Author Archives: Tracey Jones

Officials Availability for SAC

An email has recently been sent to all officials who are have either officiated for Southampton in the past or have registered Southampton as a club that you officiate for on the England Athletics (EA) portal.

If you have not received this email and would like to officiate please can you email Tracey Jones

Please also email if you would like to know more about officiating at league or home events, we always need more.

Attached the SAC fixtures list.

Athletes’ Athlete – Time to Nominate

We only have 3 nominations so far and this is not enough to run the award. It’s your award, it will be a shame to loose it.

Only 4 days left to send your nominations through….

Athletes’ Athlete Award 2018

Once again it’s time to send your nominations through for the Athletes’ Athlete award. Remember this is the only award selected on athletes’ votes and it’s your chance to say who has inspired you the most.

Every year awards are given out to athletes based on performance, team contribution etc but this one is special it is your award, your chance to say who you think represents Athletics, this is the only award nominated and voted by athletes.

Between now and the 21st December we would like your nominations.

Each nomination should be accompanied by your reasons for the nomination and ideally a photo. Your reasons will be used in both the shortlisting process and in the main ballot, so please be as persuasive as you can!

Nominations can come from you as an individual, or from a group of athletes. In addition, you can nominate both a male and female should you wish.

Nominations to be sent to Tracey Jones :

Last year’s nominations were:

Sara Merritt, Hannah Childs, Bryher Bowness, Isabel  Richardson,

Matt Hibbert,  Sean Foord, Jon Tilt, Riley Woodman, Dave Blackman

Last year’s winners were:

Sarah Merritt, John Tilt and this is what was said about them.

Sarah Merritt 

Very friendly and always gives a shout out to other athletes. I remember that Sarah Merritt gave me a shout out on my first run for the club. Since then she’s done so at every given opportunity and excitedly asks me about how it went afterwards. It really helps to have that kind of support in the club. Far from being just a supporter she has had a great run of top positions at road races and regularly enthusiastically throws herself into multiple events at track and field.

She’s an all round class act and great representative of the sport.

Jon Tilt

Not only is Jon a brilliant coach he is always willing to put himself out for the group and the club. This is through his positivity, encouragement and dedication. He’s a brilliant athlete always pushing himself to achieve the highest level of fitness and achievements.  This in turn rubs off on his athletes making him a fantastic training partner.

He can make even the hardest sessions bearable and enjoyable with that famous Jon Tilt smile.


Officials Training for 2018

This winters training courses are on Sunday 4th November and Sunday 11th November at the University of Winchester Athletics Track SO23 0QA

Sunday 4th November for Track and Field and Sunday 11th November 2018 for Starting and Starter’s Assistant and Timekeeping.

Both days include a Health and Safety module which you must attend unless you have already attended.

The cost is £30 for the discipline and Health and Safety or £20 for the discipline only. Full details and how to apply can be found on the attached flyer and a link to the EA website for course booking is also below.

SAC will cover the full cost of the course if you commit to officiate for the club, if you let me know when you have been trained and I can add you to the distribution for next years fixtures.

Many thanks
Tracey Jones (

course flyer 2018

England Athletics Courses


Southampton BAL Men Just Miss Out in Bedford Thriller

Southampton AC ‘s British Men’s Athletics League team guaranteed Division 1 competition in a thrilling encounter at Bedford International Stadium on Saturday 7th July. In Athletics’ equivalent of the Big Bash at Bedford, every one of the 38 BAL teams representing 4 divisions competed on the same day.

It is a compelling format, with up to 80 athletes assembling for each series of track races, wall to wall competition with every inch of track, every runway and throws circle occupied practically all the time.

