TVH competed in the first match of the UKWAL at Eton on Saturday 2nd June. The team finished second out of eight teams, with a total of 207 points. First of all, a big well done to everyone involved (athletes, coaches and supporters)! Special congratulations go to Pippa Wingate and Katie Lambert, who won the A and B string hammer, getting us off to a great start in the competition, Clare Maurer (who won the B string Pole Vault) and Pippa Rogan (winner of the A string high jump).
The TVH men travelled to Cardiff for the 2nd British Athletics League fixture of the season, led by team managers Phil Wetton, Nav Childs and Chris McAlister and the most important and hardest working member of the team, physio Jade Smith-Brown with John Husbands and Geoff Hawes disappearing to officiate on field events. It proved a difficult day with a much higher level of competition than the 1st fixture and a 7th place finish, but with many encouraging performances and with other athletes available the team are confident of better things to come in the remaining fixtures at Bedford and Hendon. Continue reading Valley Men at Cardiff for Round 2 of BAL Premiership→
The 2nd bank holiday weekend in May represented the Alexander Stadium favourite weekend of the year as Thames Valley Ladies graced their track and city to compete at the European Champion Clubs Cup championships! With 10 teams competing and only the top 6 avoiding relegation to group B, this was the aim.
The competition was strong from the off, but we hit the ground running (quite literally). In the sprints Zoey Clark, and Jess Tappin both gained solid points in the 400m/400m hurdles running 52.76 and 60.03 respectively, whilst Rebecca Campsall dipped under 12 seconds in the 100m with 11.96. Brittany Robinson and Hannah Hall also ran impressive times in the 100m B race to show the depth TVH ladies currently enjoy in the sprints.
Kosana Weir rose to the occasion in a speedy 1500m race, and posted a time of 4:41 whilst Lisa da Silva ran 18:21 in the 5000m and first part of her endurance double over the weekend.
Angela Barrett placed a brilliant 4th in the triple jump to add more crucial points to the tally whilst Molly Caudery received maximum points in the pole vault matching her own GB junior record that she set at the Commonwealth games!
On the throws side of things Pippa Wingate’s 57.10m in the hammer and Amelia Strickler’s 15.77m in the shot also contributed further points and put us in a really strong position going into the 4 x 100m relay after day 1.
Hannah Hall, Rebecca Campsall, Clieo Stephenson and Annie Tagoe were in the faster of the two races and secured a fabulous 4th place overall in the relay as well as our position on the leader board going into day 2.
Fuelled by the hotel breakfast (the poor chefs never saw us coming…) TVH ladies were ready to rumble on day 2. Angela Barrett added a 5th in the long jump to her 4th from the previous day.
Angelita Broadbelt-Blake won her race in the 100m hurdles posting a time of 13.98 to get us off to a solid start. Zoey Clark added to this and won her race in the 200m with a time of 23.89.
It was great to see Laurensa Britane competing and securing vital points in the javelin after time out from injury, and Sophie Mace achieving 44.51m in the discus.
Our young athletes gained much experience in the 800m and 3000m and did not fail to disappoint. Alice Harray went off with a quick first lap and ran a 2:14 whilst India Weir had a fantastic run to achieve a personal best and a TVH under 20’s record with a time of 9:51!
On tired legs Lisa da Silva by far did the most laps of the weekend and did a great job placing 6th in the steeplechase after the 5,000m on day 1 in her endurance double!
Perhaps the performance of the weekend came from Pippa Rogan who just missed out on maximum points in the high jump (on count back). After a tough year in 2017 it’s great to have Pippa back performing at such a high level.
In true show biz style, all the stops were pulled out for the finale of the competition in the 4 x 400m. We had ordered in a down pour along with some thunder and lightning for maximum effect. Jess Tappin, Charlotte Buckley, Aisha Naibe-Wey and Zoey Clark posted a time of 3:40.49 to secure 7 points in the last event.
Starting the day in 4th overall, we weren’t quite able to catch the top 3 clubs, but neither did we fall down the table. TVH totalled 124 points and had a 22 point lead over the Italians in 5th (ASD Bracco Athletica). By maintaining 4th overall we achieved the best performance from a GB ladies team for a generation! The only previous team to better us was the Essex ladies who achieved 3rd back in 1987.
TVH grouped together a performed brilliantly over the weekend! Every athlete should be proud of their contribution and know that this is not the peak. Being so close to the podium simply fuels the fire to come back and do better next year!
A big thanks to all that came to Birmingham to support the team. A special thanks to Jade and Lucy for keeping the ladies in tip top shape and Manuel for giving up his time year in year out.
BAL Premiership Match 1 , Leigh Stadium, Saturday May 5, 2018
Phil Wetton reports:
Following a respectable 6th place finish in the Premiership last season, the Valley team journeyed up to Leigh for the first men’s Premiership match of 2018 full of anticipation.
It turned out to be a roller-coaster of a day, with the Valley men putting in their trademark strong finish to end the match in a very good 5th place.
The match itself was unique in that all of the 8 competing teams were weakened by missing athletes, mostly due to the British Universities Championships also taking place on the same weekend.
The Valley men had to fight hard for every point in baking hot weather and as the match progressed it looked likely that they could finish in 7th or 8th place, but team spirit shone through and strong performances in the javelin and shot pulled the team up to finish in 5th place.
However this doesn’t tell the whole story, as there were many good performances on the team throughout the day.
One such performance came from U20 middle distance athlete Abdi Mohamed, who showed great promise on his BAL debut by taking nearly 5 seconds off his 800m pb to record a time of 1:55.87 to finish 5th in the B string race, which deservedly won him the Track Man of the Match award.
There was another fine pb for sprinter Subomi Onanuga in his first season of long jumping, and his excellent jump of 6.55m was good enough to take 3rd place in the B string long jump and also won him the Field Man of the Match award.
Hurdler Andrew Ajube is no stranger to the 400m Hurdles and 400m double, but Saturday saw both him and Chris McAlister take on the treble of 400m Hurdles, 400m and 4x400m relay, and a great pb of 56.35 for 4th place in the B string 400m Hurdles won Andrew the Club Man of the Match award.
Bank Holiday Blues: The Vitality London 10,000m, Monday 28th May
For once this doesn’t mean people looking miserably out of their front windows as the rain comes lashing down. Actually, it was a lovely warm sunny Bank Holiday, the blue being the light blue of Thames Valley Harriers enjoying a very good morning’s running.
The Vitality London 10,000m has a rather misleading name as it is actually a road race. It’s been going since 2012, counts as the British 10k Championship and is run around quite a fast course. With over 14,000 starters, The Mall and neighbouring Green Park were very busy. It must be quite an operation getting everyone lined up ready for the off. Dame Jessica Ennis-Hill was in attendance to fire the starting gun. After some of the elite athletes were introduced, the contest got under way. The large number of entrants, ranging in ability from Mo Farah to someone who finished in 1:54:26, meant that the early stages were quite congested. This is perhaps reflected in the fact that eleven out of the twenty TVH athletes who took part got negative splits, managing to speed up as they got clear of the early crowding to tour The City, Whitehall and Westminster on a beautiful day.