Last Wednesday, Imperial took on the last LUCA (London Universities and Colleges Athletics) race of the cross-country season, fielding over 30 runners and finishing top of the league for the women and in 2nd place for the men.
As per usual, the club met at Beit in the early afternoon for the traditional face paint and chit chat before taking the tube, this time in direction of Shepherd’s Bush as the race was soon to take place in Wormwood Scrubs. This was a vital race as the runners faced the challenge of keeping their places on the team podiums, as the women’s A team were in 1st position and had a mere 6 points lead on UCL, whereas the men’s A team were in 2nd position and only 15 points behind UCL, so the rivalry gave these feisty runners all the necessary motivation on their way to the park.
The course began near the Linford Christie athletics track where the club usually trains with Thames Valley Harriers, then entered a wooded section. Once out of the woods, runners were to proceed around the park, mostly on soft ground or mud in our case as the weather hadn’t been kind the day before, and on a relatively flat course overall, before arriving to the finish line.
After taking a club picture, the race was about to start and the 15- women- and 16-men-strong Imperial team made its way to the starting line, determined to finish the season on a bright note. As the women ran 2 laps and the men 3 laps, each lap 3km long, it gave the non-competing squad a chance to cheer on their team-mates and encourage them throughout the race, and by the looks of it, it was not in vain. Overall the whole club did a great performance with some impressive running, as all 5 of Imperial’s A team made it in the top 25, led home by Oliver Newton in 4th, Kirill Mikhaylov in 15th, Fergus Johnson in 19th, Thomas Bayley in 21st and Charlie McFadzean in 25th, followed closely by Matt Douthwaite in 26th.
The women’s race was also full of smashing performances, as the Imperial A team dominated the last race of the season: with notably Georgia Curry coming in 2nd place, Kate Olding in 3rd, Women’s Captain Anna Lawson in 4th, Sarah Grover in 6th, Anna Wilson in 17th and Club Captain Alex Mundell in 21st, a total success.
After celebrating those victories with more pictures, a top notch baking degustation and many congratulations, it was time for more celebrations as the end of the cross-country season meant that the league results were to be announced.
The team then made its way to the TVH clubhouse, where the results were to be sorted and the winners declared. This was the moment we had been waiting and working for since the first race at Parliament Hill, and all the hard work was finally about to pay off: overall the Women’s Team won the league, with amazing performances throughout the season by many of their finest athletes such as Sarah Johnson, Kate Olding, Sarah Grover, Captain Alex Mundell, Georgia Curry and naturally Women’s Captain Anna Lawson, who encouraged her team all along the season and led them to victory, with also some terrific individual results as Kate Olding ended 3rd of the women’s overall standings, Anna Lawson in 5th and Sarah Grover in 7th. Imperial women’s B and C teams also did great as they made 5th and 8th place respectively. The immense success was made even sweeter as it was the first time that the Imperial women’s team won the league, what a dream team.
On the men’s side, the results were also absolutely amazing: the A team ended in 2nd position with a great lead over Brunel and just 71 points short of 1st place. The season was filled with equally strong performances as Oliver Newton, Harry Scriven, Henry Hart, Fergus Johnson, Kirill Mikhaylov, Charlie McFadzean, Chris Thomas, Chris Olley and Men’s Captain Lewis Jackson made the men’s A Team shine all along the season, with Oliver Newton finishing in 4th of the men overall and Kirill Mikhaylov in 7th overall. Imperial men’s B and C teams also did great as they made 7th and 10th place respectively. The celebrations went on in the evening as the club had prepared a joint social with Hockey at Sway Bar in Covent Garden to dance the night away.
All in all, it was the perfect way to end the cross-country season and to celebrate the great results achieved by the whole club, after all these months of hard work that paid off. What more could Imperial ask for to begin the athletics season, with the first outdoor event on the 17th of March. If you have any questions or are interested in joining Cross Country and Athletics, find us on Facebook or email email@example.com.