Club retain the Warwick Vase for 6th successive time.
Report – Paul Bearman
These championships take place very early into the Track & Field season but despite this over 90 Stratford upon Avon AC athletes, mostly juniors, descended on the Pingles track in Nuneaton to again be crowned best overall club for the 6th year running within the old Warwickshire County boundary, including Birmingham, Solihull and Coventry.
The meeting organiser Ray Morgan of WCAA said after another very successful championships, “the Warwick Vase is awarded to the WCAA club which scores the most points over the two days of the County Champs. Stratford upon Avon AC won it for the first time in 2016 and have retained it since then, although this year Stratford were run a lot closer by Birchfield Harriers, Coventry Godiva Harriers and Rugby and Northampton AC. Well done to all of the Stratford athletes and their coaches”.
To be awarded points towards the championship athletes have to have made it to a final and the old adage of every point counting was more evident with stronger competition this year as the bigger clubs made every effort to overcome us.
Points are allocated, 8 for a win, 7 for second etc. to find the best overall club which then receives the Warwick Vase.
In addition to the medal haul of 49 (19 Gold, 12 Silver and 18 Bronze), it was the 4th to 8th positions for athletes reaching the finals that was the crucial factor that helped the club to what, in the end, was a comprehensive win with 577 points to Birchfield’s 489 points.
Warwickshire Schools athletics supremo, Gwil Price observed “from my position near the medal podium wherever I looked there were bodies in yellow Stratford vests competing and all over the weekend I was hearing the medal announcer saying and from Stratford ……. ‘’.
The Stratford medallists and finalists were spread right across the age groups and were involved in every event apart from Pole Vault and Steeplechase. This meant that there was a constant stream of athletes competing in all parts of the track virtually non-stop over the 2 days. This also meant Carolyne and I were getting a lot of exercise popping back and forth to support them.
Two of our officials Daf Hawkins and Emma Sparrow had their work cut out on the Track officials stand and the ubiquitous Sandy Green was as ever here, there and everywhere in the field.
Birchfield, as expected, trounced everyone in the seniors but our strength is in the number of athletes we encourage to compete and we had great all-round performances across the age groups, especially in the U13s and U15s.
In the sprints Birchfield didn’t have it all their own way and U13s Scarlett Dawson was a very impressive winner and double gold medallist in the 100m (13.78) and 200m (28.12s).
After the Championships, age group awards are made by Warwickshire County AA and the winner of the U13 Girls was given to Scarlett for her 200m sprint in 28.12s.
Equally impressive was Alex Wood who lined up in the U13 100m final with Elfric McKenzie, Arthur Mansbridge, William Hovell and Toby Spriggs with Alex winning in 13.26s. In the 200m Alex again struck gold winning in a time of 27.31.
Alex got his hat trick of medals winning silver in the Long Jump (4.50m); an event that was dominated by Stratford athletes Sam Plumb, Stanley Peters, Alfie Musk, Arthur Mansbridge, William Hamlyn, Toby Spriggs, Max Rossney and Elfric McKenzie who won bronze with 4.48m.
In the Senior Women’s 200m Imogen Sheppard won silver in 26.79 and U20 women Caitlin Buckley won silver in the 100m in 12.85s with Catherine Reynolds winning bronze in 25.77s before moving on to her favoured event the 400m and won convincingly in a new PB of 57.38s.
In his first championship U13 William Hovell went home with a bronze in the 200m and the 75m Hurdles, finished 4th in the 100m but then struck gold in the Shot. Bronze medals were also won by U13 Martha Silvers in the 70m hurdles in 13.93s and U15 Seb Hillard in the 80m hurdles in 12.84s.
After missing out on being able to compete for 2 years as an U17 due to Covid, Freddie Clemons has moved up to U20 and in his first outing over 110m hurdles he won gold in 15.52s.
Arguably the performances of the weekend came in the middle distance events where U13 Marijke Tear-verweij completely dominated the U13 Girls 1500m winning gold in 5:32.80. She was followed home by Lois Ford in the bronze medal position in a time of 5:41.41.
In the other 1500m events U13 Aran Cooper continued his fine run of form by winning silver in a time of 5:07.32 and U17 Niamh Hillard won silver in 5:02.42. U15 Will Mayes won silver in 4:41.00 and U20 Taylor Stubbins won bronze in 4:11.95.
