THERE was a thrilling finish to the Heart of England League Division One campaign as Stratford Athletic Club sneaked ahead of Rugby & Northampton AC on the final day of the season at Banbury to win the title by just half a point.
All age groups played their part in winning this very competitive league and every athlete who competed made a valuable contribution. Across the three fixtures it has been clear that encouraging athletes to enjoy their sport and to show support of team-mates continues to play important roles in the club’s coaching ethos.
Results: U11 Boys: Adam Farrow – 75m (7th, 12.3), 600m Non-Scoring (2nd, 2.08.2); George Fox Rowe – 75m B race(4th, 11.2), 600m B (1st, 1.56.6), Long Jump (1st, 3.90m); Jack Hemming – 75m Non-Scoring (5th, 12.4), 600m Non-Scoring (3rd, 2.08.8); Jamie Spiers – 600m (2nd, 1.54.5), Long Jump B (1st, 3.80m); 4x100m Relay (7th, 62.9).
U11 Girls: Valentina Bancroft – 75m (3rd, 11.6); Millie Leighton – 75m B race (1st, 11.8), 600m B (2nd, 2.06.5 PB), Long Jump (5th, 3.27m PB); Evie Lowe – 75m Non-Scoring (2nd, 12.2), 600m (4th, 2.09.4), Long Jump B (3rd, 3.05m).
U17 Men: Bret Okeke – 100m (5th 11.6), 200m (3rd, 23.4 PB), Long Jump (5th, 4.86m); Jonty Thornton – 100m B race (5th, 12.5), 100m Hurdles B (1st, 15.3), Shot Put B (1st, 8.79m); Connor Vaisey – 200m B (3rd, 26.0), 400m B (3rd, 62.3); Ianto Davis – 400m (4th, 56.8), Shot Put (4th, 9.10m), Javelin (5th, 40.30m); Fergus Allison – 800m (4th, 2.07.5 PB), 1500m (2nd, 4.32.8); Rory Dwyer – 100m Hurdles (1st, 13.3), High Jump (1st, 2.10m); 4x100m Relay (1st, 46.2).
U15 Boys: Daniel Boyd – 100m (1st, 11.8), 200m (1st, 24.0 PB), Long Jump (1st, 5.71m); Gabriel Thornton – 100m B (4th, 13.6); Samuel Creagh – 200m B (8th, 27.4), 800m (5th, 2.26.2), Shot Put B (5th, 8.31m); James Gionis – 400m (7th, 61.3 PB), 80m Hurdles B (2nd, 14.9), Long Jump B (2nd, 4.96m); Daniel Hague – 400m B (7th, 62.3); Matthew Vickers – 800m B (5th, 3.12.3); Henry Grisenthwaite – 1500m (2nd, 4.51.0 PB); Oliver Cresswell – 80m Hurdles (2nd, 12.5), High Jump (1st, 1.68m PB); Daniel Hague – Javelin (2nd, 34.03m); Cavan Farrow – Javelin B (3rd, 27.28); 4x100m Relay (2nd, 49.8).
U13 Boys: Alex Evans – 100m (1st, 13.5), 200m (2nd, 28.3), Shot Put (2nd, 6.85m); Cole Williams – 100m B (2nd, 14.4); Zephan Boxall – 200m B (2nd, 28.3 B), 75m Hurdles B (1st, 13.2 PB); Archie Musk – 1500m (5th, 5.31.6); George Saunders – 1500m B (3rd, 5.33.6); Dion Love – 800m (3rd, 2.47.3), Long Jump B (1st, 4.03m), Javelin B (2nd, 19.58m); Rowan Love – High Jump (1st, 1.48m PB), Shot Put (3rd, 5.07m), Javelin (6th, 20.77m PB); Michael Boyd – 75m Hurdles (2nd, 13.6), Long Jump (1st, 4.60m PB); 4x100m Relay (1st, 55.7).
Senior Women: Eleanor Johnston – 100m (4th, 13.4), 300m B (3rd, 46.4), Long Jump (5th, 4.44m); Amelia Coulson – 100m B (1st, 13.3), 200m (4th, 27.3); Emily Charlton – 200m B (4th, 28.8), Shot Put (7th, 6.12m), Javelin B (6th, 12.19m PB); Harriet Flynn – 300m (8th, 52.4), 800m (4th, 2.52.8); Alice Reed – 800m (3rd, 2.31.7), 1500m (2nd, 4.58.9); Georgie Evans – High Jump (1st, 1.50m); Libby Thornton – Long Jump B (2nd, 3.76m); 4x100m Relay (5th, 54.0).