Despite key absences due to injury, the red and whites fielded their strongest team of the season featuring a smattering of international names. The traditional flying start for Southampton is the opening track event, the 400metres Hurdles. The ever-reliable pair of James Forman (52.58 sec) and Sean Adams (54.16 sec) pronounced themselves dissatisfied with their times on a gusty day but nevertheless notched up a brace of 2nd places behind an improved Liverpool. Adams demonstrated his versatility later in the match by turning in a 15.55 sec timing for 3rd in the B string 110 metres hurdles, following A string colleague Jack Major’s season’s best of 14.63 sec in the A string.

One of Southampton’s big guns, GB cross country international Alex Teuten, was on double duty for his club. Following a hard fought 2nd place to fellow international Harrow’s Phil Sesemann in the 3000m (8:20.46 min), ever-Professional Teuten oozed class when winning the 3K steeplechase (8:57.58 min) , turning round to greet colleague Max Costley crossing the line in 9:53.07 min and wrapping up B string victory.

The match had started very well for Southampton, traditionally slow starters and the team briefly held the lead early on. Mid- meeting, though, the challenge to whatever ambitions the men had harboured about sneaking a win or 2nd place materialised not just in the form of hitherto dominant division leaders Harrow but also Blackheath and Bromley who surged into the lead . The Kent club have benefitted from middle distance signings to complement their traditional strength in the speed events this year and this made them formidable foes on the day.

The High Jumpers found life uncharacteristically tough this time round with Adam Jones and Matt Watson, normally bankers for a top 2 placing finding their dual 1.90m efforts good enough only for 4th and 3rd respectively as Blackheath threatened to stretch away. New recruit Jeremiah Nampuma made his BAL long jump debut in 4th Place with 6.66m, narrowly fouling a 7 metres plus effort. He was supported by everywhere-man Bradley Eisnor as the decathlete jumped 6.15m for B string 5th. Eisnor also stiffened the Southampton effort in the triple jump (12.32m),Javelin (49.94m for 3rd in the B string) and Shot 11.08m).

There were flashes of real future promise from youngsters. BAL debutant 15 year old Callum Gregson handled a short notice call up brilliantly to bound out to a 12.00m triple Jump PB for B string 5th.

Southampton were by this time, in the dying hours of the match, lying in 4th place, some 30 points behind the leaders. Then, the heavy throwers set about the task of dismantling the opposition. Welsh International Patrick Swan punched the shot to 14.85m to miss out on a victory by just 3 centimetres. As the leaders wobbled, Swan winged the Discus out to 47.83 metres for a B string win. Better was to come. A string, GB and England International Chris Scott is edging his way back to his glory days of 60 metre plus throwing and here at Bedford took another step, a huge 5 metres clear of the competition in a season’s best of 57.13 seconds.

Supported by classy 400m win from national Under 23 champion Ben Claridge (47.66 sec) and Cypriot national medalist Alex Beechey (200m PB 21.45 sec) Southampton were by this time reeling in Harrow and Blackheath hand over fist; overhauling Sale, themselves in a desperate fight to avoid relegation.

The relay teams have been practically unbeatable this season and the 4 x 100m men Daniel Offiah, Oliver Bromby, Beechey and Eden Davis entered the final straight a couple of metres to the good, losing out in a desperate dip finish by 1/100th of a second to fast closing Harrow. The team still clocked their third best ever time, 41.68 sec.

By the time the 4 x 400 men went to their blocks, it was clear that the South Coast outfit were destined for third place in the match and were running only for pride.

Undaunted , Jack Higgins (50.8), Lynden Olowe (48.4), James Forman (48.3) and Claridge (47.6) stride to a magnificent 3:14.87 min victory, averaging over a second per athlete faster than runners-up Herne Hill.

At the final count, Blackheath Clung on to win the match with 329 points, 7 ahead of Harrow (322) with Southampton only four points further adrift in 3rd.

Team Manager Gary MacDonald Gray was in rueful but philosophical mood: “It really was a case of so near but so far. We improved drastically compared to the first two matches today but still found Blackheath just slightly out of reach again. We raised our game and so did they. Fair result on the day”

With one match to go at Liverpool on 4th August, Southampton are safely 3rd in the table, four match points behind Blackheath and 5 behind Harrow.

Match Result.

1 Blackheath 329
2 Harrow 322
3 Southampton 318
4 Sale 308
5. Liverpool 257
6. Kingston & Poly 239
7. Herne Hill 192
8. Windsor 180

League Division 1 after 3 matches.

1 Harrow 23
2 Blackheath 22
3 Southampton 18
4 Liverpool 12
5 Sale 11
6 Kingston & Poly 9
7 WSEH 9
8 Herne Hill 4

Report by  Gary MacDonald Gray


Free PhD programme for athletes transitioning into senior athletics

Who am I?

My name is Karla Drew.  I am in the final stages of my PhD which I am doing at Liverpool John Moores university. I am also a GB athlete and have competed in track-and-field since the age of 10. I have represented Great Britain and England in Heptathlon and 100mHurdles. It is through these experiences as an elite athlete and through my research that I want to use what I have learnt to invest in and support younger athletes reach their potential.

What am I doing?

Based on my previous research, I have developed an intervention/programme to support young athletes making the step up into senior sport.  This transition can be an extremely challenging time for athletes. The project willprovide athletes with a tailored intervention to support them through this challenging period whilstmaking the step up from junior-to-senor level in athletics. The project aims to support athletes to make asuccessful transition by providing them with the necessary skills and education to negotiate the transition.

Why am I doing this?

The programme is looking to address the poor progression rates of British junior athletes. We all know a young athlete who has produced outstanding performances as a junior but fail to reproduce this when it counts at a senior level. I think this is because athletes are not given sufficient or the right type of support in helping them to make the transition. I have interviewed many athletes, ranging from Olympic champions to World Junior Champions, who have successfully and unsuccessfully made the transition. This has given me a great insight into what has helped and hindered athletes to make the transition.

What does the programme involve?

The programme is made up of 19 individual sessions, with sessions being run back-to-back on some days. The sessions cover a huge range of topics including sport psychology, performance lifestyle, nutrition, physiotherapy, coach and parent education, and a mentoring scheme. The programme is designed to educate athletes and give them the skills to help them reach their potential as a senior athlete. Each session is delivered by an expert in the field. The programme has world class presenters across all topic areas. The likes of Jessica Ennis-Hill, Toni Minichiello and several other GB athlete/mentors are supporting the programme by delivering a session. The programme will be delivered to 5-10 athletes, aged between 18-22. I’m hoping to create a close group of athletes who can learn from each other as well as the presenters on the programme.

A copy of the  programme content can be found on the following page.

If you want to get involved?

Because the programme runs weekly, athletes will need to be located in the Sheffield area and/or willing and ready to travel to the English Institute of Sport for the sessions. Please look at the dates of the sessions and be sure you can commit to the programme before you apply.

If you are interested in applying just send me an email to: I will keep a note of all those who apply. I will then randomly pick 8-10 athletes to take part in the programme.


Course content


Session description.

Delivered by





Karla Drew




Talk: A Successful Transition by Jessica Ennis-Hill

Jessica Ennis-Hill




Talk: A Challenging Transition by Matthew Lambley

Matthew Lambley




Personality: Understanding your personality (Spotlight profile)

Karla Drew




Performance Lifestyle: Financial Advice/Planning

Phil Lumsden




Performance Lifestyle: Effective Time Management

Phil Lumsden




Sport Psychology: Coach-Athlete Relationship

Adam Bracey




Sport Psychology: Building Confidence

Adam Bracey




Physiotherapy: Looking after your body during the junior-to-senior transition

Alison Rose




Social Support: Creating a Support Network

Karla Drew




Mentoring: Learn from experienced senior athletes





Sport Psychology: Coping Strategies to Manage the Transition

Dr Robert Morris




Sport Psychology: Goal Setting for the Transition Period

Dr Robert Morris




Social Support: Supporting your Athlete through the Transition – Strategies for Coaches

