European Glory for TVH Ladies!

TVH’s ladies team representing Great Britain achieved their ever greatest success with victory in European Champion Clubs Cup in Leiria, Portugal on Saturday 28th May.

Brilliant performances throughout the whole TVH group secured victory in the Group B division from AD Mass Ljubljana of Slovenia in 2nd and Dundrum South Dublin AC in 3rd.

With the title coming down to the very last race it really was a team performance -TVH’s strength in depth set the team apart from its rivals in achieving no less than 17 top three finishes out of 22 events including 7 victories.

European Athletics, the Portuguese town of Leiria and its local athletics club, Juventude Vidigalense, were very welcoming hosts. After a couple of days of getting settled into Portugal, it was soon competition day on Saturday

We were greeted with the beautiful hot sunshine and Abigail Moronkeji arriving just in time for the opening ceremony at 9am at the huge Estádio Dr. Magalhães Pessoa stadium.

With the victory ceremony not due until 7pm the team knew it was going to be a long day with many twists and turns, although the party atmosphere created by the organisers would help keep to the team in good spirits.

First up was Kizzi Barazetti in the high jump. Kizzi had a good training session the day before where she was easily clearing 1.60m. She let the first event nerves get to her, but still did well to clear 1.44m for 6th place, claiming TVH/ GB’s first point of the competition.

Lucy Ferguson was next up in the 400m hurdles and ran strongly over the first hurdle, continuing her fine form throughout the race to run a new lifetime best of 61.63.

The 800m was the next event with Michaela Mayor who has been forced to miss a great part of the winter through illness and injury. After a slow tactical first lap of 69 seconds, Michaela ran a very determined race, taking the lead with 200m to go and narrowly missing out in a sprint with a Finnish athlete to finish 2nd with a season’s best of 2:14.71.

Lisa da Silva was next up in the 3000m steeplechase, Lisa is another athlete that has been out injured for most of the year but did fantastically well to finish 3rd in 11:52.21.

TVH/GB used its maximum quota of two athletes in the non-scoring 100m. Tayla Brade had a good first race of the season to finish 2nd in 12.81. Lucy Ferguson, who was fresh from her superb race over the 400m hurdles, was just behind in 3rd with another personal best, 12.91.

Clieo Stephenson 1st in 100m
Clieo Stephenson 1st in 100m

Clieo Stephenson was TVH/GB’s representative in the scoring 100m race. Clieo, who has had a fantastic start to the 2016 season by winning the 100m at BUCS in her final year at university continued her fine form with victory in a fast time of 11.86. Clieo’s victory put TVH top of the overall standings and this triggered a string of other victories for the team.

Emma O'Hara 1st in hammer with new club record 57.26m
Emma O’Hara 1st in hammer with new club record 57.26m

The Portuguese National Throwing Centre (NTC) 600m away held the ladies hammer, discus and shot put events. First up for TVH/GB was Emma O’Hara in the hammer. Emma led the first round with 52.66m, but had to raise her game after being challenged by Yevgeniya Zabolotniy of Israel second round throw of 52.56m. Emma increased her advantage in the final two rounds of the four, throwing 56.72m and then 57.26m – a new TVH club record.

Montene Speight 1st in 400m
Montene Speight 1st in 400m

Back over on the track the wins kept coming. Montene Speight, who is based out in America showed her class to win the 400m in 53.26. Montene is looking to go even faster this year in her bid to make the GB plane to Rio this year.

Angelita Broadbelt-Blake 1st in 100m hurdles
Angelita Broadbelt-Blake 1st in 100m hurdles

Another clear victory for TVH/GB came in the next event the 100m hurdles. Angelita Broadbelt-Blake won by over 4 tenths of a second in 14.22 into a headwind of -1.2 m/s.

The 100m hurdles was the last event of the morning session and put TVH/GB 5 points clear at the top of the table from Dundrum South Dublin AC (Ireland) in 2nd and AD Mass Ljubljana (Solviania) a further half point behind in 3rd.

After lunch and a bit of group zumba for those who had already competed, Shannon Connolly was up in the pole vault – an event hampered by very strong winds and other teams not managing to get their competition poles to Portugal. Shannon was carrying an achilles problem but did really well to finish equal 2nd with a good clearance of 3.35m. Ljubljana’s (Slovenia) Tina Sutej, a finalist at the World and European championships, won with 3.50m.

