The final meeting of the Midland Tract and Field League took place at our home track on Saturday 13 August. Going into the match the Club sat in 4th position just outside the relegation zone. Relegation would require Telford to finish 2 places ahead of us and we would have reasonably been expected that we could turn out a sufficiently strong team to avoid relegation.
That was disappointingly a forlorn hope. Operating once again without a single male or female sprinter left us woefully short of numbers. How is this possible? I think that has to be directed to the “athletes”.
Abingdon failed to turn out a team at all, not a surprise as this seems to be standard practice and so only 5 teams contested Saturday’s final match.
Yes, you guessed it, the Club finished 5th and last and demoted to division 3.
1 Cannock 353
2 BRAT 327
3 Coventry 317
4 Telford. 291
5 Stoke. 271
As if that wasn’t bad enough we failed to stay ahead of Telford by a mere 20 points, a tally which could easily have been achieved if we had been able to turn out sprinters.
What’s done cannot be undone right now and probably will take us a couple of years to regroup and reform.
My thanks to the athletes and officials who did turn out and performed to the best of their ability for their Club throughout this season.
On the men’s side a special thanks to Alec Batila Mountsompa and Owen Sproston who took on the lions share of the men’s events and without whom the Club would have looked dire.
It may not be common knowledge but Alec is moving on now he has finished his university degree. We are hoping that he may still stay with the Club although he will not be training at Northwood or indeed living in the area. He will leave a big hole to fill. We wish Alec the best of luck in the future and there is always a home here at Stoke should he wish to stay.
On the women’s side Kate Holt again performed with distinction setting division, league and club records at 3000m in the process and looks almost certain to take the MVA for the individual athlete of the season award. Also to Hayley Clowes who again competed in all four matches and shipped a shed load of points into our account.
So that’s all for now, time for some self-reflection, see you all next track season, as team manager, maybe, maybe not, it gets increasingly difficult to see this great club slip into the gutter.