The cup final for Midland Masters Athletics League unusually for 2012 experienced excellent weather at Birmingham’s Birchfield venue.
This year’s fixture had been put back two weeks due to the venue being used as a USA training camp during the Olympics and, although this reduced some fixture clashes, the lateness in the season resulted in high number of team withdrawals due to injury, but still the team covered their official’s commitments.
Rugby and Northampton veteran male and female athletes first team, the Lions, having previously won the Eastern Division were assigned to the ‘A Final’ as were the second team, the Saints, who had also finished in the top eight of the Midland Seniors teams; Up against them from the South; Worcester, Birchfield and Bromsgrove & Redditch, from the North; Cannock & Staffs, and also from the very strong East; Leamington and Charnwood.
n The first few track events did not bode well as of the normal first choice six male and five female were missing, mainly in the younger age groups, but thanks to older athletes and reserves many of the places were filled. The usual field dominance also had absentees due to injury but in spite of these shortcomings halfway through the match the Lions were still tied in the lead with Worcester.
n For Lions, Peter Thomas, after several years track absence dropped in on his way to the Lakes to cover the M50 800m, 4th, and with a sprint finish the M40 3000m second. The only other distance athlete, debutant Chris Perez, was narrowly squeezed into 2nd in the M40 1500m, then ran the relay.
n M60 Gordon Houghton furnished the best track performances for the men winning the 100m in a season’s best, then the 200m plus a relay leg. In winning the 2Km walk M60 Keith Richards walked to a season’s best, backed up by Terry Akiens 7th in the M40; Terry’s first time on the track for a year. Hard working M50 Dave Care produced yet another season’s best for second in the 100m, came 4th in 400m, 7th M40 200m and ran both relays. M35 Kamal Kheldouni made a welcome season’s debut with a respectable 3rd in the 200m, narrowly second with a 5m long jump and ran both relays.
n M50 John Moreland lead the way for the field events winning discus and Shot plus 3rd in the M40 hammer. M50 Kev Murch as usual dominated the M40 Javelin and shot, then ventured ‘to the dark-side’, the jumps, second in the M35 Pole vault, 5th M40 Triple jump and High Jump and finally managed the final leg of the 4x400m relay. It is said when he really starts training he could be good!
n Young javelin specialist Glynn Hollingworth easily won the M35 Discus but found a leg of the sprint relay much more challenging. The final events were mopped up by M60 Dave Cowley; wins in the Pole vault, M50 Triple Jump, and M60 LJ, bronze for M60 Javelin, M50 HJ, 5th M60 Hammer and 8th M40 100m. He should have been in the final relay but pulled a muscle during the TJ. The agonising result, the team were just headed by Leamington who won the final relay thus securing the men’s title by three points!
n Saints Men were even more pressed for team members, all their points accruing from just seven athletes. Leading the way, team captain M50 Mark Barrowclough contested the walk 2nd, 3km and 100m 4th, and secured points in the 800m, 400m, M40 200m and relay. M35 Colin Durrant had no trouble with the distances but had to work hard for speed contesting the 800m, 1500m and 4x400m relays. Dave O’Leary’s M40 400m was a seasons best and he managed both relays. Dave Ronchetti completed a heptathlon of events; M40 100m SB-6th, HJ 4th, Shot and Discus 5th, Triple J a PB- 3rd and both relays. M35 Nick Condon was 6th in the 200m and LJ and managed a relay.
M50 Frank Blackwell, now living abroad, flew back especially for the final to cover eight events and was rewarded with nearly one third of the teams total score. HJ 2nd SB, TJ 3rd, fourth in Discus and M35 PV, fifth in M40 javelin, 6th M40 Hammer, and 7th in the Shot. To complete the task he ran in the relay.
Giving away over 13 years, even in the M60 age group, the clubs septuagenarian athletes John Evans and John Love still outclassed many of the opposition. Evans 3rd in the LJ, sixth in the 200m and 7th in the 100m, while Love was fifth in the Hammer and 6th in the Javelin besides officiating for much of the day. The team finished 7th.
n Although the Ladies had lost athletes several others provided excellent replacements enabling the Lions to fill every event and have the highest team score on track and field. Matching Frank’s feat W50 Leslie Willis also managed an Octathlon; winning the 200m and sprint relay, second in 100m and HJ, third W40 LJ and long relay, fourth W35 800m and 7th W35 TJ. British record holder W60 Angela Copson had wins in the 3000m, 400m, W50 1500m and a relay run. Ellena Ruddock made her first, but winning, appearance for the vets this year.
n Although limited to only two events in the W35 bracket, she set league records in the 400m and 200m. Further wins came in the W60 walk with Carol Birch, followed by second for team captain Tricia Garner in the W40 wlk. Busy W60 combined eventer Sally Hine won the 200m, hammer, TJ, LJ, and ran both relays.
n Debbie Murch continued this multiple trend winning the W50 Shot, third in the in the Discus, and W35 Hammer, and fifth in the W40 javelin and W35 HJ followed by helping to win the relay.
Although now doing more coaching W40 Bev Simms proved her fitness was also improving with PBs in the 100m, Shot and relay. The final team member must have had tired legs at the end of the day; W50 Kate Williams was 4th in the 800m, 3rd in the W40 3km, 6th in the 1500m and took part in both relays creating a win for the the Lions ladies.
n With only five ladies available for the Saints team the fact they finished 7th beating Birchfield’s A team is remarkable. Physio Sam Berry achieved 4that W40 LJ, W35 HJ, 5th W35 800m, TJ and 200m, all with PBs then ran in the 4x 400m relay.
