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Southern Vets League (West Division)

  • Tilsley Park Abingdon OX14 1PU (map)


Report: Sue Francis (Reading AC Veterans Team Manager)


Reading Athletic Club’s Veteran athletes travelled to Tilsley Park, Abingdon, to contest their second league match on a lovely May evening.  With some new team members on board, and great team spirit, the team covered most of the events and both the men and ladies finished an excellent third on the evening, a good improvement on the fourth places they achieved in match 1.

The field event athletes were in fine form, all securing top three placings in their individual events.  Men’s Team Captain, Justin Plank, won the M35 triple jump with 10.23m.  Kev Cranmer won the M35 pole vault (2.50m) and was 3rd in the discus (27.86m), while Jan Drzewiecki set a Club record in winning the M50 discus (38.39m), and Michael Dzandu was 2nd in the M35 javelin (40.85m).  Julie Wilson won the W50 discus (28.15m) and was 2nd in the shot (9.70m), while Sarah Ball was 2nd in both W35 throwing events (19.91m and 7.30m).  Julie Rayfield took 2nd place in the W35 triple jump (8.06m) and Lucy Daniells was 3rd in the W35 pole vault (1.50m).

The track athletes also recorded some great results, including six wins and a Club record.  Jason Garraway won a very competitive M35 200m A-race in 24.3s while Justin Plank clocked 27.3s for 3rd in the B-race.  Hari Sewell was 3rd M50 (26.7s) and Ron Davies 2nd M60 (32.2s).  Wendy Lewis made a welcome return to the team after a 10-year break, and broke the Club W50 200m record as she narrowly missed victory in her race (32.2s).  Lee Fellowes was 2nd (30.2s) and Sarah Ball 3rd (33.3s) in the W35 200m A-race and B-race respectively, and non-scorer Linda Church recorded 34.7s.

Debbie Taylor had a great battle with the Newbury athlete in the W50 800m, and an exciting finish saw her take victory in 2:47.4.  Ladies Captain Lucy Daniells won the W35 B-race (2:47.3) with Sue Francis 3rd in the A-race (2:38.3).  Our two non-scorers also ran very well; Claire Mills, running 800m for the first time, ran with confidence and clocked a very pleasing 2:51.1, while Linda Church recorded 3:05.8.  Reading’s ladies dominated the W35 3K.  Sarah Urwin-Mann had a great race, leading from start to finish to win the A-race (11:19.4), and Julie Rayfield was a clear winner of the B-race (12:36.2).  Caroline Stevens had a great race against the other W50 runners, where all finished within 45 seconds, and finished a good 4th (13:24.7).  In the men’s 800m, Adie Bradshaw enjoyed his first race for the team finishing 7th in the M35 A-race (2:28.6), with marathon runner Nick Huskinson 5th in the B-race (2:34.7).  Gerry O’Driscoll was 5th in the M50 race (2:50.9), and non-scorer Dan Bennett joined the team for the first time and proved his talent as he clocked 2:20.8.  Reading’s sole competitor in the 2K walk was Ray Stevens, who raced very well to take 2nd place in the M60 category (13:50.1), leaving several younger athletes behind him.

The evening ended with exciting 4x400m relay races.  The men’s race saw Adie Bradshaw give the team a solid start on leg 1, and Jason Garraway took the lead on leg 2, with third-leg runner Hari Sewell opening a good gap on the chasing teams.  Kev Cranmer looked set to bring the team home with a comfortable victory, until disaster struck on the home straight when he tore a tendon and courageously limped in to take 2nd place (4:06.7) as the Oxford athlete sprinted past.  The ladies team had a great race, as Claire Mills took the lead at the end of leg 1, Sue Francis and Lee Fellowes pulled away from the other teams on legs 2 and 3, and Lucy Daniells ran a super leg 4 to secure a comfortable victory over Radley AC (4:44.1).

The team’s next match team will be their home match in two weeks’ time.

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