2014 saw the TVH ladies become officially ranked as the 3rd best athletics team in the UK and the best in the South of England. Other highlights include performances at the Commonwealth Games and the European Championships, new club records and success in the leagues.
Thames Valley Harriers has teams that compete at all ages for both male and female in the most important leagues that give its athletes wide ranging competitive opportunities. As another track and field season comes to an end, it is encouraging to look back at how these teams performed.
Pride of place goes to the UK Women’s Athletic League team which, in their first ever season in the top flight of UK athletics, finished a fantastic 3rd overall in the Premier Division of the league, TVH ladies finished as the top team in the South of England.
The senior men’s British Athletics League team suffered from a few injuries during the season and in a very competitive league could not manage to hold on to its place in the Division 1 as they finished in 7th place after a close finish to the last match.
Combined with with the ladies, TVH’s senior men are amongst the best teams in the country. This was confirmed in the great team spirit shown in winning the Southern Athletics League Division 2 North title and will be in the Division 1 for the first ever time in 2015.
The junior teams were experiencing the new format of their UK leagues, now called the UK Youth Development League. In the older group, catering for under-20 and under-17 athletes, the team is in the Southern North 2 Division and improved with each match finishing 3rd. The equivalent team catering for the under-15 and under-13 age groups comfortably retained its place in the Southern North 1 Division, also improving with each match and with a very promising home victory in the last match to finish the league in 4th.
TVH also provides competitons for under-11 athletes and Quadkids competition has seen soom of our youngest members enjoying the sport as the compete in there first ever time.
Of course, teams are made up of great individual athletes and, here again, TVH has had a year to be proud of. TVH athletes have been crowned schools, university, country, regional and national champions. There are too many highlights to mention everyone, many of these performances can be found in our club records as 36 were broken in 2014. However, our two young and still improving international 400m athletes stood out. Zoey Clark, set many club records during the season and was the TVH’s top point scorer in the UKWAL, Zoey completed her season with a Native National 4x400m record for Scotland (3:33.91) at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow. From our the mens team, Victor dos Santos Soares, who is coached by club president Linford Christie, also set a National record for Portugal over the 400m individual (45.74) to finish 3rd in his semi-final at the European Championships in Zurich.
Congratulations to everyone. 2014 has been one of TVH’s best track and field season since the mens double in 1994. Now comes a winter of training for an even better season next year.