Oxford University Athletics Club

Blues Hall of Fame

Sam Trigg

TJ 15.74m, LJ 7.22m/7.45m(w)

After significant improvement last year Sam went into overdrive in his final season, making himself an Oxford legend and a serious contender at National level. A personal best in his first Triple Jump competition qualified him for the Indoor Nationals, where he won the bronze medal in another personal best. This was backed up the following week by a third personal best at BUCS Indoors which made him Oxford’s first BUCS champion since 2007. Outdoors at the Varsity Match he won the Long Jump with the first jump of the competition before breaking the oldest field event record in the books, which had stood since 1987, in his favoured event with 15.41m, another new personal best. He also found time to extend his ‘weaker’ Long Jump windy PB to a fabulous 7.45m in winning a British League Premiership match. This was followed by the one he really wanted – the National U23’s. In driving rain he held his nerve to equal his Varsity distance and secure a fantastic victory. To celebrate he turned up at the Harvard/Yale match a few days later and extended his personal best to 15.74m – an Oxford record which won him the Man of the Match award. His season rounded out with a mildly disappointing 6th place at the Outdoor Nationals. Sam is an athlete truly made in Oxford. He arrived ranked outside the top 50 in the country for Triple Jump and failed to make the top 8 in his first BUCS Final. He departs on an athletics scholarship to New Mexico ranked 11th as BUCS Champion – an example for all Dark Blues of what can be achieved with focused hard work across a number of years.

Adam McBraida

400mH 55.73, 200mH 24.93(w)

It says a lot for Adam’s heroics at Varsity 2014, where as captain he dragged the team over the line winning 5 medals, that this year winning 2 individual events and a relay was seen as a disappointing year. A long-term hamstring injury, which restricted his running training until March’s Portugal training camp, was to blame. Although lacking the speed of last year, Adam still has one of the biggest hearts of any Oxford athletes in history and he showed this at Varsity in the 400 Hurdles where he came from behind off the last hurdle to win on the dip by just two-hundredths of a second – a victory gained through sheer force of will. Recapturing his junior days in the High Hurdles with a third place finish, he finished his individual Varsity career in his favourite 200 Hurdles. As always in that event he was behind coming off the bend but roared away down the straight to earn a record 4th consecutive victory. A record based on an event that only occurs at Varsity seems fitting for a man who always saved his best for beating the Light Blues. The Tabs will be very glad to see him go.

George Gundle

400m 48.92, 200m 21.76 (w)

George looked in the form of his life coming through Indoors, including breaking 50 Indoors despite his dislike of running on the boards. Only fit enough to run his favoured 400m at FEAR Indoors due to illness, he still managed to see off the Cambridge captain on the first leg and establish a good lead. After some spectacular times in Portugal and a stunning 48.2 clocking on the opening leg of the BUCS Final which briefly had the team in the silver medal position all seemed set fair for Varsity. Yet, in keeping with a disappointing day for Oxford, a poor tactical run allowed arch rival Barney Walker to take the 400. Roused to anger George responded just one hour later with the Dark Blue performance of the day in the 200 as, with the aid of a generous tailwind, he smashed through the 22 second barrier to take a dominant win. He finished his Varsity career with a third consecutive relay win. Now off into the world of teaching, we hope to see some of Mr Gundle’s protégés in Dark Blue teams of the future.

Louis Rawlings

800m 1:52.05

Whenever a junior international arrives at Oxford one question arises, will they get Varsity? Louis got Varsity from the moment he stepped on the track for the Freshers Varsity Match. He cruised to a win in his favoured 800 metres but really showed his mettle in the 400. Up against much hyped Cambridge Fresher Josh Evans, who had regularly run the 400 Blues time, he made up several metres in the home straight to come from last to first and take a spectacular win. This love of shoeing Tabs continued with a win in the 3rd team Cross Country and at FEAR where he stormed away to anchor a new 4×800 match record. Yet it was the 4×400 which was truly special. Metres down on Cambridge’s 48 second man, it looked all over at the bell. But down the back straight Louis maintained his speed and stormed past a tiring opponent to break another match record with his leg being timed at 48.6. He made a loaded BUCS 800 final as a Fresher but sadly, in what was a theme of the day for Oxford, a tactical error cost him victory in the 800 against an inspired Billy Pinder. A brave anchor leg in the 4×400, holding off the 400 metre champion, regained some pride. But it was the Harvard/Yale match which saw King Louis fully back on his throne. He patiently bided his time before unleashing a winning kick down the home straight to beat Pinder and the Americans. Now captain, he is determined to fully right the wrongs of this year and lead the team to victory.

Will Christofi

5000m 14:21.93

One of our most reliable athletes, Will also established himself this year as one of the best. 4th place at Wimbledon Common contributed to the Cross Country Men’s first victory since 2010 and this was followed by a top 20 finish at the BUCS Cross Country. Fears that exams would slow this brilliant Classicist down proved unfounded as he came 7th in the BUCS 5000, doing well to ignore the team-mates screaming at him to needlessly out-kick a Cambridge athlete in the heats. When the time came at Varsity he showed no such hesitation. Forced into running the 1500 instead of his preferred 5000 for the second year running Will took the race to Cambridge, dropping former GB junior Cross Country International Lewis Lloyd but being unable to hold off the other Light Blue. His time of 3:53.04 was tantalisingly outside the Blues Standard but he made no mistake at a BMC Grand Prix two weeks later, running more than 20 seconds below the standard over 5000. Surely next year he will be running that event at Varsity and this will see him win his long-awaited Varsity winners medal, if he doesn’t do it at Wimbledon in December first!

