DONCASTER Athletic Club’s Jack Houghton has been in record-breaking form in the opening weeks of the 2012 Track and Field season.
The 18-year-old set a club record of 49.09 seconds for the 400 metres at the Don Valley Stadium and another of 54.6 for the 400 metres hurdles at the Keepmoat Stadium track.
Houghton, who only switched to the 400m hurdles last season after previously specialising in the 800m, won the Yorkshire Junior title at Cudworth in a race in which he looked set to smash the championship record, which has stood for over 30 years, until clipping the eighth hurdle and almost falling.
“It just shows that in an the hurdles you have to concentrate from gun to tape,” said Houghton’s coach Barry Barnes.
Houghton, who is hoping to add the Northern 400m hurdles title to his collection next month, says he has benefited from extra conditioning sessions during the winter.
But he told The Star that there is more to come: “I’m still learning about the hurdles and I’m confident that I can run faster,” he said. The Doncaster youngster, who also plays for Doncaster RFC’s Under-18s side, knows that he will have to do just that if he hopes to medal in the English Schools’ Championships at Gateshead in July.
“I finished seventh, when I was a year younger than a lot of the other runners, in last year’s final at Gateshead without running particularly well so hopefully I’ll be in with a chance,” he said.