Training partner Jordane Hudson claimed fourth place in the W40 100m, 6th in the W35 400m, 7th for W35 Hammer and w40 Javelin. Again all PBs, and ran a relay leg. Maree Jesson, on the track for the first time this year, swept to the Saints only victory in the W40 1500m and managed a PB in the shot for 6th before completing the relay.
Active sexagenarians Val Cross and Barbara Parkinson completed the team; Barbara 2nd in the W60 walk, Val with SBs in all events;4th for 100m, 5th 400m and 3Km, 6th W50 shot, 7th W50 discus and 1500m, and managed the relay. With only a few more athletes the team could have been challenging the top three.
n This completes the final vets match this year. Another successful one for R&N with the Lions collecting four of the five possible team trophies; Eastern Champions Men and Women, Cup final ladies champions and Gold cup final team champions (the combined score of Male and female teams in the final).
Individual athletes from the club were also recognised;
Divisional Athletes of the year.
East: Men, Glyn Hollingsworth, Women, Angela Copson, Both of R & N Lions for breaking league records in M35 Javelin, and W60 and W65 3000m respectively.
Cup Results Men: ( Lions, Saints)
800m: M50: Thomas 2:27.6s PB, Barrowclough 2:45.9s, M35: -, Durrant 2:48.6s PB.
100m: M60: Houghton 13.9s SB, Evans 16.6s SB, M50:Care 13.5s SB, Barrowclough 15.9s SB, M40: Cowley 14.4s PB, Ronchetti 14.0s =SB.
3km: M50:Thomas 11:05.2s PB, Barrowclough 11:40.2, M40: -, -.
1500m: M60: -,-, M35: Perez 4:30.9s SB, Durrant 5:36.4s.
400m: M50: Care 68.4s, Barrowclough 72.4s, M40: -, O’Leary 64.0s SB.
1500m: M60: -,-, M35: Perez 4:30.9s SB, Durrant 5:36.4s,
200m: M60: Houghton 1st, Evans 6th, M40: Care 29.0s, Barrowclough 33.8s SB, M35: Khedouni 27.1s SB, Condon 28.1s.
2Km Walk: M60 Richards 11:24.4s SB, -, M40: Akiens 14:38.3s SB, Barrowclough 11:57.4s.
4x400m relay: Lions 4:43.4s 6th, Saints 4:45.7s 7th. 4x100m relay: Lions 53.8s 6th, Saints 54.4s 7th.
Hammer: M60: Cowley 19.65m PB, Love 18.82m, M40 Moreland 34.48m, Blackwell 19.86m SB.
Pole Vault: M60: Cowley 2:40m SB, -, M35: Murch 2.30m, Blackwell 2.10m.
HJ: M50: Cowley 1.30 SB, Blackwell 1.35 SB, M35: Murch 1.35m SB, Ronchetti 1.45m SB.
LJ: M60: Cowley 4.40m PB, Evans 3.46m, M35: Khedouni 5.01m SB, Condon 4.15m SB.
TJ: M50: Cowley 9.24 PB, Blackwell 8.45m, M40: Murch 7.91m SB, Ronchetti 8.81m PB.
Javelin: M60: Cowley 25.75m, Love 15.83m, M40: Murch 47.98m, Blackwell 23.30m SB.
Discus: M50: Moreland 42.90m, Blackwell 23.93m SB, M35: Hollingsworth 36.40m, Ronchetti 20.28m PB.
Teams: Leamington 1st 182pts, Lions 179, Worcester 158, Charnwood 155, C&S 152, Birchfield 128, Saints 107, B&R 98.
Cup Results Women:
800m: W50: Williams 3:06.3s,-, W35: Willis 3:10.4s, Berry 3:23.9s PB.
100m: W60: Hine 16.3, Cross 21.0s, W50: Willis 14.7s, -, W40: Simms 14.1s SB, Hudson 14.2s PB.
3km: W60: Copson 12:31.8s, Cross 17:25.2s, W40: Williams 13:03.5s,-.
400m: W60m: Copson 79.2s, Cross 1:46.1s, W35: Ruddock 58.3s CR?, Hudson 71.5s PB,
1500m: W50: Copson 5:50.6s, Cross 8:13.4s, W40: Williams 6:16.8s, Jesson 5:26.0 SB.
200m: W50: Willis 31.5s, -, W35: Ruddock 25.2 CR?, Berry 33.1s PB.
2Km Walk: W60 Birch 13:05.9s, Parkinson 13:20.5s, W40: Garner 12:51.0s, -.
Relays: 4x100m: Lions 59.4s 1st, Saints -, 4x400m: Lions5:31.1 3rd, saints 6:01.9 4 PB.
2Km Walk: W60 Birch 13:05.9s, Parkinson 13:20.5s, W40: Garner 12:51.0s, -.
Relays: 4x100m: Lions 59.4s 1st, Saints -, 4x400m: Lions5:31.1 3rd, Saints 6:01.9 4th.
Teams: Lions 189pts 1st, Worcester 162, Charnwood 111, Leamington 99, C&S 97, B&R 94, Saints 77, Birchfield 60.
Combined Gold Cup scores:
Teams: Lions 368pts 1st, Worcester 320, Leamington 281, Charnwood 266, C&S 249, B&R 192, Birchfield 188, B&R 192, Saints 184, Birchfield 60.