Woodford's senior women enjoyed a tough return to the UK Women's League Premier Division after their promotion in 2016. As with the men in Sheffield , they had to contend with cool and windy conditions on their trip to Birmingham on Saturday. However, with several athletes unavailable, and despite the great efforts from those who did make the trip, Woodford could only finish in 8th place on the day with 112 points, immediately behind Blackheath on 126.5 and Shaftesbury on 154 as TVH won with 234.5 ahead of Edinburgh with 217 reigning champions Birchfield 215, Windsor 179, and Swansea 168. The hammer was Woodford's best event on the day with Myra Perkins and Lucy Marshall, but it was notable that the team rallied round to cover events due to others' unavailability.
The first event of the day, the hammer, saw Woodford gain a 2nd in the "A" and a win in the "B" as Myra Perkins just got the better of Lucy Marshall, throwing 61.31m to Lucy's 60.31m. Both athletes will be hoping to be in contention for Commonwealth Games selection for Scotland and England respectively as the season moves on. Lucy also gained additional valuable points afterwards in the "B" discus and shot events placing 7th in each with marks of 26.09m and 9.58m. Sarah Parsons made her debut for Woodford and placed 4th in the discus with 44.18m and also 8th in the shot with 10.83m. In the javelin Sylvia Cruz placed 4th with 42.70m, and it was pleasing to see Rhian Van-Horne back in action where she placed 6th in the "B" javelin with 29.77m. Performances in the jumps were led by Kitty Eleyae, and it was good to see her returning to decent form as she placed 2nd in the long jump with 5.91m, and later 6th in the triple jump with 11.20m. Multi-eventer Moe Sasegbon was 3rd in the "B" long jump with 5.18m and also 6th in a good high jump competition with 1.65m before placing 6th in the 100mH with 15.04m. Eike Vardja picked up good points in the"B" triple jump where she was 5th with 9.50m.
The track events were of a high standard and a considerable step up in quality from Divison One. Katie Skelding was 8th in the 100m with 12.87 secs (w?) and 7th in the "B" 200m with 26.02 secs (-0.3). Debutant Eloise Lewis was 7th in the "B" 100m with 13.07 secs (w?), whilst Jo Ryan was 7th in the "A" 200m with 25.36 secs (-2.4), and found 56.70 secs only good enough for 8th in a good quality 400m "A" string. In the "B". Anna Nelson was 5th in the "B" 400m with 57.63 secs, having earlier placed 4th in a good standard 400mH "A" string with 61.44 secs. In the 2000m s/ch Kate Stockings was 6th with 8m27.65 secs, after filling in in the "A" 800m where she finished 7th as Rhiann Van-Horne covered the "B", and also placed 7th. Missing any other middle distance specialists it was admirable that Alex Wardle gained valuable points with a 6th in the "A" 3000m, and also 7th in the "A" 1500m.
Both relay teams placed 8th but with reasonable performances as in the 4x100m the team of Jo Ryan, Katie Skelding, Eloise Lewis and Kitty Eleyae recorded 49.82 secs, and in the 4x400m, Moe Sasegbon, Eloise Lewis, Anna Nelson and Jo Ryan recorded 4m02.23 secs.
The next fixture is at Eton on June 3rd, and team manger Keith Newton will be hoping for a return from many of those unavailable for this fixture and if that happens there is every chance of retaining Premier Division status.