Bedford and County’s youngsters enjoyed a fantastic weekend at the England Athletics U17 / U15 Championships at Bedford on 31st August and 1st September.

Leading the way was Stephen Simmons, who not only won Silver in the Under 17 Men’s !00m Hurdles, but who also smashed the club’s U17 record into the bargain. Stephen was victorious in his heat with a PB of 13.22 seconds, and then stormed to second place in a high-quality final, slicing almost a further third of a second off his best with 12.93 seconds.

Alex Alston, who earlier this season finished fifth in the English Schools 1500m Steeplechase, improved by two places to claim bronze in the Under 17 event, with a gutsy run that earned him a new PB of 4:28.52.

Impressively, Etienne Maughan placed fourth in two events: the Under 15 Girls’ 75m Hurdles and the Long Jump, missing out on a medal by only two hundredths of a second in the hurdles. Gracie Wall followed up her English Schools success with fifth place in the Under 15 Girls’ High Jump, clearing 1.61m. It has been an excellent season for Gracie, particularly as she is still in her first year as an Under 15.

Joe Bennett just missed out on a place in the U15 boys’ 100m semi-final, but set a new PB of 11.50 seconds in his heat. Daniel Harding-Forbes finished third in his heat of the U15 boys’ 300m, in an impressive 38.73 seconds. And Bedford’s youngsters demonstrated their strength in the shot put, with Kenyeh Soyei throwing 12.01m to place seventh in the U17 Women’s Shot, and Jordan Ackuaku putting 13.25m to finish 12th in the U17 Men’s Shot.

Alex Alston about to receive is medal

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