AFTER their best ever season in 2017, regular, returning and new members combined to give Stratford Athletic Club their finest start yet with second place in the Midlands Veterans Track & Field League at Stourport.
The evening started superbly for Stratford with Paula Williams, Andy Reeves, Christine and Peter Coote, Andy List, Brian Gravelsons and Rachel Clarke all securing top three finishes in the 100m, ably supported by Sheila Lammas and Phil Brennan.
Stepping down from their normal longer distances, Lammas and Emily Adams were in the top three in their 400m, with Cindy Brittan, James Pearton and Malcolm Bowyer all contributing valuable points.
Lammas, Adams and Bowyer then starred in the 1,500m, together with Robin Kindersley returning from long-term injury and Matt Burdus-Cook making his debut.
In the walks, Paul Hawkins led his race from start to finish, with Brittan, Gemma Smith and Bowyer following close behind.
The ladies led the way in the throws, with Paivi McMillan and Williams both winning their shot and Peter Coote taking a second place in his.
McMillan went on to claim second place in the javelin while Gravelsons and Peter Coote added more points in the javelin and hammer. Then, in the jumps, Williams and Reeves leapt to first place in their high jumps, with Rachel Clarke, Christine Coote and John Boxall high, long, or triple-jumping into points.
The evening ended with a new experience for all concerned – two mixed 4x200m relays – one for under 50s and the other for over 50s.
With two women and two men in each team and no mandated running order, it was an interesting free-for-all, with the two Stratford teams sprinting to the end to add enough points for Stratford to claim the combined second place in their season’s first match.