RORY Dwyer made a creditable senior championships debut at the Sainsbury’s British Indoor Championships in Sheffield.
The English Institute of Sport arena hosted a classy field of ten high jumpers, with Rory facing GBR internationals such as Alan Smith and Chris Kandu and emerging with great credit.
Rory finished 6th with a best height of 2.08m.
Rory opened at 2.03m, which he cleared in great style, putting a good deal of daylight between himself and the bar on his second attempt. He had narrowly failed on his first attempt, his calves brushing the bar just enough to dislodge it.
Rory looked confident on his next run-up, with the bar raised to 2.08m. He cleared the bar with a few centimetres to spare and soaked up the warm applause of the capacity crowd.
The bar was moved up to 2.13m. Rory’s best attempt was his third, when he appeared to have the perfect body shape for a clearance. In similar fashion to his first attempt at 2.03m, he made no contact with the bar until his left calf skimmed the top and made just enough impact for the bar to come off.
At just 17-years-old, this will hopefully be the first of many visits Rory pays to championships at national level. His composure, discipline and natural ability will ensure he gives himself the best possible chance.
FOUR of Stratford AC’s finest young track and field athletes had a successful time in Birmingham at the Midland Indoor Championships.
Jack Sumners won a gold medal in the Under 15 Boys 60m Hurdles, running a personal best of 8.68 seconds in the process. Jack’s time was 0.13 seconds faster than his previous best and gave him a huge winning margin of 0.58.
This was a really satisfying victory as Jack finished 2nd at these Championships in 2014.
Jack is now ranked 3rd Under 15 in the UK for 60m Hurdles and is looking forward to the upcoming UK Championships.
In the Long Jump, Jack achieved a distance of 5.56m and was delighted to win another gold medal.
Emily Madden Forman competed in the Under 17 Women’s High Jump and 60m Hurdles and was “quite happy” with her performances. Emily’s time in the hurdles was a PB of 9.26 seconds. In the High Jump she cleared a season’s best of 1.60m and won a silver medal.
The Under 20 Men’s 60m Hurdles saw Alex Grant finish 3rd with a season’s best time of 8.67.
Daniel Boyd picked up two silver medals. In the U17 Men’s 200m he ran 23.71 – 0.25 seconds outside his PB. In the Long Jump he jumped 5.98m, his second best distance ever.
FIFTY-SIX Stratford AC junior athletes ran superbly at Perry Park in the final race of the league season as the club achieved its best ever final position in the WMYACCL (West Midlands Young Athletes Cross Country League).
The team finished 5th on the day and ended the season 5th overall. The league winners were Rugby & Northampton AC.
Every athlete who has competed for the team has done so in exemplary fashion, putting in an astonishing level of effort, enjoying their racing and reaping the rewards of their application in training.
There were a number of athletes who made their debuts in the final race and it will be exciting to see them being involved for further races next season.
The Under 11 Boys finished 3rd at Perry Park and also finished 3rd in terms of combined results for the season. Highest placed in the individual athletes table were Louis Kendrick (3rd) and Alex Adams (7th).
In the final race, Louis Kendrick (4th, 6.13) crossed the finish line a mere four seconds behind the winner. Louis has featured in the top 6 all season and it has been thrilling to watch his flying start and superb stamina at each fixture.
Alex Adams (6th, 6.19) equalled his best position of the season. Alex has had a memorable debut season for the team and his raw pace has meant he has been just behind the leaders in every race.
Full results: (race distance 1,600m) – Louis Kendrick (4th, 6.13); Alex Adams (6th, 6.19); Matthew Bexson (26th, 6.44); Jack Hemming (28th, 6.45); Caleb Spriggs (33rd, 6.45); Ned Campbell (56th, 7.05); Adam Taylor (63rd, 7.19); Angus Tombs (73rd, 7.27); Daniel Newman (75th, 7.30); Cameron Black (78th, 7.30); Oscar Trinick (92nd, 7.45); Oliver Wild (94th, 7.45); Harry Gravelsons (95th, 7.48).
The Under 11 Girls finished 4th in the race and 4th overall.
