UEA took twelve athletes to the University of Essex to compete in the Derby Day athletics match. The team arrived at the Colchester Garrison stadium, ready to warm up in the midday sun. The first event was the women’s 100m, with Sophie East, Cerys Currie and Natalie Herbert taking part. The girls brought it home in first, second and third winning maximum points for UEA.

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Next up was the men’s 100m with Charlie Roe coming first, Adam Vaughan second, Alisager Bharmal fifth and James Vernon eighth, topping up UEA’s healthy score. This was followed by the men’s 200m which saw Roe winning again in a fast 22.6 seconds, and Vaughan and Bharmal coming a commendable second and fourth.

East and Herbert came first and third respectively in the women’s 200m. Roe then went on to win the Men’s 400m with Vaughan, Griffin Sheil and Bharmal also taking part.

Sophie Morris and Emily Rogers came a comfortable first and second in the women’s 400m, winning by a good 15 metres, and the pair matched this performance in the 800m with Morris winning in a comfortable 2m38.

Essex produced a strong performance in the men’s 800m coming first to fourth, with Neil Allanach, Sheil and Vaughan running to bring in extra participation points for UEA. However, the visitors lost valuable points in the men’s and women’s 1500m due to only having two male competitors (Allanach and James Vernon), and no female competitors.

Turning to the field events, Roe, Vernon and Bharmal competed in the high jump for the men. Vernon came third with a new persona best of 1.70m and Roe came second after jumping 1.80m and subsequently forfeiting to run the 400m.

Emily Rogers and Danielle Hamilton came joint fifth in the women’s high jump. Roe, Bharmal, Vaughan, Vernon and Allanach competed in the men’s long jump, with Roe coming first. Rogers, Currie, Herbert, Hamilton, Morris and East competed in the women’s long jump, with Rogers coming second and winning more points for UEA.

The girls then went on to do the shot put, resulting in Rogers coming second with a throw of 7.63m and Hamilton coming third throwing 7.33m. The last event of the day was the medley relay, with legs of 800m, 400m and 2x200m. Morris, Rogers, East and Currie made up the women’s team and brought it home for UEA with an extremely comfortable win, almost 200m ahead of Essex.

The men’s team consisted of Roe, Sheil, Vaughan and Bharmal, who had a more competitive race but managed to hold off the Essex team to win double points for UEA.
Despite UEA athletics dominant performance in the majority of the events, Essex were victorious overall by a small margin in both the woman’s and the men’s events.

UEA’s 12 competitors against Essex’s 32 could not prevail in a confused scoring system. However, the team spirit and commitment was phenomenal from every UEA athlete, with each competitor participating in new events to make up the numbers. In future years the hope is to review the scoring so that it is fairer for the travelling team.