Stop Press!! For the first time in the club’s known history, the women’s Vets team won the match: HHH 133, Hillingdon 131, Serpentine 127, ESM 96, Metros 34, BA 13, TVH 5. This means we are also leading on match points after two meetings: HHH 13, Serpentine 12, Hillingdon 11 and have a chance to go through to the finals.
It has been a long slog since the embryonic stage of this team in 2006, but we have gradually built up a force to be reckoned with. Demonstrating great teamwork, we arrived at Hillingdon ready to meet any challenge and to gather every point we could.
The darkening sky couldn’t dampen our enthusiasm and that dynamic duo of Nikki Sturzaker and Nicola Richmond started the track campaign with a bang: two first places in the W35 800m A&B strings. Mandy Brown scored a pb in the W50 in 4th and marathon-runner newbie Claire Steward – in her first ever outing on the track – nabbed 2nd place in the W60.
Warmed up from triple jump, Patrizia Gnoato took 2nd place in the W35A 200m and moving swiftly on from the 800m, Nikki bagged 1st as well as a pb in the W35B. Clearly getting back to form, Gillian Wheeldon came 3rd in W50 and Claire, fresh from the 800m (!) came 3rd in W60.
A shame we could only field two scorers in the 3000m – Natalie Zara would have won either string but as it was, Nicola and Nikki worked their magic again, leaving lots of fresh air between them and 2nd places in the W35s. Mandy covered the W50 to add 4 points to the coffers and Claire, now getting a feel for the track, missed out on 2nd by 3.6 secs in the W60.
Cementing our reputation in the 4x100m relay, Nicola, Patrizia, Sharon St Luce and Nikki romped home in 1st place with 62.5, 1.4 secs under the team’s best performance by the same quartet last year.
Against tough opposition, Kathleen Moeller accumulated 8 points in W35 shot put and hammer. Sharon “put” herself into 1st place in W50 in two “shots” before she dashed off to triple jump. I won the W60, and came 3rd in the W50 Hammer.
In the triple jump, Patrizia and Sharon took 2nd places in the W35 and W50. Now she has sussed the sequence, Patrizia stretched 1.23m further to gain a pb of 7.38m and a move up from 3rd place last time to 2nd. I ran over from the hammer to join them at the long jump, in time for a couple of jumps which gave me 3rd place in W60. Springy Sharon won the W50 and Patrizia came 3rd in W35, as they juggled the jumps and relay.
Well it’s clear the other teams have acknowledged our efforts and are pulling out all the stops, and so must we if we are going to continue our progress and go through to the finals.
These girls deserve every success!
HHH Women’s Vets T&F