U15 Martha Peters ran a superb gun to tape race in the 800m winning in a time of 2:25.70 and two more bronze medals were won by Sam Plumb in the U13s in a time of 2:34.57 and James Day in the U15s in 2:21.64.
Vicky Sharpe won gold in the Senior Ladies 3000m (12:36.32) and U17 Henry Wheeler decided to take on the 3000m for the first time and he finished with a bronze medal in a time of 10:39.9.
On the comeback trail is Paul Hawkins and he won silver in the 3000m Walk in 21:50.9 and was followed home in her first championship by Gemma Smith winning silver in 22:04.7
High Jump has for a few years been a strong event for the club and this year was no exception.
In the senior women Emily Madden Forman (1.65) won gold and in an impressive display of controlled jumping, U20 George Fox finished with a new PB of 1.91m winning gold.
Silver medals were won in the U17s Caitlin Boyle who continued her run of improving her PB with a leap of 1.50 and debutant Milo Cullimore in a PB of 1.60. U15 Luca De Freitas Pires won bronze with 1.40 and U17 Zach McKenzie won bronze with 1.50.
In the horizontal jumps there was more success and in the Triple Jump both U20 Millie Leighton (11.02) and U17 Zach McKenzie (10.26) won gold and Zach also won the Long Jump (5.96 PB) despite carrying an ankle injury.
Will Marriot won bronze in the U15 Triple Jump (9.24 PB) and Ruby Edwards won silver in the U15G Long Jump with a best jump of 4.69.
The throws are a consistent source of medallists for the club, especially the Javelin with three athletes striking gold. U15s Nikola Wodzisz won with 25.59 and Louie Newton won silver with 32.85.
U20 Acelin Smith (48.68) and U17 Holly Newton (28.17) were on top of the podium and in the U13s Lois Ford (16.97) and Holly Clifford (13.88) won silver and bronze respectively. Lois also won gold in the Discus with a winning throw of 15.88.
Medal machine Paula Williams won gold in the senior Shot with 10.76 and then broke her own Warwickshire County masters record in winning the Javelin with 34.81. Also, on the top of the podium for the Shot was U15 Ethan Winning (8.12 PB) and U17 Issy Newton (8.65) won bronze.
Five of Stratford’s new generation of young athletes competed in a multi event competition of 75m, 600m, Howler and Long Jump at the Warwickshire County Championships with all of them competing in this type of competition for the first time.
After a very busy two days Paul Bearman said, “I was reflecting on the weekend afterwards with Paul Hawkins and we both agreed that this was a hugely proud overall performance across so many events and age groups for the club and retaining the Warwick Vase for the 6th year is a remarkable achievement”.
“We are incredibly proud of the club’s athletes in the championship who have all contributed to the club’s success but it’s a team effort and without the unstinting support from the volunteer coaches and officials this sort of success simply wouldn’t happen”.
The Stratford Herald have done us proud this week with their coverage of our remarkable 6th successive winning of the Warwick Vase.
Club members at Ryton 5 where they enjoyed a hugely successful evening.
Report – Peter Sugden
Last Thursday evening saw the second race in this seasons Warwickshire Road Race League, Ryton 5, hosted by Spa Striders.
Just over 300 runners assembled on a very pleasant late spring evening at Ryton Pools Country Park to compete in what is generally regarded as an enjoyable, undulating, 5 mile race, with a gravelly surface and a few tight bends.
The starters orders caught a few by surprise, with a congested beginning on the Country Park tracks until the field spread out a bit after the initial few hundred metres and navigation of any loose dogs.
Stratford upon Avon AC fielded probably its largest entry of runners at a WRRL race for some years. With numbers (as well as some quick runners) comes strength and this was proven through the terrific result on the evening.
First back in the Stratford vest, and overall race winner, was Ben Kruze in the remarkable time of 25:27. Following his 2nd place at the Massey 10k on Easter Monday Ben is setting himself up for great WRRL season.
Next was Matt Burdus-Cook claiming 8th place overall and first place in the MV45 age category. Under 20 runners Ned Campbell and Alex Pester tussled for 13th and 14th places, with Ned finishing just ahead and taking the U20 category first place. Ade Mason, continuing his return to form, was next for Stratford, finishing 33rd overall.
First lady for Stratford was the phenomenal Kate Wright, finishing 37th overall, 2nd lady and 1st in the FV55 category.
