College success in Varsity athletics pre-match
On 3 March Oxford and Cambridge met in a “Varsity competition” that previews the full Varsity Match (due in Cambridge on May 16 next); this March confrontation is more of a team event, with the track events being mainly relays, and the field events decided by aggregating the performances of the 3 or 4 individual competitors in each team. St Catharine's had 3 men and 8 women in the Cambridge teams, and all performed valiantly – men's relays and men's field events were tied; women's relays and women's field events both brought Cambridge wins.
Philip Crout ran in two of the relays, running legs of 800m (1:57.8) and 1500m (Cambridge one loss, one win); Ben Cottam contributed 3.00m to Cambridge’s easy win in the Pole Vault and Gareth Goh ran 10.73 in the hurdles, where the Cambridge win was courtesy of an Oxford competitor being disqualified for occupying too may lanes whilst running (you are only allowed one lane each!).
The Cambridge Women's team was Captained by Emma Cullen who herself competed in 3 events – winning the 60m (7.73) in a new individual record, and contributing also to a new team record for the quartet (31.50); then also running a final leg of 24.8 in another record breaking team effort in the 4 x 200m (1:43.57).
At the other end of the distance scale, St Catharine's produced 2/3 of the 3 x 1500m team in Priya Crosby (whose main forte being Triathlon, Steeplechase and Rowing, in all of which she holds Blues) and Rebecca Moore. 1500m sounds a long way for most people, but for Priya and Rebecca (who is the British Universities 10,000m champion) it is at the short end of their normal distances. Just three days earlier Rebecca had won a Half Marathon, despite getting lost and running about a mile too far!
In the women's field events, Cambridge sadly lost the Javelin, despite a contribution from Emma Cullen. Anni Bates elevated herself the most (1.55m) to help Cambridge to a narrow victory in the High Jump, while Rebecca Martin (2.50m) and Rebecca Hulbert (2.40m) did the same for an equally narrow victory in the Pole Vault.
Dr Chris Thorne (1963)
Former Senior Tutor and Assistant Editor of the College Society Magazine