Author Archives: Nick Willson

Third meeting of the Veterans SCVAC Track & Field League

From Andy Morgan-Lee:

The third meet of the season saw Basingstoke as hosts in the latest round of Veterans SCVAC Track & Field League. 

Mark Collins, boosted by lowering his own M45 100m club record the previous day at Newham edged to a fine victory here in 12.0sec.

Steve Beak was equally impressive running an M55 club record 12.5sec for 2nd in B String and 3rd in 400m (58.2) with his competitors 20 years his junior. 

The versatile Derek Warn had a busy evening competing in the M50 category finishing 4th in the 100m (13.8), 5th in both Hammer (24.87m) and Shot (7.87m) but saved his best for last in the Long Jump with a winning leap of 4.67m.

M35’s Andrew Sheerin (Hammer, 34.27m) and Brian Thompson (HJ, 1.70m) both took victory to follow up later with 3rds in the Shot (10.10m) and LJ (4.84m) respectively.

The 3000m steeplechase saw Andy Morgan-Lee finish 4th in the A String (11.51.0) and Kit Lau winning the B String (12.03.8). David Blackman finished a fine 3rd (13.08.7) in the M50 category and minutes later took victory in the 400m (61.3).

There were 4th places for Simon Ciaravella in the M35 400m (60.2) and Michael Coker in the M60 Shot (9.18m) while fellow M60 Vic Novell ran a seasons best in the 400m (73.1).

The biggest points tally of the evening came in the 1500m with Paul Laslett (4.29.0) and Jon Hannan (4.50.6) both finishing 2nd in the M35 A & B String while Jon Grainger ran to M50 victory with 4.46.9 and the age group club record to boot.

Guest performances throughout the evening.

100m – Garry Bell 14.2

400m – Garry Bell 61.6 (PB)

1500m – Andrew Lewis 4.48.4

               Greg Warder 4.51.2 (PB)

               Garry Bell 4.53.5

               Mark Hayter 5.12.6

               Noel O’Dowd 5.22.9

High Jump – Greg Warder 1.40m (PB)

                       Michael Coker 1.20m

Long Jump – Michael Coker 3.52m

National Medals for Vets at Dorking

Report from Andy Morgan-Lee:

It certainly wasn’t a day for fast times on a very hot day and very little shade throughout the undulating BMAF 10mile Veterans Championships in Dorking, Surrey.

Matt Hibberd won individual silver with 61.20. With Andrew Lewis finishing 5th M35 in 64.53 and Mark Hayter 7th 67.01 it was enough for the M35’s to win their first BMAF team medals to claim bronze.

Paul Boyd-Leslie just missed the individual BMAF medals to finish 4th M45 (64.55) while Rob Bentley finished 5th in a quality M50 race with 63.04.

The event also doubled up as the SCVAC club Championships which Hibberd, Lewis and Hayter won individual Gold, Silver and Bronze respectively.



M35 BMAF Team Bronze

SEAA championships at Bedford results

Report from Pete Costley:

At the SEAA championships at Bedford over the weekend, the club achieved a haul of 10 medals as detailed below.

Also on Sunday, at the Dorking 10 mile race Matt Hibberd, Andy Lewis and Mark Hayter won bronze medals in the M35 category at the British Masters championships.

Here is a picture of Max on the podium, sorry didn’t get any other podium shots.

Vets league Winchester report

The second instalment of the Southern Counties Veterans Track & Field League saw us increase our advantage at the top of the table with another comfortable victory at Winchester.

Mark Collins continued his fine form with victory over 200m (24.0) and Steve Beak finishing a fine B string runner up (25.0) despite competing down in the M35 category.

