Best British Ladies Club Team for a Generation

Kirsty Addy reports

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.

Zoey Clark wins her 400m race in 52.76

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 1500m – 4:41.97

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.

Molly Caudery wins pole vault equalling her own British Junior record 4.40m

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!

Amelia Strickler 4th in Shot Put

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 to Rebecca Campsall 1st change over – 4x100m team 4th 46.38 (0.01s outside club record)

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.

Team Captain Angela Barrett 5th in long jump with 5.91m

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 wins her 100 hurdles race in 13.98

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.

Laurensa Britane returns from injury

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.

India Weir new 3000m U20 club record 9.51.52

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!

Lisa da Silva 6th in steeplechase

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!

Pippa Rogan 2nd in high jump with 1.79m

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.

TVH’s 2nd quickest 4x400m, 3:40.49 – Jess Tappin, Zoey Clark (thanks to TVH photographer Christophe Cayssials) Aisha Naibe-Wey and Charlotte Buckley

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 BuckleyAisha 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.

Up the Valley!

For more brilliant photos from Christophe:


Full Results: