The David Weir stadium in Carshalton was the scene for match 4 of Southern Athletics League division 3 South East, as the LCAC track and field squad took on Swale, Sutton & District and Cambridge Harriers. With a match that was just about within sight of a tube station, LCAC took a strong squad including some new recruits – could we hold our own in a match against two clubs that finished in the top 8 in 2018?
First up were the women’s throws. Rachael Collins, Lisa Geary and Dee Strang were in action again for LCAC, with all three producing valuable points in the different events. Rachael, still carrying an injury preventing her from full running duties continued her excellent form, taking first place in the ‘A’ shot putt with a 8.84m throw, good for first place by nearly 80cm; Lisa grabbed 2nd place in the ‘B’ with a powerful throw of 5.39m. Dee produced an impressive 13.36m throw in the hammer, securing 3rd place.
With the track events starting, Nick Androulidakis was up first in the 400m hurdles as LCAC’s sole representative, and with the usual excellent technique over the jumps put in a season’s best of 77.41 and third place in the A competition. Next up was the 800m, wth Stewart Muir and Olly Bellamy in the same race for LCAC. At the bell both were at the back of a tight pack – in the end Olly put in a strong kick in the last 200m to finish 3rd in the A race with a PB of 2:10, with Stew not far behind, also improving from match 3 with a PB of 2:11 and 3rd in the B.
LCAC fielded their strongest men’s sprint team of the season for this match – stalwart sprinter Mike Harwood returned from injury, taking his place in the blocks alongside Chris Kiely, and exciting young prospects Iyobosa Igbineweka and Oscar Tsan. The four all showed impressive speed, and the value of a full team, with some excellent performances – in the 100m, Iyobosa stormed to 2nd place in the A race in 11.97, and followed this up with victory in the 200m A race in a blistering 24.06. Chris stormed to first place in the B 100m in 11.86, and Mike showed he was back to form with a rapid 12.73 in the 100m and 25.74 in the 200m. U17 athlete Oscar showed he was more than ready for senior competition with an electric 25.87 in the 200m. For the women, Kirsty Benham has been a force in the sprints all season, and she continued her excellent form with a 14.49 100m and 30.09 dash in the 200m. In the 400m, we again turned in some strong showings; Chris added a 53.36 performance, under 0.2s away from first place, with Nick completing the 400m double with a speedy 65.52 in the B. Mat Barber also represented well as non-scorer, turning in a new PB of 68.85. In the women’s, Kirsty once again showed her versatility in the longer sprint, powering to a new PB of 66.75 and 3rd place in the A race. LCAC were hanging in against their rivals here, with points coming in from nearly all events.
In the discus and javelin, LCAC again represented strongly – Rachael found herself in a tight competition for first place in the A, launching a 24.58m throw to take second place, with Lisa Geary capping another excellent all-round throws performance with a 10.67m throw for 4th in the B. Raul Montoliu has proved to be a great asset to the squad this season, and was also throwing multiple objects for LCAC – he bolstered the points total further with a 16.28m javelin throw, a 21.28m hurl of the discus and 3rd place in the shot with a 6.42m effort.
Nick was back in action, transferring his hurdling skills to the triple jump, with an excellent 8.61 effort, he took second place in the A and Oscar dialled up an impressive 4.90m leap in the long jump for 4th place in the A.
The middle and long distance events are always the ones that LCAC can represent strongly in; Mat Speed made his first SAL appearance of the season, and what an appearance – a season’s best of 4:19 gave us second place in the A race, with his brother Chris also turning in an impressive 4:57 for 2nd in the B. In the women’s 5000m, Marie Duignan was leading with a few laps to go, but sadly had to drop out of the race as injury took its toll towards the end – an unfortunate ending but only a minor blip on an otherwise storming season for her. Maria Butylina came home for LCAC in a speedy 23:09, an impressive time with the temperature picking up at this stage of the day. Maria has racked up the events this season, and also went in the 1500m – turning in an impressive 6:30 performance for 3rd place in the A race. In the men’s 3000m, we were again among the podium finishes in the A and B races; Olly and Joe Jenkinson worked together well over the 7 and a half laps, grinding out PBs in gutsy times of 10:03 and 10:10 respectively, with Joe Dalton (11:10, PB) and Fergal Dunne (12:25) putting in sterling efforts as non-scorers.
The final events of the day were the gruelling steeplechase, and the relays. Olly and Nick dug deep to both run PBs in the 3000 version, in 11:54 and 14:00. Maria decided to seize the day just before the start of the women’s 1500m steeplechase race and powered round in 7:34 to take 2nd place. Time for the relays, and LCAC were determined to go out with a bang; in the 4x100m, the men’s quartet of Mike, Joe Dalton, Oscar and Iyobosa put in a brilliant performance, getting the baton round in 48.8, just 0.8 off the lead and the fastest time of the season for LCAC. The women’s team of Kirsty, Marie, Lisa and Dee also battled hard and brought home 3rd place in 69.3. The final event of the day was the mixed relay, and Olly, Dee, Kirsty and Iyobosa rounded the day out nicely with another 3rd place in 4:39.
LCAC just missed out on 3rd place on the day with an overall haul of 128 points, with Swale slightly ahead on 134 – but this was again a solid total to keep us on course for an improved finish over last year. Consistency has been the key this season in the throws, shout outs here to Dee, Lisa, Rachael and Raul for continuing to rack up PBs and impressive throws across all the disciplines. On the track, Olly put in a serious day’s work with four events, and Nick three, and the welcome sight of a full men’s sprint team, with some rising stars in Iyobosa and Oscar, strongly boosted the points total. Again a solid turnout, but what could we do with a full team, plus the promise of a short tube journey and the bright lights of the enticing alehouses of Tooting as the reward for completing the last fixture?
Full results can be found here