RISING Stratford Athletic Club star Jack Sumners continued his purple patch of form with some sublime performances when he represented England in an exciting international against Wales.
Jack’s double long jump and 60m hurdles gold medals in the England Athletics UK Championships ensured his first England selection for the Welsh Athletics Indoor U20 and U18 international in Cardiff and he delivered yet again with another double win.
Jack became the latest Stratford athlete to achieve international recognition when he was selected as England’s representative in the long jump.
He opened his series of jumps with a relatively modest first jump of 6.15m, followed by a no jump before he exploded to a new personal best of 6.65m which was good enough to win the U18 duel with the Welsh.
Sam Bennett (Basildon AC) was selected for the U18 60m hurdles race which was run using the U20 hurdle spacing and is a big adjustment for the athletes who are used to running the U17 spacing.
Jack and his Stratford team-mate Ollie Cresswell were invited to compete as guests and once again the Stratford pair dominated the race, with Jack having the edge to win, but it was his amazing time of 7.92s which was the significant feature of his run.
Jack’s time was the third all-time best as an U17, but what made it all the more incredible was it was done using the unfamiliar U20 spacing and was faster than new European indoor 60m hurdles champion Andrew Pozzi at the same age!
In fact, with Ollie running 8.04s to finish second, the Stratford athletes including Rory Dwyer have now run four of the fastest 11 times for U17 60m UK hurdlers.
Afterwards a very excited Jack said: “Honestly, the last two weeks have been unbelievable and have been an incredible experience.
“I would never have thought that I could do what I have. Andrew Pozzi is a great inspiration to me and he was very pleased with how I’d done.
“We’ve worked even harder in the winter training and, with the way the performances and results have gone, I can’t wait for the outdoor season.”
Report compiled by Paul Bearman.