Oxford University Athletic Club

FEAR 2018

Match Report: Field Event and Relays (3rd March)
Indoor varsity is always the highlight of Hilary term and the chance to compete indoors and get out of the
snow was welcomed by all! Unfortunately, inclement weather saw the cancellation of the three outdoor
throws, reducing the field matches to 5 events apiece. This year was also the first year to see the
introduction of the distance medley relay (DMR), consisting of a 1200m, 400m, 800m, 1600m, in place of the
previously run 4x1500m. Also, it was the first year to see the women’s match on a par with the men’s, with 4
scoring competitors in every event.

Women’s Field: Oxford win 4-1

Despite the loss of some of our strongest events due to the absence of the outdoor throws, OUAC were able
to take a comfortable win in the field. Under the guidance of coach Dan Hooker, the strong and well-drilled
horizontal jumpers secured both the long and triple jump competitions. Fine performances in both from
fresher Maddie Smith gave the squad the upper hand, and spurred them on to victory. In the shot, we
brought our women’s throwing dominance to bear, taking a 6m victory! Victory in the HJ was assured due to
the fine performances of indoor BUCS bronze medalist, Teele Palumaa, and heptathlete, Kate Davies.

Men’s Field: Oxford win 3-2

With the injury of BUCS bronze medallist in the PV, Archie McNeillis, this match promised to go right to the
wire. Unfortunately, without Archie, the PV proved too hard to win, and the absence of 2016 Varsity Winner,
Nithesh, in the HJ left us lacking in the vertical jumps department. However a fine win in the shot for captain
Jack Paget gave us the win, leaving us needing to secure both horizontal jumps to claim the match. With an
injury to star Jude Bright-Davies, other athletes had to step up. Under the mastery of Dan Hooker, the depth
of the squad held up, giving us comfortable wins in both to take the match.

Women’s Track: Cambridge win 4-2

This was always predicted to be an uphill struggle, with the absence of two top sprinters on their year
abroad, and injuries throughout the top distance women. This led to losses in the 60, 4×200, 4×400 and
4×800, put the match beyond our reach. However, the hurdlers put in a mighty performance, winning and
setting a match record for the third year running to save face, led by captain Emma Roberts. The final event
of the day, the DMR, saw gutsy runs from Natalie Beadle, Irene Gibson, Libby Brown and Anna Sharp to
take the race. Looking ahead to Varsity, prospects are much improved, with the distance squad shaking their
injuries, plus the combined effect of scoring in the field promising a very close match!

Men’s Track: Oxford retain 2-2 (Disputed…)

The men’s track saw tempers run very high, and some classic tab skullduggery… The men’s hurdlers took a
comfortable win early in the day, with standout performances from Varsity Match winner Liam Eagle, and the
rapidly blossoming Harry Salt. Then in a high quality 4×800, we were just pipped by a Cambridge team
anchored by the Estonian national 800m champion, with both teams just short of the match record, 1-1. An
agonizing 0.05s loss in the 60m (with the absence of top sprinter, Isaac Kitchen-Smith), followed by a
comfortable 4×400 win tied the match at 2-2, leaving us needing one win to retain the trophy. The 4×200
looked to be in the bag with 200 to go, only for a roaring first 100m by the Cambridge anchor to leave the
athletes neck and neck on the final bend. Coming from behind, the tab proceeded to knock the baton from
Alex Grundmann’s hand, but then be beaten over the line as Grundmann dropped the baton, then the
hammer. As OUAC crossed the line first, we argued the correct result was an Oxford win and a Cambridge
DQ for infringement. Unfortunately, an unsportsmanlike protest from the tabs resulted in a double DQ.
With the match hanging in the balance, and our haunches firmly raised, we went into the DMR as
underdogs. Despite fine running from injury returnee Luke Cotter, 400 specialist Ed Rees, and President
Miles Weatherseed, the Estonian 800m champion gave the tabs a 50m lead heading into the 1600. What
followed was some of the finest pace judgement and determined running ever seen. With OUAC coach, Kyle
Bennett, yelling the tab’s splits every lap for the Varsity 1500m champion, Alex Gruen, to hear, the lead
began to slowly fall. However, the final lap came around with seemingly too much for Gruen to do, a 30m
deficit still to makeup on the Cambridge XC captain. Gruen unleashed his kick, and whipped round the last
bend to take the tab, with the whole club following behind him! Victory. Or not… The track invasion
(reminiscent of the scenes at Iffley in 1954) was deemed to impede the Oxford seconds runner, seeing a DQ
for Oxford. Cambridge were also DQ’d for throwing down the baton in disgust. So despite crossing the line
first in 4 race, the match was adjudged a draw. Come 19th May, the men will be back for revenge…

Comments are closed.

Facebook, Twitter and Email

Suggestion for the website? Spot a Mistake? Let us know here.