ATHLETICS - Stratford masters in 10-medal haul as juniors help county to trophy win - The Stratford Observer

ATHLETICS - Stratford masters in 10-medal haul as juniors help county to trophy win

Stratford Editorial 22nd Jun, 2023 Updated: 22nd Jun, 2023   0

STRATFORD-upon-Avon Athletic Club’s veteran athletes won 10 medals at the Midlands Masters Track and Field Championships held at Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton.

Over 250 athletes took part in the Championships with Gemma Smith, Paul Hawkins, Elaine Ledden, Paula Williams and David Jones representing Stratford.

And the five athletes came away with seven gold and three silver medals between them.

Stratford pair Smith and Hawkins made a flying start in the 2,000m racewalk as the former won gold in the W50 category in a time of 14 minutes 43.62 seconds and the latter won silver in the M65 category in a time of 14 mins 22.35 secs.

And Ledden then took silver in the 200m with a season’s best time of 31.75 secs before winning gold in the 400m in a time of 1 min 17.78 secs.

Additionally, Ledden also jumped a distance of 7.75m in the triple jump to set a new personal best (PB).




However, the star of the show was Stratford’s Williams who won gold medals in all four of her events in the W50 category.

Her throw of 12.71m saw her finish some four metres ahead of the next best thrower in the shot put and was nine metres clear in the javelin after throwing 27.09m.


And Williams also won gold in the 80m hurdles in a time of 12.89 secs and the 100m in a time of 13.52 secs.

Lastly, Jones achieved three season’s best times in the M70 category as he won gold in the 1,500m (6 mins 17.68 secs), silver in the 800m (2 mins 57.92 secs) and was fourth in the 200m (36.03 secs).

Elsewhere, Stratford AC’s junior athletes were representing South Warwickshire at the Inter County School Championships in Nuneaton.

Stratford made up the lion’s share of the squad with athletes finishing in first and second qualifying for selection for the full Warwickshire and Hereford and Worcestershire county teams in the prestigious inter-county Masons Trophy.

Some 14 Stratford athletes were selected for the Warwickshire team, two for Gloucestershire and one for Hereford and Worcestershire.

Competing against eight other counties, the Stratford contingent helped Warwickshire win the Mason Trophy for the first time in several years.

In the sprints, Megan Thomas was fifth in the inter under-17 girls 100m in 13.46 secs whilst Scarlett Dawson was third in the junior under-15 100m in 13.65 secs and fifth in the 200m in 28.04 secs.

And in the junior boys 80m hurdles, Toby Thomas was third in 13.57 secs with training partner Ethan Winning first in his heat in 12.23 secs representing Hereford and Worcestershire.

Over the middle and longer distances, Annie Silvers won the junior girls 1,500m race with a superb run to finish in a time of 4 mins 53 secs to take 10 seconds off her PB.

The race win also booked her place in the Warwickshire squad for the prestigious English Schools’ Athletic Association (ESAA) Championships.

In the inter girls 1,500m, Maisie-Joy Spriggs won her heat in 4 mins 56.5 secs finishing just outside of her PB.

Will Hovell set a new PB in the junior boys 800m as he finished ninth in 2 mins 13 secs whilst Niamh Hillard was seventh in the inter girls race in 2 mins 29.2 secs.

In the 3,000m, Zac Lambert was 11th in the inter boys race in 9 mins 40.9 secs with Will Mayes close behind in 9 mins 43.3 secs as he took an incredible 30 secs off his PB.

And in the inter girls race, Abbi Copper was seventh in 12 mins 22.5 secs.

In the field events, Harriet Billyard produced two PB jumps in the junior girls high jump and long jump respectively as she leapt 1.40m to finish sixth in the former and 4.54m to finish ninth in the latter.

Seb Hillard jumped 11.38m to finish fifth in the inter boys triple jump with sister Niamh 11th in the inter girls long jump with a leap of 4.44m.

Lastly, Nikki Wodzisz threw 26.29m in the inter girls javelin to place sixth and was seventh in the shot with a throw of 7.99m.

At the Southwest Inter County Championships in Exeter, Stratford’s Joel Masters booked his place in the Gloucester team at the ESAA Championships.

Masters won gold in both the inter boys 100m and 200m with times of 10.99 secs and 22.49 secs respectively.

Ruby Edwards just missed out on selection despite finishing second in the inter girls triple jump with a PB of 10.43m as she fell marginally short of the entry standard.

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