 athletes selected by their counties to compete in their respective County Championships.

Some 40 junior Stratford athletes competed for Warwickshire, Worcestershire and Gloucestershire with the County Championships a gateway for young athletes to represent their respective area at various inter-county competitions.

And the Inter County Championships are a major stepping stone towards earning selection for the prestigious ESAA Championships.

At the County Championship trials, 39 athletes were selected to represent South Warwickshire schools in the inter-area championships with a couple of athletes in the central area at Leamington.

Ruby Edwards and Ella Smith competed in the Gloucestershire Championships while Luca de Freitas Pires and Ethan Winning competed in the Worcestershire Championships at Stourport.

And Stratford’s athletes produced a number of excellent performances across the three Championships.

Alex Wood broke the Warwickshire county schools’ junior boys 300m record with a dominant run, winning in a time of 38.8 seconds, achieving ESAA entry standards in the process.

And Olisa Odiamma McKenzie produced a leap of 1.72m to win the junior boys high jump, which also met ESAA entry standard.

The Lambert brothers, Sam and Zac, took charge of their respective races as the former won the 800m in 1 minute 59.7 secs followed home by James Day (2 mins 9.2 secs) and Josh Davis (2 mins 10.2 secs) for a Stratford one-two-three.

And Stratford repeated the feat in the inter-boys 3000m as Zac won the race in a time on 9 mins 9.2 secs with Will Mayes second (9 mins 28 secs) and Tom Fisher third (9 mins 34.2 secs).

On the comeback trail after fracturing his ankle earlier this year, Seb Hillard won the inter-boys 100m hurdles in 14.5 secs with training partner Toby Thomas third after knocking almost a second off his personal best (PB) time.

And Will Hovell won the junior boys 800m race in 2 mins 8 secs and then finished second in the pole vault in his first competition with a promising 2.40m.

Following their performances in the respective County Championships, some 14 Stratford athletes will represent their counties at the Inter County Championships – one level down from the national ESAA Championships.

Wood (300m), Hovell (800m and pole vault), Arthur Williamson (1500m), Olisa McKenzie (high jump), Niamh Williams (100m), James Day (800m), Mayes (3000m), Z Lambert (3000m), Hillard (100m hurdles) and Oliver Battersby (high jump) will all represent Warwickshire.

And Winning (100m hurdles) and de Freitas Pires (long jump) will represent Worcestershire with Edwards (long and triple jump) and Smith (200m) to represent Gloucestershire.

Edwards and Smith also travelled to Exeter to compete in the South West Championships, again representing Gloucestershire, against Dorset, Wiltshire, Avon, Devon, Somerset and Cornwall.

The rest of the Stratford contingent competed in Stoke in the Masons Trophy for either Herefordshire and Worcestershire or Warwickshire against Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Staffordshire, Shropshire, Nottinghamshire, Northamptonshire, Derbyshire and the West Midlands.

McKenzie produced the standout performance by winning gold in the junior boys high jump with a leap of 1.71m while Hovell won silver in the pole vault by clearing 2.20m and Wood took bronze in the 300m in 37.94 secs.

With the help of Stratford athletes, Warwickshire claimed the overall title for the second year running.


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