Ellen Taylor ended the season in 4th place after a series of gutsy and very fast runs.
At Perry Park, Ellen (11th, 6.54) unfortunately suffered from a stitch for almost the entire race and she deserved great credit for her fine effort in the circumstances.
Faye Gourlay (20th, 7.09) ran her best league race for a long time and Evie Lowe (23rd, 7.09) also performed her usual heroics.
Full results: (1,600m) – Ellen Taylor (11th, 6.54); Faye Gourlay (20th, 7.09); Ellie Deaner (38th, 7.25); Millie Perkins (39th, 7.25); Emily Curtis (64th, 7.47); Maddie Brocklebank (71st, 7.54); Sophie Ross (85th, 8.06).
Third place at Perry Park helped the Under 13 Boys team to finish 3rd place overall. Owain Jones was Stratford’s top finisher with 16th place in the season’s standings.
First home for the club here was Michael O’Regan (14th, 9.54) who made an instant impact on his season’s debut. Michael demonstrated magnificent early pace and after he settled into a rhythm he always appeared to be travelling comfortably.
Full results: (2,500m) – Michael O’Regan (14th, 9.54); Owain Jones (15th, 10.03); Archie Musk (23rd, 10.21); Adam Pomeroy (28th, 10.24); Dion Love (31st, 10.24); Henry Tombs (33rd, 10.29); Rowan Love (42nd, 10.51); James Bexson (54th, 11.13); Matthew Ross (81st, 12.25); Josh Waters (92nd, 13.44).
The Under 13 Girls were runners-up in this race and also in the league table for the season.
Imogen Sheppard achieved 3rd place overall, a reward for her remarkable consistency, finishing in the top four in each race. In the final event of the season (4th, 10.28) she put in her trademark strong start and she held her form well throughout, battling all the way to the finish and keeping a close rival at bay.
Pleasingly there were season’s best performances from Olivia Hall (6th, 10.35) and Georgie Campbell (7th, 10.37) as Stratford AC dominated the top of the finishing order.
Full results: (2,500m) – Imogen Sheppard (4th, 10.28); Olivia Hall (6th, 10.35); Georgie Campbell (7th, 10.37); Ellie Bryan (31st, 11.11); Abi Wootton (32nd, 11.12); Poppy Butler (57th, 11.34); Isla Jackson (70th, 12.00); Charlotte Gravelsons (80th, 12.12); Suzie Mishima (87th, 12.29); Emily Wild (120th, 14.51).
The Under 15 Boys achieved 10th place in this race and picked up 9th over the five race season.
Seb Hopper was highest up the season’s results list, finishing 54th.
At Perry Park, Murray Jackson (28th, 12.40) ran another terrific race. His consistency this winter has been remarkable, earning 29th, 28th, 28th in his three appearances.
Patrick Bonsall (51st, 14.41) put in his best performance of 2014/15 by an impressive 25 places.
Full results: (3,200m) – Murray Jackson (28th, 12.40); Patrick Bonsall (51st, 14.41).
The club’s Under 15 Girls finished 8th on the day and 9th in the season’s table. The highest placed team member for 2014/15 was Jessica Sheppard in 33rd.
Rebecca Winn (25th, 13.48) started very quickly in this race, her first of the season. She hung on well after losing touch with the leaders and her assertive approach was to be commended.
Chasing Rebecca all the way up the final hill was Eugenia Bessey (30th, 13.53) who ran fabulously and intelligently. Eugenia benefited from staring steadily and working her way into the race and this was one of the outstanding runs of the day.
Full results: (3,200m) – Rebecca Winn (25th, 13.48); Eugenia Bessey (30th, 13.53); Edie Hutchinson (43rd, 14.24); Jessica Sheppard (44th, 14.29); Ysabelle Caswell (43rd, 14.59); Hannah Bexson (61st, 15.28); Imogen Caswell (73rd, 16.13).
The Under 17 Men’s team finished the season in 6th and they were also 6th on the day.