Miles Unterreiner

5000m 14:31.31

Miles’ arrival was long-awaited, having missed out on a Rhodes Scholarship in 2013 before making no mistake second time around. His fearsome reputation was made at Stanford but sadly Californian Cross Country bears little resemblance to Wimbledon in December or Brighton in February and he struggled to make the impact he wanted at Varsity (where his 6th place still contributed to a team win) or at BUCS despite leading in the less muddy opening section. Back on the safety of the track, he showed his true ability. At BUCS only he and one other could stick with GB International Jonny Hay in the 10000 metres. It seemed that Miles might spring a huge upset as he kicked hard down the back straight on the final lap, briefly leaving the startled Hay for dead, before being forced to settle for Silver when the GB man responded in style. At Varsity over half the distance he set a ferocious pace to try and get rid of Cambridge’s fast finisher. He couldn’t quite manage it but did secure his Blue. Still 45 seconds off his personal best, next year might well see the best of Miles. Cambridge beware.

Alex Howard

3000m SC 9:16.60

He couldn’t believe they did it (as he told everyone he saw after the match) but Alex became Oxford’s first winning Men’s Cross Country captain for 4 years last December. His improvement from 16th (last) to 8th and a time over 2 minutes faster epitomized the improvement that turned a crushing defeat into a comfortable victory inside a year. This improvement also saw him secure his first track Blue at BUCS as he secured an impressive 6th place in a very quick Steeplechase final – his time would have seen him pick up medals at all recent Championships. Unfortunately, and in common with many of the Oxford team, he left his best form at Bedford as questionable front running tactics and a mistake at the penultimate water jump cost him victory at Varsity. Despite a 5 second 1500 PB two weeks later, his anger has yet to subside and will only be abated by another victory over Cambridge.

Rowan May

Pole Vault 4.80m

Rowan retained his status as Oxford’s unluckiest man. Denied a chance to challenge the Varsity Pole Vault record last year by a hamstring injury, this year it was a shattered wrist sustained while warming up for a competition which kept him out for the entire outdoor season after this former European Juniors 4th placer had already cleared some spectacular heights from short approach in his early competitions. Narrowly missing out on a 100 metre place, though demonstrating that he will surely be a menace Indoors at FEAR over 60 metres, quick thinking from Captain Sam saw him earn his Blue by vaulting one handed at Varsity (to a higher height than his potential replacement would have managed with two). Now Secretary, he has two hands firmly on the tiller and once he gets two hands on the Pole, surely this year he will finally stay fit for a Varsity Match and fly away from Cambridge.

Ezra Leonce

Triple Jump 14.12m

This laid back character turns into a completely different man at the prospect of shoeing Tabs – angry and ruthlessly determined. Having been denied his Blue last year by injury he made no mistake this time around, clearing the 14 metre mark for the first time in his first Outdoor Triple Jump of the year before coming an impressive 7th at BUCS. He gave us a scare at Varsity in the Long Jump with some enormous fouls before securing 2nd place behind Trigg. In the Triple Jump he jumped exactly on the Blues Standard of 13.90m to narrowly see off the Cambridge A String and secure another 1-2 in that event. Next year he will hope to step up and win these events.

Nithesh Ranasinha

High Jump 1.96m

Somewhat lacking in High Jumpers, Captain Sam spotted this Sri Lankan on the basketball court (at 6 foot 6 he is hard to miss!) and e-mailed an invite to Cuppers. Nithesh missed this e-mail but came anyway and promptly won himself a Blues place after clearing 1.90m to win on count back from Trigg. At Varsity Nithesh was unfortunate to lose on count back after three athletes all cleared 1.90m, having been the closest of the three at 1.95m. At the Harvard-Yale match Nithesh sailed over 1.96m to secure his Blue and had three close efforts at becoming Oxford’s first 2 metre man of the decade. Once he actually learns High Jump technique, expect this to be a regular occurrence over the next 5 years.

Montana Jackson

Triple Jump 12.32m/12.39m(w), Long Jump 5.51m/5.53m(w), 400mH 64.70

Despite having won two Blues and two events, Oxford had yet to see the Montana Jackson who won an English Schools title. This year, inspired by her captaincy role, we did. This was all the more remarkable since she spent 4 months out injured with a stress fracture. But, having already shown she was a different athlete in training, this time was spent productively in the weight room getting very strong and come the Outdoor Season, it showed. Her first two competitions were 40cm better than the previous season. She then produced one of the great Varsity performances. Despite training for neither 400 metres nor hurdles she retained her 400 metre hurdles title, this time in a Blues standard. 10 minutes later she roused herself to a Long Jump win. 2 hours later she finally erased her 6 year old Triple Jump PB (11.99m), going over the 12 metre mark 3 times with a best of 12.32m. The penny having dropped, Montana now took her Triple Jump talents back to the national stage picking up bronze at the Southern Championships and silver in another PB at the U23’s before winning the Harvard-Yale Triple Jump. Disappointed by an ankle injury which limited her at her first National Seniors, although no longer at Oxford, expect Montana to fulfil her enormous potential in the next few years.

