STRATFORD Athletic Club youngsters returned from Pingles Stadium in Nuneaton with a varied selection of medals thanks to their efforts at the Midland Counties Under 13, 15 and 17 Championships.
This success in a top class competition just below national level underlines the quality of the club’s juniors.
The U17 hurdles was one of the most hotly-anticipated events as three of the top five athletes in the country competed.
Stratford’s Jack Sumners, Oliver Cresswell and James Gionis lined up in their heat and narrowly missed a dangerous fall after it was discovered one of the flights of hurdles had been put on the wrong mark.
Sumners and Cresswell duly qualified for the final after a re-run and lined up against Tre Thomas of Charnwood, the fastest U17 hurdler in the country.
In the final Thomas gradually edged his way in front from hurdle seven and as they crossed the line Thomas finished in 12.86, just .4 outside the championship best performance.
He pulled both the Stratford athletes through to personal bests, with Sumners in 13.05 and Cresswell in 13.06.
The Stratford duo were in compete synchronisation over the ten hurdles and in the closest of finishes Sumners was given the nod by the thickness of a vest to win the silver medal and Cresswell bronze.
Cresswell then literally dashed to the high jump zone and, despite the fatigue from three hurdles races, he still produced a good series of jumps to win silver with a final jump over 1.85m, just short of his PB.
Sumners also had a very busy day and followed his medal in the hurdles with gold in the long jump.
A good series of consistent jumps saw him take the lead and after a huge leap of 6.33m he goes into the upcoming England Athletics and UK School Games (in which he will represent the Midlands) championships in good shape.
His team-mate Dan Boyd narrowly missed the medals with a best jump of 6.01m.
Matthew Millward-Brookes has benefited from a change in his training regime over the last few months and from the same competition last year he improved his PB for the 100m down by 1.3 seconds to 11.97secs and his long jump by a massive 1.04m to 5.52m. This distance won him the silver medal.
Emily Madden Forman will also be representing the Midlands at the UK School Games in the triple jump and as a confidence boost she won a bronze medal with 10.67m despite the distance being well below her best.
Jodie Watson was another athlete finishing just outside the medals after jumping 1.55m as she missed the high jump bronze on countback.
Four under 13 athletes competed in a quadrathlon (100m, long and high jump and shot put) and they all performed well across the events to gain excellent experience against such good quality opposition.
Adam Farrow produced a consistent series of performances events in the boys’ event, winning the high jump along the way and finishing with a very good, hard earned silver medal.
Millie Leighton was tenth, Evie Lowe 15th and Ella Baxter 27th in the girls’ event.
Other results: Cole Williams – U15 boys 80m hurdles 3rd, 13.55; 100m 7th, 13.10’ long jump 7th, 4.37m.
Daniel Boyd – U17 men 100m final 6th, 11.39; 200m 3rd, 23.45.
Rhys Mason – U15 boys 800m final 9th, 2.21.87; 200m 4th, 26.84.
James Armstrong – U15 boys 800m final 10th, 2.24.80; high jump 5th, 1.40m.
Jasmine Williams – U15 girls 75m hurdles 7th, 12.72; 100m 7th, 14.64; long jump 9th, 4.05m; javelin 5th, 18.24m.
Anna Gionis – U15 girls 300m 6th, 44.83.
Imogen Sheppard – U15 girls 300m 5th in heat, 45.29.
Jess Sheppard – U17 women 300m final 5th, 44.70.
Georgie Campbell – U15 girls 1,500m final 6th, 5.08.44.
Matthew Millward-Brookes – U15 boys 100m 3rd, 11.97.
Archie Hurley – U15 boys 200m 2nd in heat, 7th in final, 25.26; high jump 4th, 1.55m.
James Gionis – U17 men high jump 5th, 1.70m.