UKWAL Match 1, Leigh Sports Village-Manchester, Saturday 4th June 2011

The UK Woman’s Athletic League Premiere Division got underway at a windy Leigh Sports Village in Manchester on Saturday.  The team pulled together to finish a credible 5th with 155.5 points, one place better than this time last year.  The match was won by current league holders City of Manchester with 206.5, with Birchfield in second with 169 and Woodford Green and Essex Ladies in third with 165.5.

Although there were a few notable absences, there were a number of impressive performances throughout the day which resulted in a good team performance.

The meeting got underway in the field with an excellent 2nd place in the A hammer from Susan McKelvie.  It was a very close competition with four throwers over 60m; however, Susan managed to surpass the current Commonwealth bronze medalist in the last round with a throw of 60.93m. Hannah Evenden had an extremely busy day earning some valuable points recording 53.28m in the hammer (3rd A), 40.23m in the discus (3rd A) and 12.75m (4th A) in the shot putt.

Elsewhere in the throws, EAC newcomer Julie Wyatt recorded 37.66m to earn 2nd place in the B discus, Emma Lowry putted 10.07m to finish 6th in the B shot putt and Nicki Falconer threw 33.57m in the javelin to finish 5th B.

Also in the javelin, senior debut Paula Gass recorded 33.67m for 7th in the A event.  She also stepped up and performed 1.45m in the high jump placing her 3rd in the B event. Emma Nuttall battled with an unfavorable wind to finish 2nd in the A high jump with 1.75m.

Meanwhile, over in the long jump there was a tussle between Lisa Ferguson and Faye Nicolson where Lisa recorded 5.89m for 5th A and Faye recorded 5.65m for 3rd in the B event. Lisa also competed in the triple jump placing 8th in the A event with 10.01m with Emma Story Gordon placing 8th in the B with 8.15m.

Over in the sprints Stacy Downie showed some fine sprinting yet again this season to clinch 4th place in the A 100m in 11.86 w PB and 3rd in the A 200m with 23.80 PB (previous best 23.95).  I am sure there is still more to come here.  Under 20 athlete Beth Finlayson placed 5th in the B 200m with 25.06. Catriona Pennet ran in the 100m B race and earned herself a new seasons best with 12.62 placing 8th.  In her more favored event the 100m hurdles, Catriona recorded 14.48 to place 5th in the A race with Emma Lowry placing 6th in the B event with 16.38.

Struggling with a slight foot injury Avril Jackson placed 6th in the A 400m hurdles with 67.84. Emma Story Gordon placed 3rd in the B race with 68.32.  There were two 5th places in the 400m events with Kathryn Evans running 57.42 and Mhari Macdonald recording 58.37.

The distance team racked up some valuable points and seasons bests all-round. Laura Dunn ran a seasons best of 2.10.80 in the 800m A race to finish 2nd with youngster Emily Dundgeon also running a seasons best of 2.17.18 for 3rd in the B 800m. Sarah Hood secured maximum points for 1st in the 3000m A race with 9.51.09 and a seasons best in the 2km SC in 7.05.10 where she placed 2nd A. Laura Dunn also placed 1st B in the 3000m in a time of 10.11.88.

We had no representation in the 1500m or the pole vault.

As the day came to a close the relays provided some last minute excitement for the team.  The 4 x 100m team of Catriona Pennet, Beth Finlayson, Lisa Ferguson and Stacy Downie recorded 47.96 to finish in 3rd.  In the last event of the day, the 4 x 400m event was a tense affair. Emily Dudgeon, Mhari Macdonald, Stacy Downie and Kathryn Evans battled hard to run 3.48.25 and secure 2ndplace.

Overall, it was an all-round good team performance which I am sure we can build on in the next match.

Thank you to the senior women’s team management and coaches for all their hard work and encouragement for this match.  Our dedicated officials supported the team brilliantly and worked hard throughout the day.

The next UKWAL match will take place on Saturday 2nd July 2011 at Meadowbank Stadium.  All athletes and parents are very welcome to come and support the team.

Susan McKelvie

‘Team Captain’

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