Following promotion as Division 3 champions last year, Bedford & County AC’s women opened their campaign in Division 2 of the UK Women’s Athletic League last Saturday at a windswept K2 Arena in Crawley.
There was some stiff opposition, especially in the sprints and hurdles, but the young Bedford team acquitted itself well and achieved a solid fifth place of the eight competing teams.
Individual wins were hard to come by, but Jemma Eastwood showed her qualities yet again with an A string victory in the pole vault.
This was matched by her team-mate Kara Gibbs in the B event, with the only other ‘B’ string win being supplied by debutante Lauren Russell in the 400m.
Particularly strong performances came from two another debutantes, Jodie Leslie in the 400m/200m and Suzy Wise with good points in her three throwing events.
It was particularly good to see the return of a fit Leanne Buxton after a frustrating few years of injuries.
She is back to her performance levels of 2009/10 and she recently won the 2015 Euro Masters Pentathlon Indoor title.
Using home advantage to good effect, Crawley AC were convincing winners and will prove difficult to catch at the top of the table.
With a few athletes who were unavailable at Crawley being available to strengthen the team for the home match on June 6, there is no reason why the Bedford team can’t record a good result.
This would make promotion to Division 1 a distinct possibility when Bedford travel to Glasgow for the final match in August.
Match result: 1 - Crawley AC, 238; 2 - Harrow AC, 186; 3 - Havering Mayesbrook AC, 180.5; 4 - VP City of Glasgow AC, 172.5; 5- Bedford & County AC, 171; 6 - Marshall Milton Keynes AC, 160; Newham & Essex Beagles, 132; 7 - Reading AC, 108.