Toni Minichiello




Nutrition: Fueling your body during the junior-to-senior transition

Hannah Mayho




Social Support: Supporting your Athlete through the Transition – Strategies for Parents

Louise Capicotto




My transitional journey into elite swimming by Jay Lelliott

Jay Lelliott




Performance Lifestyle: Achieving a Life Balance

Jay Lelliott




Sport Psychology: One-on-One Support

Dr Robert Morris

& Karla Drew



Southampton’s Men Steady The Ship

Southampton AC ‘s British Men’s Athletics League team consolidated their division 1 status at the halfway mark of the 4- Match 2018 series at Portsmouth on Saturday 2nd JuneS. The team’s 3rd at the first fixture at Eton in early May could just as easily have been 6th, so tightly bunched were the teams. By contrast, an improved Southampton team fielding a handful of internationals came within 6 points of runners-up Blackheath as the top 3 in the division started to show their class. 

The field contingent have been depleted due to injury and unavailability in the early part of the season and so it proved at Portsmouth. While amassing more points on the track than any other club with 201 points, two thirds of the total team score, the field men languished down in 6th with several athletes covering multiple events. Nevertheless, the talent on show was impressive. England Discus international Chris Scott continued his unbeaten start to the league season, winging the 2KG Disc out to 53.44 metres in unhelpful wind conditions. There was a 1-2 in the High Jump, recently retired Matt Watson reprising his role as comeback kid by snatching 2nd spot in the A string. Watson actually upstaged protégé Adam Jones, who nevertheless jumped an identical 1.98m to his Coach in winning the B string. Javelin throwers Sonny Nash (55.10m) and debutant Graham Lay (43.65m) notched up a brace of 4th places.

Onto the track, the speed men were back with a vengeance. First up, Great Britain international Eden Davis tuned up for the world junior championships trials with a 10.55 100 metres clocking, 2nd in the A string. Not to be outdone, Welsh international Cameron Starr blitzed to B string victory in a lifetime best 10.61 sec. Starting the fearless battle of attrition which characterises the club’s distance runners’ approach, Chris Hilton put months of injury aside to secure 3rd place in the 3000m steeplechase, 10:20.71 min. B stringer Tom Cully backed Hilton up superbly with another 3rd, 10:31.16 min. It was a case of ‘second verse- same as the first’ for Under 20 400m runners Lynden Olowe (48.97) and Jack Higgins (49.45) , repeating their 4th and 2nd places from the Eton match.

The metric mile featured another touch of class as European cross country championships representative Alex Teuten found the finishing pace a little hot after a sedate beginning. Racing way below his best distance Teuten nevertheless recorded 3:55.76 min in third. Back to the sprints, Alex Beechey tuned up for the forthcoming Cypriot championships with his fastest ever seasons opener, 21.69 sec. A real head turner was another personal best in the non-scoring 200 metres , 21.61 sec for the rapidly improving Cameron Starr.

So often the backbone of the team, the distance boys contributed massively to the attempt to pull back a significant Blackheath lead in 2nd as Southampton began to run out of events. Jonny Roberts was perfectly positioned for most of the 5000m, just missing out in a last lap tear-up to finish 2nd in 15:10.94 min. Team mate Matt Revier completed the brace of 2nd places, touching out a 15:32.10 min.

Coming into the relays, the task in the quest for 2nd place in the match was simple and daunting; not only beat sprint powerhouses Blackheath but finish as far ahead as possible. First up, the 4 x 100m team. Daniel Offiah rocketed out of the blocks to edge a narrow advantage, handing off seamlessly to Josh Parry who ran a destructive back straight to extend the advantage at halfway. Cameron Starr glided around the 3rd leg bend to slap the baton into the waiting hand of Eden Davis. Accustomed to anchoring the GB team, Davis never faltered, bringing the team home to a clear victory in a season’s best 41.66 sec. Ominously, Blackheath hung on to finish 2nd. Onto the 4 x 400m relay, a great performance by the red and whites accompanied by a relatively poor run by Blackheath could still have swung things in favour of Southampton. As it was, the quartet of Owen Lawrence with an impressive 48.9 opening leg, Alex Beechey (51.6, stepping in with 10 minutes notice and no warm up), Harry Fisher (49.6) and Sean Adams (49.5) battled all the way to the line, finishing second to Liverpool. Frustratingly, Blackheath clung on grimly for third and thus secure the runners-up spot in the match behind Harrow.