Emily Moss

1500m 4:33.60

After a disappointing first season at Oxford, Emily’s Indoor season went some way to righting those wrongs. At BUCS she formed the second part of a magic 20 minutes for Oxford alongside Sam Trigg, getting into 2nd place in the opening 100 metres and maintaining it all the way to the finish for a silver medal that bettered her previous bronze medals for London. At FEAR she produced a special Varsity performance anchoring both the 800 and 1500 teams and coming from a long way behind to secure victory. In the 800 it was relatively comfortable; in the 1500 anything but. Against Cambridge’s 10000m BUCS Champion Rebecca Moore, Emily reeled her in before unleashing a fierce kick in the final 300 metres to take another win having made up a near 30 second gap with a 4:28 leg. Outdoors she was troubled by a hamstring injury but still made the BUCS Final before this injury caught up with her and prevented her repeating those FEAR heroics on the big stage. A disappointing end to what had been a fine season.

Kate Niehaus

5000m 17:29.86

Kate picked up another two Blues this year (Cross Country and Track) but was again victim of the very high standard of Oxbridge women’s distance running at the moment as she was only 4th at Varsity Cross Country and 3rd on the track. On the track she ran a brave race only three weeks after going sub 3 hours at the London Marathon, attempting to run away from faster finishing opponents in hot conditions. She couldn’t quite manage it; hopefully that will change in her final year.

Grace Clements

High Jump 1.73m, Shot 12.51m

9 years and a Commonwealth medal after leaving Cambridge, Grace came to Oxford to complete her teaching qualifications. She had stated her determination to retire after her second Commonwealth Games appearance and stuck to it for most of the season, but with weeks to go before Varsity decided that she just couldn’t miss out. After winning the High Jump she went over to the Shot for one of the great Varsity competitions. Against Cambridge’s English Schools Silver Medal winner, Grace took the match record over 12 metres for the first time in the opening round and then over 12 and a half (a new Oxford record) in the fourth. But in the last round Fiona Brown produced a brilliant 12.83m to snatch the win. Grace then finished her wonderful career, which took her to so many international vests, at Iffley Road competing for the two universities she represented with such distinction against Harvard and Yale. It was a winning end in her favoured High Jump in a tough competition – a fitting end for one of the best Oxbridge athletes of the 21st century.

Anna Niedbala

Discus 44.76m, Hammer 43.98m, Shot 11.30m

After a year away, Anna returned to Oxford after her 2013 Discus victory for her PhD and this time she was determined to train more than two weeks before the Varsity Match. The results were predictable as she chased down the PB’s set as a 19 year old at Dartmouth, achieving it in the Hammer and Shot while going close in the Discus – becoming the first woman ever to win Blues in all 3 heavy throws in the same season. After a disappointing BUCS Discus Final, having topped her pool in qualification, she stormed back at Varsity wresting the Oxford Discus record away from team-mate and rival Christina Nick and securing PB’s in Shot and Hammer. Now in the top 6 all time for Oxford in all three heavy throws (1st in Discus, 3rd in Hammer, 6th in Shot) and new squad leader she will be one of the key figures as Oxford seek to wrest the trophies away from Cambridge next year.

Kate Davies

Javelin 40.24m

6th in the English Schools Heptathlon weeks before arriving at Oxford, Kate was clearly going to be a key figure in the Oxford team. On first glance it would perhaps be surprising that Javelin should be Kate’s best event but exceptional technique combined with impressive power resulted in some spectacular throws. Her multiple talents were best shown at BUCS, literally running between Long Jump Qualifying and the Javelin Final on the way to impressive results in both. At Varsity she picked up a winners medal in the Javelin before becoming only the second Oxford woman over 40 metres at the Harvard-Yale match. Oxford haven’t lost the Women’s Javelin since 2007 and with Kate around for three more years, it doesn’t look likely any time soon.

Honourable Mentions

Honourable mention to Pete Cox (Discus 42.60m, Shot 13.45m) who achieved the standard but was ineligible for the Blues this year, and to Christina Nick (Discus 42.67m, Shot 12.05m, Hammer 38.06m) who achieved the standard but was unavailable for the Varsity Match.

Aidan Reynolds

Javelin (68.72m)

In 2013 Aidan arrived at Oxford with much fanfare having come 2nd at English Schools the previous year and, more significantly, having lit the Olympic Flame in front of a worldwide television audience in the billions. He quickly showed what all the fuss was about by breaking the Freshers Match Record in his favoured Javelin as well as winning three other events. At FEAR he provided one of the most memorable performances of recent years, producing a huge throw to take an under-strength Oxford team to victory in the Javelin before barely half an hour later securing another Blues Standard in the High Jump to win a tight contest in that event. To add to his CV, Aidan was also a double winner on the Americas Tour in 2013 and has won the Javelin in the Varsity match two years running, winning by over 10m this year.

