On a bright, autumnal November day, the dark blues emphatically won the 69th Freshers Varsity match for the first time in half a decade. It marked the first opportunity for the new intake of Dark Blues to take on the old enemy and show them their strengths, and not more could have been wished for with the Women’s team winning 12 of 17 events to record a resounding victory.
Oxford’s dominance in the match took a few events to settle in but after the first field event, it was a clean sweep. In the jumps, Emily Stone recorded the double win in the horizontal jumps, whilst Alice Richardson showed a return to her previous form, winning the high jump in the windiest of conditions. Both staking the emerging Oxford supremacy in the jumps after years of Cambridge control. In the throws, Simisola Oyesanya and Christina Nick worked their magic in the circle, recording wins in the shot and discus respectively. It was just left to ex-Yale team member Cody McCoy to take the final field event of the day, the javelin. There were also other promising performances from Alice Harman and Joy Buolamwini.
Out on the track it was a similar story. Sarah McCuaig dominated the middle distance double of 800 and 1500m, with Fern Brereton showing a courageous effort to battle to 2nd despite illness in the latter. In the sprints, Eniola Oyesanya took the match record in the 100m with an infatuating win, whilst on her way to sealing the sprints double. Cody McCoy displayed her versatility, along with Emily Stone, taking a 1-2 finish in the sprint hurdles. After a long wait Imogen Kempton and ex-Cornell athlete Suzana Markovlovic showed staying power and completed a 2-3 finish in the 3km.
The match as a whole was the highest quality it has been for some years but it was the camaraderie of this young team which shone through. It is two years since the Oxford Women’s Team won Varsity, and with the match on home tartan this year again, things look promising. However, many hard hours at Iffley Road lie ahead if victory is to be secured.
Report by Katie Holder, OUAC Women’s Blues Captain 2013-14
Results are available here!