Cambridge’s men stamped their authority on the track, winning six out of ten eventsDamola Odeyemi

Cambridge put on a winning performance against an Oxford side struggling for numbers in this year’s Athletics Freshers’ Varsity Match on Saturday (05/11) at Wilberforce Road, home to Cambridge University Athletics Club (CUAC). The Light Blues defended their title from two years ago, after 2020’s event was cancelled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. The men’s competition ended in an overall score of 89-100 and the women’s a result of 84-109, spelling out a double victory for Cambridge.

The meet began with Cambridge very comfortably winning the hammer and pole vault events. Grace Izinyon and Emaan Ullah occupied the top spots in the women’s hammer with throws of 30.85m and 25.71m respectively - an impressive feat given that both picked up the event as complete novices this term.

Lucas Mordue accomplished a successful vault of 3.20m, beating second-placed Oxford athlete Ethan Sprigarn by a comfortable 80cm. Mordue set a new personal best and, in the process, successfully achieved the height required for a half-blue. Over in the women's pole vault, Shani Wright narrowly triumphed over Oxford’s Femke Van Den Bos.

Izinyon didn’t stop at success with the hammer, as she went on to take second place in both discus and shot put. The Light Blues women swept the heavy throws thanks to Madelyn Haden throwing 29.22m in discus and Leonie Brunning hurling 10.62m in shot put, both of which a half-blues standard.

Lucas Mordue took first place for Cambridge in the men's pole vaultDamola Odeyemi

On the men’s side, Kerem Mumyakmaz contributed to an overall clean sweep for Cambridge in hammer, after beating Oxford’s Xianming Liu by just 0.25cm. Meanwhile, Dominic Wells produced a brilliant half-blues standard throw in the javelin on his last attempt, racking up a 47.32m throw to take first place.

The morning also saw some thrilling battles on the track. The tussle for first place in the men’s 400m hurdles was a very tight affair fought between Cambridge’s Harry Antill and Oxford’s Reuben Layland. Antill came from behind to clinch a photo finish for the top spot with a time of 66.3s.

Cambridge enjoyed more domination on the track in the women’s 100m, as Victoria Ubenyi and Jessica Poon blitzed to first and second place respectively. The men’s race was a tighter affair, with Henry Lawes cruelly losing to Oxford’s David Ojeabulu by 0.2s. Ubenyi continued to shine, winning the 200m with a time of 28.3s and also the 4x100m relay along with Rami Elegbede, Jessica Poon, and Serena Charles.

Going into the second half of the afternoon, the competition in both the men’s high jump and long jump was fierce, with both winners from Cambridge edging it by just 5cm. Seb Mobus confidently jumped 5.73m to secure him the long jump victory, while Ashir Sharjeel, with a height of 1.68m, did the same in the high jump.

Cambridge’s Leonie Brunning smashed the women’s jumping events, putting on an exhibition of sheer excellence as she cruised to victories in high jump, long jump, and triple jump. For her performance, Brunning deservedly won Woman of the Match, in addition to achieving a Blues-standard height of 1.63m in high jump. The Light Blues just missed out on a clean sweep of the jumping events, as Mobus lost to Oxford’s Anthony Akinwale in triple jump by a fine margin of 0.42m.


Mountain View

Robinson and Emmanuel dominate Athletics Cuppers

Rounding off the day back on the track, Cambridge secured further success in the middle and long-distance races. Adam Dray looked imperious in his 800m, 4x400m relay, and earlier 1500m victories, later earning the Man of the Match award. Oxford’s Charlotte Buckley took the win in both 800m and 1500m, tightly beating Cambridge’s Milly Dickinson and Alex Bettez respectively.

In the final event of the afternoon, Cambridge’s men and women both won the 4x400m relay. The men’s team were involved in a truly thrilling matchup, with Cambridge’s first-leg lead wiped out in the second lap, only to be restored once again in the third leg and just about seen through to the end by Cillian Doherty for a winning time of 03:39.5s. As for the women, the group of Jess O’Flaherty, Maia Hardman, Izzy Armitage, and Milly Dickinson stormed to a time of 04:23.2s, maintaining the lead for the entirety of the race.

Varsity congratulates all of Saturday’s competitors on their outstanding performances.