Cardiff AAC are back in the Premier Division of British athletics.
They earned promotion by finishing top of Division One, ahead of Swansea Harriers in second place.
Both clubs are promoted which means that Cardiff and Swansea will be in the Premier together for the first time ever. They will be competing against clubs like Birchfield Harriers, Liverpool and Sheffield.
Cardiff’s team performance and team spirit were outstanding and they fully deserved the win which was rounded off by a tremendous last leg from Paul Bennett to clinch victory in the 4x400m relay.
Team captain Brett Morse, leading by example, said it was one of his proudest days in a Cardiff vest. Some of the middle distance runners had even competed in British Milers Club races the previous day.
Athletes of the match were Ryan Grimwade (field events) and Joe Reid (track). Athletes of the season (points scored) were Paul Bennett and Jonathan Edwards.
The success is also a great tribute to Andrew Seary, who has done a fantastic job since he stepped into the breach when Cardiff AAC needed a team manager two years ago and has steered the team to successive promotion campaigns.
Heading into the final round of the British Athletics League series with a three point margin ahead of second placed Swansea.
Cardiff’s senior men wanted to finish with a flourish at Manchester’s Sportcity.
Home team Sale were fighting to get back into the top flight and needed to win with a two place advantage ahead of Swansea. The result was in doubt until the final relays.
Cardiff finished top, a mere nine points ahead of Sale, and that was enough for Swansea, in third place, to be promoted.
Midway through the day a big gap had opened up between the top two, Cardiff and Sale, and the rest. Swansea had slipped to fifth place and had all but given up hope of earning a place in the premiership.
A late rally saw them climb to third on the day and secure their place by one half of a league point.
Every point counted, whether by Cardiff’s traditional heavy points scorers or by those competing in a Cardiff vest for the first time.
The premiership will represent a step up in quality, but Cardiff can thrive and do well and, with the support of all athletes, be a force to be reckoned with.
The club believe they have the talent and the numbers to do well and it is interesting to note that, over the four matches of this year’s campaign, no fewer than 43 athletes have been called up to represent the club.
The final team scores at the Manchester meeting were:
1 Cardiff AAC 363 match points
2 Sale Manchester H 354
3 Swansea H & AC 291
4 Harrow AC 283
5 Windsor Slough Eton & Hounslow AC 277
6 Blackheath & Bromley AC 238
7 Glasgow City AC 173
8 Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC 137
The final British League Division One positions after the four matches are:
1 Cardiff AAC 29 league points
2 Swansea H & AC 24
3 Sale Manchester H 23.5
4 Harrow AC 22
5 Blackheath & Bromley AC 18
6 Windsor Slouigh Eton & Hounslow AC 14.5
7 Glasgow City AC 8.5
8 Basingstoke & Mid Hants AC 4.5