YOUNGSTER Emily Madden Forman marked her senior debut for Stratford Athletic Club in the Midland Track & Field League by claiming two first places, writes Danny Tolhurst.
However, a somewhat depleted squad had to fight for every point as they finished seventh out of the seven clubs in the second meet at Corby and face a battle to remain in the division in the final two fixtures.
Emily was among three of the club’s best young athletes called up and her efforts alongside Murray Jackson and Hannah Bexson did the team proud.
Emily won the triple jump, was joint winner of the high jump and also performed well in the javelin.
Murray showed terrific stamina and took almost 20 seconds off his personal best in the men’s 800 metres while Hannah – the youngest member of the club’s line-up – looked at home in her first ever 400m, achieved a PB in the 800m with a gutsy and assertive run and earned valuable points in the shot put.
With just ten men and seven women available to compete, it was always going to be a busy afternoon for many athletes.
With some people trying events in which they had little or no experience and others taking on a range of disciplines without a break, the team support for each other was immense as ever.
Sarah Bland and Amanda Evans competed in seven events each, as did Charlie Burn and Paul Hawkins for the men.
First places came from Kieran Tursner in the B 3,000m steeplechase, plus Paula Williams (B 100m hurdles), Sarah Wheeler (A 3,000m) and Evans (A high jump).
Tursner had a memorable day on the PB front, securing excellent times in the 400m hurdles and 3,000m steeplechase. He set off purposefully in the latter event, running a fast opening 1,600m and digging in well during the final stages.
Performance of the day arguably belonged to Wheeler, who smashed her 3,000m PB by 12.9 seconds. Taking control of the race from the gun, she soon had a healthy advantage over her rivals and increased her lead lap by lap to win by a staggering margin of 65 seconds.
She was ecstatic with her time, ducking under the magical 11-minute barrier.
Burn, a late call-up for the team, followed solid performances in the throwing events by setting a PB after an intelligently-paced run in the 1,500m, while Josh Newman managed to run sub-ten minutes in his debut over 5,000m.