Yesterday marked the last day in the LUCA calendar for the Cross-Country season, as the teams rallied their athletes for the Grand Finale in Wormwood Scrubs during what felt like a late spring afternoon.
With St Mary’s A team on top of the men’s teams’ leaderboard with a 181 points lead over rivals UCL A, Imperial’s Women’s A team had 122 points more than UCL A, determined to keep their title as champions.
On the individual standings, Thomas Butler from St Mary’s had won 2 races and was topping the leaderboard with 793 points, followed by Reading’s James Lyne. For the women, Imperial’s Georgia Curry and Kate Olding were tied in first position with 595 points, while Angharad Flower from UCL held on to third with 565 points. With the 4 best of 5 performances counting for the individual leaderboard, the competition was far from over for anyone, especially as the new and much coveted Mike Baggs Trophy, honouring the former league secretary, was still up for grabs.
With the race starting at 15:15 as per usual, 3 laps for the men and 2 for the women, the 140 athletes stormed off for the last time in this season under the warm sun, going around the sports grounds via the woods.
After only 23:15, the first of the Ladies were back, as Izzy Fry from Saint Mary’s crossed the finish line and took gold, followed closely by Georgia Curry from Imperial grabbing silver in 23:22, leading home Imperial’s women’s A team as Alex Mundell, Chloe Baler and Alix Vermeulen completed the top 5 within two minutes! Close behind them were Hannah Durrant and Lucy Bather from UCL, taking 6th and 7th place in 24:59 and 25:15 respectively, while Sofia Jegnell took 8th as the first lady back from Imperial’s B team, while Nicole Edmunds from UCL and Sophie Markwick from Saint Mary’s came 9th and 10th respectively within seconds of each other, with only 26 minutes on the clock!
As Imperial’s ladies put on a strong show in the women’s race, so did Saint Mary in the men’s race: led by Petros Surafel finishing in an insanely quick 29:54 with an impressive lead over the rest of the field. Second in, also from Saint Mary’s, was Daniel Jarvis, taking silver with 30:29. Breaking a Saint Mary’s podium, Imperial’s Niki Faulkner managed to grab bronze despite the heavy turnout from Saint Mary’s as he completed the 9k course in 31:01, just a few seconds before Cameron Allan from SMU and Paddy Roddy from UCL coming in 31:13 in 5th position. Sam Johnson, Will Stockley, George Groom and Euan Campbell from Saint Mary’s took 6th to 9th while King’s Henry Cochrane completed the top 10 in 32:37.
As all teams reconvened after the race, it was time to announce the final prizes as the League had come to its end.
The team standings were as followed:
- 3rd: Imperial A, 4567 points
- 2nd: UCL A, 4612 points
- 1st: Saint Mary’s A, 4883 points
- 3rd: Imperial B, 2608 points
- 2nd: UCL A, 2780 points
- 1st: Imperial A, 2928 points
The individual standings were as followed:
- 3rd: Patrick Roddy, UCL, 777 points
- 2nd: Niki Faulkner, Imperial, 791 points
- 1st: Thomas Butler, Saint Mary’s, 793 points
- 3rd: Lucy Bather, UCL, 579 points
- 2nd: Katie Olding, Imperial, 595 points
- 1st: Georgia Curry, Imperial, 597 points
The winners of the Mike Baggs Trophy were Imperial with a total of 70 points.
Well done to everyone who took part in the races this season, and many thanks to all of those who helped during the race to volunteer and behind the scenes to allow these races to run. Special mentions go to Duncan Hunter, Catriona Rennison, Sophie Griggs, Henry Murdoch and especially Jonny Laybourn, without whom the league couldn’t have taken place!
We hope you’ve enjoyed the league as much as we have (I know I absolutely loved it) and are looking forward to the athletics season as much as us, now that the days are getting longer and warmer!
Photo credits: Thomas Binnie (Imperial)