Just behind Kate was Tim Hutchinson in 39th place overall and 3rd in the MV45 category, and less than a minute later Richard Dobedoe finished in 47th place and taking the MV55 category crown. Next in was Seth Turner, 50th overall, turning his hand (or feet) to shorter distance long distance running, just ahead of Max Ross, who put in another good performance, finishing 56th.
Peter Sugden finished 74th with a 6 second improvement on his 2019 previous PB. John Raby finished 85th, Stuart Griffiths 105th, Graham Hill 128th, Richard Hartwell 242nd and Dave Maundrell 252nd.
New club member Huw Crossweller finished somewhere between Max Ross and Peter Sugden, but doesn’t appear on the published results table (you need to make sure you enter as a SuAAC member Huw).
Completing the ladies team were Suzanne Ross in 150th place (22nd lady), Susan Hunt in 192nd (36thlady), Sarah Odell in 220nd (48th lady), and Kate Sergent in 273rd place overall, 76th lady and 2nd in the FV65 age category.
The WWRL is an open event, where runners score points as individuals and for their club, with the first six runners counting towards the club points tally for the men and first four runners for the ladies.
The scores collected at Ryton 5 meant Stratford Men’s team finished 2nd behind Kenilworth and the Men’s Masters team (MV35 and older) finished in first place, just ahead of Kenilworth. The ladies’ team finished 5th and 6th for the overall team and masters placings, respectively.
Report – Simon Taylor
Emma Bexson travelled to Lanzarote to take on one of the hardest iron distance triathlons on the calendar.
Ironman Lanzarote is renowned for a windy and hilly bike course (over 9000 feet of climbing over 113 miles) and temperatures that make the marathon run even more of a challenge.
The sea swim is always a lottery with the winds but for someone of Emma’s ability and mental strength, it was all taken in her stride.
Emma came out of the sea swim second in her age group in a brilliant 1 hour 12 mins. Her bike time was 6.47, allowing her to keep hold of second place. A brilliant marathon of 3.51 enabled her to record an overall time of 12.07.44, finishing 2nd in her age group and a brilliant 18th female overall.
Emma is in great form at the moment – as her cycling time trial form has shown – and she’ll be looking forward to the Ironman World Championships later in the year with total confidence.
Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon
Report – Simon Taylor
Rachel Pearce made the short journey from Didcot to Eton Dorney to compete in the Eton Dorney Sprint Triathlon as a warm up for the World Sprint Triathlon championships later in June.
Those who know Rach know that she’s a bit of a tour de force in sprint triathlons and she showed once again just how good she is. She not only won her age group, but won the women’s event overall.
Now free from injury she will be a challenging for medals at the World Champs and you can read a report on her success (no pressure!) towards the end of June.
White Peaks Half Marathon
Report – Kate Wright
This is an off road run on the stunning Tissington trail.
With only 26ft elevation, and lots of down hill and a tail wind , it made for a swift half.
The scenery is stunning and the people are so friendly in this part of the world, which is why I love this event.
My plan was to 6.20 min mile and come in at 1.24 ish. However I came in First Lady in a time of 1.21.55, 4 seconds slower than 9 years ago!
I surprised myself.
Editor’s note ! The result isn’t up on Power of 10 yet but I think that ranks Kate number 1 in the UK for the half marathon in her age group
A couple more photos from the Warwickshire County T&F Championships.
Caitlin Boyle and Emily Madden Forman
Catherine Reynolds (264 on the right)
Our 4 x 400 relay team at last weekend’s Midland’s League T&F fixture. Hopefully we’ll have report next week.
Alex Adams, Ned Campbell, Taylor Stubbins and Caleb Spriggs.
Alexander Stadium – 21st May
Club members were out in force at last Saturday’s Diamond league fixture, supporting Andrew Pozzi and others at the wonderfully redeveloped Alexander Stadium.
The fixture was effectively a trial meeting for the upcoming Commonwealth Games and mightily impressive it was.
For those of you who have visited previously, either as a spectator or competitor, you will notice a huge change. I have to assume the changing rooms have been updated as well because they certainly needed it!
Lucy Edwards with her talented daughters Ruby and Martha.
The stars were lining up to be photographed with our rising star Maisie-Joy Spriggs. Jemma Reekie and Laura Muir were 2 of the lucky ones.
Not to be outdone by her daughter, Hannah Osborne is photographed here with fellow club member and 3 time Olympian Andrew Pozzi.
Andrew was equally keen to be photographed with club legend Kate Sergent who roped me in as well.
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