UKWAL Premier Division Match 2 @ Meadowbank – Sat 2nd July 2011

As the sun shone over the capital a great day of athletics got underway in the second match of the UK Women’s League Premier Division.  With great home support from spectators and a strong team spirit our Edinburgh girls managed to finish in 5th place with 163 points.  The match was won by Windsor, Slough, Eton and Hounslow (W.S.E&H) with 193 points, where Birchfield were in second recording 186 points and winners of the first match City of Manchester in third with 173 points. This bodes well for an exciting final match where a number of teams could lift the league trophy.

The team started the day well with victory in the hammer. Susan McKelvie recorded her 1st ever win in the UKWAL with a throw of 62.65m. Hannah Evenden yet again had another busy day in the throws where she earned the club some valuable points.  She recorded 53.19m for 1st in the B hammer, 41.84m for 4th in the A discus and 12.47m for 5th in the A shot putt.  Struggling with a back injury, Nicki Falconer set a seasons best of 33.55m in the discus to finish 5th B.  However, in her favoured event the javelin she was forced to pull out, through this injury, after round two having recorded 29.25m for 7th A.  With a few of the throws team absent Susan McKelvie threw 21.04m for 5th B in the javelin and Emma Lowry recorded 10.35m for 6th in the B shot putt.

With an extremely unfavourable wind, the sprinters had to dig deep.  In good form this year, Stacey Downie placed 5th in the 100m A race with 12.16 (-2.9) and came 2nd in the 200m A race in 24.20 (-2.4).  In the 100m B race Carly Sharp placed 3rd in 12.58 (-1.8) and in the B 200m U20 athlete Beth Finlayson cplaced 3rd 24.93(-1.2).

The sprint hurdlers also had to contend with a very strong head wind.  Catriona Pennet placed 4th in the A 100m hurdles in a time of 15.18 (-3.5) where Emma Lowry placed 6th in the B race with 16.70 (-1.6).  Over the longer distance Avril Jackson ran 64.13 to place 5th in the A 400m hurdles with Natalie Griffiths, in her UKWAL debut, recording a seasons best of 69.98 for 3rd in the B race.

Lynsey Sharp showed good form finishing 3rd in the A 400m in a new personal best of 55.27 (previous best 55.51).  Kathryn Evans placed 2nd in the B 400m with 56.19, just outside her season’s best of 56.01.

The distance team rallied around and produced some interesting results.  Laura Dunn finished 5th in the A 800m race in a time of 2.11.46. In the B 800m, U20 athlete Emily Dudgeon won and ran a season’s best of 2.10.59. Emily has shown an excellent
progression this year and on this occasion was just outside her personal best of 2.10.28.  I am sure a sub 2.10.00 is not too far away.  Unlike in the first match where we had no representation in the 1500m we were very lucky to see Avril Jackson and Karen Dobie take on the challenge.  In her first ever outing over 1500m, Avril managed to place 8th A in a time of 5.37.96. With the distance being nearly 4 times what Avril normally runs I think she did an excellent job for the team.  Karen placed 7th in the B race in 5.52.84 and later completed the double by running 11.37.5 for 5th in the B 3000m.  In the A 3000m race Cath Ferry set a season’s best of 11.27.86 to place 6th.

Over in the jumps, Faye Nicholson placed 3rd in the A long jump recording 5.67m-just short of the 5.78m which earned her 4th
at the recent Aviva U20 Championships at Bedford. In her first outing in the UKWAL, first year U20 athlete Rachel Dinsdale recorded a season’s best of 4.75m for 8th B long jump.  Rachel also finished 5th in the B triple jump with 10.00m.  In the A triple
jump Jayne Nisbet jumped 11.87 to place 4th then she jumped a consistent 1.75 in the A high jump to place 2ndEmma Lowry in her third event of the day jumped 1.60m to win the B high jump.

Although we had no representation in the polevault and the 2000m Steeplechase, there were league records set in these events.  Sally Peake of Birchfield cleared 4.25m in the polevault and Kerry Harty from W.S.E & H ran 6.43.74 in the 2000m Steeplechase.

Both relay teams closed an excellent day of athletics where they both recorded faster times than they set in the first match.  In the 4 x 100m (Sarah Warnock, Beth Finlayson, Carly Sharp, Stacey Downie) placed a brilliant 2nd in 47.06 (time from 1st match 47.96).  Similarly, the 4x400m team of (Mhari Macdonald, Lauren Peffers, Lynsey Sharp, Kathryn Evans) also placed a gutsy 2nd running 3.45.75 (time from 1st match 3.48.25).

The team have now recorded two 5th place finishes, however, we are currently lying an excellent 4th in the overall league standings.

As always we thank our dedicated management and officials for all their hard work and support.  Thank you also to all the spectators who came to support Edinburgh Athletic Club on the day – we really did value your support.

Edinburgh AC would also like to thank all the management and the ground staff of Meadowbank Stadium for helping to prepare the stadium so well to allow us to host an excellent day of athletics.  We would also like to thank Lloyds Banking group /HBOS for their donations of T shirts which were handed out to the winning athlete in the A strings and for the pens, key rings and notepads which all helped make the day special at Meadowbank and has given everyone something to take away to commemorate their day at Meadowbank.

The final UK Womens Athletic League match will be held on Saturday 6th August 2011 at Hendon.

Susan McElvie


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