By Owen Morgan
Cardiff AAC women’s team celebrated the club’s 50th anniversary in fine style on Saturday as they got their UK Women’s Athletics League First Division season off to a winning start.
There was a celebratory atmosphere in the air as the club hosted the women’s fixture along with a men’s British Athletics League Premier Division match to mark 136 years of athletics in the city and the formation of Cardiff AAC in 1968.
And the ladies took full advantage of the occasion as they sought to overcome the disappointment of narrowly missing out on promotion to the top flight last season.
Among those starring for Cardiff was Gold Coast Commonwealth Games athlete Sally Peake. The long-time Birchfield Harrier was making her first appearance in Cardiff colours and she certainly made an impression.
Unsurprisingly she won the pole vault A competition with a height of 4.00m, but she also finished second in the triple jump A event with a leap of 11.32m. Fellow Cardiff athlete Eliza Durnell finished second in the B string with 10.42m.
Another Team Wales Commonwealth Games competitor to make her mark was Rebecca Chapman, who won the long jump competition by 29cms with a season’s best leap of 6.30m.
Like Peake, Chapman displayed her versatility by also competing in the javelin A competition where she finished fifth with 34.21m.
Both the Gold Coast stars received excellent support from Cardiff clubmates in their main events.
While Peake was winning the pole vault A event, young Megan Hodgson set two personal bests as she won the B section with 3.70m. And in the long jump, Jade Simson finished third in the B string with 5.69m.
On the track, Cardiff’s first major points came in the 800m where Kate Seary took third in the A string with 2:12.72 and Lizzie Harries was third in the B section in 2:11.41.
And there was more to come in the 100m where Charlotte Wingfield was third in the A race clocking 12.05, while Amelia Reynolds was victorious in the B string with a run of 12.07.
Lauren Evans was another busy athlete for Cardiff. The youngster finished second in the 100m hurdles B event in 14.97 and won the high jump B string with 1.70m. Hannah Tapley finished joint first with Moe Sasegbon, of Woodford Green with Essex Ladies in the A string, with a height of 1.70m.
The host club enjoyed a double success in the 1500m where Ffion Price, who has been enjoying great success in the USA this season, won the A section in 4:23.97 and Kiara Frizzell was first in the B string in 4:31.61.
Charlotte Wingfield followed up her fine performance in the 100m with an even better result in the 200. The Cardiff Met student, who has represented Malta at the Olympics, World Championships and Commonwealth Games, won the A race in 24.32. Hannah Longden was third in the B race in 25.45.
In the 3000m A string, Abi Fisher finished an impressive third in 9:59.08, while Lucy Marland was first home in the B string in 10.05.27.
There were two Cardiff third places in the shot put where Lucy Griffiths registered 12.61m in the A event and Gwen Lewis recorded 10.45 in the B string.
As the track events came to a close, Wingfield was in action again as part of the Cardiff 4x100m relay quartet. And she brought her fellow team-mates – Jade Simson, Hannah Longden and Sara Geary – home in second place in 47.25 behind the Enfield quartet.
At the end of a hugely entertaining day’s competition, the Cardiff team finished top of the points table with 207pts, ahead of Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers in second with 187pts and Woodford Green with Essex Ladies in third with 174pts.
The victory puts Cardiff top of the eight team division with two more rounds to compete.