Jethro strikes gold with new championship best

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AMBER Valley & Ererwash AC athletes came away with four medals from the Northern Indoor Track and Field Championships at the English Institute of Sport, Sheffield.

Belper’s Jethro McGraw turned in the star performance of the weekend.

Competing on the indoor track for the first time ever he found the boards to his liking and took gold in the Under-15 boys 800-metres.

Cruising comfortably through the heats he struck the front of the pack in the final in determined style and lead from gun to tape.

With no-one to push him on Jethro pushed himself against the clock over the four laps.

The crowd and the announcer sensed that he was on course for a record attempt and he was loudly cheered on throughout, crossing the line in a new championship best performance time of 2.01.75.

The time took three seconds off his previous outdoor best for 800m and took a second and-a-half off the previous record, held ironically by another quality Derbyshire athlete, Matlock ACs’ Josh Moody.

AVEACs second gold medal came from Georgina Trace who won the Under-15 girls shot putt with a best throw of 9.12m.

There were two further medals this time from two of the clubs longest serving athletes.

On day one, David Feeney took a silver in the senior men’s 60m hurdles, then on day two, Alexandra Turner also won a silver in the senior women’s 800m.

Jess Turner made the final of the Under-20 women’s 400-metres finishing in sixth place, her first race in this age group, and Emily Heappey finished fifth in the Under-17 womens 60-metres hurdles final.

Cross Country

A total of 17 Amber Valley & Erewash AC runners took part in the Derbyshire Cross Country Championships at Derby’s Markeaton Park on 7th January. Although it was a mild and dry day, the recent heavy rain had guaranteed heavy conditions underfoot for much of the course with particularly muddy uphill sections.

AVEAC best performances were in the U13 girls event with ‘in-form’ Niamh Emerson storming to victory with Tamsin McGraw (3rd) closely followed by Steffi Luker-Edwards (4th). The AVEAC girls took a well deserved team gold.

In the U13 boys event AVEAC had a total of 5 runners with Dan Jones 6th), Alex Knibbs (7th) and Christian Howett (9th) taking the team silver medals followed by Dexter Deville (12th) and Scott Ram (15th).

Jethro McGraw had a very strong run finishing second in the U15 boys race in his first year in this age group.

Dan Jones, Alex Knibbs, Niamh Emerson, Tamsin McGraw, Steffi Luker-Edwards,Jethro McGraw, Jennie and Josie Lockwood have all gained selection for the Derbyshire team to compete in the televised Inter-County Cross Country Championships to be held at Birmingham in March.

Runners were treated to a glorious sunny but crisp winter day for the fourth and final event of the North Midlands League cross country series at Nottinghams Wollaton Park on January 14.

As the last event in the series the results would determine the overall team and individual places for the series.

The highlight for AVEAC was the Under-13 girls squad (Niamh Emerson, Tamsin McGraw, Steffi Luker-Edwards and Emily Coope) who took first team place ahead of Newark and Mansfield.

As a team, these girls have been very consistent over the whole series and all have featured in every one of the four races.

Having won the last two of these races, Niamh was not quite at her best with a fourth place which meant second place overall rather than the win she had hoped for.

However strong runs from Steffi (14th), Tamsin (15th) and Emily (21st) gave the team the best points score of the day and secured overall victory.

AVEAC had a very strong turn out in the Under-13 boys race and were battling with Derby AC for the overall league trophy.

However, despite some excellent running, the lads just missed out with Derby narrowly beating the boys in to second place with Dan Jones (12th), Alex Knibbs (14th), Omar Aikman (17th), Christian Howett (19th), Scott Ram (26th) and Dexter Deaville (29th).