Christina, Sean & Chris Help Midlands Team To Heroic 5th Place

02 May

It really was a very good day for the Club at Loughborough on Saturday.  We went expecting our usual last place for the first match (don’t forget we have achieved this low mark in the last 2 years yet have managed to win the League!) yet came out 5th and we were in touch with the leaders on match points.  We welcomed new people to the League Martyn Morant; Sean Hazell (I think); Lily Owsley; Billie Williams; Alice Grosjean; Nicola Breaks; Vanessa Bran & John Daly.  We also welcome back the gallant Ruby Juan after recently having her baby but even more importantly for the Team, Emma Heath.  Emma ran like old times posting 12.2 for the 100m but more importantly brought her boyfriend (Winter Olympic athlete John Daly) who shored up our Throws shadowing James Preston and then throwing a magnificent 38.26m in the Discus. 

Pride of place though has to go to our wonderful Hammer Thrower Christina Jones who added another 2m to her last week’s performance with a throw of 50.05m.  That was really great ‘stina’.  Your Coach Lorraine Shaw must be happy with that.   Christina of course scored good points in the Javelin, Shot & Discus as well.

On the Men’s side Theo Campbell (U20) came along with strains to his legs that prevented him jumping, but how he made up for it in the events he could do?  11.0 for the 100m, 22.2 for the 200m and then a majestic 50.4 400m relay leg.  Wow there is some real talent there.  Well done to his Coach Paul Weston.

Closely following Theo was Yannick Budd.  Also still a junior Yannick was conned by his Coach to run a 400m hurdles which after some trepidation early on he ended the race strongly to post a pb of 61.0 secs but then he went on to his specialist event the 110m hurdles to return a superb pb by 1.33 secs of 15.5 secs.  You are getting there Yannick, watch out Lawrence Clarke.

Our hero of the day was Sean Hazell who travelled with quite a serious knee injury caused in training last week.  He pulled out of the 400m hurdles as a wise precaution as the knee was playing up but he still faced the Steeplechase.  The gun went and Sean raced into a big lead which he extended to over 100m then disaster struck, the knee let Sean down.  He stopped then hobbled then jogged, was overtaken by the second competitor and just before the water jump! he started to run again.  However Sean was not content with just finishing, he pegged back the now 40m gap to the leader and went on to win in a season’s best of 6:27.3.  To prove his point Sean hobbled off the track with a badly swollen knee and enjoyed the thanks of his team mates.  That is the Club spirit that comes out in these big matches.

Derek Morgan only held together for the 100m but the World Masters Champion posted an excellent 11.3 100m to take 2nd place in the ‘B’ string in negligible wind conditions which augers well for his Masters campaign in 2010.

James Preston did a fine Hammer; Discus; Shot & Javelin combination to post top performances 13.29 (SP), 34.01 (DT), remember James is throwing senior weights in this competition.

Ruby Juan as I said was back from Maternity leave to come 2nd in the Pole Vault with 2.20m but her 100m hurdles was the remarkable run.  Really Ruby it seems is about as tall as the hurdles but she fought on to achieve a time of 24.3 which gained 4th place points in the ‘B’ string.    That was a great achievement for you Ruby.

Our 400m stock seemed to have run out with World Masters Champion Caroline Powell being sidelined but at the last minute in stepped under 17’s Lilly Owsley and Billie Williams eager to have a go.  What a success Lily had with a sub 60sec time of 59.8 at her first attempt and Billie thoroughly enjoyed her run with a respectable 66.7.  Lily had previously achieved an outstanding improvement in her 800m ‘A’ string event clocking 2:15.0 (a 4.7 sec improvement).     

16 year old Alice Grosjean, our first Higher Competition member, acquitted herself well in the big league supporting Christina and new recruit Nicola Breaks did an unusual double of Triple Jump and Javelin to score excellent point at the her old University.  Nicola was also heavily strapped for an Achilles tendon problem.  

Martyn Morant hasn’t competed for a couple of years after a great 400m career (47.9 secs) with Woodford Green and Wessex & Bath but showed he still knows the way round 400m (and his worth to the Club) with a 52.1 followed by a 51.5 relay clocking.  Good to see you in Bristol colours Martyn.

A word too for under 20’s Emily Merrick and Vanessa Bran who as last week carried the Junior League team and this week were seem to do more than their fair share of events including excellent relay runs (they are really distance specialists), again to exemplify that team spirit.

Well done most importantly to Chris Elson for the 100% effort that brought this team together against all the odds.  The athletes that supported him will wholeheartedly thank him for the work he put in, and athletes remember you will learn much more in league competition than running in paced races elsewhere.


Sorry for no detailed results as none have been published yet all results are from the memory of the athletes or the track result cards as they went to results, hence some people do not receive the credit they deserve.


Mike Strange