STRATFORD Athletic Club’s masters track and field team maintained their excellent start to the season as they finished second behind Worcester in the latest event at Redditch.
With regular, new and returning team members, it was a great all-round team performance featuring 18 personal bests and eight club records.
In the 2,000m race walk, Gemma Smith (15:34.2), Kate Sergent (13:55.1) and David Battersby (15:10.7) all set age group club records, while Paul Hawkins (12:19.7) came close to another one when winning his race.
Christine Coote (35.6) and Paula Williams (28.2) set club records in their 200m races.
In the race of the evening, the men’s 4x400m relay team of Brian Gravelsons, David Battersby, Kieran Tursner and Andy Reeves came a close second and shattered the previous club record with 4:13.5.
Coote (9.86m) and Gravelsons (22.76m) also set age group records for the javelin.
Tursner (10:32.8), Chris Cond (10:52.4) and Emily Adams (12:53.2) all ran personal best times in the 3,000m, while Tursner (2:22.9) and Battersby (2:20.4) produced great times in the 800m.
Rachel Clark and Tony Humphreys set PBs in the 200m and long jump, with Clark missing the club record in the 200m by just 0.3.
Evergreen John Butler debuted in the M70 shot put with a personal best throw of 5.17m, just missing a club record, and Emma Bexson made a welcome return to the team as she won her 3,000m in a season-best time.
During a warm and sunny Sunday, seven Stratford AC masters competed in the Midland Masters Championships at Nuneaton where Williams and Coote led a medal-fest.
Williams continued her dominance of the W45 age group with a staggering six gold medals in a diverse collection of events – 80m hurdles, 100m, shot, javelin, long jump and triple jump.
Competing in her first championships, Coote took one gold and three silvers, setting club records in the 100m and 200m.
Her husband Peter also picked up some medals as he claimed second place in the javelin and third place in the discus. He also finished fourth in the 100m and 200m, running season-best times in both.
Andy Reeves comfortably won his high jump before making a successful return to the 110m hurdles – winning in a club record time.
Despite struggling with a long-term injury, Gravelsons had a successful championships, finishing second in the 100m and javelin.
Hawkins demonstrated his continuing improvement with a gold medal in the 5,000m race walk in a club record time.
Having run the 1,500m the previous day in the senior league match against runners more than 50 years younger than him, Phil Brennan rounded off a successful championships for Stratford by taking gold in both the 800m and 1,500m with a championship-best time in the latter.