Monday 14/05/2017 SVT&F Mid-London Division Match 1, Millennium Arena, Battersea Park.
The ‘new’ (well, 2nd hand, partly used and worn) HHH team manager, not fully recovered from severe sickness, knew this match was to require our best efforts to ably compete. Injuries and withdrawals seemed to govern the team gathering and notification stage of our pre-season. But that did not deter the enthusiasm and willingness of the athletes present on a dry, bright and blustery evening on Monday evening.
The Shot resulted in excellent 1sts from Barbara Macanas and Sharon St. Luce, with a fine 2nd place from Kathleen Moeller. A fine start from one of our expected ‘strong events’. The high Jump still remains unresolved with timetables and declaration sheets having differing start times. (Either way the overall result is not affected, but errors were made by officials and managers, but unjustifiable precedents cannot be set.)
The 100m flat race introduced newcomers Rosemary Gordon and Helen Gagg to the concept of real sprinting, 5th and 3rd respectively. Now we know what we are training for! Hillary Sutcliffe returned to the fold at W50 to earn a 3rd place, whilst the multi-talented Sharon St. Luce surprised the opposition by winning the W60 race!
The race walk was dominated by Penelope Cummings (1st W35) and Gillian Wheeldon (2nd W50) but an M60 slot without an athlete saw us lose what advantage could be gained by HHH teamwise. (The same could be said for the 400m and 1500m slots, able athletes but no cover for the W60 slot loses us 5 points per event, a very great deficit to recover in the league where Serpies dominate as much by covering very age group per event than performance alone.)
Nonetheless, Nicky Sturzaker stormed to her lap win, ably supported by Helen Gagg (3rd) and Jane Kramer gaining a second place for 400m W50, where Lucy Clapp also tested the event out as a non-scorer.
Back in the field, Barbara maximised W60 Discus points with her win, Kathleen Moeller supporting at W35 whilst Jane Kramer (W50) has given discus another go but now realises the event requires co-ordination, technique and speed! Meanwhile Patti Gnoato sailed to greatest lengths to win the Jong Jump despite her successful 300km cycling challenge over weekend. Mary Setyabule pluckily took to jumping, too. There’s potential there, as with Barbara Macanas, but can they be drawn to train a little for the second events?. … .. But importantly event categories were covered and points gained.
Trackside, we had a welcome return from Kate Crawford, fighting to the last but having to satisfy herself with 2nd W35 in the A-scoring race. Welcome to Lucy Clapp, a distance runner of some repute, now hitting a full track season for the first time with us. And very competently was it done! And an equal welcome return for Ole Balme, another DR athlete of renown, taking to the track for HHH. There is certainly more track racing to come from both these ladies, whose solid points help consolidate our 2nd place overall.
A long evening was concluded by the women’s four by 400m. Kate Crawford led off with Mary Setyabule taking over for Lucy Clapp covering 3rd leg. Alas, too much distance segregated last leg Nicky Sturzaker from rivals and a rousing finish this time.
Many thanks to all that participated. (The search for W60 middle distancers must continue, whilst we also await the return of the injured hoards). Onwards and better prepared for the next one, individually and teamwise. Perivale, Monday 4th June.
Up the Hill,
Womens Veterans Team Manager.
Result: 1. Serpentine 144 ; 2. Herne Hill Harriers 103 ; 3. Hillingdon 92 ; 4. Ealing, Southall & Middlesex 63 ; 5. Metros 24 ; 6. British Airways 23.