In a very strong discus competition back at the NTC, Laura Britane‘s good 2nd round throw of 37.78m placed her 5th and less than 2m from 3rd.

TVH/GB’s specialist triple jumper, Lia Stephenson was selected to do the long jump as each club is only allowed to bring one athlete per event. Lia had her best ever long jump competition to finish is a superb 3rd place in a new personal best of 5.56m.

The next event on the track saw a 1500m win for Dundrum’s (Ireland) experienced senior international Maria McCambridge, who triumphed in 4:31.86 at the age of 40. TVH/GB’s Kirsty Addy was a late call up due to injuries and made a fine return to with her first track race in over three years with 4:57.37 for 5th place.

Danielle Opara 1st in shot putt
Danielle Opara 1st in shot putt

As only 4 trials were allowed in all field events, the shot putt event lasted less than 20 minutes and it was a clear victory by over 1m for TVH/GB for the brilliant Danielle Opara with 13.64m.

In the 200m, Angelita Broadbelt-Blake was back on the track. With the wind picking up in the afternoon, Angelita did well to finish 4th in 25.61 to score 3 more valuable points for the team.

The triple jump saw a fierce battle between TVH/GB’s Angela Barrett and Snezana Vukmirovic from Ljubljana (Slovenia), The Slovenian athlete led after the first round but Angela came back with two big jumps in rounds 2 (12.90m) and 3 (12.94m). Snezana regained the lead with her 13.00m jump in the 3rd round and while Angela’s final jump of the competition was well over 13m but it was unfortunately narrowly adjudged a ‘no jump’.

Tracy Barlow was back racing on the track in the 5000m – her first competition since her London marathon club record in April. As the weather turned with a rain shower and the wind picking up Tracy did all the hard work by front running. An Irish athlete from Dundrum South Dublin AC tracked her all the way until two laps to go where she took off to claim the win. Tracy was clear in 2nd with a new personal best of 17:27.17.

The 3000m was also another tactical race with TVH/GB’s Fiona Thompson doing all the work at the front. On this occasion it was the Slovenian athlete who took the victory with a fast last 600m, with the Irish athlete 2nd and Fiona 3rd in good time, 10:10.45.

The final individual event of the day was the javelin, where Laura Britane. During warm-up Laura did some huge 50m throws and while she only managed 41.98m during the competition her 4th place gained the team 3 more valuable points.

TVH's winning relay team members, Tayla Brade (4x100m), Zoey Clark (4x400), Angela Barrett (4x400), Jess Tappin (4x400) Montene Speight (4x100m & 4x400m) and Clieo Stephenson (4x100m)
TVH’s winning relay team members, Tayla Brade (4x100m), Zoey Clark (4×400), Angela Barrett (4×400), Jess Tappin (4×400) Montene Speight (4x100m & 4x400m) and Clieo Stephenson (4x100m)

With just the relays to go, AD Mass Ljubljana had narrowed the point’s gap to just 5, so no mistakes were allowed in the relays. The 4x100m quartet of Tayla Brade, Angelita Broadbelt-Blake, Montene Speight and Clieo Stephenson all had superb races and safely got the baton round. By the time the baton reached Clieo, TVH/GB were in 3rd place and nearly 10m down on the Slovenian team, but Clieo ran an awesome anchor leg to chase the leading teams down and cross the line first! For this amazing last leg and her outstanding victory in the 100m individual that triggered four consecutive victories for the team, Clieo Stephenson was awarded the TVH athlete of the match award.

Jess Tappin starts celebrations with win in final event,4x400m
Jess Tappin starts celebrations with win in final event,4x400m

The final event of the day the 4x400m, TVH/GB had a fantastic four on paper so as long as the baton got round safely, overall team victory would be guaranteed. Starting with Angela Barrett on the lead off leg, over to captain Zoey Clark, Montene Speight and GB heptathlete Jess Tappin on the final leg, victory was never in doubt as TVH/GB led all the way to set a new outstanding club record 3:42.17! This sealed victory also overall and there were double celebrations for GB athletes as Birchfield Harriers also won in the men’s competition. Team manager Manuel da Silva was rewarded by a customary dip in the steeplechase pit, assisted by the Birchfield lads, photos to follow.

