After a seventh place in the first match and the usual cry-offs in the week before the second match (including athletes opting to compete in the Midland Match at Cheltenham) Team Manager Keith Brackstone drove the mini-bus up to Liverpool for the second UK Women’s League Match on Sunday 8th July 2018 more in hope than expectation. With only twelve athletes travelling it would take a herculean effort on the part of those who did commit to get a result and that is precisely what happened. It is always going to be difficult to find cover in specialist events such as the pole vault, triple jump, hammer and high jump and so it proved but with several athletes doing three events (the maximum allowed by league rules) the team ended up with only five gaps.
Nor was it an easy day. There was a cooling breeze but Wavertree Track and the adjoining park were baking hot and with two divisions competing it was a long day with the first event at 09.45 a.m. and the last event at 5.20 p.m.
In a very competitive 100 metres ‘A’ race Yvette WESTWOOD finished seventh in 12.45 as .2 of a second separated second to seventh. In the ‘B’ race Amalia WESTERLUND was making her club debut in the UKWL and finished fifth in 12.87.
In the 200 metres Yvette finished sixth in 26.43 with Natalie JONES finishing fourth in the ‘B’ string in 27.84. The 400 metres saw Amalia and Natalie running with Amalia fifth in 60.64 and Natalie third in the ‘B’ race in 61.32.
In the 800 metres Natalie GRIFFITHS finished second in the ‘A’ string behind Joceline Monteiro of Herts Phoenix who was also winner of the ‘A’ race in the first match. Natalie’s time was 2:17.64. Eleanor DAVIS thought she was stepping down when she agreed to run the 1,500 and 3,000 but generously agreed to run round in the 800 metres ‘B’ string as well and having run the first lap in second place moved away on the second lap to finish first in 2:30.33.
In the 1,500 metres she employed similar tactics winning the ‘A’ string comfortably in 4:43.56, Mel NEWBERY made her track debut for the club taking the ‘B’ string race in 4:49.39.
In the 3,000 metres, which was her target event for the day, Eleanor DAVIS opened with a brisk 72.5 opening lap before settling into 77/78 second laps for most of the remainder of the race. Eleanor clocked 9:42.94 winning the ‘A’ string over 20 seconds clear of the field. Behind her Natalie GRIFFITHS finished third overall winning the ‘B’ string in 10:18.79; taking three hundredths of a second off her PB in challenging conditions.
Mel NEWBERY finished strongly in her first steeplechase for some time scoring seven points for her second place in 7:21.99 (twenty-sixth on the UK ranking list).
In the hurdles Hannah JACKSON and Hattie DENT doubled up. Hannah finished third in the ‘A’ 100 metre hurdles in 15.23 with Hattie third in the ‘B’ 100 metre hurdles in 17.30. In the 400 metre hurdles it was Hattie who finished third in the ‘A’ string in 70.34 with Hannah taking maximum points in the ‘B’ string in 77.41.
Christina JONES gave the club its usual strong start in the hammer as she threw 58 metres 68 centimetres to take the ‘A’ string; the ‘B’ string was one of our gaps.
In the Discus Christina threw 26 metres 60 centimetres for seventh place and was well supported by Sasha SPOTTISWOODE who took fourth place in the ‘B’ string with a best throw of 25 metres and 8 centimetres.
Emily DIBBLE was making her club debut in the Javelin and was disappointed ‘only’ throwing 38 metres 91 centimetres (apparently the first two were also metres down on their recent form so Emily shouldn’t be too down-hearted). Sasha Spottiswoode threw 27 metres 66 centimetres to take second place in the ‘B’ string.
In the shot Christina JONES best putt of 11 metres 52 centimetres gave her third position in the A’ string with Emil DIBBLE finishing fifth in the ‘B’ string with a best putt of 8 metres 49 centimetres.
Andrea JESUDASON was a lonely figure in the jumps with usual partner Sam BARRETT side-lined with a back problem. Andrea finished second in the ‘A’ string long jump with a best jump of 5 metres 45 centimetres. Notable by her appearance in the long jump was distance runner Mel NEWBERY whose best of 3 metres 49 centimetres saw her finish seventh and score two valuable points. Andrea then cleared 1 metre 45 centimetres for seventh in the ‘A’ string high jump before finishing sixth in the ‘A’ string triple jump with a best jump of 11 metres 24 centimetres. The horizontal jumpers were supported throughout by former coach Colin Hickey who had made the trip over from Harrogate to watch the club in action.
It is a shame that Silvia Amabilino (hamstring) and Esther Leong (back problem) were missing as there were good points to be had in the pole vault. Other clubs were obviously in a similar situation with only five out of a possible 16 athletes competing in the event.
As usual the day’s activities were rounded off with the relays with the 4 x 100 metres quartet of Amalia Westerlund, Hannah Jackson, Natalie Jones and Yvette Westwood finishing fifth in 51.57 and the 4 x 400 metres quartet of Amalia Westerlund (64.5), Yvette Westwood (64.9), Hattie Dent (67.3) and Natalie Jones (64.0) finishing fourth.
Overall the Club finished third with 192 match points scoring 6 League points and now stand fourth overall on 8 League points. Behind us there are four clubs all on 6 League points so we will need a good turn-out in the final fixture in Sheffield on Sunday 5th August 2018 to make certain of retaining our Division 2 status at the end of the season.
A big thank you to Mike and Carol Strange, Peter Jackson and Alan Dent for officiating and as usual gaining us the maximum 20 pints for official’s support.
Full event results are at the following link: