Derwent take narrow win in College Sports Day

Images: Agatha Torrance

Derwent emerged victorious in a hugely popular and dramatic College Sports Day, sealing a narrow win over James in one of the day’s final events.

They finished on 88 points, just eight clear of their nearest rivals, giving them a boost in their battle with James and Halifax to claim this year’s college sport trophy.

In a day filled with events ranging from track and field competitions, to ultimate Frisbee, volleyball and a three-legged race, it was ultimately an epic tug of war contest that decided the result.

The day began with the competing colleges going head to head in the ultimate Frisbee on the JLD. Right from the off, Halifax and Derwent looked to be the teams in control and it was no surprise to find them in the final, which proved to be a closely-contested tie which Derwent won 4-3.

Meanwhile, Derwent were also enjoying success on the track, as Hannah Carter grabbed a dramatic first place in the women’s 800m. It was too close to call going into the final straight, but Carter was able to kick on and push her counterparts from Alcuin and Goodricke into second and third. The men’s event was nowhere near as close, Andrew Wallace powering to a dominant win in what was a very successful day for the Halifax man.

Vanbrugh took first and second spot in the women’s shot put, with James winning in the men’s, but all eyes were on the track for the 100m finals. Hannah Roper won in the women’s for Goodricke, but the standout individual performance of the day came from Vanbrugh’s Adam Lewis. Usain Bolt-esque, Lewis eased his way to a stunning victory, arms outstretched as he jogged over the finishing line.

With times from the earlier heats used to decide the men’s 400m, Dan Jones took the win for Halifax ahead of Joel Hutchins of Derwent, while James’ Amy Moll was impressive in her 400m victory against Derwent’s Ellie Burch.

Off the track, the volleyball action proved to be some of the most entertaining of the day, Wentworth ultimately claiming the victory in a tight final against James which finished 16-14 to the post-grads. On the other side of the various college gazebos, Derwent were already showing their tug of war prowess with a one-sided win over Langwith, the presence of York Sport President Sam Asfahani proving insufficient to cause an upset.

James’ Richard Weeks was one of the day’s other outstanding performers, taking impressive victories in both the 3000m and later in the 1500m, while Viktoria Dahlrot was the long-distance star for Derwent in the women’s 1500m, leading from start to finish.

Ellie Campbell for Vanbrugh and Elliot Ragan for Halifax ensured success for their colleges in the 200m, but Derwent and James then took some valuable points in the long jump thanks to Ben Cross and Poppy Bullard.

The 800m walk proved to be the most popular event of the day, as both the men’s and women’s races saw huge participation. James took victory in the women’s, though that race was perhaps most notable for a sterling performance by the Derwent Duck, before Alcuin’s Oliver Degerstedt found an extra gear with 20m to go to win the men’s race.

The various relays on offer all belonged to Halifax, who took a convincing treble. The performances of Hamid Arezoo in the 4x100m and a stunning first leg from the ever-impressive Wallace in the 4x400m were vital, but consistent second placed finishes from James were important in setting up a tense finish to the day.

With only two points separating James and Derwent, the winner of their tug of war clash was guaranteed to finish the day on top of the leaderboard. It was a fitting way to decide a close contest, each side giving their all in a punishing event. Derwent, though, were always in control and had too much strength for their opponents, grabbing a 3-0 win to spark wild celebrations from their band of loyal supporters.

Derwent went on to take a deserved overall first place in the heroic tug of war, defeating Goodricke in the final, and before the three-legged race ended the day Derwent were declared this year’s winners. Afterwards, Derwent’s sports reps declared that they “bossed it” and were “overjoyed at this momentous occasion”.


Derwent – 88
James – 80
Halifax – 64
Vanbrugh – 32
Alcuin – 30
Goodricke – 22
Langwith – 21
Wentworth – 6

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