Adam McBraida

400m (48.67), 400H (54.59), 200H (24.91)

Having lead the 4×4 team off on the way to a BUCS bronze medal in 2013, Adam anchored the relay in a storming last leg to secure a silver medal this year. One of only a handful of athletes to compete in multiple events in a Varsity, Adam won two individual events in 2013 (400mH, 200mH) but surpassed everyone’s, albeit high, expectations by winning a stunning 5 victory medals as Men’s Captain this year in the 100m, 200m, 200mH, 4x100m and 4x400mH. Proud owner of 3 Blues standards, bronze and silver BUCS medals, and 10 Varsity medals, Adam wants to build on his successful role as Captain last year by leading the club, as President, to an Oxford whitewash at Varsity.

Ismaila Ngum

110H (15.57)

After a third place finish behind two tabs in 2013, Ismaila Ngum came back with a vengeance, recording fast times over the 60m hurdles indoors and progressing outdoors by consistently smashing his PB over and over again throughout the season. Despite the presence of Ross Elsby, the previous winner of the 110mh, Ismaila exploded out of the blocks and cruised over the hurdles to secure Varsity victory in a blues time of 15.57s, over half a second faster than his time the year before.

James Heywood

Discus (42.40m)

Having spent the majority of last year with a shoulder injury, James was determined to train hard through the winter and boy did it pay off. At his first outdoor meet of the year, Heywood threw the Full Blue standard in what was a discus demonstration at FEAR. Since then he has consistently hit the mark and is ever keen to push his PB further and further. In fact he managed to make the Discus final at BUCS and finished a strong 8th place amongst a quality field. James was disappointed at Varsity this year, despite beating a tab in the Blues event, and is keen to chase after a Varsity medal next year.

Sam Trigg

Long Jump (7.25m), Triple Jump (15.00m)

Despite winning a Triple Jump Blue in his first year, Sam was disappointed to be well beaten by Cambridge rival Matt Houlden at Varsity and was determined to put up a stronger fight this year. He came within 15cm at the Indoor Match. In Long Jump it seemed to be business as usual until a 7 metre jump at Cuppers the week before Varsity brought Sam back into the hunt. After an opening round 7.25m from the Cambridge man, his team manager declared the event over. Sam had other ideas, taking the lead on countback with a stunning 7.25m of his own. It took the longest wind legal jump in Varsity history to beat him in the following round. Sam also became the first man to triple jump 15 metres in the Varsity Match and lose before a stunning second leg in the sprint relay gave the team an unassailable lead in that decisive event. After the match Sam showed his mettle outside Oxford, winning the Southern Championship for Triple Jump and finally putting one over on Houlden in a 4th place finish at the U23’s. With his arch-rival now out of the way Captain Sam will surely lead from the front by picking up some individual winners medals at this year’s Match.

George Gundle

400m (48.27)

Having run a solitary 48 second run last season, never breaking 50 otherwise, there were concerns going into this year that George might have been a one hit wonder. None from the man himself, who opened the Outdoor season with a new personal best at Lee Valley before contributing to fine relay runs at Penn Relays and at BUCS where the team picked up a silver medal. But BUCS had also seen the emergence of a Light Blue threat. On Varsity day Barney Walker stormed into the lead over the first 200 metres. But George reeled him in by the home straight and, as his opponent’s legs gave way, held on to win in another personal best and backed this up with second in the 200 metres. Another 48 point followed in defeating Penn-Cornell, in a British 1-2-3. Entering his final year, Gundle will hope to retain his Varsity title in what is sure to again be one of the races of the day.

Ralph Eliot

400m (49.49)

The steadiest member of the 400 metre relay squad, El Presidente finally graduated to the Blues team in the individual event after two crushing wins for the Seconds in the past two years over the one lap race. Despite three sub 50 clockings and another BUCS relay medal, he had yet to reach the Blues Standard of 49.5 by Varsity day. But the added adrenalin of the day proved enough as he took advantage of a Cambridge fall to come through in second place under the Standard by the narrowest of margins.

Tom Frith

800m (1:52.13)

Hopes were high for a fantastic final track season from Frithy after the best Cross Country season of his career where he came 2nd in the Varsity Match on Wimbledon Common in December, narrowly beaten by a GB Junior international. But by the New Year there were problems as Tom’s appetite for training and racing appeared to have gone. The dream of finally achieving a team win at Varsity brought him back onto the track but was it all too late? It seemed that way as he dropped out of his BUCS 800 semi-final and his Cambridge rival stormed into the final. But, as the past two years had shown, Tom is a different athlete when facing Cambridge. Aided by the deliberately slow pace set by Oxford Fresher Will Durkin he stalked his man throughout the last lap before unleashing the legendary ‘Frith Kick’ in the home straight to take an emotional victory. He then showed his team spirit by recapturing his junior days in the Pole Vault before a storming 4×4 leg for the seconds (nearly catching the Cambridge Blues team) ended his Oxford career in style with the win he wanted. Farewell to one of the great fighters of recent Varsity Matches.

Craig Morten

400H (53.85), 200H (25.24)

Although this former English Schools medallist was mighty effective in his first year, it took place mostly in the shadows as he was left out of the BUCS final in the 4×400 relay and came 2nd in both Varsity races to Adam McBraida. This year he moved front and centre. After some gutsy 800 races Indoors he PB’d in his opening race of the season over his preferred 400 hurdles before graduating to the final team in the BUCS 4×400, taking Silver. At Varsity the quiet man roared as he began the Oxford charge towards victory with a dominant win in the 400 Hurdles before being desperately unlucky to come last in the 200 hurdles despite running the Blues Standard – the first athlete that had happened to in 11 years. Another solid relay leg helped seal victory in the final event of the day. As ever, Craig did an excellent job with a minimum of fuss; a fantastic team man.

