FREDDIE Clemons became the latest athlete from Stratford Athletic Club to win a national title in taking gold in the 80m hurdles at the England U15 and U17 Championships in Bedford.
Clemons was one of seven SAC members competing at the event, which features the best U15 and U17 athletes from across the UK, and once again it was in the hurdling events in which the club enjoyed most success.
After a comfortable 11.17 win in his heat of the U15 boys’ 80m hurdles, Clemons showed his strength and class in the final, particularly in the middle and final part of the race, powering through the field to win in 10.92, just 0.02 shy of his personal best.
It was Clemons’ third major title of the year, having won the England indoor U15 title in February and the English Schools gold medal in July.
Club-mate Cole Williams also achieved a podium finish in the U17 men’s 100m hurdles. Williams, who has had disappointments at the England Indoor and English Schools Championships this year, lined up with a steely focus to put those disappointments behind him.
Helped by a 3.1m/s tailwind, Basildon’s Joe Harding sped to a wind-assisted championship best performance of 12.48. Williams blasted out of the blocks and his smooth, sharp hurdling throughout the race saw him dip over the line to take the bronze medal in 12.98.
In his debut season as a hurdler, Harry Sugden finished sixth in his heat of the U17 100m hurdles in 14.77.
After a disappointing outing at the English Schools Championships, javelin duo Joshua Roberts and Ollie Wear ensured their season finished on a high with a strong showing in Bedford.
Roberts, the youngest athlete in the field for the U15 boys’ javelin, was making his debut at these championships and threw beyond 50m for the first time with a lifetime best of 50.10m. Having been in a medal position, he was eventually nudged into fourth place, but he is young enough to compete for the title again next year.
Inspired by Roberts’ performance the previous day, Wear launched his javelin out to 52.40m, just below his PB, to finish 12th in the U17 men’s final.
After a long and tiring season, Georgie Campbell stayed in the leading pack for most of the U17 women’s 1,500m final before finishing 12th in 4:48.05.
In his first season of triple-jumping, Nick Butler finished 13th in the U17 men’s event with 12.74m – his second-best jump ever.
“We’ve been coming to these championships for many years but it has been great to see our new generation of athletes mixing and competing so well against the best in the country and doing their club and coaches proud,” said SAC coach Paul Bearman.