Letter from the Women's captain

Martha Bevan, Women's Captain 2021-22

20 Apr 2022

Indoor season review

The past few months have seen a flurry of PBs at BUCS Indoors as well as VFEAR. The indoor season was capped off with us retaining the Field trophy at VFEAR. Among many highlights were Louise Shanahan’s successful defence of her 800m title at BUCS, and the dominant performance of the women’s 4x400m team at VFEAR.

After a successful Freshers’ Varsity Match, we went into the winter season with high spirits. Over the last six months, we’ve slaved away at Monday lactic sessions, sweated at S&C, and worked diligently to perfect our technique in the cold of the British winter.

With all this hard work behind us, we headed to BUCS in Sheffield with high hopes. It was a weekend of team bonding and top performances, with many setting PBs and forming new friendships. However, the highlight of the weekend was, without a doubt, Louise Shanahan’s successful defence of her 800m title. After dominating the rounds, she commandeered the final to finish in a time of 2.05.87, to copious cheers from the light-blue contingent.

A week later, we boarded the bus to Lee Valley for VFEAR. Despite unexpected injuries and last-minute dropouts, we managed to retain the Field trophy and gave Oxford a good run for their money on the track. The day started with an outstanding performance in the field from Johanna Schoenecker, who threw 41.10m in javelin to set a match record. Meanwhile, Grace Izinyon impressed in the hammer, sending the implement out to 36.51 and edging ever-closer to the elusive Blues standard. Cambridge’s depth in the throws was visible throughout the day: in the javelin, three athletes threw over 33m while in the shot, the same number of athletes broke the 10m barrier.

Inside, on the track, the 4x400m team of Sophie Dowle, Emma Bennett, Milly Dickinson and Jess O’Flaherty outclassed the dark-blue quartet, beating them by eight seconds. Other notable performances include Lea Wenger’s long-awaited PB in the hurdles, and Kefeshe Bernard’s PB in the 60m.
I also cannot finish without giving special mention to CUAC’s own “woman of steel”, Joy Lisney. Despite struggling with an eye issue that caused her to withdraw from the 4x400m, she ran both the 60m and the 200m, showing resilience and commitment to the light-blue cause and gaining much respect from her teammates in the process. Joy’s determination inspired us all, and we are excited to see what she can do in the summer season.

As the day came to a close, we returned home with hands full of silverware and hearts full of optimism for the summer’s Varsity Match. Providing O*ford succeed in actually organising the match this time, we look forward to taking home the most important trophy of them all.