Several Woodford athletes were on representative duty at Loughborough for the early season Loughborough International match, which features Loughborough University against teams from British Universities, England, Scotland, Wales and Great Britain U/20's. Performances were led by personal bests from Youcef Zatat, Jack Lawrie, Phil Norman and Adam Kirk-Smith. There were other good performances and also news from overseas.
The club finished second in a home fixture featuring 6 Essex clubs which saw notably more depth than is normal in the SAL. Early league leaders Orion won the match, while WGEL narrowly edged out Colchester&Tendring. Braintree&District, Newham&Essex Beagles and Ilford followed, with athletes from all clubs taking victories in an intriguing match.
The match began with success in a high quality hammer for Lucy Marshall (61.33) and Stephanie Howe (47.32 PB), however in contrast to the first match (where WGEL won the first 11 A string events) wins were hard to come by subsequently. Our highest points scorer was Iris Verweij (20 in 6 individual events) who won the 100h in our only other womens A string success. B string wins came from Katie Skelding in the 100 (12.62, alongside 200 A 2nd in 26.16) and U17 Samanta Bendaraviciute in her 400m debut (66.41).
Many Woodford athletes were in action at the Essex Championships, held in blustery conditions at Chelmsford last weekend. There were many fine performances, notably from the younger age groups, and amongst those there were County titles won by Anna Clark, Shayne Dewar, Sidnie Ward, Katie Petyt and two by Jimmy Geller.
Competing at the BMC Grand Prix at Solihull on Saturday evening, Daniel Rowden produced a fine run over 800m, as he placed 2nd in the “A” race, improving his personal best by more than a full second as he recorded a time of 1m46.86 secs. This was a qualifying mark for the European Under23 Championships, and moves Daniel to 3rd on the Woodford all-time rankings, behind Olympic silver medallist Derek Johnson, and Welsh international Matt Shone. Behind Daniel in that “A” race, U/20 Canaan Solomon was 6th with 1m49.61 secs, and over 1500m Bradley Wattleworth recorded 3m57.19 secs, whilst Chloe Bradley recorded 4m34.5 secs for 12th in the women's "A" race.