UK WOMEN’S LEAGUE, MATCH 3, GLASGOW, Sunday 16th July

The majority of the team arrived early evening on Saturday to stay in a local hotel not far from the magnificent Scotstown Stadium. The start of the meeting was brought forward to facilitate return travel after the meeting. The event was managed very well by the local club, Victoria park Glasgow.

Conditions were far cooler than in London, but competitors in races from 400m upwards were faced with a very strong wind of 4 to 5 m/sec against down the back straight. This made pace judgment very difficult .  Of course, the wind made things easier in the sprints but Sandra Dike faced some very talented sprinters who ran under 12 seconds for 100m and low 24’s for 200m.

Nina Anderson and Carla Doukrou both battled the wind bravely in the 400m, but Nina was nursing a slight injury and although Carla ran very sensibly, she was lacking fitness after a long term of exams at school.

The strong wind really affected our middle distance runners who had all ran seasons bests at the Southern League meeting the week before. The competition here is much stronger and Keri Mackenzie and Fiona Maddocks both ran well for 4th places in the 800m but the gaps opened quickly on the second lap and both had the impossible task of trying to catch the next group against the strong wind.

The same applied to Lizzie Goldie-Scot just a week after her terrific 4.54 1500m in the SL a week before. Lizzie still managed her second best ever time at 5.00 but she found herself stranded following some slowing athletes with the gap too big to the group ahead.

The outstanding performance on the day was in the 3000m by Sophie Harris. The Victoria Park athlete, sister of Beth Potter had beaten Sophie in the last match at Rugby after making a very fast start. This time it was different, Sophie kept with a group of four leaders for the first 1000m in about 3.20, then took control of the race and moved steadily ahead to finish in a terrific time of 9.51, worth many seconds more in more favorable conditions.

Jess Case although perhaps not at her fittest, gained very useful points in both the 100H 3rd and a 2nd in the 400H, before filling in the ‘B’ shot and long relay, and Helen Brown improved her time in the 2000m Steeplechase, after gaining a 4th in the ‘B’ 400 hurdles and 3rd in the ‘B’ Triple Jump.

Like her twin sister Julia Doukrou was returning to competition after exams, doing both Long and Triple jumps where she finished 4th and 3rd respectively before taking part in the sprint relay for more valuable points.  With our lack of sprinters, the Belles only managed 5th place in both relay events, although the competition here was very strong.

Because of the infield being all weather (as the stadium is the home of the Glasgow Warriors Rugby Team), all the throws were held in the field adjacent to the main stand. Mia Callenberg was competing in her usual three throwing events and sprint relay, opening with 36.59m for 6th in the ‘A’ Hammer (with two throwers over 50m this just shows what a high standard the event is in this league). Mia followed this with by a very solid 2nd in her favoured event the Discus and 3rd in the Shot.

Another Belle who spent practically the entire day out in throwing field was Marieka Meelan who stepped in at the minute to replace Leanne Bettis who was unwell. She was rewarded for her efforts with two p.b’s in the Hammer 6th and the Discus where she finished 4th, this was backed up with 5thplace in the Javelin.  Nina Anderson was rewarded with a 4th in the ‘B’ Javelin after stepping in at the last minute to ensure that all the throwing events were covered.

A huge thank you to all our travelling officials who made sure we received maximum points for providing officials, Charlie Dickinson (TK), Tony Fairclough (Track), Gillian Fairclough and Bob Bridges (Field).

A very enjoyable weekend, despite Easy Jets attempt to dampen it with a delayed flight, we all made it home in true Belgrave spirit.

This was the final match of the UK Women’s League for this season and we finished 5th on the day and 6thoverall. A big thank you to all the athletes who turned out throughout the season to make this possible, for many it was their first taste of this competition and I hope they enjoyed it and want more, but one could not help wonder what if,….. we have the talent in the club, it’s just getting them all out on the same day. So next season we should/shall be fighting for promotion.

 L:R  Lizzie Goldie- Scott, Sophie Harris, Sandra Dike, Mia Callenberg, Helen Marieke.

L:R  Fiona Maddocks, Lizzie Goldie -Scott, Sophie Harris, Jess Case, Sandra Dike, Carla Doukrou, Mia Callenberg, Julia doukrou, Helen Brown, Marieke Meleen, Bob Bridges, Gillian Fairclough, Tony Fairclough.

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