Emily Moss

800m (2:10.88)

It is a testament to Emily’s talent that despite being the Dark Blue Women’s top points scorer at BUCS both Indoors and Out over two different distances (1500 and 2000 Steeplechase respectively) Oxford has not yet seen her at her best. She made a huge contribution to FEAR in the 60 hurdles, 400 metres and 800 metres and rounded into form with a huge season’s best and Blues Standard over 800 the week before Varsity. Sadly she was struck down by food poisoning on the day without which she would have surely hung on in the 400 hurdles. A woman of many talents and distances, if Oxford are to win next year they will need Emily at the peak of her powers.

Rose Penfold

1500m (4:36.64)

In her fifth year of Varsity competition (her second for Oxford after three years in the Fens) Rose finally secured her Blue. It was one of the most popular to be awarded in recent years, a testament to how well-liked this fierce competitor is. She held off friend and team-mate Sarah McCuaig to complete a hat-trick of 800 metre titles at Varsity but it was a move up the distances to 1500 that finally secured her Blue at an Oxford Open meeting a few weeks after the big day. Having been unfortunate to be on the losing side in each of the last three years, Rose will be hoping that her team-mates can follow her example and defeat Cambridge to mark her final year.

Kate Niehaus

5000m (17:02.25)

This Rhodes Scholar came to Oxford in 2012 with exceptional times from her days competing at the sharp end of the NCAA’s for Stanford but had seemingly left competitive running behind after an excellent 2nd place at that year’s Varsity Cross Country. The excellent atmosphere of the Women’s Distance squad brought her back into the fold this spring and although she was not quite ready to defeat the BUCS 10k champion she secured a track blue before running even faster against her fellow Americans from Penn and Cornell. With a full winter behind her, Niehaus will pose a huge threat to Cambridge this year.

Montana Jackson

Triple Jump (11.43m)

After a steady first year where she became reacquainted with jumping after recovering from a serious foot injury, Montana really came to life this year. Although she won her second successive Blue in her favoured Triple Jump she could be found in almost any event – at FEAR she competed in all four jumps as well as the High Hurdles, 60 metres and 400 metres. It should therefore perhaps not have been surprising that when faced with a last minute vacancy in the opening track event, Captain Katie made the inspired call for Montana to undertake the 400 hurdles for the first time in her life. Surging off the last hurdle she won a narrow victory before later adding the Triple Jump. Now captain, this sort of inspiration will surely lead her team to glory.

Christina Nick

Shot (11.00m), Discus (40.42m – All Time Oxford Record)

From Germany by way of Manchester Christina established herself as the dominant force in Varsity throwing this year in her favoured events of Discus and Shot as well as a star team player through her willingness to throw the Hammer when the team required. Indoors she made the BUCS Final for Shot before a throw exactly on the Blues Standard in the final got her dancing with delight. In Discus she had broken the Oxford record by the end of March, eventually pushing it over 40 metres by August. Despite determined Cambridge opposition she cruised to victory in both events at the Varsity Match in May and will look to do the same again next year.

Jenny Richards

Hammer (44.48m)

Jenny had been desperately unlucky to miss out on a Blue last year as she had to be left out of the Blues team for tactical reasons despite being clearly worthy of a place in Hammer, a point she further emphasised by breaking the Second Team record. This year she was to make no mistake, being one of the most improved athletes of the season as she only once failed to break the Blues Standard having done so on multiple occasions the previous year. Having made the Blues this time she was again desperately unlucky being beaten by two superb Cambridge athletes, one of whom took the Match Record over 50 metres for the first time. Not disheartened Jenny rose to second on the All-Time list by the end of the season and will surely take the Oxford record next season, hopefully alongside a well-deserved Varsity winners medal.


Honourable mentions to Rowan May (Pole Vault 5.20m – Oxford Record) and Ezra Leonce (Triple Jump 13.96m) who both achieved Blues Standards over the course of the season but were unfortunately injured for the Varsity Match and therefore could not be awarded their Blue. Simisola Oyesanya also achieved a Blues Standard (Discus 38.06m) but was left out of the Blues team for tactical reasons. Each having many more years at Oxford, their time will surely come.

Clara Blattler

The 2009-2010 OUAC Women’s Captain has achieved Blues standard performances in the pole vault and the 400m hurdles, winning both events at the Varsity Match. Vaulting an OUAC record of 3.71m at the indoor FEAR match, she also placed 5th at the BUCS outdoor championships.

Hannah Hogben

Hannah has been the dedicated leader of the OUAC throwing squad for 2009-2010. She has delivered solid performances in the shot put and discus, but had the strongest results in the hammer throw, where she threw a fantastic personal best this year of 44.25m.

Liz Murphy

Liz came back to athletics from a brief retirement to jump and throw in the spring outdoor season. A blues rower as well as a blues athlete, she achieved Blues standard performances this year in the shot put. Unfortunately, an injury on the day of the Varsity Match prevented her from acquiring any wins in that competition.

Ashley Nord

Ashley unfortunately could not perform to her best in the Varsity Match due to an Achilles tendon injury, but expect her to be back next year to help the Oxford women dominate the pole vault. She cleared a season’s best of 3.50m in the indoor season.

