AFTER Stratford Athletic Club’s dominant victory in the first match of the season, the team were edged into second place in the second Midland Track & Field League Division Five contest at Burton.
Stratford were forced into a number of changes due to injuries and exam pressures. It was an incredibly close fought match between the two leading teams – Stratford and Burton – who were neck and neck the whole match but in the end Burton just prevailed with 383 points to Stratford’s 380.
Making his debut in the senior team was Dion Love who came second in the pole vault despite difficult windy conditions. Also debuting was Izumu Mishima in the 100m and 200m, gaining 3rd and 4th place respectively.
Owain Jones came a creditable third in the B 800m, supporting Fergus Allison who was second in the A race with a big personal best.
There was also a welcome return in the throwing events for James Chamberlain after a break from athletics. James scored valuable points in the shot put and discus and then came a strong second in his favoured event, the javelin, throwing more than 46m.
The men’s triple jump was a particularly strong event in which Cavan Farrow and James Gionis won the A and B events. There were similar doubles in the women’s 800m with Imogen Sheppard (another debutant) and Daisy Musk both winning and Emily Madden Forman and Sheppard doing likewise in the triple jump.
Not to be outdone, the female high jumpers, Issy Cain and Jodie Watson, both won.
The tremendous team spirit in the Stratford camp was demonstrated in the throwing events for which none of the regular women were available, so valuable points were gained by other athletes filling the gaps in the team, with a high jumper throwing the hammer and middle distance runners performing well in the shot put, discus and javelin.
Stratford finished the day with very strong relay teams. The men’s team were fourth in the 4x100m and second in the 4x400m and the women’s teams were even more successful, coming second and first respectively.
Stratford, on 817 points, have a 125-point lead over second placed Burton in the seven-team league at the halfway stage and look forward to the next meeting at Kettering on July 15.