For Queen and Country.

Georgie Campbell proudly wearing her England vest.
I’m still buzzing from last night’s final Vet’s T&F league fixture of the year at Worcester, with the Cup Final still to come on 31st August.

It was another special night, best summed up by Paula’s quote at the end of this newsletter. A full report will follow.

Even thought it’s a relatively short newsletter, we should still all take pride in the contents and in particular the achievement of 4 of our members who have been competing for their country.

We have Lewis Byng becoming the first British athlete in 30 years to reach an U20 final in the Men’s Shot at the Biennial European Athletics U20 Championships. An incredible achievement.

At the same championships we also had Jack Sumners who 5 days later was joined by Ollie Cresswell and Georgie Campbell representing their country in Cardiff.

We should never become blasé about our club members representing their country.

As Scott Grace, GB’s joint team manager said after the European Athletics U20 championships “everyone should remember how many people were born in the same years as the 69 strong team and that the athletes were the very best and good enough to be one of the few selected to represent their country”.

We also had 8 of our senior athletes competing in the Monty 5k, 6 of who achieved lifetime best times and no newsletter would seem complete without a race report on Phil Brennan, this time achieving a 2nd place age category performance in the Caterham 10k.

Enjoy the rest of your week

Best Wishes

David Jones
Welsh Athletics U20 International.

Report – David Jones.

Three club members were representing their country at the recent Welsh Athletics U20 International held at the Cardiff International Stadium.

Making her international debut, Georgie Campbell finished 5th in the 1500m with her 2nd best ever time of 4:43.54, just one second off her lifetime best.

Georgie thoroughly enjoyed the experience of competing in a hugely competitive race against talented athletes in an older age group. Her coach Paul Hawkins commented that he was extremely proud of her, indeed, we should all be extremely proud of her.

Just five days after reaching the semi-finals of the 110m hurdles at the European U20 Championships in Sweden, Jack Sumners was back in action, this time in the long jump. Jack, who is currently fifth in the UK U20 rankings, jumped 7.10m to finish second, just 13 centimetres off the winning jump.

Ollie Creswell, currently ranked seventh in the U20 age group in the 110m hurdles, was the first of three English athletes in Cardiff, finishing fourth in 14.69.

Jack and Lewis with Stratford AC’s Charlie Burn, who works for UKA and was one of the team managers

The Biennial European Athletics U20 Championships.

Report – Paul Bearman.

These Championships were held in Boras, Sweden and are for the very best European athletes who are 19 years of age or under.

Stratford AC’s UK U20 and U23 Shot gold medallist Lewis Byng and U20 110m Hurdles silver medallist Jack Sumners were selected on the strength of them meeting the stringent qualifying standards.

After the team travelled to Sweden prior to the competition for a couple of days to acclimatise to the hot conditions, Sumners lined up for his heat and after a nervous start he powered through the field to finish 2nd in his heat equalling his PB of 13.66s and qualifying for the semifinal, stacked with some of Europe’s top young hurdlers.

With his nerves and apprehension under control, Jack lined up for the semifinal but things didn’t go quite according to plan and he finished outside of the top 8 in 11th place overall from the 2 semi finals. His time of 13.87s was just one tenth of a second outside of qualifying for the final that was eventually won by GB’s Josh Zeller.

Sumners said afterwards “I’m disappointed because I thought I could qualify for the final but overall I’m happy with the way it went in my fist major competition for GB”.

Lewis Byng lined up alongside other huge athletes in the shot and in his heat threw 18.61m to qualify for the final. According to UKA’s statistician Ian Hodge, Lewis remarkably became Britain’s first EU20 finalist in the Men’s Shot since 1989, when Matt Simson took bronze.

There was no similar medal glory for Byng and after a steady series of throws he finished in 8th place. With him being the youngest in the competition, the experience will definitely serve him well in his future career at this level of competition.

Great Britain and Northern Ireland topped the medal table and Scott Grace, GB’s joint team manager said afterwards “sometimes it is easy to forget how amazing it is to be selected to represent GB & NI at any event and the team all achieved this”.

He reiterated that “the champs provided a massive highlight in the athletes career so far and for some, things didn’t turn out as they hoped they would but that everyone should remember on how many people were born in the same years as the 69 strong team and that the athletes were the very best and good enough to be one of the few selected to represent their country”.

L to R : Luke Watkins, Ruth Calderbank, Yvonne Gajny, Pippa Abrams, Bev Brigden, Pete Sugden and Dave Maiundrell.

Monty 5k.

Report – David Jones.

Of the eight club members competing at the recent Monty 5, six set lifetime bests.

The Leamington-based 5km race, part of the Warwickshire Road Race League, is flat and fast. It starts with a lap and a half of the Leamington track then heads towards the town centre though Victoria Park before returning alongside the River Leam for a second lap. It ends on the track for an Olympic style finish with a lap of the track.

Pete Sugden was the first Stratford athlete to finish, placing 76th in a PB of 20:04. Although he narrowly missed out on breaking the 20-minute mark, his time was 21 seconds faster than last year.

He was followed by Luke Watkins, who was almost a minute quicker than last year, recording a PB of 21:29 in 106th place.

Annie Cox was next to finish for the club in yet another PB time of 21:55, almost three minutes quicker than when she last competed in this race in 2017. She finished in 115th place, just five seconds and three places ahead of Yvonne Gajny (118th, 22:00).

Dave Maundrell is in a fine vein of form and his PB time of 24:00 was more than a minute quicker than last year. Another athlete in fine form at the moment is Bev Brigden, whose PB of 25:23 was also just over a minute quicker than last year.

Ruth Calderbank is returning from a period of injury and as such she should be well pleased with her time of 26:53. Finally, Pippa Abrams was another athlete running a PB. Her time of 27:07 was 1:14 quicker than last year.

The race was won by Ian Allen in 16:24 and Natalie Bhangal was the first woman, clocking 18:35. 224 runners completed the race.

Caterham 10k.

Report – David Jones.

SUAAC International Masters athlete Phil Brennan ventured to deepest Surrey for one of the qualifiers for this winter’s England Masters cross country team.

The race started and finished on the richly historic Redhill Aerodrome. The course went through leafy rural lanes with constant undulations and a vicious hill just before the finish.

In unbroken sunshine, with above average heat and humidity, Phil finished in 79th place with a time of 51.03. He was 2nd in his age group. For trivia fans, the category winner was Peter Giles ex of King Crimson !

The race was won by John Herbert in 33.11

And Finally.

A couple of photos of our wonderful relay teams at last night’s Vets T&F league fixture at Worcester.

A full report will follow.

Needless to say it was another special night, best summed up by Paula Williams’ comments below
“We were all amazing tonight.

Official, volunteers and competitors.

We just get better and bettererer.

Loved the atmosphere, the cheering, support, p-taking.

Love it all.

I’m stiffening up now but will go to bed with a smile on my face – put there by my athletics family.

Above L to R : Emma Bexson, Paula Williams, Hannah Osborne and Elaine Ledden.
Below L to R : Rob Minton, Andy Reeves, Dave Wilson and Drew Sambridge.