We always love hearing from the team at the CUMPC who Bancroft Wines are proud to sponsor. This year seems to have been very busy for them and Laura from St John's college has given us a fantastic update:
"The Modern Pentathlon Varsity Match is a hotly contested competition, with 6 ladies and 6 gentlemen competing in the full pentathlon, and a further 3 ladies and 3 gentlemen competing in the Reserves’ swim, run and shoot. The competition happens over 2 days, with the fencing and 200m swim on the first day, and the ride and combined run-shoot on the second.
This was a very exciting year for Cambridge with 2 strong teams wanting revenge after last years defeat in both the mens and women's competition. The Cambridge ladies took a 22 hit lead in the fencing, giving themselves an impressive 880 point margin after one phase. Henny Dillon (Ladies’ Captain) broke the Varsity fencing record scoring 21/22 hits, with Laura Plant second on 18/22 hits. The ladies extended their lead by 1000 points in the swim, with 4 out of the 6 athletes coming in 1st-4th.
The Cambridge gentlemen took a 228 point lead in the fence, with Josh Radvan achieving the winning score of 16/22. Despite the swim winner coming from Cambridge’s Brad Dixon in 1 minute 57seconds, Oxford won the phase by 228 points – meaning that after day 1 the Cambridge and Oxford gentlemen were exactly tied on points- it was going to a tense competition!
Despite Modern Pentathlon having a reputation for “exciting” riding rounds, this year only one rider out of 24 fell during their round (perhaps a record!). However combinations of other penalties meant that the Cambridge ladies ended up with a lead of 2768 points, while the Cambridge gentlemen fell behind by 564 points.
The combined event is a 3k race split into 1000m runs separated by pistol shooting. The shooting phase is timed, allowing separation of the event into run and shoot components. In the ladies’ event Ali Simon broke the Varsity match shooting record and although Oxford won the run phase by 656 points, it was nowhere near enough to stop the Cambridge ladies claiming the overall Varsity title by an outstanding margin of 2264 points.
In the gentlemen’s competition, despite strong performances across the board, Cambridge couldn’t overturn Oxford’s lead and the Cambridge men conceded defeat. But with only 1208 points in it, this was certainly the closest the competition has been for a number of years. The height of the competition is demonstrated by the fact that both the Cambridge and Oxford men's teams broke their respective University records for the highest team scores. The Cambridge women also broke the team record.
Overall, the results meant that Cambridge had put out the best mens and womens teams in the history of the Varsity Pentathlon Competition.
All this is the result of 3 years of hard work and training, which could not have been undertaken without the incredible support of Bancroft wines. We would like to thank Bancroft for their generosity and look forward to welcoming them to Cambridge for our summer party on the 15th June."
Written by Laura Plant, CUMPC