Newcastle University Athletics and Cross Country club travelled down to Manchester to open their indoor season on Wednesday 14th November. After a very early start, 21 athletes took on the likes of Bristol, Manchester and Northumbria Universities at the Manchester Cup competition.
The first event of the day was the 60m hurdles, in which Izzy Fellows finished 2nd and Sophie Thorpe 5th. After a fairly quick turnaround, Sophie was racing again in the 60m, along with Megan Rigby, Lauren Kay, Will Rogers and Will Beardshall.
Next up was the longest of the events, the 1500m, which featured some of the club’s cross country members dropping down in their usual distance. All ran great races, with Sam Hansen finishing 4th and Sean Haycock 9th out of 16 runners in the men’s race and Clara Pettit 4th and Megan Driscoll 7th out of 11 runners in the women’s race.
The 400m races were next, where both Emily Davis and Emily Strickland comfortably won their 400m heats, with the latter gaining the second fastest time overall, and Sarah Longshaw finishing a close second in her heat. Jason Ting also ran an impressive race in the men’s 400m.
Following this was the 800m, in which 4 of Newcastle’s women were competing. Shona Haston finished 2nd, Ilona van der Giessen 3rd, Georgia Mulraine 5th and Harriet Thompson 6th out of 7 athletes.
The penultimate event was the 200m, which saw Will Beardshall, Will Rogers and Jason Ting all race well in very close heats. For the women, Emily Strickland, Lauren Kay and Amy Wood also all ran great races, with Emily Strickland earning the fastest time of the day overall.
The final races of the day were the medley relays, involving 4 legs of 800m, 400m, 200m and another 200m. First up was the men’s team of Sean Haycock, Sam Hansen, Will Beardshall and Jason Ting, who posted a very respectable time of 4:12.1. In the women’s race, Newcastle had 2 strong teams competing. The A team, consisting of Shona Haston, Hannah Malpass, Emily Davis and Emily Strickland won overall with a time of 4:19.5, while the B team of Megan Driscoll, Ilona van der Giessen, Sophie Thorpe and Amy Wood also performed well to finish in 4:47.8 and 6th out of the 8 teams competing.
A special mention must also go to Georgia McMillan who, although too injured to run herself, helped to drive the team all the way there and provided much appreciated support throughout the day.
Overall it was a fun, albeit long, day out which saw great performances all round and provided valuable race practice ahead of the big athletics competition at BUCS Indoors in February!