Inter-Varsity Cross Country 2k14 Report

After a rather lengthy wait for a post on this website (through almost no fault of the Web-Rep, of course), it feels like a Varsity report is an appropriate moment to bring it back on track.

It’s been a long year for OUCCC, with “change” the word on people’s lips. An important change was the result of the Gentleman’s Blues Varsity Match. With a score of 35-46, Oxford ‘ran’ out winners with some excellent packing behind Cambridge’s stand out front two (Short and Lloyd). Superb performances by these two runners. In terms of Oxford’s team, the baby-faced assassin (Jamie Parkinson) stormed away into 3rd and Will Christofi decided that he didn’t want to be kept away from Ancient Greek for too long so ran as quickly as possible to finish in 4th. Some strong performances from Speake, American hero Unterreiner, Cap’n Howard, “I can’t stop winning Varsity” Ryle-Hodges and Aidan Smith galloping over the butts meant that a competitive race swayed in Oxford’s favour. Fresher Miles Chandler also deserves special credit for a battling run which will serve him well for next year (and for an excellent psyche-up mix before the race, which probably won the Match for Oxford). Both teams gave a fantastic account of themselves and the rivalry is well-poised to continue next year.

In terms of the Ladies’ race, despite Sophia Saller’s attempts to race on the correct course, many of the women unfortunately followed a slightly different route. It is very easy to get lost on Wimbledon Common, to be fair. Saller was awarded the Race Win, whilst, in the other race, Cambridge came out race winners with some excellent performances. Oxford’s Kate Niehaus deserves special credit for a very gutsy and impressive run. A hard-fought race which was unfortunately was blighted by a wrong direction being taken. Nothing should be taken away from the performances of both teams, however.

With regards to the IInds – IVths matches, a more full report will follow, but some excellent individual performances unfortunately did not result in pleasing team results. Making the most of home advantages, and despite the best efforts of winners Dan Mulryan, Louis Rawlings, Hannah Plaschkes and Simone Paulson, Cambridge completed a 5-0 whitewash on the day. Next year, it’s in our back yard, though. We look forward to it.

Over and out. Enjoy the Vac.


Athletics Varsity 2014

For some of the cross country club, the track season is the dessert to the main course of cross country. It’s the treat.

And Varsity Athletics 2014 certainly was a treat. The Men’s Blues team took the match against a very strong (and confident) Cambridge Blues team, whilst the Mens Seconds narrowly lost a close-fought contest. The Women’s Blues and Seconds both lost, but not without valiant performances in the long distance events.

Starting with the Women’s, Rose Penfold and Sarah McCuaig ran away (quite literally) with the points in the 800m race, with quality performances. Both doubled up in the Mile too, coming away with 2nd and 3rd. The contribution to the team from both runners cannot be underestimated on a hot and punishing day at the track. Kate Neihaus and Emma Hodson gave it everything in the 5000m, but Cambridge’s strength in this area shone through giving them 1st and 2nd.

In the Men’s, OUCCC’s hero Tom Frith showed the adoring masses that he’s still got it. Knicknamed “The Donkey” due to his famed kick*, he took the 800m title (again) in a race controlled by Fresher Will Durkin from the gun. A valiant performance from Cambridge’s Lloyd Hilton gave Cambridge 2nd. Alex Howard showed that “you can’t win anything with kids” was just as wrong in 1998 as it is now (quote Alan Hansen, on Match of the Day) with a win in the 3k Steeple. Big things expected from this boy. In the Mile and 5000, Cambridge’s Matt Leach showed his quality with a Double win. Fresher William Christofi performed valiantly to finish strongly in 2nd in the Mile. Chris Phillips-Hart gave Cambridge a scare in the 5k, but it unfortunately a Cambridge 1, 2 meant that the Light Blues edged the distance events by one point. Far from “embarrassing”, but not a win. Looking forward to next year. *not actually one of Tom’s knicknames

In terms of the Men’s and Women’s Seconds, special commendations go to Jamie Parkinson, winning the 5k in 15.18. Unfortunately for Jamie (and Cambridge), a cross country season beckons for him. Aidan Smith and James Taylor secured the 1,2 in the 3k Steeple, whilst Katie Hickson’s won in the Mile was the stand out performance for the Women’s Seconds.

One last mention must go to Cambridge’s Paul Hodgson, helping Oxford Blues’ steeple chaser Tom Quirk across the line in their race following Tom’s sustaining of a bad foot injury. There’s the good and the great. The good win their races. The great give even more than that.

Onto the next Varsity match.