Derek Warn finished 5th in the M50 category (28.7) in between pole vaulting his way to victory with 2.80m.
Vic Novell completed the scoring 200m line up with 3rd place in the M60 category (29.8) while Alan Forse (31.0) and Peter Haynes (36.2) competed well in the guest race.
The 800m saw another good points haul with David Blackman dropping down to the younger age group finishing a very respectable 3rd place (2.15.0), Kit Lau making his scoring debut with B string victory and Jon Grainger also taking victory in the M50 category.
In the field Graham Lay scored a fantastic double victory in the Discus (35.79m) and Javelin (38.75m) in between vaulting 2m for 3rd place in the M35 pole vault.
Mike Ferne, back from long term injury added maximum points to the board with a comfortable victory in the M60 Discus (39.18m), while Warn (24.53m) and Peter Costley (20.33m) scored valuable points in the M50 Discus and Javelin respectively.
A classy triple jump competition saw Brian Thompson, just 9cm short of his best, finish 4th in the M35 category (10.75m) while Michael Coker jumped a seasons best for runner up spot in the M50 category (9.12m) and a guest performance 24.67m in the Discus.
The penultimate event, the 3000m saw the red & white stripes score 30 points from a possible 32 across 4 age categories.
M35’s James Smith (9.29.7) and Mark Causebrook (9.56.2) scored A string 2nd and 1st B string.
M50 Rob Bentley made his track league debut with victory in 10.16.6 and Noel O’Dowd scored M60 runner up in 11.38.0.
There were also good guest performances in the 3000m from Andrew Lewis (10.04,1), Greg Warder (10.29.2; (Javelin 18.09m); Mark Hayter (10.49.4); Nicholas Willson (10.51.9).
The final event, 4x400m relay saw one recognised 400m athlete in Steve Beak team up with 3 middle distance athletes, Blackman, Lau and Smith and they ran superbly taking the lead in the very latter stages with Beak bringing the baton home for victory by 2secs from Basingstoke.
Tonights team victory totals a remarkable 23 Hampshire league wins in a row.
Aldershot 114
Basingstoke 110
Winchester 98
Havant 85
Portsmouth 56
Fleet 45
Overton 41

Bill Bushnell

A message from Debbie Callaway
It is with great sadness that I am writing to advise of the recent
passing of my father, Bill Bushnell. Bill was a throws coach of some
distinction, who moved to Southampton in 2004, having previously
coached for over 35 years in Essex. Bill was a charismatic and
determined individual who loved most sports, but in particular had a
long lasting passion for athletics, firstly as an international
javelin thrower himself, and then as a highly successful throws coach.
A former teacher, Bill was also renowned for his humour and
entertaining stories about life, sport and education.
Bill willingly gave so much of his time to help and inspire throwers
of all ages and abilities to succeed and reach their full potential.
He installed a great work ethic and competitiveness into his athletes,
teaching them how to both win and lose with humility and dignity.
Despite suffering significant ill-health during his 70’s, Bill never
lost his considerable enthusiasm for our sport, and would still be
seen regularly at the side of a run up or throwing circle, three of
four times a week, both winter and summer in all weathers.
It has been heart-warming for my mum and I to be reminded of the huge
positive influence that Bill has had over so many young people, and we
thank you for all your well-wishes. I have attached a link to a
tribute to Bill, which gives details of his funeral on 17th May, 2019.

Southampton Vets fly out of the blocks!

Report by Andy Morgan-Lee:

Southampton AC Veterans carried on from where they finished the 2018 season, winning the first meet of 2019 in the Hampshire Division of the Southern Counties Veterans Track & Field League. 

The foundations were laid down from the start in the M35 category with the experienced Mark Collins and Graham Lay claiming victory in the 100m (12.0s) and Shot (13m) respectively.

Sean Connerton, new to the vets scene, marked his debut with 3rd in the B String 100m (12.8), A string 400m (62.6) and Long Jump (4.92m).

Steve Beak claimed a fine double victory in the M50 100m (12.7) and 400m (58.6) while Simon Ciaravella finished runner up in the M35 B String 400m (58.1).

Derek Warn was victorious in the M50 Long Jump by a mere 4cm (4.49m), 6th in Shot (8.46m) and 4th in Hammer (26.44m) with Graham Lay finishing M35 runner up in the latter (25.10m).

Brian Thompson High Jumped 1.60m for runner up spot in the M35 category while M60 Michael Coker kept busy with 1.20m HJ, Shot (9.33) and Long Jump 3rd (3.90m).

The 2km Walk produced good points from both M55’s John MacInnes (2nd, 12.18.8) and Wayne Vincent (4th, 12.21.6) with the former dropping down age groups to the M35 category and Vincent the M50 category. Peter Haynes completed the line up with 17.05.5 and also a non scoring 100m (17.4s).

In terms of sheer numbers the 1500m was the most popular event of the evening.

In the M35 category A string Paul Laslett (4.22.7) and B String James Smith (4.32.5) scored well for 3rd and 2nd respectively. 

Andy Morgan-Lee made his debut as an M50 for 2nd place (4.46.4) and M60 Neil Hotson marked his return to track racing after many years to finish 3rd (5.43.7). 

