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.