Vale stars shine through clouds to set records

Vale of Aylesbury's record-breaking relay team
Vale of Aylesbury's record-breaking relay team

Vale of Aylesbury athletes braved the elements to shine through the clouds at their Southern Athletics League match in Lee Valley.

With torrential rain and gusting winds; at one point organisers met to decide whether or not to abandon the event, but carried on in true British spirit.

Vale sprinters all had top three finishes, including wins for Andy Bleakley and Dan Barber in the B string 100m and 200m respectively.

Dan followed that with a win in the 400m with a season’s best time of 51:91.

There were season’s best times for the ladies too; Julia Austin in the 100m, then Rosanna Iannone and Hannah Welsh in the 400m. Well done to Rachel and Dan who both took 3rd in the 400m hurdles.

Middle/long distance was dominated by Vale with Patch Taylor and Christian von Eitzen winning the 800m A and B string.

Christian then went on to win the 1500m by 12 seconds in a time 19 seconds slower than his PB. He was under instruction not to push himself too hard as he had his County Schools Championships the following day.

Julia Austin won the B string 800m with Rosanna 2nd in the A. Julia and Heather also had good 1500m races taking 3rd and 2nd respectively.

In preparation for the Ridgeway Relays, Sophie Delderfield and Charlotte Steptoe cleaned up in the 3k winning both the A and B strings.

Sophie finished almost 40 seconds ahead of the next athlete and her time of 10:59:08 was a new PB.

The relays were a joy to watch with Vale taking first placed in both of the 4x100m events as well as the men’s 4x400m, with a great run from Matt Robinson. Ladies were 3rd in their 4x400m event.

In field events, a very successful day for Vale. Rachel Russell and Rochelle Arulanandam achieved PB heights in the Pole Vault to take 1st place in both A and B strings.

Though not there to watch, vault coach Simon Dickerson was delighted for both ladies, and thrilled for Rochelle as she had only had 3 training sessions.

The Arulanandam sisters also cleaned up in the High Jump winning both strings and Dan Barber achieved a new PB.

Not content with that, the sisters both went on to take 2nd place in the Long Jump; Donelle’s jump of 5:03m was a new PB.

Andy Bleakley gritted his teeth in the Long Jump determined to break 6m off a short run up and eventually recorded 6.06m to claim 2nd place! He then won the Triple Jump A string as did Rochelle in the Ladies’ B string.

In the throws, GaithTaha was 2nd in Shot, Discus and B string Hammer with 3rd in Javelin. Good to see Stefano Aquilino back for the day too recording wins in the Hammer and B string Discus.

The field finished off a grand day for Rachel Russell who recorded two new PBs in Shot and Discus, while mum Brenda won A string Discus and was placed in Hammer (2nd), Shot (3rd) and Javelin (3rd).

Vale finished the day in 2nd place behind Highgate Harriers and now await the next match at Watford on July 20th.

+ Get the full results from Lee Valley