The non scoring 1500m proved there is good strength in depth in Southampton’s Veteran ranks with no less than 6 red and white vests filling half of the starting line up across 4 different age categories.

1st M35 Jeremy Curtis 4.33.9

2nd M40 Jon Hannan 4.41.2

3rd M35 Andrew Lewis 4.46.8

4th M35 Kit Lau 4.53.7

5th M45 Greg Warder 4.57.

10th M60 Noel O’Dowd 5.26.2 

The final event of the evening saw Ciaravella, Connerton, Beak and Collins bring home the baton in a thrilling 4 x 100 victory over rivals Aldershot and a fantastic overall team victory on the night.

Remarkably, tonights victory marks an extremely impressive 22nd team victory on the spin stretching back as far as July 2013.

Team Result

Southampton 146

Aldershot        126

Basingstoke    111

Havant            102

Winchester      99

Portsmouth      84

Overton            53

Fleet                 34

National Bronze for Southampton AC Vets Team

Long Eaton in Derbyshire played host to the National Masters Cross Country Relays.

Andy Morgan-Lee got proceedings underway for the M45-54 category team placing 4th in a time of 10min.16sec for the 2mile lap.

James Smith ran a storming 2nd leg posting the 5th fastest time of the day of 10.11 moving the red & white stripes up to 2nd place.

Rob Bentley getting his first taste of National competition since joining Southampton kept them in the medal placings with 10.58.

Peter Costley increased the lead over the chasing teams with a 10.52 clocking and put a firmer hold on a medal prospect.

The anchor leg saw David Blackman clock 10.30 to claim his club their first National medal at this event with bronze behind Northern giants Leeds and Salford.


National Masters Bronze Medalists

(L-R) Smith, Blackman, Morgan-Lee, Costley, Bentley

Southern Counties Veterans League Final report

Southampton Men’s Veterans Track & Field team won their 3rd successive Southern Counties Veterans League Final at Ashford in a close match and take victory by 3 points. 

Matt Coffey made his debut finishing 2nd in the M35 800m (2:05.47) along with David Blackman 2nd B string (2:19.63) and Jon Grainger (2:20.50) winning the M50 category. 

This put the red & white stripes top of the table with a 4 point advantage from the start and although it was a close affair throughout the day with Oxford City and Tonbridge it was a lead they never relinquished. 

M35’s Mark Collins (11.92s) and Simon Ciaravella (12.85s) took double 3rd in the A & B String 100m. 

Steve Beak (12.46s) comfortably won the M50 category while Vic Novell (13.90s) finished 2nd in the M60 category. 

In the field M35 Andrew Sheerin and M50 Stephen Dobson were kept busy all afternoon scoring well in the throwing events.

Sheerin scored 3rd Hammer (34.44m), 3rd Shot (10.61m), 4th Discus (26.80m) and 5th Javelin (28.58m) while Dobson in the M50 category won the Shot Putt with 10.78m, 4th Hammer (25.27m) and 4th Discus with 25.90m.

M60 Michael Coker (8.97m) and M50 Gordon Westley (23.68m) scored valuable points in the shot and Javelin respectively. 

Back on the track Jon Tilt who just a few weeks ago was crowned double World M55 Champion for 400m and 400mH in Malaga was narrowly beaten in the 400m (56.28s) by the Tonbridge athlete, albeit some 20 years his junior.

Simon Ciaravella finished 4th in the B string (57.79s) while Beak went on to make it 2 wins from 2 for him in the M50 category with 58.64s.

Vic Novell at the age of 74 and giving 13 years away to his competitors in the M60 category scored another brilliant 2nd place (69.51s) in his first outdoor 400m this season before Long Jumping to 3rd place (3.71m) then valiantly throwing the Javelin for the first time ever gaining a valuable point for his team. 

The 1500m came next along with maximum points from Coffey in his 2nd event of the day as he won impressively from gun to tape in 4:18.94.

Blackman also doubling up after an earlier 800m finished 4th (4:45.55) in the B string as did Grainger (4:38.4) for 3rd in the M50 category while Sid DeLara (5:29.8) ran well for 3rd in the M60 category. 

Collins (24.23s) finished 3rd in another quality sprint event over 200m with Ciaravella (26.36s) 6th in the B String while Beak (25.74s) just held on to make it a hat-trick of victories for him on the day in the M50 race before leaping 9.09m for 5th in the Triple Jump.

The Pole Vault which started much earlier on in the day came to its conclusion with M50 Derek Warn winning maximum points on count-back with a 3m clearance.