U15 Girls: Madeleine Snow – 100m (4th, 13.9), 200 B (1st, 28.3); Jessica Sheppard – 300m (2nd, 42.5), 800m (3rd, 2.27.5), Javelin B (1st, 21.45m); Charlotte Ledden – 300m B (5th, 47.2), Long Jump (3rd, 4.18m PB); Charlotte Rigby – 100m B (5th, 14.4), 75m Hurdles (5th, 15.2), Long Jump (5th, 4.22m); Emily Madden Forman – 200m (2nd, 27.1), 75m Hurdles (1st, 12.0), High Jump (1st, 1.58m); Hannah Bexson – 800m B (6th, 2.57.7), Shot Put (6th, 7.40m PB); Rebecca Winn – 1500m (3rd, 5.23.8 PB); Edie Hutchinson – 1500m (4th, 5.46.0); 4x100m Relay (2nd, 53.4); Emily Smith – Shot Put B (3rd, 7.25m), Javelin (3rd, 21.71m).
U13 Girls: Jasmine Williams – 100m (8th, 15.1), Shot Put B (4th, 4.09m); Anna Gionis – 100m B (5th, 15.3), 70m Hurdles B (5th, 14.9 PB); Barunka Lowe – 200m (3rd, 29.4), 70m Hurdles (8th, 19.8), Long Jump B (2nd, 3.98m); Jodie Watson – 200m B (2nd, 29.3 PB), High Jump (5th, 1.30m), Shot Put (8th, 4.45m); Imogen Sheppard – 800m (2nd, 2.32.4 PB), Long Jump (4th, 4.00m PB), Javelin (4th, 18.24m); Daisy Musk 800m B (1st, 2.40.2 PB), Javelin B (3rd, 11.83m); Agnes McTighe – 1500m (1st, 4.52.6); Olivia Hall – 1500m B (1st, 5.21.6 PB); 4x100m Relay (2nd, 57.1).
U17 Women: Libby Thornton – 80m Hurdles (7th, 15.6); Tara Smyth – 80m Hurdles B (3rd, 14.1), Senior Women’s Shot Put B (7th, 5.16m PB); Georgie Evans – Javelin (5th, 24.73).
THE NORTHBROOK 10k in Coventry – a race in the popular and highly competitive Warwickshire Road Race League – attracted ten Stratford AC runners to sample its undulations on a cool morning, which was ideal for competitors.
First to finish for Stratford was Graham Taylor (37th, 37.56) who smashed his PB by 48 seconds. This was a superb achievement, especially on a course featuring a number of energy-sapping inclines.
Graham is training and racing sensibly at the moment and he is improving steadily and maintaining a refreshingly relaxed attitude to his running. It is becoming difficult to identify his specialist distance as he is showing great form from 400m up to 26.2 miles.
Running a fine race only 200m behind Graham was Rich Welburn (47th, 38.24). Rich is having a very good year of racing which has included 1.22.40 in the Warwick Half Marathon and 3:00.17 in the London Marathon.
Mark Newman (127th, 43.12) was satisfied with his performance, running just under seven minutes per mile. Mark is starting to crank up his training and is getting fitter and quicker all the time. He achieved his target of running a consistently-paced race and he will gain considerable confidence from this run.
Arguably the sprint finish of the day came from David Jones (215th, 46.40). Just as David reached 100 metres to go, a shout of ‘Well done Emily’ close behind him led to him producing a whippet-like burst to scamper clear of his rival, Emily Adams (216th, 46.45).
David enjoyed his race, finding the course to be challenging but invigorating. Emily has competed in a lot of races in 2014 but she continues to find the energy to compete to her desired level in each and is never less than ridiculously motivated.
Completing the hat-trick of Stratford AC finishers was Sarah Odell (217th, 46.47). Sarah has been training for a half-ironman triathlon and therefore stamina was never likely to be a problem for her. She ran a cracking race and deservedly achieved a PB, sneaking one second inside her previous best.
Luke Watkins (236th, 47.33) ran really well and showed he is benefiting from a busy period of racing. Luke recently competed in the Banbury 5, Sphinx 5 and Arden 9 – the latter being followed two days later by the Weedon 10k.
Someone else who is having a fantastic period of running is Dave Maundrell (308th, 51.02). Dave ran 56.00 for Leicester’s Big 10k in May and then 53.51 in the Two Castles Run so it was great to see him continue in such a positive vein in this race. He went about his business in his usual modest fashion and dug deep in the closing stages to complete a determined and eye-catching performance.
In the Children’s Run, which took place before the main race, there was a win for Ellen Taylor. Alex Adams finished only a few seconds behind Ellen in 2nd place and Adam Taylor ran a fine race to clinch a top 10 position.
KATE Sergent ran in the Birmingham & Black Country Half Marathon and had a wonderful time. The course is mainly along the canal from Wolverhampton to Birmingham and takes in the 400-metre Coseley tunnel. There are lots of steps and bridges to negotiate during the 13.8 miles ‘half-marathonish’ distance.
Kate finished in 2:20.41 and was 5th in the Over 60 Men and Women category. She could not praise the event highly enough and would really recommend it to anyone looking for a break from the normal road half-marathons.