R&N AC are through to the National Finals

Rugby & Northampton AC have made it through to the National Finals of the Youth Development League after winning the Regional Final at Rugby.

Rugby & Northampton AC’s young athletes have made it through to the National Finals of the Youth Development League in Manchester next month
Rugby & Northampton AC’s young athletes have made it through to the National Finals of the Youth Development League in Manchester next month

Confidence was high after convincing wins in their three Premier League fixtures and that was transferred into the action as the U13 boys took golds in the 150m, 800m, shot and javelin with Laike Favier, in the 800m, and Charlie Cook, in the javelin, producing national level performances.

Robert Mitchell, Favier, Sonny Briggs-McKellar and Jaunty Campbell Archer also won the 4x100m relay.

The U15 boys went further, with a clean sweep of the short sprints, both A and B races, as well as the 300m, and 80m hurdles. Ernest Kisel and Robbie Dale had a brace of wins each in the sprints and they, together with Jacob Vural and Harrison Nash, saw their 4x100m relay team leap to 10th in the UK this year.

The victorious Rugby & Northampton AC Under-11 mixed relay team during the Heart of England League match

However, R&N’s U15 girls won no fewer than 17 events.

They matched the boys in sprints and hurdles dominance, but also excelled in the field events, with double wins in the long jump, hammer, discus and javelin.

Particularly outstanding were Savannah Morgan in the 100m and Isabella Banks in the 75m hurdles and, just for good measure, the quartet of Olivia Monk, Grace McCollin, Esme Du Bois and Morgan won the 4x100m while Ella Darby, Isabelle Knight, Lucy Boyes and Maia Thompson emulated their success in the 4x300m.

It all added up to give R&N (597 points) victory ahead of Cheltenham & County Harriers (489) who will join them in Manchester for the National Finals on September 3.

Club chairman Adrian White said: “We have an unusually good vibe at the club at the moment.

“We had athletes competing in their not-so-favourite events to help the club get points, which is always good.”

R&N’s previous best showing in a national final was almost a decade ago, when they finished third.

R&N also hosted the final match in the Heart of England League and came away with another victory and it was the U11 age group which really shone.

There were victories in the 75m for David Allen, Noah Dale and Nia Ubhi while Allen, Rufus Jones, Hope Sharrock and Isaac Brierley York all claimed top spots in the 600m races. The team topped off an excellent day with victory in the mixed 4x100m relay.

England U15 100m champion Savannah Morgan completed her first ever 300m race and posted an incredible 40.3 secs – the second fastest time in the UK this year.

In the sprints, there were victories for William Gand, Jack Wilmhurst, Esme DuBois, Grace McCollin, Laike Favier, Jasper Degado-Major and Cara Griffiths.

In the longer endurance races there were also victories for Sophie Hancock, Madeleine Jacks, Emily Kendrick and Ollie Walls and Nathan Lamb.

R&N dominated the hurdles races with a whole succession of outstanding performances with amazing times from Charlie Cook, McCollin, Lucy Boyes, Isabel Mur, Penelope Jones, Mary Taylor and Grace Kendrick.

The field also saw some outstanding performances with Favier, Isabelle Knight and Oke Okere finishing in top spot in the high jump competitions and Harry Pritchett, Moyo Stumphenhusen and Mary Meraiyebu claiming gold in the throws.