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.
Oxford City 216.5
Epsom & Ewell 146.5
Enfield & Haringey 120
Many congratulations to Jon Tilt, our Southampton AC athlete, coach and committee member who this week became World Champion in the M55 400m hurdles and in the process set a new British record of 59.80 seconds. Full report from the Malaga World Masters Championships to follow.