Andover AC athletes were out in force at the prestigious Hampshire and Wiltshire County Track and Field Championships recently.
The seniors made a storming impact, securing three medals for the first time in over a decade.
In the 100m Hayley Coney took silver, narrowly missing gold by six one hundredths of a second - an achievement made even more impressive by the fact it is only a year ago since she dislocated her shoulder competing in the pole vault.
Danni Horner took silver in the 100m hurdles and like Coney narrowly missed gold by mere hundredths of a second.
Dave Awde and James Folkes rose to the occasion, with Awde recording his third fastest ever 400m hurdles taking silver with Folkes a respectable fifth in the 100m, one his fastest ever recorded times for this distance.
This is a huge feat for an athlete who spent six months out with injury, testament to his dedication and the efforts of his coach James Coney.
In the U20 100m Matt Chant was in fine form taking silver and having been side-lined for eight months, topped his day off by qualifying for English Schools with this new personal best.
Annie Brooks proved what a tenacious athlete she is, as carrying a niggling foot injury she took silver in the U20 100m, completing her medal haul with bronze in the triple jump (10.13m).
In the U17 400m Ross Livingstone proved what a rich talent he is taking silver and unable to compete in his preferred 800m, Livingstone ran a blistering heat in the 400m, achieving a personal best beyond his, and coach Helen Dobinson’s expectations. His final time was equally impressive, competing against one of the best sprinters in the UK to take silver.
On the field, relative newcomer U17 Keiran Nicholls secured a new discus pb and club record with 35.91m and bottom age athlete Sam Sears was impressive in the 400m, reaching the final, and setting a new personal best.
In the 1500m steeplechase Ben Reed took silver (5:01.26s) in only his second time out.
Andover has formidable talent and depth in its U15 age group and these athletes set the standard with their achievements. National long jump champion Holly Mills led the way with a triple medal haul, taking silver in the 200m final, gold in the 75m hurdles and gold in the long jump.
Her hurdles was in fact a county best performance, with the previous record standing since 1980. She is one of only three Andover athletes to hold tis record a hugely impressive feat.
Her long jump of 5.52m places her first in the UK rankings, and is a new personal best and club record. Jasmine McClutchie, Molly Wood, and Darcie Henderson all recorded impressive times that saw the three Andover sprinters in the same final. This was McClutchie’s first ever county championship, where she succeeded in qualifying for both the 100m and 200m finals; equating to six races in two days.
Wood (bottom age) and Henderson qualified for semi-finals in their events, with Henderson winning her 200m semi-final.
Kai Mumford has emerged this season as Andover’s premier U15B athlete, winning gold in the hammer with a solid performance of 45.93m. Mumford’s personal best of 46.76m puts him fifth in the UK rankings.
His recent performance at the Hampshire Schools’ Track and Field Championships has seen him achieve selection for the South East Schools’ Inter-Counties team where coach Stuart Jones expects he will continue to impress.
Over at the Wiltshire Championships Andover athletes were equally impressive with 11 achieving medal positions in their events.
In the U17s highly talented thrower Mathew Coombes took silver in both the javelin and shot and in only his second time out at 400m hurdles, Callum Duff won gold with a time of 1:08.57s.
Duff continued his medal haul taking silver in the 800m and silver in the high jump (1.55m). Jacob Platt was the star of the 800m, taking the honours and multi-talented Nikko Hunt, sixth in the UK rankings, took gold in the pole vault.
Emerging talent Sarah Brett succeeded in a triple medal haul, making her Andover’s star performer at the Wiltshire championships. She took gold in the U13 800m and 100m and silver in the 200m much to her delight.