NEIL Cox claimed a superb hat-trick of gold medals at the Wiltshire Track & Field Championships held at Timsbury on Saturday.
The 38-year-old Swindon Harrier scooped first place for the 100m hurdles, 400m hurdles and the shot putt to round off a tremendous day for the Howard Moscrop coached athlete.
Furthermore to underline the quality of his performances Cox also set a new personal best of 64.31secs in the 400m hurdles, easily eclipsing his electronic best of 69.85secs set at the same meeting twelve months ago and superior to his hand-timed best of 64.5secs which he recorded earlier this month on his home track in the Southern League.
Cox also set a new PB of 18.64secs to win the shorter sprint hurdles event, clipping over a second from his previous best but his shot PB of 9.22m just eluded him as he threw 8.98. Nonetheless, an outstanding set of marks that could have easily earned him the athlete of the match award – if there was one.
Middle distance runner and fellow Harrier Ciaran Cooper also enjoyed an impressive day with victory in the senior men’s 800m and second place in the 400m.
The latter performance will be particularly encouraging for the 17-year-old as his time of 50.66secs, in what was his first attempt at the one-lap event his summer, smashed his previous best of 51.90secs that he set last year.
The time puts Cooper, who is coached by Bryan Clinton, sixth in the South West Rankings for U20 men and is terrific speed which augurs well for his main event of the 800m with every chance that his best of 1:53.73, which he set at the start of the month at Street and is the second fastest in the west, will be beaten again in the coming weeks and months.
Another Moscrop-coached athlete to impress was 24-year-old Simon Dill as he won the senior 1,500m and was runner-up to Cooper in the 800m.
The other make gold make winner from the Harriers was Nick Walker, who won the discus with a throw of 31.6.
Emma Piatek continued her good start to the season as the 17-year-old struck gold in the senior women’s 400m clocking an electronic personal best of 57.99secs which stands up well against her hand-timed best of 57.6secs which she ran last month.
The junior is currently fourth in the South West Rankings and should now be looking to break 57 seconds for the first time in the near future.
Piatek was the only Harrier to win gold in the senior events but 20-year-old Zoe Large had a successful day winning three medals with a silver in the hammer and bronze medals in the discus and shot.
Younger sister Bethany, 19, also got in on the act with a silver in the discus and bronze in the hammer.
Other senior medal winners from the club included Chris Claydon (silver 200m and bronze 100m), Max Travers (1500m silver), Lydia Rogers (silver long jump) and Aaron Bishop (bronze triple jump).
Young sprinter Jess Alexander claimed a double in the under 15 girls’ 100m (13.67secs) and 200m (27.12secs) an there was also double gold for 14-year-old Marcus Raymond in the under 15 boys 80m hurdles (13.40secs) and long jump (5.37m), which was a PB by seven centimetres.
Will Crisp, who had a good cross country season, won the under 15 boys’ 800m in 2:09.54.
In the under 17 men Jordan Large picked up a hat-trick of golds in the hammer (17.72m), discus (17.34m) and shot (8.05m).