Veteran teams outclassed but not disappointed

Published: 6 September 2017

Oxford City men’s and women’s Veterans teams travelled to the Julie Rose Stadium at Ashford in Kent to take part in the Southern Counties Veterans finals on September, having both qualified by winning the Western Division. This was the first time the teams had both made the journey in living memory, so there were high hopes and much excitement as the teams headed down the M2o to Ashford. In the end the teams were outclassed by a very powerful Epsom ladies team, and the men’s Southampton team who were impressive throughout. For the ladies there were few winners, though Michele Wakefield impressed to win the M50 100m in 14.92s, while Sarah Kimber-Nickelson won the M35 discus and Heather Nelson the M35 hammer. But the whole team shone, with many second places and personal bests, and their fifth position, while disappointing, was  not so many points behind 2nd placed Dartford Harriers. Huge congratulations to all those who have competed this season and put Oxford City back among the leading veteran teams in the country this season – Popsie Wootten, Sarah Davies, Isabell Hess-Petersen, Mandy Best, Tracey Isaac, Wendy Fowler, Jacqui Cherry, Gwyneth Hueter, Angela Seger, Caroline Struthers, Karen Cove, Liz Barker and Rebecca Ferry. If this group stays together then more success is surely guaranteed next year.

The men’s team was shorn of many of its star middle distance runners by illness and injury, but nevertheless enjoyed more wins and was only 24 points off second place. Stephen McCauley was outstanding, winning the M35 shot, discus and hammer against some extremely good and experienced veteran throwers. Rob Webster won a close M50 800m on the line, while Gareth Davies won the M35 triple jump with a jump of 12.13m. Any disappointment the men felt was offset by excitement at being back at the finals after a break of three or four years, and with every hope of the core of the team returning next season, the men will hope for more success at next year’s finals.

The photo shows team managers Jacqui Cherry and John Exley collecting the men’s and women’s Western Division winners trophies.

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