Buxton AC junior section celebrates most successful year in its history
The junior section of Buxton Athletic Club celebrated in style arguably the most successful season since it was founded 30 years ago.
So it was fitting that, at the section's presentation night, hosted by coaches Terry Fowler and Rachel Dowle, trophies and prizes were handed out by Chris Bent, one of the founder members of the whole club back in the 1970s. He shared the stage with long-standing club stalwart Sheila Bradley.
The year saw Buxton Juniors dominate the local fell season, finishing second overall at the English Junior Fell Championships, where three runners, Will Longden, Lucy Bednall and Sam Soles, also won individual silver medals.
Eight runners were picked to represent Derbyshire at the Inter-Counties Fell Championships, where Will Longden was crowned British champion and helped the U17s’ team win gold alongside Finn Grant.
What’s more, Will Longden, Sam Soles, Lucy Bednall and Will Tighe were all selected to represent England during the year.
During the cross-country season, ten Buxton juniors were chosen for the county and schools championships. And in track and field, county titles were landed by Ellie Wilson, Will Longden, Heather Wilshaw and Lucy Bednall.
Buxton underlined their prowess in the Staffordshire Moorlands Summer Series, where a host of runners emerged with success. Winners in their age categories included Harry Bond, Jake O’Donnell, Sienna Phillips, Amy Whelan, Grace Bond, Jonty Brown, Flo Brown and Heather Wilshaw.
So well did the youngsters perform in the club’s own fell championships that six runners, Stanley Cook, Jonty Brown, Jack Cook, Sam Soles, Lucy Bednall and Lucy Whelan, scored top points.
On top of all the amazing results, the club has also embraced the Game Changers project to support volunteers and help coaches gain recognised qualifications. These coaches have included Stu and Ed Diamond.
The main prize winners at the presentation night were – best newcomer, Evie Willis; U13s’ achievement award, Lucy Whelan; U13s’ improvement awards, Dylan Gray and Flo Brown; U17s’ achievement awards, Lucy Bednall and Sam Soles; U17s’ improvement awards, Amy Whelan and Stu Diamond; U17s’ Bradley Award, Will Longden; U17s’ Coaches Award, Ellie Wilson.