The club’s veteran athletes took to Cambridge for the season’s second Eastern Masters league fixture, and in a fine combined effort BAC took two wins on the night alongside some strong placings. With several team regulars injured or unavailable, it fell on those present to take on extra events, or to try their hand at unfamiliar disciplines for the first time.
One such event was the night’s opener, an unusually eventful 1500m race walk, which saw debuts from Marcus Davey and Stuart Goodwin on the men’s side, while specialist Helen Middleton joined Helen Kapur in the women’s race. Competitors were stunned to see a rival athlete merrily bouncing along the track in a brisk jog, way ahead of the rest of the field and seemingly oblivious to walking rules, which dictate that one foot must be on the track at all times. As a result the first across the line was disqualified, but behind him Davey finished an excellent third in 8min 15.5sec, while Middleton was second in the women’s A standings with 8:33.7. Goodwin became the club’s first winner of the night in the men’s B-race with 10:51, while Kapur took third in the women’s B list with 12:30.4.
Throws specialist Sandra Ingham took the honours in the V50 javelin, with her throw of 20.63m almost four metres clear of the nearest competition, and she added fourth place in the discus thanks to a throw of 13.67m. Kathryn Juty was sixth in the V35 javelin, with 11.56m.
In the 80m hurdles, club coach Zoe Luscombe took a brilliant V35 third place with a clean run of 20.9, while Kapur’s invaluable contributions continued in the V50 race, where her unconventional but highly effective technique thrilled onlookers and earned the team five points for fourth place as she crossed the line in 25.6. Luscombe later added sixth place in the V35 1500m (6:12.3), while Kapur took V50 fifth in 8:25.4.
Davey took sixth in the V35 200m in 29.3sec and fifth in the 1500m in 4:54.9. Juty was fourth in the women’s 200m in 33.9, while in the men’s V60 race, Colin Harries took sixth place (40.9). Team captain Charlie Arnold was just pipped out of second place on the line in the V60 1500m, but took an excellent third with 5:37.9, having earlier taken fifth in the high jump with 1.15m. Juty was fourth in the women’s V35 high jump in 1.12m.
Elsewhere in the field, Goodwin took fourth in the V35 triple jump thanks to a final-round 8.87m in a topsy-turvy competition where most of the field posted best distances with their closing efforts. Simon Strong enjoyed a brace of fifth places in the V35 javelin (14.00m) and discus (13.05m), while Clark Skerratt was another taking four points for fifth in the V60 javelin (11.41m), and Harries joined in too with fifth in the V60 discus (14.23m).
Communications confusions hampered the 4x200m relays, with athletes unclear on where the break point was on the opening leg, allowing runners to leave their lane and make for the inside, while the men’s V50 team were frozen out entirely after failing to hear they were supposed to be lining up in the same race as the V35s.
Luscombe got the women’s team off to a flying start, while Kapur and Bev Strong shored things up for the middle legs against speedier competition, before Juty took the baton home for a fine third place.
In the men’s race, Arnold – still remonstrating with officials for the perceived injustice on the start line – channelled his obvious displeasure to helm a patchwork side for the opening leg, where he lined up against runners 25 years his junior. He handed to Simon Strong, whose fine leg left BAC in a straight fight with Bedford Harriers for fifth place. Goodwin closed the gap still further, before Davey’s brilliant final leg reeled in the competition to take an extra point.
Biggleswade took fifth places in both the men’s and women’s standings, adding up to fifth overall on the night, and the team now turn their attention to match three in Milton Keynes on 5 July.