Bethany Staniland

Bethany made a fantastic recovery from multiple knee operations to rejoin us this year in the throws, achieving Blues standards in the shot put and the discus. Amazingly, she achieved a fantastic personal best in the discus of 38.59m this spring.

Alexander Skouby

Captain Skouby led from the front for all of the 2009/2010 season. Despite a dissapointing competition at the indoor BUCS, Skouby completed his 3rd-straight team victory in the FEAR high jump competition, during which he emerged victorious in the 2nd-string 60mh, to complete the squad victory there too. As Varsity approached, Alex began to fine tune his preparation, and entered the Varsity match as favourite to take his 3rd consecutive high jump win. But the going wasn’t smooth – Cambridge’s talisman Louis Persent pushed him all the way, but after a shakey start with some uncharacteristic failures at lower heights, Skouby’s class came through, winning the epic competition with a success at 1.95m. With the 5 points secured, Skouby raised the bar to 2.02m to attempt a new personal best, and secure his place in the club’s all-time top-10, but missed it by the narrowist of margins. As he enters his 4th year, Alex has set his sights on a remarkable 4th straight win in the Blues high jump, a BUCS medal, and a PB to make him one of the all-time great Oxford high jumpers.

Jeff Piercy

A real saviour for the team, Jeff only began competing for us in trinity term and was more than capable of filling our rather empty hammer squad. Former Hamilton Tiger-Cats player and Canada West all star Jeff provided not only excellent performances but also a bit of needed size and intimidation to the team. At the varsity match Jeff was ready to show everyone what he was capable of. Hammer being the first event it was an ideal platform for his talents. Winning the event and throwing the blues distance for the first time was an ideal opener to the match.

Pete Cox

The thought of what this man is capable of should strike fear into the hearts and minds of any Cambridge athlete. As former New-Zealand decathlon champion Pete follows in the footsteps of fellow international and decathlon champion Sean Gourley by coming to Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar. This year has unfortunately been very difficult for Pete as his intentions of attending the commonwealths were hampered by a serious Achilles injury. This injury, whilst preventing him from running and jumping (his main events), did not stop him from simply dominating the throws at both the FEAR match in March and the Varsity match in May. Winning the Shot, Discus and Javelin in both matches he showed that Cambridge had no one to match his calibre. I pity any Cambridge side that comes up against a fully fit Pete Cox. Despite being a truly fierce competitor he is always willing to lend a hand and is a genuinely thoughtful and kind man.

Oliver Stogdale

Now one of the old guard of the team, Oli decided to increase he repertoire to include some of the longer hurdle disciplines, a decision which came at no small cost to his comfort during training. Throughout the year he was seen running long reps in the cold and wet with his typical expression of dogged determination etched on his face. His efforts were of course rewarded when on a cold and wet May morning at the County Champs Oli ran his first blues time in the 110m hurdles, an event which a week later he would be victorious in at the somewhat sunnier Varsity match. A true team player, Oli competed in a total of 4 events at the match and was still on form by the end of the dinner. Oli (and his slightly strange sense of humour) are sure to be missed next year.

Isaiah Adekanmbi

Isaiah stunned everyone with his first performance against Cambridge at the FEAR match in March. Running a staggering 6.90 seconds in the 60m he propelled himself to the top of the all time rankings for a distance he claims not to enjoy. The outdoor season saw more extraordinary performances from Isaiah where he consistently ran sub 11 seconds in the 100m and earned his blue by running 10.87 seconds in the heats of the BUCS championships. Come Varsity he was a force to be reckoned with but sadly due to illness was not at his best. This didn’t stop him producing a spectacular first leg in the 4 by 100m leaving all around him for dead. A man who is always happy to help I am sure he will continue to impress and intimidate.

Will Hooton

Squad leader for the long sprints, Will could always be counted on to bring a sense of purpose to most proceedings whether training or social occasions. He got his season off to a great start with some fantastic performances at the FEAR match. Following this up at the indoor BUCS competition he ran a long awaited blues time in the 400m heats, a time that would have seen him comfortably make the final. Will was unfortunate at the Varsity match to come up against Cambridge’s international 400m runner. Despite this he competed with characteristic confidence and zeal.

David Bruce

Dave had been with both the athletics and cross-country clubs for many years now and continues to show himself as one of the most reliable men we have. His ability to double up in the longer distances proved invaluable at the Varsity match winning the Steeplechase and placing second behind Oxford’s Luke Caldwell in the 5,000m, he raked in the points for us. With a BUSA medal and Blues in both cross-country and athletics to his name, he is a very talented guy. Dave now only has one more year in Oxford, it will be interesting to see how he finishes out his career here.

William Johnson

Perhaps more noted in Oxford for his ability on the rugby pitch and his rather inexplicable ability to do the splits, Will has proved himself more than a competent member of the athletic community. His willingness to sacrifice other commitments to enable him to compete shows the character of this gentle giant. With a natural aptitude for the shot and an ingrained competitive streak Will was a dangerous asset at any competition.

