Wessex League – round 4, the league decider, July 7th
Published: 10 July 2019
It was all to play for in the 4th match of the Wessex League on 7th July. Hosts for the day Winchester had, like us won their first three matches. Conflicting fixtures meant many of our more experienced athletes were missing and we knew we had a mountain to climb.
However, the U17 Boys team maintained their strong performances from earlier matches to win against a strong Winchester team (117 points to 78) and so end the Wessex League undefeated and top of the league – the first time since 2010! There were 13 individual wins on the day including Willem Walker-Smith (400m A, Long Jump B and Javelin B), Ben Davies (800 and 1500 A), Adam Davenport (100 hurdles A, 400m B), Fionn Leaney (100 hurdles B, Discus B), Drew Hogger (800m B, Shot B), Billy McCauley (Discus A) and Roshan Mowatt (High Jump A), with National Standards for Roshan Mowatt (HJ, Grade 2), Billy McCauley (Shot, Grade 4) and Ben Davies (800, Grade 4) and several PBs including Matthew Stacey breaking the 60 sec barrier in the 400 for the first time.
In the U15 Boys, it was always going to be a hard competition against Winchester, who were top of the league and at home, but the team managed a good third place (with 78 points) behind Winchester (116) and Slough Juniors (104). With a lot of first year U15s and everyone filling in events to score points, the standard of performance was excellent. Each of the 9 athletes came away with at least one personal best. Special mention to Scott Jones who got National Standards in 3 events (Grade 4 in 100, 80 hurdles and long jump).
The U13 boys had enough athletes to ensure all events were covered with 2 in each discipline. The stand out performance came with a big PB for Julian Laird in the 1500m and a G1 time of 4:49. There were also grade 4 performances for Albert Wootten ( hurdles and long jump) and Connor Legg ( discus). The boys finished second, behind Winchester.
The U17 girls had only 4 athletes – 2 of whom were recovering from injury. Annie Sutcliffe won shot (G4), Francesca Powell won 100m and Beth Hunter won the 800m.
U15 girls were also depleted in numbers, but showing great teamwork and support for each other, had some fabulous results. Lily Martin threw a shot of 11.71 (G1) to win the A string and threw a massive PB of 28.32(G1) in discus. Lily Peach’s run of fine form continues with G2 javelin throw and her G4 shot took B string victory.
Athletes stepped in to fill gaps so not only did Lily Brabbin run 1500m and 300m, she also threw discus. Nasrin Aminu, Margot Ward and Libbie Blackstock all enjoyed consistent solid performances.
The U13 girls began the match on level pegging with Winchester at the top of the leader board. Many of their regular athletes were unavailable so the team sheet had athletes in unfamiliar events- this didn’t faze any of them and the athletes in the lower year stepped bravely into scoring positions. Keira Williams scored 5 points on her first time throwing a javelin, Sienna Hardy did likewise in discus. Izzie Haines-Gray ran a superb 4.01 to win the 1200 A string ( G2), closely followed by Emily Channon comfortably winning the B string. Remie Dorling-Mason continued her progress in the middle distance with a G3 run and 5 points in the B string 800m. Ellen Walker-Smith was on PB smashing form jumping a 2 PB of 1.35m in her high jump (G2) and winning the A string 200m with almost a second off her previous best (G4). The long jump duo of Alanna O’Neill (G4) and Venetia Mahony jumped to victory in A and B String. Chasing the Winchester vests Payton Carter knocked 3 seconds off her 800m PB (G2) and threw a G2 PB in javelin. Annie Jonkers won the A string hurdles with a Grade 1 run of 11.7, came joint 1st in 100m (G3) and won A string the shot with a G2 PB. The scoring relay team of Ruth Vunivalu, Annie, Ellen and Alanna looked on paper like a winning combination, but a fumbled baton meant they limped home in sixth place. Sport is full of highs and lows and they were fearful this could have cost them the match, but their performances and team work through the day assured them of their fourth match victory. They finish the league undefeated and at the top of the league table.
The depleted team numbers meant Oxford City were unable to match the score of host team Winchester, but finished in second place in the match and the league. Well done to all who have competed and helped out, but especially to the U17 Boys and U13 Girls on their success.