Weekend action sees Yorkshire win women’s Inter-Counties team race in Settle as Cambridge dominate at 139th Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Sports
There was plenty of action both home and away this weekend as double Olympic champion Mo Farah started his summer season in style on Friday, winning the 5000m at the Oxy High Performance meet in Los Angeles.
The second meet of the Diamond League series took place in Shanghai on Saturday and saw a number of highly anticipated clashes realised. In the men’s 400m Grenada’s reigning world and Olympic champion Kirani James saw off USA’s LaShawn Merritt to equal the meeting record of 44.02, bettering his own world lead in the process.
While women’s 100m action saw double Olympic 100m champion Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce post a world-leading time of 10.93 to finish ahead of Nigeria’s Blessing Okagbare and rival Carmelita Jeter, who hobbled over the finish line clutching her leg for third.
Clayton and Swinburn lead Mountain Running Challenge after first race
Emma Clayton and Nick Swinburn lead the British Athletics Mountain Running Challenge after Race 1 at the Settle Hills Fell event on Sunday.
Clayton had a close race with her Bingley Harriers and Yorkshire team-mate Victoria Wilkinson, finally getting the better of her on the last flat section. Third was Katie Walshaw, also of Yorkshire, giving the county (pictured above) a clear victory in the Inter-Counties team race.
The men’s Inter-Counties title was won by Wegene Tafase of Scotland West from Nick Swinburn (North East) with Swinburn taking maximum points in the Mountain Running Challenge as it is only open to British Athletes.
Third placed Tom Adams led Yorkshire to the team title. In the junior races both under-16 titles went to Lancashire and both under-18 titles to Yorkshire with European Mountain Running Champion Annabel Mason leading the team to victory.
» Find further results from Settle in the May 23 issue of AW and here
Clean sweep for Cambridge at Varsity clash
Cambridge scored a clean sweep in the 139th Oxford v Cambridge Varsity Sports on Saturday, winning men’s and women’s first and second team matches.
Oxford were particularly dominant over 400m, as befits BUCS 4 x 400m medallists, but could not build on that across other events.
To be sure of victory Cambridge’s men had to call on Jon Cook over 1500m, warming up for his first England vest at Loughborough the next day, but their women could afford to rest their BUCS second and third 800m placers, Hanna Tarver and Emily Dudgeon.
National indoor champion Emma Perkins marked her final appearance in the match by duly winning the high jump, although in cool and breezy conditions Gill Howard’s 30-year-old match record of 1.80 just eluded her. She also won the long and triple jumps.
Jon Ridgeon took the opportunity when presenting the trophies, 25 years after his own record breaking appearances in the match, to pay particular tribute to his coach, Bob Smith.
Next year will mark the 150th Anniversary (the missing matches were during the two World Wars) of what is the oldest track and field fixture in the world.
Shane and Wootton among those victorious in Solihull
Former UK 1500m champion James Shane narrowly won the 800m in 1:48.93 at the BMC Grand Prix in Solihull on Saturday. Sharing the time was Elliott Slade, who set a PB with the mark, while last year’s English Schools champion, 17-year-old Kyle Langford, won the B race in a PB 1:49.42.
Teenager Charlie Grice won the A 1500m in 3:45.06 while the B race was won by James McMurray in a PB 3:45.65.
Former European Cup winner Charlene Thomas won the 1500m in 4:14.38 as Katrina Wootton won the women’s 5000 in a PB 15:30.82 ahead of Commonwealth Games 1500m medallist Stephanie Twell who ran 15:42.13 for second.
Williams storms to European lead in Loughborough
Rhys Williams ran the fastest 400m hurdles by a European athlete this year to cap an impressive win in the Loughborough International Athletics meeting on Sunday.
Other impressive performances came from double European indoor gold medallist Perri Shakes-Drayton, Eilidh Child, Dina Asher-Smith and Jess Judd.
Thames Hare and Hounds set a course record at Sutton Park
Thames Hare and Hounds set a course record in winning the M35 eight-stage event by close on three minutes with a superb all round team performance at Saturday’s British Masters Road Relay Championships, while Serpentine won their first ever W35 title.