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London Varsity Series 2020: ATHLETICS

Article by Benjamin Baker

A pleasant and warm (as far as March days go) day at Parliament hill athletics track, disrupted only by a mounting wind. A quick interview with a few athletes showed spirits were high, a keenness to challenge not only UCL but also to set new personal bests; the main concern for the runners was the “ridiculously horrible wind” as put by UCL’s distance runner Nicole.

Let’s see the run down, event by event:


Women’s – Alix H, A heptathlete who hadn’t competed in a shotput event for 6 months, was able to manage a fantastic 10.07m throw, beating out her UCL competition by a just under a metre. Miriam B, deserves a notable mention for giving a great performance, showing off King’s competitive spirit. Starting off the day with comfortable win for KCL.

Men’s – The UCL boys pushed back, as Hugh W clinched the Men’s event with an impressive 12.42m throw against our man Pierre C, who would later redeem himself on the track events. Andres S, a short distance track star, filled in for a lack of Kings shot-putters successfully and put in a gargantuan effort to secure a respectable distance of 6.78m. It was also extremely impressive to witness a cameo appearance from Daniel Cork who is a Welsh National Athlete and showed off to the crowd with a stunning 15.91m throw. Truly humbling.

3000m (men and women’s)

Women’s – Despite a respectable effort from our girls in red, Anna O’D and Catherine M, Nicole from UCL dominated the race with an impressive time of 10:32, especially considering running head on into strong winds.

Men’s -UCL continued to show their prowess in long distance running, as Gus C put in a staggering time of 8:41. However our man Johannes managed to keep on his tail for the first 3 laps, and deservedly got us 6pts (2nd place) with a time of 9:06. Johannes T commented that unfortunately the “wall-like” wind, kept him away from his pb of 8:45. Was great to see William M, captain of the distance squad, back in action after a sustaining an injury.

100m (men and women’s)

Women’s – Jacqueline G and Marie T, turned the tables on the track as King’s fielded a much superior sprint team. A comfortable win for the ladies, secured us the much need 16pts.

Men’s- Obi E, with an incredible time of 11:81 despite strong headwind, just 27 milliseconds short of his personal best, and Oskar P shortly following, continue the winning streak for the sprinting squad, completely outclassing the Gower Street competition. 32 pts for two 1st and 2nd place outcomes; well done King’s!!!

400m (men and women’s)

Women’s- Carita K, bossed the 400m, restoring some faith in King’s competence in longer distance races.

Men’s- Andres C and Tristan, also performed in the blustery conditions to tip the tide of track event in King’s favour.

High jump (men and women’s)

Women’s- Jules S, put in a fantastic effort, but narrowly missed out on the 10pts by UCL’s own Juliette who clinched the 1.55m bar. Respect to Juliette from UCL, to achieving this feat after running in the Women’s 200m in between jumps!

Men’s- Despite losing out narrowly to a fantastic high jumper from UCL called Josh, the King’s athletes Cameron T and Chukwuebuka N amazed us with their electric positivity and premium banter. Chuck just lost out on setting a new PB after failing to clear the 1.60m bar but you wouldn’t be able to tell from his contagious enthusiasm and energy. Never before have we seen such positive energy from a King’s student. Win or lose, the trip to Parliament Hill was not wasted upon meeting the wonderfully caring, passionate and generally happy KCL athletics society, personified by Chuck Nebechi; words of wisdom for his colleagues, clapping for his competitors and dancing in his downtime.

200m (men and women’s)

Women’s- Jacqueline G destroyed the 200m, who laughed off our suggestion that the wind had given her more competition that her Gower street counterparts, but we suspect she agreed. Alix also competed for the Girls in red, and secured 3rd place, which is a fantastic effort considering she was in 2 other events today. Well done guys!

Men’s- Kareem SJ and Oscar P, came 2nd and 3rd respectively, in what was a neck and neck race.

1500m (men and women’s)

Women’s- Melina G and Ekaterina M, came up against tough competition, namely Nicole who ran the 1.5km in 4:58. None the less, an impressive performance met with loud cheers from the King’s spectators.

Men’s- William M and Sean L, had the same problem. UCL’s 1500m squad, led by James M, were experienced long-distance runners and managed to develop a substantial lead early on. William was unfortunately edged out of 2nd place by the other Gower street boy, in what was a tense last 100m. Shoutout to Sean L, who completed a 5k in sub 19 minutes on Sunday; never having run a 1500m, he had to experiment with pacing. While King’s shows no lack of talent in the sprints, in the coming years our long-distance runners show promise.

4x100m (men and women’s)

Women’s- Amy M, Anouchka G, Marie T and Jacqueline T. These girls totally dominated the UCL competition from the first to last leg. Amy M established a large lead which was continued by Anouchka G. The final two legs of the KCL runners brought it home in a stylish fashion.

Men’s- Pierre W, Obi E, Oscar P, Nicholas C. You could not request a better squadron of short distance runners. These Kids lads not only smashed UCL but showed the weather who was in charge with an obscenely good performance. Their success on the track was met with roaring ovation.

Long jump (men and women’s)

Women’s- Melanie AM smashed it with a staggering 4.61m, longer than the iconic VW Beetle (for lack of a better measurement) by over 30 cm. Evian C jumped an impressive 3.61, two of me lying down! Way to go ladies!

Men’s- Alex B jumped a massive 5.42m, 40cm shy of his pb in sub optimal jumping wind; while Tristan F, filled in for Rory S, more than competently considering his last jump was in high school, clearing 4m. Christian from UCL, fought valiantly for the boys in purple and blue, recording a jaw dropping 5.98m jump, which was met by applause from all spectating athletes. We spoke to Christian before the event started as he was last year’s UCL captain. Surprisingly, unlike KCL who were ‘’excited’’ to beat the Gower Street competition, Christian commented that he was ‘’nervously anticipating’’ what was set to be a ‘’close’’ afternoon. How right he was.

Medley Relay (mixed)

Amy M (100m), Marie T (100m), Carita K (200m), Pierre W(200m), Kareem SJ (400m) and Johannes T. (800m) put on a dominating show, always ahead of their UCL competition. Amy and Marie established significant leads early on which Carita and Pierre could build on comfortably. Kareem saw off the Gower street lad, while Johannes got his revenge on Gus, actually extending his advantage from about 40m to 70m. Being worth double points, the Medley performance was pivotal in what turned out to be a nail-bitingly close win over UCL.

The final scores of the day totalled 224 to UCL and 225 to King’s, overturning a few years of UCL’s athletic dominance, and setting KCL up for a bright future. Team captain Amy told Roar News: “I’m extremely proud of all those that competed today in the windy conditions, but regardless there were a few PBs which is amazing. Great performances all round and a special well done to those who made sure we won all three relays. Honoured to be King’s”. We certainly expect the celebrations tonight in GB to be legendary!

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