Fergus Allison and Oscar Barbour were separated by just one point in the season’s results table, where they were 11th and 12th respectively. It has been fascinating to track their form and watch their performances this winter.
Full results: (4,800m) – Fergus Allison (14th, 17.51); Oscar Barbour (16th, 17.59); Matt Bayliss (38th, 21.23).
The Stratford AC Under 17 Women finished 11th at Perry Park and 10th for the season. Harriet Flynn was 34th across all races and she was the team’s only representative in the final race (28th, 21.46). Harriet has run well in her three appearances and been a valuable member of the squad, showing her versatility and positive attitude.
Result: (4,000m) – Harriet Flynn (28th, 21.46).
THE FINAL Tempo Events 10k in Ilmington saw three top 20 finishes for Stratford AC.
Neil Wicks (9th, 39.17), Sarah Wheeler (13th, 40.14) and Kate Wright (16th, 40.48) performed impressively on the hilly course and achieved excellent results.
Neil is a master at negotiating undulations and he made this tough 10k appear much easier than it should.
Sarah’s run deservedly gave her the 1st Woman prize for the five-race Winter Series. Sarah is brimming with confidence for her upcoming 10k half-marathon and marathon races and has her sights set on some very fast times.
Full results: Neil Wicks (9th, 39.17); Sarah Wheeler (13th, 40.14); Kate Wright (16th, 40.48); David Smyth (22nd, 42.25); Robin Kindersley (25th, 43.02); James Cusack (30th, 43.26); Waleed Agabani (38th, 44.28); Mark Newman (40th, 44.31); Paul Jefferies (42nd, 44.40); James Deacon (52nd, 46.01); Luke Watkins (78th, 50.22); Anna Watson (81st, 50.32); Maureen Birch (113rd, 53.42); Chris Whateley (128th, 55.32); Anna Schofield (171st, 59.10); Kate Sergent (189th, 1:00.52); Victoria Jeffs (206th, 1:03.34); Martyn Sergent (214th, 1:04.48); Marie Fitzgerald (224th, 1:07.51); Natasha Watkins (230th, 1:08.38); John Butler (240th, 1:09.50).
THE DURSLEY Dozen attracted five Stratford AC runners, who took on the challenging route with gusto.
Some early mist cleared so the race was contested in bright sunlight. The conditions looked to suit the front-runners, with the course being relatively firm. As the field steadily churned the course up, the frosty ground became slippery mud and proved to be quite testing.
Full results: (race distance 12 miles) – Lesley Kirk (214th, 1:58.02); Tim Owrid (247th, 2.01.31); Sarah Odell (289th, 2:05.12); Mike Barrie (304th, 2:06.24); Larry Coltman (358th, 2:13.37).
EMMA Bexson, Sarah Odell and Becky Loftus took on the challenge of the Broadmeadow Valentine’s Day Marathon. The race started and finished at Stratford Sports Club, winding its way to the outskirts of Alcester and back via Wilmcote, Billesley and Haselor.
An interesting route featuring plenty of mud and some stiles combined with fine weather to make this an enjoyable race for all participants.
Results: Emma Bexson (1st woman, 3:50.55); Becky Loftus (4:56.19); Sarah Odell (4:56.19).
The U11 boys’ WMYACCL team: Matthew Bexson, Ned Campbell, Harry Gravelsons, Oliver Wild, Adam Taylor, Angus Tombs, Oscar Trinick, Jack Hemming, Alex Adams, Caleb Spriggs. Picture by Mike Sheppard. (s)
Oscar Barbour (U17 men) once again impressed on the cross country scene. Picture by Mike Sheppard. (s)
Matthew Bexson (U11 boys) at Perry Park. Picture by Mike Sheppard. (s)
Eugenia Bessey (U15 women) at Perry Park. Picture by Mike Sheppard. (s)
Emily Curtis (U11 girls) in junior cross country action in Birmingham. Picture by Mike Sheppard. (s)
Daniel Boyd in long jump action in Birmingham. (s)
Daniel Boyd with one of his silver medals at the Midland Indoor Championships. (s)
Jack Sumners with one of his gold medals in the second city. (s)