HHH Women Vets Still On Track

Match 3 – 20 June 2016

After winning the first two matches, HHH Women Vets finished 2nd by 2 points in the third match, despite numerous season’s best and personal best performances – emphasising the tremendous effort the team continues to apply. We now need to finish 1st or 2nd at the fourth match on Wednesday 13 July at Perivale to confirm our place at the finals on 4 September. Nothing should be taken for granted.

Though nail-biting, this season is proving to be an exciting close competition between the top three teams in the mid-London division of the SCVAC league:

Herne Hill Harriers: 361 points/17 match points
Serpentine: 352 points/15 match points
Hillingdon: 340.5 points/13 match points
Ealing Southall & Middlesex: 184.5 points/9 match points
Metros: 38 points/6 match points
British Airways: 23 points/2 match points

As the shadows lengthened over Battersea Park, strategy became reality and once again we covered every event, gleaning points wherever possible. Mandy Brown’s second ever discus event improved her pb by 1.67m at 14.11m when she took 2nd place in the W50, in the W35 Kathleen Moeller’s 17.71m gave us valuable 3rd place points against strong throwers and I was pleased with a win and season’s best of 18.84m in the W60.

Once again Sharon St Luce and Gillian Wheeldon took on the younger age group in the 100m W35 A&B, producing season’s bests of 15.9 and 16.0 and 2nd place points in the process. Mairi Maclean’s lightning performance of 15.5 in her first time at this distance missed out on W50 1st place by only 1/10th of a second – next time, Mairi! I equalled my pb from 2014 with fourth place in the W60 at 19.6 which prompted my daughter to remind me that Usain Bolt covered twice the distance in 19.19 – Thanks!

Mandy would have won the W50 2000m walk but stepped up to cover the W35, improving her season’s best by 42.9 seconds in 2nd place, and Gillian covered the W50 gap taking 2nd place at 14.10.1 – an improvement of 19 seconds from last year. I was trying my best to improve my time in the W60 (and I could see the javelin event was already underway!) but 20m before the finish line the walk judge presented me with a red card. After some confusion I finished and was told that my walk was ok technically but I was bringing the sport into disrepute by not trying hard enough. I submitted a protest as I knew I couldn’t have tried harder.

I channelled my upset into the javelin throws and won the W60 with 13.72m, Shazza did likewise in the W50 with an almighty 23.47m and Kathleen was not intimidated by the W35 competition, throwing 12.99m to add another 3 points to the growing total.

In the meantime at high jump, Patrizia Gnoato and Mairi were testing their newfound skills. In the three occasions Patrizia has competed in this event she has cleared 1.15m then 1.20m and now an incredible 1.31m, taking 2nd place only by a countback in the W35. In her debut at this event, Mairi won the W50 with 1.15m – perhaps her progression will echo Patrizia’s? (No pressure, Mairi!)

Who can beat our W35s at 400m? Though not feeling 100% Nikki Sturzaker still managed to win the A string with a pb of 67.9 (although she did clock 67.8 in a relay leg last year) and catching her breath from high jump, Patrizia took the B string with 73.3. Warmed up from the 2000m walk (!) Gillian took 2nd place in the W50 with 82.9 and we saw another great progression from our ladies, with Claire Steward over the last three attempts at this distance: 90.36 then 88.5 and now a pb in the W60 of 87.8, gleaning 2nd place points. Non-scoring W35 Natalie Zara set her debut mark at this distance with 84.30.

Grasshopper Sharon took on the W35s at triple jump and came 2nd with a pb of 7.55m and – showing off now! – Mairi won the W50 by a metre with a pb of 7.93, improving upon her first attempt a couple of weeks previously by 43 cm.

Our 1500m star Nikki came home in 2nd place with 5:25.8 in the W35A and Rebecca Barrow came back to help us again, finishing 2nd in the B string with a season’s best of 5:51.1. Good to see Jane Krammer again too in the W50 with a 3.6 second improvement to her pb, now 6:32.0, and another 3 points for the pot. Claire shaved another 5.2 seconds off her pb with 6:32.8 in second place in W60. Showing how much she is improving at these distances, non-scorer Natalie would have won the W35B with her pb of 5:43.3 which reduced her previous time in 2014 by an enormous 61.5 seconds!

Patrizia, Rebecca, Gillian and Nikki upheld our reputation for winning 4 x 400m relays, with our third fastest time of 4:56.3 leaving a clear space of 4.7 seconds between 1st and 2nd place.

After assurances that I was actually trying my best and am “not a natural racer” (that’s true, Dave!) the Walk disqualification decision was reversed by the track referee. As an official, I try to imagine how an athlete in a field event would respond if I told them they weren’t trying hard enough and were therefore disqualified!

VACANCY: W60 2000m Walker – please get in touch urgently. Could we please also have some W35-49 sprinters so we don’t have to call upon our W50/55s? If anyone else is interested in joining a fun, competitive women’s Vets team, please get in touch.

Bring it on, Perivale! – reminder: Wednesday 13 July.

Barbara Macanas
07801 149380

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