The long and winding road to Braunton
Published: 22 May 2017
Southern Athletics League, 2nd round match, Braunton,ï¿½North Devon, May 21st 2017.
The senior men’s and women’s teams travelled down to Barnstaple on Saturday, stayed over and arrived bright and early at the Braunton track on Sunday morning. It’s a beautiful little track set among rolling hills, andï¿½the weather was kind after a day of torrential rain on Saturday. Satnav sent the Walters the wrong way up a farm track, andï¿½a dodgy turbo-charger slowed them down, but Gary, Aidan, Jess, Nigel, Paula and Barney arrived in the nick of time to start their events at 12noon. From the beginning we were in a battle with North Devon, Wycombe Phoenix having defaulted by not sending a team, and Kingston having sent only a handful of athletes (two of whom – one man and one woman – competed in every single event!). There were lots of wins for Oxford, but the windy conditions were not conducive to fast times in any of the events. In the end we lost the battle, but came second by the small margin of 17 points.
For the men, Matt Gain coasted to A string winsï¿½in the 100m (11.5), 400m (55.07), high jump (1.65m), while also helping the men to a comfortable win in the 4 x100m relay. Mike Barough won the B string 100m (12.3), while James O’Callaghan won the B string 400m ((56.8). Aidan Whiting had a difficult run in the 110mH, but won in a time of 18s, and Mark Warland won the B string javelin (34.21m). There were lots of second places,ï¿½ and the men rounded off a good day winning the 4 x400m relay. For the women Becky Hussey won the A string 100m (12.8), 200m (26.4) and 400m (59.1), Sarah Davies won the B string 800m (2:36.8) and A string 5000m with a dogged pursuit and overhauling of the North Devon runner (19:39.9). Elisa Robins won the B string 1500m (6:15.8), and B string 5000m (23:01.7) and new member Jess Jenyns won the A string high jump (1.28m). In the field Dan Garden won the B string discus (31.75m),ï¿½ and B string javelin (22.93), while Dan Anderson won the A string javelin (30.36). The women also won a good 4 x100m relay. There were strong supporting performances from regulars Jess Duckett, Jess Walter, Annabel Cossins-Smith and newcomer Amy Spiers. For the men, Jack Judson (U17) made his senior debut and was outstanding in the 4 x400m relay, also taking good places in the 800m, high jump and long jump. The third match is at Uxbridge on June 17th.