Gold rush for Rugby & Northampton in County Championships

Rugby & Northampton athletes claimed 48 gold medals as they shone at the Northamptonshire Track & Field Championships at the Rockingham Triangle in Corby.

By The Newsroom
Friday, 20th May 2022, 2:13 pm
Finlay Ward with the John Love Memorial Trophy
Finlay Ward with the John Love Memorial Trophy

R&N athletes struck gold first on Saturday morning, with Monty Lee picking up the first of two throws victories in the U15 discus, and nearly 30 hours later Jack Bond picked up the final of R&N AC’s golds in the senior 1500m.

In between there were dazzling debuts from U11s Will Bernard and Sophia Agius, with golds in long jump and 75m.

Taya Young also took gold in the long jump and a couple of bronzes in the 75m and 150m.

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There was a first and second for under-15 sprinters Ella Darby (right) and Sophie Hancock

At the other end of the age spectrum there were seasoned masterclasses from one-man goldmine veterans, Craig Christian in long jump, 100m, 200m and 400m and Al Nisbet in discus, shot and hammer.

Mark Hill ran his way to a powerful 5k gold and Mel Wood took 800m gold and 5k silver.

Club coaches Kat Hemmington and Chris Lamb showed their athletes how it’s done with wins in their respective masters 800m races.

Further highlights included clean sweeps for U13s Devon Edwards, Charlie Gercs and Thomas Leeson in the javelin and Jaunty Archer, Zac Thorpe and Sonny Briggs-McKellar in the U13 200m.

100m winner Fabian Powell (centre)

Leeson and Briggs-McKellar added individual golds in hurdles and 1500m. Meanwhile, U13 Ava Hession excelled with gold in the 200m.

Harry Pritchett was outstanding at U17 with golds in javelin, discus and triple jump, and fellow U17 Oke Okere struck gold in the high jump.

William Speed-Andrews struck gold in the hammer, while his coach, Lucy Marshall did the same at masters level.

On the track there were golds for Morrie Parker in the 200m and Louis Starr in the 800m, and for the U17 girls there were golds for Efua Boateng in the 100m, Lorna Stenhouse in the high jump and club returnee, Shanice Ighalo, in the long jump.

Fabian Powell retained his 100m title in his first race in an R&N AC vest.

Incredibly already a sub 11 second 100m man, Powell will be teaming up with coach, James Wright, and clearly has the potential to be soon sporting a GB vest on the international scene.

The strongest age group on the day were R&N’s U15s.

Monty Lee claimed golds in shot and discus, but Alice Berrill went one better, adding javelin gold!

Multi-talented Rhys Owen took hurdles, long jump and triple jump golds, and on the track Nathan Lamb powered his way with brave front-running to 800m and 1500m golds.

Ella Darby mirrored his performance with golds in the girls’ 800m and 1500m events and Isabella Banks struck a fine hurdles gold.

Savannah Morgan won the 200m in a time just one hundredth of a second off her personal best, while her 100m victory in 12.35 makes her the third ranked U15 in the whole of the UK this year.

Finally, it was a poignant moment as U20 5k winner Finlay Ward received the John Love Memorial Trophy, running to victory in 15.29.4.

John Love was a servant-hearted stalwart of the club and of county athletics for over six decades. He would have been very proud to see Finlay’s performance, and the fine showcase of athletics these championships represented, with friendship and healthy rivalry across clubs in the county.

As well as the 48 golds for R&N, there were also 29 silvers and 22 bronze.