STRATFORD AC’s junior athletes excelled in a very competitive top division fixture at Kettering in the second Heart of England Division One match.
Despite some gaps in the Stratford team sheets, a superb combined effort saw the club finish the match in top spot with 740 points, ahead of Rugby and Northampton AC on 602.
The points stacked up throughout all the age groups courtesy of some 56 SAC juniors with exceptional team performances from both the under-17 and 20 squads who romped home by an impressive combined total of 93 points from their nearest rivals.
And the team’s determined spirit was ably demonstrated by under-15 Sam McKenzie who stepped up to the under-17’s to test his fitness after six weeks rehab for a hip injury.
Back on form, he racked up 23 points out of a possible 24 in the 100m, long jump, and shot as well as running the first leg of the relay.
Under-15’s team manager Mike Sheppard said: “We saw some excellent individual performances with loads of personal bests’ set.
“Particularly pleasing was seeing new faces performing so strongly on their league debut.
“It’s been a really good team performance and it’s all to play for in the final match at the end of July. If we can get our strongest team out we are now in contention for winning the championship again.”
One junior athlete in particular, Maddie Linfoot, has endured a packed competition schedule as she joined the senior team for the Midland League event in Wolverhampton.
She competed in the 200m (28.7 secs), 1500m (5 mins 3 secs) and long jump (3.97m) as well as the 400m relay.
Days later, Maddie represented the Central area in the Warwickshire Schools Championships at Nuneaton and won the 3000m race in a time of 11 mins 39.2 secs to earn selection for Warwickshire Schools in the inter county Mason Trophy competition where she finished seventh.
She then set a new PB of 1.30m in the high jump at the Heart of England League fixture and also competed in javelin (20.74m) and 800m (2 mins 27.9 secs) as she took the opportunity to practice heptathlon events.
Maddie finished her busy schedule with a series of PB’s, across seven events, at the English Schools Midlands Regional Combined Events in Banbury.
Elsewhere, three Stratford athletes took part in the 110m hurdles at the UK Athletics Championships in Manchester.
This included recent Team England call-up Andrew Pozzi who made the final only to falter on the eighth hurdle to slip to fourth. Jack Sumners and Ollie Cresswell placed fourth and fifth respectively in their heats.