The Southampton AC ladies team made history in Aldershot last night, claiming a third successive victory in the Hampshire Vets League and securing the league win, for the first time ever. Coming top of the league that has been dominated by Winchester ladies in the recent past, means they have booked their place in the Southern Counties Vets finals in Ashford, Kent in September, joining the Southampton men’s team who have been regular visitors to the event.
Despite missing key team players such as Nicci Blandford, Mary Axtell, and Dani Marshall, the team pulled together fantastically to beat 2nd place Winchester by 16 points.
There were stand out performances by Joy Wright in the 200m (first in 27.8 seconds) and 800m (first in 2.34.2) as well as a personal best for Astrid Mangel in the long jump (2nd V60 with 2.56m). Joy also came 4th in the V35 discus with 19.19m. Tracy Bezance made a superb return from injury to win the V50 200m in 30.6 seconds. Janet Dickinson made a clean sweep of first places with victory in the V50 shot (9.00m), 200m B string (28.3 seconds), V50 discus (26.12m) and V50 long jump (4.53m).
There was an excellent second place for Katy O’Dell in the V35 shot (8.34m) and Hannah Willson in the 2000m walk (12.41.6). Paola King came 4th in the walk with 14.54.8. Vicky Bright won the V50 pole vault with 1.20m and Claire MacErlean won the B string 800m in 2.41.0. Claire also secured second place in the 3000m with 11.27.0.
Despite nursing a hamstring injury, Caroline Barnfield managed 6th in the V50 800m (3.51.8) and 5th in the V50 3000m (17.17.2). Hannah Willson, who was also helping with officiating on the night, came third in the B string 3000m with 12.35.7. Jane Pitt came 5th in her first ever timed 400m with 47.7 seconds.
Southampton AC 148 points
Winchester and District 132 points
City of Portsmouth 110 points
Aldershot, Farnham and District 95 points
Havant 71 points
Fleet and Crookham 63 points
Basingstoke and Mid Hants 49 points