Team Manager Gary MacDonald-Gray reflected on the performance : “for a team only firing at 80% power, this result shows our potential and has set up a tight struggle in the final two fixtures. Promotion is still there for the taking but will rely on our finest stepping forward and sticking at it to realise that ambition.’

The next match is the Big Bash at Bedford on 7th July with every one of the 38 BAL teams competing.

Match Result.
 1 Harrow                               355
 2 Blackheath                         309
 3 Southampton                     303
 4 Liverpool                            296
 5.Kingston & Poly                 240
 6.WSEH                                219
 7.Sale                                   218
 8.Herne Hill                          214
League Division 1 after 2 matches.
 1 Harrow                           16
 2 Blackheath                     14
 3 Southampton                 12
 4 Liverpool                          8
 5 WSEH                              8
 6 Sale                                 6
 7 Kingston & Poly               6
 8 Herne Hill                         2
The victorious sprint relay team. From left to right: Eden Davis, Cameron Starr, Dan Offiah, Josh Parry.

Results from 6th June Open

Please find attached the results from the 6th June Wednesday evening Open.

We had perfect weather and numerous Personal Bests and Seasons Bests recorded and more than that we had the support of and excellent team of officials, volunteers, tea makers, announcers, scorers and supporters. It doesn’t matter if you gave ten minutes or the whole evening it all added up to make what I think was our best open of the season.

Results Graded Open 06.06.18



60th Loughborough International Athletics Meeting

The 60th edition of the prestigious Loughborough International Athletics meeting , held on Sunday 20th May welcomed  the largest ever contingent of Southampton athletes  invited to compete. The meeting, involving representative teams from Great Britain, Seniors and Juniors, England, Wales, Scotland , British Universities and the hosts, Loughborough, also featured guest events for athletes considered to be of a high enough standard.

In the field, Discus throwers Phoebe Dowson was runner-up with 52.39m and Chris Scott, 4th in the men’s event heaving the Disc 55.65m on his International return.

Oliver Bromby earned his first Senior England vest, anchoring the team to a fast closing runners-up spot. Team mate Cameron Starr was just outside his seasons best with 10.84 sec in the series of guest 100m races.

Ben Claridge, representing British Universities, clocked his second fastest ever 400 metres , 46.83 sec for 3rd in the match race.

Under 20 Lynden Olowe rose to the challenge in his guest 400m. Lacking a bit of confidence against experienced senior men, Olowe was off the pace at halfway but kept his head around the final turn before unleashing a finishing drive which killed off the opposition to win going away in a lifetime best 48.31 sec.

Another youngster, Sam Costley, clocked  9:57.47 min for 12th place is a good class 3000m steeplechaser.

In the flat 3000m event, Great Britain international Mahamed Mahamed recorded a fine 8:13.34 min for 4th.

400m hurdler Lizzie Clifford showed a welcome return to form. Representing British Universities, Lizzie recorded 60.17 sec for 5th. In a tough guest race, clubmate Owen Lawrence placed 7th with his second fastest time ever, 55.04 sec.

British Athletics League team mate James Forman launched an impressive drive over the last 5 hurdles to win a close tussle in a season’s best 51.34 sec.

The sprint hurdles rounded off the Southampton interest in proceedings . Former international heptathlete Karla Drew placed 6th in the 100m hurdles, 14.40sec while in the men’s guest 110m event Matt Hewitt  squeezed into 3rd with a season’s best 15.36 sec.

Report by Gary Gray