PAULA Williams broke the British indoor shot put record representing Stratford-upon-Avon Athletic Club in Loughborough.
Williams threw a new personal best (PB) of 13.56 metres in the W50 age category – a throw which would have placed her second in the world last year.
And her throw was almost three metres further than any other female UK athlete managed in the W50 category indoors last year.
Williams is now number one on the all-time UK list having thrown 93 centimetres further than the second-placed athlete on the list.
Elsewhere, Stratford’s Lucy Lane returned to action at the under-20 England Athletics Combined Events Championships in Sheffield.
Lane developed a back problem in the summer of 2022 before undergoing a long period of rehabilitation which allowed her to return to competitive action the following year.
And after 12 weeks of winter training, Lane took on the challenge of the Combined Events Championships.
Lane made a terrific start by comfortably winning her 60-metre hurdles heat in a personal best (PB) time of 9.53 seconds.
And Lane then cleared 1.51m in the high jump, just shy of her PB, before throwing 7.65m in the shot put and jumping 4.82m in the long jump.
In the final event, Lane ran a PB time of 2 minutes 51.5 secs in the 800m to finish with an impressive final total of 2,771 points in her first pentathlon.
Lane said: “I’m really pleased to have managed to finish. Hurdles was my best event and I was half a second quicker than in Loughborough a few weeks ago but I know I can still go quicker with more training.
“High Jump and Long Jump were okay but shot put and the 800m were shockers.
“I was completely exhausted but really pleased to have finished 12th overall but even more pleased to get the gold medal as the first Midlands athlete.”
Coach Paul Bearman added: “I couldn’t be more proud of Lucy with her guts and determination to get back on the track and do so well.
“It’s been a long road nursing her back to be able to compete again especially as combined events is a very exhausting event.
“This result gives us a benchmark and we can continue working on things that makes the outdoor season something to look forward to.”
And Lane also competed at the Midland Counties Indoor Championships at Loughborough as the event returned to the calendar for the first time since the Covid-19 pandemic.
Lane finished fifth in long jump with a new 5.00m PB before winning silver in the 60-metre hurdles while fellow under-20 athlete Freddie Clemons finished third in a season’s best time of 8.59 secs in the same event.
In the under-17 60-metre hurdles, Seb Hillard in 9.14 secs and Ethan Winning in 9.25 secs both finished fourth in their respective heats.
The pair raced against each other in the semi-finals as Hillard won the race in 9.04 secs, a new PB, with Winning second in 9.25 secs as both athletes ranked outside of the medal places.
And Stratford’s Caitlin Boyle won silver in the under-20 high jump while Annabel Stacy took gold in the under-15 event.
Stratford’s debutants in the 60-metre sprints finished just outside the medals with Scarlett Dawson in the under-15 event and Ella Peeke in the under-17 race.
And in the under-20 heats, Megan Thomas finished third in a time of 8.41 secs only for an unfortunate mix-up with the results recording system to deny her a place in the semi-final with the athlete already on her way home despite qualifying as one of the fastest losers.
Stratford’s Sam McKenzie also missed out on a place in the semi-finals after finishing fourth in his under-17 heat in a time of 7.83 secs.
And under-20 athlete Ronnie Meadows Main finished third in his heat in a time of 8.06 secs while Arthur Mansbridge finished second in his under-15 heat in 7.88 secs to qualify for the final.
Mansbridge finished fifth in the final in a time of 7.83 secs, just outside of the medals in a closely-run race.
Lastly, under-15 athlete Alex Wood won his 200m heat at an open competition in Sheffield in a new PB time of 24.23 secs before winning his 60-metre heat in another PB time of 7.68 secs.
And Catherine Reynolds and Imogen Sheppard both recorded season’s best times of 56.98 secs and 60.01 secs respectively in their 400m heats.