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6:30 pm18:30

Southern Vets League (West Division)


Reading AC’s veteran athletes contested their final 2018 league match at Abingdon last week, on a very warm evening. The ladies fielded an almost full team, all securing top-3 individual placing in their events and, with five new Club records set, they finished the match in 2nd place just 4 points behind match winners Abingdon AC. The men’s team had a few gaps this time, but there were still some excellent individual performances and the team finished 6th in the match.

Competitors in the 200m, 800m and 2K walk had to battle against a strong headwind on the far bend and home straight. Despite this, Karen Burles broke the Club’s W40 record clocking 28.2s as she scored a clear win in the W35 A-race. Not to be outdone, the former W40 record holder, Wendy Lewis, broke the record in her new age category as she won the W50 race (32.0s). Lee Fellowes secured a good 2nd place in the W35 B-race (31.4s). Stella Bacon established two new W70 Club records in discus (12.68m) and shot (5.38m). Her younger team-mates also did well in the throws as Julie Wilson took a win in the W50 discus (29.07m) and 2nd place in the shot (9.51m), while Sarah Ball was 3rd in both W35 events (19.40m and 6.95m). The team’s newest member (Debbie Forrest) impressed in the 5K, which was her first ever track race. She was the 2nd finisher in the W50 category and set a new W50 Club record (21:56.5). In the same race, W35 runners Sue Francis and Belinda Tull finished 3rd A and B respectively with times of 20:51.9 and 22:48.1.

In the 800m Caroline Stevens was 3rd in a close W50 race (3:14.5), and Sue Francis was 3rd in the W35 A-race (2:39.😎, while Ladies Captain Lucy Daniells went one better as she finished 2nd in the W35 B-race, rapidly closing on the race winner with her familiar sprint finish (2:46.3). Lucy went on to finish 3rd in the triple jump (7.57m). Claire Mills ran a strong and confident non-scoring 800m race to clock 2:53.9. Julie Rayfield, recovering from an Achilles tendon injury, took on the 2K walk and was involved in a home straight battle with Newbury’s athlete. Both clocked the same time (15:05.7), but the judges awarded the Newbury lady 2nd place, and Julie 3rd. The ladies finished the evening on a high with a brilliant race in the relay, which was run over the unconventional 4x200m distance. Lee, Claire, Lucy and Karen all ran hard and had great baton changes, and they were rewarded with victory.

The men’s side pulled well together to fill as many events as they could. In the 200m, Men’s Captain Justin Plank was 4th in a fast M35 A-race (27.2s) while Michael Dzandu, carrying an injury, was 5th in the B-race (34.8s). Hari Sewell was 3rd M50 (27.4s) and Ron Davies (M70) clocked 32.7s in the non-scoring race. Michael also took 2nd in the M35 pole vault (2.40m) and 3rd in the javelin (33.10m), while Justin was 2nd in the M35 triple jump (10.29m). Kevin Cranmer was 2nd in the M35 discus (27.18m) and Jan Drzewiecki 3rd in the M60 event (33.73m). Non-scorer Ron Davies threw 21.17m. Ray Stevens took 4th place in the 2K walk and was very close to his own M70 Club record as he clocked 13:42.4. Just 20 minutes later, Ray was on the track again, this time running the M60 800m, where he finished 6th (3:46.9). Gerry O’Driscoll was 7th in a fast M50 race (2:56.0). Duncan Prior made a great Veterans’ League debut as he finished 4th in the M50 3K (11:27.7). With some of the regular men’s relay runners injured or unavailable for this match, Gerry O’Driscoll and Ron Davies joined Justin Plank and Hari Sewell in the 4x200m relay. All ran really well, and Hari almost caught the White Horse Harriers and Abingdon AC teams as he brought the team home in 5th place (1:58.😎.

The final league standings saw Reading’s ladies finish 3rd and the men 5th in this division of the league. Radley AC won the ladies’ competition and Oxford City AC won the men’s competition.

Report: Sue Francis (Reading AC Veterans’ Team Manager)
Photos: Gerry O’Driscoll and Malcolm Francis

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6:30 pm18:30

Southern Vets League (West Division)


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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