A HARD winter’s training has paid off for a group of talented young Bromsgrove & Redditch Athletic Club sprinters.
Coached four times per week by Paul Gripton, they have all had a successful indoor season in setting new personal bests, breaking club records and winning championship medals.
Matthew Griffin won a bronze medal over the 60m hurdles at the Midlands Championships and the following weekend finished second at the Birmingham Games in a time of 8.18secs which ranked him fourth in the UK and bettered his own club record.
He then went on to compete at the England Age Group Championships in Sheffield where he improved his time through the heats and semi before powering to a silver medal in a time of 8.13secs and an improvement to third in the UK rankings as he beat the athlete ranked second.
Nikita Gotthardt-Mills became Midlands 60m champion – breaking a 26-year-old club record – as she ran 7.82secs before adding the bronze medal and breaking a 14-year-old club record with 25.77secs in the 200m.
At the England Championships, she finished a fantastic sixth in the final in her first year in the U17 age group in a time of 7.83secs.
Stewart Greenhalgh finished fifth over the 60m at the Midlands Championships, before heading to the Scottish Championships for his more favoured 400m event in which he finished fourth in 50.62secs and broke the club record set last year by his training partner.
At the England Championships he finished fourth in his heat over 400m before breaking a 28-year-old club record over the 200m in running 22.83secs for fifth place in his heat.
Josh Pearson won the bronze medal in the Midlands 400m in a time of 50.10secs which gave him back the club record, a personal best and a UK ranking of 22nd.
Although he qualified for the England Championships, he decided not to compete and to focus on the outdoor season.
Nathan Biggs in his first year at U17 level and racing on the boards for the first time finished fourth in the Midlands 200m in a time of 22.84secs – breaking a 14-year-old record – and taking him to 15th on the UK rankings.
Coach Gripton is looking forward to the outdoor season and hoping, along with Will Thorley who will compete over 400m hurdles in an outdoor-only event, all six B&R runners will achieve English Schools’ standards and possible medals at National level.