Edinburgh overcome Heriot-Watt at athletics varsity

Edinburgh University’s athletics squad got off to a fine start to their outdoor season last week at Meadowbank Stadium defeating Heriot-Watt University at the Varsity match.

The first event on the track was the 100m where Edinburgh won both the men’s and women’s races. Elizabeth Musgrove took the women’s race in 12.75 seconds, while the flying Scotsman Ross Edmonds followed up with a superb display in 11.20 seconds in his first ever official 100m. Edmonds also tried his luck in an event with which he was fairly unfamiliar, the long-jump, and claimed second place with an attempt of 5.37m. Sharing his thoughts about his 100m performance, Edmonds said: “I had a bad start but I finished well because I treated it like a 100m not a 60m, so if I treat it like a 60 and then just run the last 40 then maybe I could’ve gone quicker.”

Long-jump legend Che Richards also made an appearance but he was just down for training. The Trinidadian won BUCS (British University Championships) in a new personal best of 7.64m and will be the athlete to watch this outdoor season.

Despite their success in the sprints, Edinburgh were unable to secure a victory in the 800m and Heriot-Watt swept the medal positions in the men’s heat. Meanwhile it was back to winning ways in the 400m as Musgrove followed up on her 100m and long jump win to take first place in 1:00.63 just ahead of Juliet Gold who also came third in the 100m. Though she says she has had “a long history with injuries” Gold feels that “she has built up a little endurance through not being able to do speed work because of my injuries” and this has helped her in the 400m.

Then in the men’s 400m, team captain George Lawson romped to victory in the men’s race defeating Heriot-Watt’s Ben Potrykus with a perfectly timed dip at the end in a time of 53.26 seconds, with just a 100th of a second separating the two. It would require well-known sprints coach Bill Walker to sort out the photo finish. Walker was number-crunching all the results in the officials’ box at the top of the stadium.

Preparation for Lawson was not ideal but he is pleased to have run and done well. He recalls: “I went to the doctor’s on Saturday, got put on antibiotics coming off a chest infection, so I was just happy to come out and compete, do my best and get the gold.”

There was, however, no doubting Edinburgh’s dominance over Heriot-Watt in the javelin. Shane O’Neill won the competition after his convincing win with a new lifetime best of 44.59 with Calum Alexander in second position. In the women’s javelin Elleana Hull found her form to top the pile with a throw of 31.38m. Javelin winner Shane O’Neill believes that the throws are not always given the same advertising as running events. “We need more people involved in it, get people down and get a feel for it, especially as the clubs are dominated with running.”

It was a perfect day for Musgrove who capped off the day with a fourth gold after an easy 4x100m relay flogging of Heriot-Watt. Despite her Carl Lewis-esque achievement of four golds Musgrove has been dedicating most of this year to rugby. She admits that “it’s been nice to get a break from running” and that she is “focusing more on rugby at the moment.”

The men, on the other hand, fielded two relay teams and Heriot-Watt’s quartet managed to build up a big lead but it wasn’t enough to beat Edinburgh’s men’s team who won with 39 points to 33.

Edinburgh’s women also won overall with 42 points to 30.

This means that Edinburgh were able to retain the Varsity title that they won last year.

 

Image courtesy of Edinburgh University Athletics Club

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