On Wednesday December 5, Southampton University Athletics and Cross Country Club (SUACCC) went to the South England Student Sports Association (SESSA) Indoor Championships. Turning up with a club record of 19 athletes was a great start for the club and with some possible medal hopes, it promised to be a great day.  

The day kicked-off with the men’s 400m where Neil Woodfine narrowly missed out on the final in the last 50m.  It was still a very well ran race and a good result for the middle of winter training. Emily Bonnett was up next, comfortably qualifying for the final.

The high jump happened simultaneously, with Lucy Mapp putting in a good performance for someone who hasn’t trained for the event so far this year!

The 60m was up next with Malcolm Gledhill and Dan Rebolledo both competing.  Malcolm stormed through to the Semi’s winning his heat, and Dan also qualified into the Semis with his time.

The 3000m contained our very own reigning champion, Alex Teuten, who joined us this year after studying at Imperial College London previously.  He jogged around the first eight laps, letting everyone else get tired before finally open his legs up, carrying one other competitor with him. He then slowly picked up the pace before winning the race by about 150m.  Fantastic result for the club and very promising for BUCS cross country in February!

Another three athletes competed in the 3000m, Jake Bradley in the B stream race, setting a new indoor PB and leading the race for five laps before coming fifth in his race, despite having one shoelace undone.  Ewan Maynard was unfortunately put in the slowest heat and won by more than 100m in his first race indoors.  He would have been very competitive in the B race and could have run better with someone to chase. George Hilton ran a fantastic race for his first competitive race, sitting in the pack for the majority before kicking with 400m to go and leaving it down to a 100m sprint which he ended up winning by over a second.

The women’s 3000m contained Jo Freeman, Nadia Papasidero, Jessica Johns and a second appearance from Lucy Mapp.  Jo ran a very well-paced race for her first race indoors which is a very difficult change from outdoors.  Lucy, Nadia and Jess all took on the distance for the first time.  Lucy and Nadia ran the first five laps together, before Nadia, coming off the back of her half marathon training, took out a slight lead over Lucy.  Lucy came close to catching up with Nadia but was cut short by the end of the race. If there was one more lap it would have been a very interesting race!  Jess ran a very good race for her very first race indoors, she paced it to perfection!

The women’s 400m final contained Emily Bonnet who never even looked threatened for the gold; this made it the most successful ever SESSA indoors for the club with two gold medals. Malcolm and Dan were back in the next few races with Malcolm running his way into the finals and Dan not far behind but just missing out.

Sophie Darling then ran her first 800m, and ran a very well-paced race 2:38, a time that even 800m specialists would be proud of!

The men’s 800m contained another one of the medal hopes in president, John Wright.  He showed everyone how to race a well-paced race indoors, getting boxed in with 200m to go he didn’t let it phase him and broke out, keeping his balance when others couldn’t. He finished in second position, catching the gold medallist with every stride!  If he didn’t have the problems with one lap to go the gold could have been his.

David Wills, Dan Mills, Dom Hull and Adam Atkins all also ran in the 800m, some for the first time over the distance. Adam finished first in his heat, just a touch over two minutes which is a good race after having had some time off the distance. Dom, Dan and Dave all performed very competitively and helped to dominate the field with Southampton colours, muscling their way into some more quick times in a different heat.

Malcolm Gledhill finished off the individual performances with a PB and an outstanding bronze medal in the 60m.

The 4x200m relays contained an A and a B team for the first time ever. The A team brought the baton round for a fifth place after a very tough day for all the athletes! The B team also managed a third place in their heat.

Two gold’s, a silver and a bronze: the biggest medal haul Southampton has ever achieved at the event. Things are looking good for the main indoor event of the year, the BUCS Indoor Championships in February. Well done to everyone involved.

Race report provided by SUACCC

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