Andy Heyes

An excellent middle distance and cross-country runner, Andy really came alight this summer with some fantastic performances. Achieving a blue in perhaps the most prestigious event – the mile – is no small feat. Let alone doing it practically by yourself on the historic Sir roger Bannister track. With a lack of competition from the Cambridge side, Andy was forced to front run the 1609m race. It was a display of immense discipline and tact. Completing the final lap in under 60 seconds and watching the clock all the way down the final straight he achieved his blues time with less than a second to spare. Later in the season he continued to improve clocking 3:46.9 in the 1500m. Andy is an athlete who I feel confident will continue to impress in the years to come.

Isaiah Adekanmbi

100m (10.85)

With a PB of 10.73 Isaiah is possibly the fastest Dark Blue never to win the Varsity 100 metres. He again swept all before him during the indoor season on his way to a third individual victory over 60 metres at FEAR in his third sub 7 second time – he has now run more sub 7 times in the match than everyone else combined. Despite suffering an Achilles injury the day before the flight he recovered enough to anchor the Oxbridge sprint relay squad to victory over Harvard and Yale. Unfortunately the injury meant Isaiah was far from his best at Varsity and was beaten in the individual event and the relay. Once recovered he ran the two fastest legal times by an Oxbridge athlete this season. Had he been fit, the match result might well have been different.

Sam Wareham

400m (49.91, 48.3 leg)

After three years of trying in both rugby and athletics Sam Wareham was awarded a Discretionary Blue in his final year. It was fitting that the performance that sealed it for this ultimate team man came in the 4×4 relay BUCS Final where he almost ran down Cardiff Metropolitan for 2nd, resulting in a stunning 48.3 leg as part of the record breaking bronze medal squad. He followed this up with victory in the individual 400 metres at Varsity and again ran the fastest leg in the relay. The ovation that greeted its announcement told the story – few Blues can have been as deserved.

Michelle Sikes

5000m (17:20.32)

Many years ago Michelle was the NCAA 5000 metre champion and ran for the USA at the World Championships. Following a first year in Oxford where she won everything in sight Michelle took a break of several years from the sport. Only returning in January time she quickly re-discovered something of her old form to come second at the Varsity 5000 behind an athlete who had won the silver medal at the BUCS Championships two weeks previously. With her PhD still having no end in sight big things are expected from Michelle next year – the pedigree is certainly there.

Rebecca Simpson

Hammer (40.56m)

Rebecca sealed her Blue and her place in the all time top 10 at her first Hammer competition for OUAC at the Freshers Varsity Match. Although injury seriously curtailed her training she was able to further progress up the all time rankings with throws over 40 metres at both Tour Matches and secured a solid 2nd place behind a classy Cambridge athlete at the Varsity Match. Still three metres short of her PB this season, there is much more to be shown in the coming years.

Sam Trigg

Triple Jump (14.56m)

Cambridge had whitewashed the Oxford men in the horizontal jumps the previous year but that was never likely to be repeated with Sam joining us. In the Triple Jump the Blues Standard was reached in virtually every competition, including a surprise win at the Penn/Cornell Match, whilst his Long Jump also improved by over 30cm to just short of the standard. Sam ultimately lost out to arch-rival Matt Houlden in both horizontal jumps at the Varsity Match and this confrontation will continue to be a highlight of Oxbridge athletics next year. Also demonstrating a talent for High Jump and the 200 metres at Town v Gown, Sam will be a key part of the Oxford team seeking to win the 150th Anniversary match in 2014.

Aidan Reynolds

Javelin (68.77m), High Jump (1.95m)

Aidan arrived at Oxford with much fanfare having come 2nd at English Schools the previous year and, more significantly, having lit the Olympic Flame in front of a worldwide television audience in the billions. He quickly showed what all the fuss was about by breaking the Freshers Match Record in his favoured Javelin as well as winning three other events. At FEAR he provided one of the most memorable performances of recent years, producing a huge throw to take an under-strength Oxford team to victory in the Javelin before barely half an hour later securing another Blues Standard in the High Jump to win a tight contest in that event. A double winner on the Americas Tour and having PB’d early in the season to go 2nd on the all-time list Aidan was disappointed with his performance on Varsity day. He still won the Javelin by 6 metres.

Nadine Prill

100m (12.27w/12.40), 200m (24.64), 400m (56.43)

With the arrival of Alice Kaye at Cambridge, the pressure was on for Nadine to retain her place as the undisputed Queen of Varsity sprinting. She delivered in the grand manner right from the off, overcoming a poor start to break the 60m Match Record at FEAR and leading home both sprint relays. Two victories were secured on the Americas Tour, including breaking the Harvard/Yale Match Record in her favoured 200m to extend her lead atop the all-time rankings in this event to almost a second. Finally, on Varsity day itself Nadine comfortably retained her treble, cementing her place as the greatest female sprinter Oxford has ever seen. Now entering her final year she will be targeting a treble treble with Varsity Match records as the icing on the cake.

Anna Niedbala

Discus (38.99m)

Anna was the cause of much excitement at the Freshers Fair, given that her Discus PB from her time in the NCAA’s was six metres further than anyone had ever thrown for Oxford before. By contrast, her Hammer PB placing her in the top 3 of all time seemed slightly disappointing! Her performances certainly were not. Having been narrowly defeated by Georgina Howe of Cambridge at the Freshers Match, she defied injury, including being hit on the ankle by our men’s Discus Blue at the final session before the match, to return the favour when it truly counts at the Varsity Match in May as part of a powerful throws squad.

