STRATFORD Athletic Club juniors provided 50 per cent of the Warwickshire team which performed brilliantly in the under 13 and 15 West Midlands Regional Sportshall finals at Chelmsley Wood.
The Stratford contingent brought a really competitive edge and genuine team spirit to the team and the U13 boys and both the U15 teams won their respective age groups – defeating their perennial rivals from Birmingham – whilst the U13 girls only just missed out on winning by a narrow margin to Birmingham.
All the age groups were very competitive and the competition was more even intense than in previous years with some strong athletes in each team making all the events tough going. This made the competition tight throughout but the Warwickshire team, primarily led by the Stratford athletes, had more depth and far more top three placings.
The U15 athletes compete in a three-event all-rounder competition and the outstanding performances came from Millie Leighton who won gold and Maddie Clark bronze in the girls’ event and Alex Powell who won bronze in the boys’ event.
The relays at the end were superb and dominated by Stratford athletes who produced very quick running with slick handovers, rounding off a hugely successful day as three teams qualified for the national finals in Manchester in April.
U15 medal winners: Boys: Speed Bounce – Alex Powell, gold; 8-Lap Paarlauf – Alex Powell, gold; Standing Triple Jump – Nick Butler, gold (8.52m); 2-Lap – Nick Butler, bronze; 4-Lap – Alex Powell, bronze; Standing Long Jump – Cole Williams, silver; Harry Sugden, bronze.
Girls: 2-Lap – Millie Leighton, gold; 4×2-Lap – Millie Leighton, Jasmine Williams, Grace Fairweather, gold; Shot Put – Maddie Clark, gold; Standing Long Jump – Grace Fairweather, silver; Vertical Jump –
Millie Leighton, silver; Maddie Clark, bronze; Speed Bounce – Millie Leighton, silver; 4-Lap – Grace Fairweather, bronze.
U13 Girls: Standing Long Jump – Lucy Lane, gold; 4-Lap – Lucy Lane, bronze; 2-Lap – Caitlin Buckley, silver.
Boys: Obstacle Relay – Louis Kendrick and Matthew Bexson, gold; Speed Bounce – Matthew Bexson, silver; Vertical Jump – Oscar Albanese, silver; Josh Roberts, bronze; 2-Lap – Oscar Albanese, bronze; 6-Lap – Louis Kendrick, bronze; 4-Lap – Henry Madden Forman, bronze.
THE ENGLAND Athletics Combined Events Championships in Sheffield brings together the best multi-event athletes in the UK and three Stratford AC youngsters really showed their developing talent which sets them up for the outdoor season.
After a strong winter’s training, Adam Farrow once again showed he will be one of the main contenders for honours outdoors by finishing his U15 competition in fourth place.
Apart from an under-par long jump, Farrow excelled in his other events, particularly in the shot put. He threw a massive 1.5.m more than ever before which showed the progress he has made over the winter with his throws coach Sandy Green.
Farrow’s results: 60m Hurdles – 9.77secs; Long Jump – 5.25m; Shot Put – 10.42m; High Jump – 1.74m; 800m – 2:25.00.
Farrow’s team-mate Freddie Clemons has moved into the U15s and at this age maturation plays a big part in combined events, but Clemons is a strong battling athlete and he finished a really creditable 12th after a series of fine performances.
Clemons’ results: 60m Hurdles – 10.01secs; Long Jump – 4.75m; Shot Put – 8.21m; High Jump – 1.50m; 800m – 2:30.75.
Maddie Clark has just moved up to the U17 girls’ age group and she went into the competition with some trepidation but once again rose to the occasion and, finishing 37th in a highly competitive competition, she showed with more confidence the outdoor season will be an exciting time for her.
Clark’s results: 60m Hurdles – 9.86secs; Long Jump – 4.23m; Shot Put – 9.34m; High Jump – 1.35m; 800m – 3:10.67.
Report compiled by Paul Bearman.