Thames Valley Harriers/GB announced as European Champions Clubs Cup winners
Thames Valley Harriers/GB announced as European Champions Clubs Cup winners

Along with winning the UK Women’s Athletics League last year, this was TVH’s ladies best every result and an absolutely fantastic achievement for the club to gain GB’s club representative for the European Champion Clubs Cup promotion back up to Group A in 2017. Thank you to all officials, supporters and everyone who has helped put such a wonderful group of ladies together. A huge thank you to; Lucy Smith for providing sports massages, former team manager and our number one supporter John Smith, Dave Wilkinson for helping all weekend, our officials, our photographers and all other supporters.

FINAL STANDINGS

  1.  Thames Valley Harriers (GBR) 89.5
  2.  AD Mass Ljubljana (SLO) 82.5
  3.  Dundrum South Dublin AC (IRL) 70
  4.  Israel Maccabi Rishon Le-Zion (ISR) 66
  5.  Turn Urheiluliitto (FIN) 63
  6.  StG Kreis Limburg-Wielburg (GER)

 

http://www.leiria2016.com/en/pdf/FINAL_RESULTS_TOTAL_ByEvent_and_finalTeamStandings.pdf

 

A HARD FOUGHT 3RD PLACE FOR TVH IN SAL MATCH 2

With not too far to travel for the second Southern League match of the season at Harrow, both the men and women fielded larger teams than the first match for the match on Sunday. In what turned out to be a very close competition for 3rd and 4th place between Milton Keynes and TVH it was the Valley men and women who gained the upper hand by just 3 points to finish in 3rd place.

Continue reading A HARD FOUGHT 3RD PLACE FOR TVH IN SAL MATCH 2

Sprinters lead medal charge at County T&F Championships

There were many superb performances in the County Championships on May 14-15 by TVH senior and U20s athletes. In the Middlesex Championships Leroy Cain scooped a sprint double with PBs in both 100m and 200m, while Brittany Robinson pulled off the same double in the U20W, including a fast PB of 12.04 in the 100m, placing her in the top 10 nationwide so far this year. Kamal Mitchell won the U20M in a 10.89 PB, but was just denied gold in the 200m. Tayla Benson won three sprint golds, including the 100m hurdles, in the Norfolk Championships.

Saturday 14th to Sunday 15th May, Outdoor County Championship TVH Medal Winners: (Middlesex unless stated) Continue reading Sprinters lead medal charge at County T&F Championships

GB Junior debuts and club records at Loughborough International

Thames Valley Harriers had the most athletes from any one club representing the British Universities select team at the Loughborough International on Sunday 22nd May with five athletes; Chris McAlister, Clieo Stephenson, Danielle Opara, Montana Jackson and Pippa Rogan.

They all earned the chance to compete against select teams from England, Scotland, Wales and GB Juniors through their medal-winning performances at BUCS earlier this month.

Pippa Rogan (pictured) added a further 3cm to her own high jump club record with a fantastic jump of 1.80m for 5th place.

Montana Jackson has continued her fine start to the season also with a new life time best jump of 12.56 to finish 6th in the triple jump.

Chris McAlister who has been going quicker and quicker with every race this year did well to come home in 5th with 51.97 in windy conditions.

Clieo Stephenson and Danielle Opara warmed up well for their upcoming European Champions Club Cup this weekend in Portugal with two more fine performances in their respective events. Clieo was 6th in the 100m with a fine run that equaled her personal best time set at BUCS this year, 11.79. Danielle also had another very strong competition to place 4th with a season’s best 14.31m in the shot put and move her up to 6th in the UK rankings.

Jude Bright-Davies competing in the GB vest for the first time as part of the GB junior team did very well to finish 5th with a fine hop, step and jump of 14.55m.

Also making her GB junior debut was Brittany Robinson. Brittany finished 2nd in the 100m senior women’s C race with 12.09 and then was part of the 4 x 100m GB junior relay squad team that narrowly beat England’s senior team to 1st place. Clieo Stephenson ran a very strong leg for the England team that finished 2nd in 45.25 to the GB junior team 45.03.

Other TVH sprinters showing fine form in Loughborough were: Nigel Thomas in the 100m race finishing 3rd in a season’s best of 10.63, Leroy Cain 6th in the C race with 10.75, Edmond Amaning 6th in the 200m B race with 21.57 and Luke Lennon-Ford in 7th in 400m B race in a time of 48.69.