Following the success of Stratford ACs Men’s and Women’s team that contained 60% of athletes who have graduated from the junior ranks in winning their Midland Division so handsomely, another 70 young athletes took their first step in trying to emulate that success in Worcester for the first Heart of England Division1 match.
With every event covered and a superb combined effort right throughout the team the juniors completely dominated the match and finished resounding winners overall. They also finished top of the pile in the Under 13 and 17 boys age groups, with the under 15s 3rd and the under 15 and 17 girls first and the under 13s 5th.
The non-scoring Under 11s boys and girls were 2nd and 3rd respectively.
Individually the team produced literally dozens of personal bests and grade 1 and 2 performances. In hot, windy conditions the 1500m runners had tricky conditions but coped well with u13s Louis Kendrick and Alex Adams giving the team a 1: 2 in the A & B races.
U17 Owain Jones and U15 Georgina Campbell comprehensively won their races with the rest of the 1500m runners Daisy Musk, Edie Hutchinson, Finlay Hutchinson, Josh Angus, Matt Ross, Ellie Deaner, Tullah Searle and Ellen Taylor picking up crucial points.
Amongst many other outstanding performances Jack Sumners had a hat trick of wins in the 100m, 100m hurdles and Long Jump. After some intensive training with his throws coach Sandy Green, Lewis Byng finally did what he’s been threatening to do recently by throwing the national standard in the U17 Shot of 14.33m and Adam Farrow cleared 1.61 in the U15 High Jump with both of them taking top spots in the West Midlands rankings.
Mike Sheppard, the under 15 team manager commented “we saw some great performances with loads of PB’s set. Particularly pleasing was seeing new faces like Kate Dufty, Harry Sugden & Nick Butler coming into the team and all performing so strongly on their league debut”.
He added “this is a tough division against some big and very good clubs and it certainly felt like Stratford’s most dominant overall performance in the 6 or 7 years that I’ve been going to the Heart of England meetings. Having some really strong individual athletes helps us enormously, but just looking at the results and all the B strings where we were 1st, 2nd or 3rd, and having a full complement in all the events shows that we won because of our strength in depth and team spirit. A really good start but we need to keep it going for the remaining matches”.