Brighton Women Clinch Masters League Title and Men Finish Strong in Fourth Place

September 21, 2023

Sussex Masters’ League expanded this year, going from three matches to four and from six teams to eight. Our small yet mighty team secured the women’s title once again, but only by the slimmest of margins, as both us and Hastings AC won two matches each.

The exceptional Linda Schofield made her Vets’ League debut in Match 1, triumphing in the 200, 800, and 3000 meters. She led a team of just seven women across three age groups who finished second in the match, with support from Brian Steene and Paul Howard in the mixed relay. This impressive placing was replicated in Match 2, with a team of only six women. Notably, Manjula Moon courageously took on the hammer throw, despite being a distance runner.

Our ‘home’ match, held at Lewes, unfolded in pouring rain. Nevertheless, it resulted in a win for the women’s team, bolstered by Gerry Lustig and Paul Howard in the mixed relay. The welcome addition of multi-event superhero Julia Machin, who excelled in jumps, throws, and sprints, as well as Julia Downes, who took on the discus and walk, contributed significantly.

To clinch the league title, we needed to win the final match by at least eight more points than Hastings AC. Paula Blackledge ran more laps than anyone, participating in the 400, 1500, and the 800m leg in the medley relay. We also welcomed back Lorraine Kirby from injury, securing a 20-point victory in the match and another league title. Heartfelt congratulations and thanks go to Judith Carder, Stef Dornbusch, Jen Kenneally, Tracey Brockbank, Linda Schofield, Julia Machin, Julia Downes, Paula Blackledge, Manjula Moon, and Lorraine Kirby.

We extend massive gratitude to Christel Shaw for her officiating, organisation of officials, and coordination of our home match. Our appreciation also goes out to everyone who officiated and lent their support through the season, as well as to Mel Anning for her dedication to managing the results system, rain-soaked result sheets, and team declarations.

We would love to see more people join our team. If you’re an athlete over 35 or a parent watching your kids participate in athletics, please consider getting involved. We are an incredibly friendly and non-judgmental league, and you’re sure to have a great time.

by Jo Wilding

Masters Men finish fourth!

The first match of the Sussex Vets League at Lewes took place in excellent conditions, attracting a large number of competitors and creating an energetic atmosphere. Notably, Craig Halsey secured victory in the V35 3000m with a time of 9:21.8, while Neil Grover triumphed in the V60 discus, throwing 39.54m.

In contrast, Match 2 in Eastbourne was a more subdued affair. Brian Steene continued his outstanding year by clocking 13.2s in the 100m.

Match 3 saw the ever-present Richard McGregor taking charge of team management during a rainy day in Lewes. Miguel emerged as a standout performer, claiming victories in both the V35 discus (21.34m) and javelin (29.55m). Kevin showcased his distance running prowess with a time of 16:25.3 in the 5000m, while Paul Howard secured the V35 800m title with a time of 2:04.8. Notably, the resourceful V60 javelin throwers organised a non-scoring JT600 event, where Kevin Baker set a personal best with a throw of 38.30m, ranking as the third best on Power of 10 ranking site this year.

The final match returned to Eastbourne, where Gerry Lustig, another sprinter in top form, posted a time of 15.9 in the V60 100m. Mark Dooley claimed first place in the V60 1500m with an impressive time of 5:04.6.

Overall, the men’s team finished in 4th place in the league.

by Shaun Billing