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Lancaster University Athletics Club, also known as the Panthers, secured victory in a close affair at Sport City on Saturday to win the first inaugural Lancaster Athletics Cup on their competitive début.
The Lancaster Athletics Cup, set up this year by club President Martin Burn, is an annual athletics competition between universities across the North of England, which this year saw tough competition from the likes of Leeds, Manchester and Sheffield Hallam.
On their way to a team victory on a points system, the Panthers saw no less than 23 podium finishes. This included three gold medals, nine silver medals and eleven bronze medals.
Rihards Baranovskis secured the Panther’s first gold of the day in the shot put, clinching victory with a throw of 14.02m before claiming silver in the discus. Alan Littler won gold, and Lancaster’s second, with victory in the high jump after convincingly clearing a height of 1.65 metres, following a 400m hurdles silver medal. Courtney Alpaugh won the Panther’s third gold medal of the day with a win in the women’s discus with a winning effort of 16.70m. Alpaugh followed this up with a silver medal in the women’s 3000m.
Alexandra Palmqvist Aslaksen won silver in the women’s 800m and bronze in the javelin. Millie Karn finished just behind team-mate Aslaksen in the 800m clinching the bronze medal to add to the bronze medal she claimed in the shot put. Faron Jones won silver in the women’s 400m before grabbing bronze in the 200m. Katrina Hall won two bronze medals in the 100m and the long jump. Anna Meehan claimed a bronze medal in the discus to round off individual medals for the women.
Alex Hannay edged out team-mate Chris Jagger to win a bronze medal in the 1500m; this was followed up with a blistering finish to clinch silver in the 3000m. Henry Stratford came through the heats to finish second and win silver in the men’s 100m final ahead of team-mate Alex Adiele who finished sixth. Scott Civil claimed bronze in the men’s 400m final ahead of team-mates James Howarth, Tom Sutcliffe and Martin Burn who also qualified from the heats. Laurence Hawker won bronze in the men’s 400m hurdles.
The women’s 4x100m relay team (Alpaugh, Meehan, Hall and Jones) won a silver medal and the men’s team of Hawker, Stratford, Littler and Adiele won bronze ahead of the second string Lancaster team (Hannay, Civil, Sutcliffe and Dickinson) in an intense and exciting finale to the day’s track events.
With the completion of the track events, the entire Lancaster team, who thought they had the title wrapped up before the beginning of the women’s triple jump, the final field event of the day, started a victory lap which prematurely ended so that the team could see Katrina Hall claim second place in the final event of the day with a jump of 10.01m.
Following a long, nervous wait for officials to tally up the points, it was announced that Lancaster had finished in first place, finishing five points ahead of Sheffield Hallam in second. Elliott Jackson of Leeds won the Matt Dimbylow award for outstanding achievement with an excellent performance in the 800m. The award was dedicated to Dimbylow, a Great British Paralympian, in honour of the support and hard work he provided the Panthers, ensuring a successful first year as a society.