Between vaulting Warn was keeping busy scoring double 3rd in the M50 Long Jump (4.76m) and High jump (1.30m)

while Coker also scored well for 3rd in the M60 High Jump with 1.25m clearance.

Brian Thompson added more points to the board in the M35 category with a brilliant runners up spot in the High jump (1.65m), 4th and a personal best in the Long Jump (5.16m) and 3rd in Triple Jump (10.65m). 

John MacInnes (12:23.24) and Wayne Vincent (12:49.04) took on the 2km Walk with good points for 2nd and 5th respectively before Tilt, Beak, Ciaravella and Collins combined for the 4 x 100m Relay to finish 3rd in 49.72s.

Mark Causebrook (9:37.63) and Andy Morgan-Lee (9:58.33) scored a double 3rd in the M35 A & B String 3000m with Pete Costley (10:18.22) running well for 2nd place in the M50 category.

The final event, 4 x 400m would be enough to see Southampton win the title for the third successive year if they could stay close enough or beat Oxford City.

Ciaravella, Blackman, Coffey and Tilt didn’t disappoint as they stormed to 2nd place narrowly beaten by Tonbridge but well ahead of Oxford City in 3rd to cap another fantastic winning performance to take the Cup back to Southampton.

Team Result

Southampton 219.5

Oxford City 216.5

Tonbridge 209.5

Hillingdon 170

Bexley 159

Epsom & Ewell 146.5

Enfield & Haringey 120


Men’s Veterans Track & Field team sealed victory at Aldershot

Southampton AC Men’s Veterans Track & Field team sealed victory at Aldershot, defending their Hampshire League title for the 8th successive year. They will now take their place in the Southern Counties Veterans Final at Ashford in September looking to defend their Area title looking for a hat-trick of successes.
Graham Lay scored a double victory in the field with the Discus at the start of the evening and Javelin at the end. He threw the Discus out to a personal best of 39.13m and the Javelin to a seasons best 45.94m. 

Andy Turner and Gordon Westley provided good back up in the M50 category with runner up spot in Discus (32.54m)
and Javelin 5th (20.31m) respectively.
Michael Coker threw the Javelin 15.92m for 5th in the M60 category after triple jumping his way to 4th place with 8.35m in the younger M50 category.
Brian Thompson leapt to a huge personal best of 10.84m in the M35 category triple Jump just losing out to the Basingstoke athlete by a mere 3cm.
John MacInnes (12:24.9) and Andy Morgan-Lee (12:41.6) got the track events underway finishing double runners up in the 2km Walk for the M50 & M35 categories respectively.
M35 Darren Clissold finished equal third in the Pole Vault with a 2.80m clearance while Derek Warn did enough to claim runners up spot in the M50 category with a mediocre 2.10m clearance by his standards due to a shoulder injury.

The 800m saw the biggest points haul of the evening for the red & white stripes.
Paul Laslett, a former 1.47 International made his club debut with an impressive gun to tape victory to win comfortably in 2:01.1 with B string runner Jim Bennett (2:13.6) just overhauled for victory in the final metres.
M50 David Blackman, however, bided his time with a cautious opening lap
since injury before storming to victory and maximum points in the latter stages clocking 2:17.9 while Sid DeLara won the M60 category in 2:38.6. before tackling the 3000m shortly after to finish in 12:57.0 for 6th place.
M35’s Mark Collins (24.0sec) & Simon Ciaravella (26.3sec) both ran well in a quality 200m line up for 3rd and 2nd respectively while Steve Beak took the M50 victory with 25.5sec.
The penultimate event on the track saw a number of red & white vests scoring and guesting in the 3000m.
Mark Causebrook and Gareth Klepacz both ran seasons bests scoring a runner up double with 9:27.0 and 9:32.2 respectively in the M35 category while Peter Costley ran his way to victory and maximum points in the M50 category.
The final event of the evening, 4x200m relay saw Collins, Ciaravella, Beak and Bennett finish a close 2nd to Aldershot.
Guest performances 
Darren Clissold – 200m 27.8sec
Vic Novell – 200m 29.4s
Alan Forse – 200m 30.3s
Mike Hodges – 800m 2.30.0
Paul Boyd-Leslie – 3000m 10.44.0
Final Result
Southampton 153.5
Aldershot 144
Basingstoke 119
Portsmouth 96
Havant 86
Winchester 74
Fleet 58.5
Overton 58

Southampton Athletic Club