St Mary’s Athletes Impress at Inaugural European Championships
Endurance, Performance and Coaching Centre (EPACC) students and alumni from St Mary’s University, Twickenham picked up three medals, a Season’s Best (SB) and a Personal Best (PB) during the first-ever multi-sport European Championships.
The championships, which saw 18 St Mary’s athletes take part in the events in Glasgow and Berlin, started well for the University’s representatives as rowers Karen Bennett and Matilda Horn won Silver in the Women’s Eight, with Karen following up her Gold at the 2016 European Rowing Championships.
Also on the rowing lakes in Strathclyde County Park, fellow alumni Moe Sbihi, Gold medallist at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, got through two qualifications heats in the Men’s Eight before finishing fifth in the final.
EPACC athlete Adelle Tracey eased through to the Women’s 800m Final, finishing fourth and just seven-hundredths of a second off a medal, after running a PB in her semi-final where her time of 1:59.86 was her first-ever sub two minute performance.
Jake Wightman picked up a Bronze medal in the Men’s 1500m with St Mary’s alumnus Charlie Grice finishing fifth, after they were two of the three fastest qualifiers in the heats.
Chris Thompson earned a SB of 13:25.11 in the Men’s 5000m Final, where he finished 9th after competing in the Men’s 10,000m Final alongside two other St Mary’s representatives; EPACC athlete Andy Vernon and alumnus Stephen Scullion. Andy impressed finishing the fastest Brit in fifth in a field of 32 athletes, with Chris 11th and Stephen 23rd.
Alumna Jade Lally put in a strong performance in the Women’s Discus to get into the Final, where she finished 11th while fellow alumna Beth Potter came 27th in a field of 45 in the Women’s Triathlon.
The Men’s 800m saw Daniel Rowden, who is currently training with the EPACC, and alumni Elliot Giles reach the semi-finals. Current EPACC athlete Zak Curran also represented Ireland.
Steph Twell finished 10th out of 19 in the Women’s 5000m Final while Ireland’s Paul Pollock put in a respectable performance, finishing inside the top 50 in the Men’s Marathon.
In the Women’s Marathon, there was heartbreak for London Marathon winner Charlotte Purdue and alumna Lily Partridge who both had to pull out during the race with an injury when in promising positions.
The three medals won by St Mary’s representatives helped Great Britain & Northern Ireland to the second in the medal table, finishing with the most medals and only behind Russia on Golds.
St Mary’s EPACC Coordinator and Performance Coach Craig Winrow, said, “All of the St Mary’s athletes put in outstanding performances, and it is amazing to see the progress being made year on year with the European Championships being a great towards the upcoming Olympics in two years. This was a fantastic championships for Adele, running her first sub two minute race. I am looking forward to seeing what comes next for these athletes.”