Marcus-Alexander Neil

Discus (41.81m)

Having come 6th at English Schools as a junior there was no doubting the big man’s talent or that he had the physical gifts to be a dominant force in Varsity throwing. All that was missing was training more than two weeks before Varsity. This year the final piece of the puzzle was added and was duly rewarded at the Varsity Match. A huge throw in the Discus of 41.81 gave the Oxford men their first victory in a heavy throw since 2010 and secured Marcus his first Blue in the one true sport to go with his rugby league one. With Cambridge having a very good fresher coming in next year, further improvement will be necessary to retain his title but with his determination now being applied to the throwing circle, don’t rule Marcus out.

Craig Morten

400 Hurdles (53.96), 200 Hurdles (25.15)

Craig achieved a rare feat by securing a Blues Standard on the track at the Freshers Varsity Match in his favoured 400 hurdles. A valuable member of Team 4×4 during their many successes this year, including running in the heat at BUCS, Craig was out of sorts over the hurdles on the Americas Tour. But he rounded back into form just in time for the Varsity Match, convincingly beating two Cambridge Blues in the 400 hurdles before timing his finish perfectly to secure 2nd in the 200 hurdles by the narrowest of margins and keep the match alive – sealing another Blues standard in the process. Further excellent performances culminated in his first personal best over 400 hurdles in 2 years, going under the 54 second barrier in the process.

Adam McBraida

400 Hurdles (54.72), 200 Hurdles (25.04)

Having fallen when set for victory in the 400 hurdles in 2012, Adam was determined to make amends this year. Showing his form by leading the 4×4 team off on the way to a BUCS bronze medal a fortnight previously, redemption was duly achieved in that first track event of the day as Adam tracked everyone from the inside lane before charging through to victory in the home straight to set the Dark Blues off to a perfect start in a very quick 54.72. Despite it coming 35 minutes after the 200 flat and making a terrible start, he also came through in the home straight of the 200 hurdles to retain his title and Blue in his favourite event. Another victory next year and Adam makes it onto the match programme. Now Captain and talking of aiming to secure Blues Standards in 6 events, only a fool would bet against him.

Adam Lewandowski

800m (1:52.89)

Finally able to train before March having been injured each winter of his previous three years at Oxford, Adam showed us what we had been missing in some style. He fell just short of making the BUCS Final and looked set for 3rd place in a very high quality Varsity race. But in the unique atmosphere of Varsity he improved his seasons best by over 2 seconds and came up with his first personal best in over five years, overtaking a tiring Lewis Lloyd in the last twenty metres to secure 2nd place and a well-deserved Blues Standard in his final year.

Chris Kneale-Jones

Discus (42.79m)

A former Northern Junior Champion, the lure of the Dark Side brought Chris back to the Discus after a break of several years just before the start of Trinity term. The timing was very fortunate as one of the likely Discus Blues had gone down injured the day before his arrival on the scene. Despite some early teething problems where every second throw hit the cage he won a throw-off on selection day to secure his Blues place and then fully justified it by beating both Cambridge throwers to claim 2nd place. The next few weeks saw a spirited but fruitless chase for the Blues Standard. Yet when it seemed his chance had gone, Chris produced a monster throw at an Open Meeting in early August to remove the stripes and secure his Blue.

Montana Jackson

Triple Jump (11.42m w/11.32m)

The lure of the Dark Side brought Montana, a former English Schools Triple Jump Champion, back to jumping after two years out with injury and she was soon back to form. Although unfortunate to be in the same events as Cambridge’s international athlete Emma Perkins Montana sealed her Blue on the Americas Tour while also climbing to third in the all-time rankings. With her conqueror in the Horizontal Jumps now safely out of the way this medic has five years to ensure her place in the Varsity history books.

George Gundle

400m (48.52)

George arrived at Oxford having never properly trained for athletics before, albeit possessing plenty of natural talent which was displayed across all the sprints at Freshers Varsity. Despite the presence of more experienced athletes by the FEAR Match George had established himself as the fastest man in the long sprints squad and established unassailable leads in both the 4×200 and 4×400. A late call up to the Americas Tour was fully vindicated by a massive personal best and Blues Standard of 48.52 at Cornell – the fastest time by an Oxford man for over a decade – being followed by victory in tough conditions against Harvard and Yale. Part of the 4×4 bronze medal winning team at BUCS, George proved himself a team player by handing 400 metre victory at Varsity to Sam Wareham in order to save his legs for later races. All this from a year’s training, there is still much more to come.

Tom Frith

800m (1:52.17), 1500m (3:49.47)

Despite being injured for much of the winter the vaunted Frith Kick saw Tom to two victories on the Americas Tour, much to the chagrin of Dark Blue team-mate Jake Shelley. Tom’s talent was demonstrated as he literally walked to his Blues standard in the process of easing down having secured qualification for the BUCS 1500 Final. Tom demonstrated his credentials as a Varsity athlete in a much hyped showdown with Cambridge GB Junior Cross Country international Lewis Lloyd over 800, sticking tight to his man off a fast pace before storming past in the home straight to secure a win and Blues Standard in a second event. Unfortunately his tiredness left him unable to counter the last minute emergence of Jon Cook in the 1500. Next year Tom and Lewis look set to continue what could be an epic Varsity rivalry, hopefully with the same result.


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