A YEAR on from winning Division Five of the Midland Track and Field League, Stratford Athletic Club travelled to Stourport for the opening Division Four match against six other clubs with some trepidation.
They need not have worried, though, as they finished convincing winners with 423 points. Kidderminster & Stourport were second on 354 and Sutton Coldfield third with 318.
Each team has two athletes in each of the track races, throws and jumps, plus the men’s and women’s relays, requiring many athletes to take part. Stratford benefited from having several athletes coming through from the juniors to strengthen the team.
Cole Williams won the B triple jump and was third in the B 100m sprint. Ellie Bryan was fourth in the 800m and won the B high jump and Sean Mata found the 800m tough but nevertheless ran well to come second in the B 800m after a tremendous sprint finish.
Fin Hutchinson made his debut in the 1,500m with a big PB and enjoyed having father Tim in the same race. Fin won the family battle to finish sixth.
Georgie Campbell was the final under 17 coming into the team and she dominated the 3,000m from start to finish, lapping all but one of the other athletes.
Paula Williams is a regular in the team and had her usual busy day – coming second in the triple jump and B long jump and was in all four throws, winning the shot put and javelin.
Martyn Helliker was similarly busy – finishing second in the sprint hurdles and steeplechase, winning the B 400m hurdles, throwing the shot and hammer and running a leg in the relay.
Emily Madden Forman won the sprint hurdles and high jump and finished second and third respectively in the B javelin and long jump.
The 5,000m is traditionally an event in which the team have not done as well but in-form Josh Newman gained an excellent third place in a good quality race, while Matt Burdus-Cook made his debut and came second in the B race.
In the women’s middle distance, Emma Bexson did a great job for the team, winning the B 3,000m and gaining third and fifth-placed finishes in the 1,500m and 800m.
The Sheppard sisters were in great form in the sprints with Imogen wining the 100m and 200m B races and coming second in the B triple jump. Meanwhile, Jess won the 400m and was fourth in the 100m.
Both then went to race in the relays and the women’s team won both the 4x100m and the 4x400m.
The next match is at Burton on June 2 when Stratford will be confident of another good result.
Report compiled by Paul Hawkins.