Harborough Athletics Club Awards Evening
The winners at the Annual Harborough Athletics Club dinner were as follows:
1. The Hilary Johnson Endurance Trophy
As usual, there have been a number of performances worthy of recognition this year. Peter Swaine and Sean Fenwick, in 3rd and 6th respectively, excelled at the tough Charnwood Hills race. Sean, again in 6th, and 800m runner Jason Pitcher in 44th, impressed in the Snowdon Marathon, whilst Peter Swaine was 13th in the Prague half-marathon.
But the award this year goes to someone who would indeed have impressed Hilary with her ultra-running feats. She was 1st Harborough lady in the London Marathon in 3h15m, which she followed up by placing highly in the international Gobi Desert Marathon. Unfortunately, she cannot be here tonight as she is competing in a half-marathon in Italy this weekend.
The winner is: Jay Hairsine
2. Junior Female of the Year (Club Captain's Award)
In recent years, this award has seen some close competition between Sarah Ward, Megan Booler and Jessica Edge – and this year is no different. We await with interest the result of the Midland Young Athletes Relays next Sunday. However, there are one or two new names to throw into the mix this year who will hopefully feature in the competition next year. Martha Clapp has shown a lot of promise in the under-11s with her performances in the Heart of England T & F, and in the North Mids XC where she finished a very creditable 3rd. Emily Taylor has shown her potential with some 3rd places in the H of E, whilst Charlotte Oldershaw, Alice Burleigh and Lucy Sterland have all competed with great enthusiasm.
Megan performed particularly well in the early part of the year before exams got in the way, her high point being 80th and 3rd scorer in the Inter-Counties XC. Jessica also gained selection for the Inter-Counties before turning her attention to the roads, where she gained 1st place in a couple of the Junior Ladies EMGP races. Sarah Ward won the Midland Independent Schools 800m before gaining 2nd place in the National in a new pb of 2.24.4. She has since shown herself to be an equally adept 400m runner. The Junior Female of the Year is Sarah Ward.
3. Junior Male of the Year (Club Captain's Award)
The Club has been particularly pleased with the commitment shown from the main competitors for this award considering that they have mainly been involved in GCSEs. We are also pleased to have their families’ support. Matt Driver has achieved some notable Heart of England 400m victories, as has Matt Taylor in the javelin. Along with brother Dan they have achieved good results in their other events and have shown good attitude in joining in time trials and club championship races. At the younger end of the age spectrum, Ewan Muircroft has performed commendably at both North Mids and H of E. The winner of this award has stepped up to the senior men’s team in good style, winning significant points in the hurdles and horizontal jumps as well as achieving 100m best of 12.3s. The junior male of the year is Mark Lawton.
4. Most Improved Athlete of the Year
The nice thing about this award is that it is open to all levels of athlete and shows what can be done with some dedicated training. There are a number of people who have shown significant improvement this year – Graeme Rolfe, Zoe Garrod, Ruth Bingham, Jo Johnston, Unity Hamilton-Harding, Lianne Brooks, Lin Farrow have all moved on a level this year. Sarah Haines has moved up another level to become a top class athlete, whilst Andy Robinson made a very welcome return to competition after many years out through injury. This award is a joint one and goes to one person who has improved her times throughout the Grand Prix series, achieving far more than she thought possible, whilst the other person has suddenly embraced racing after a number of years’ inactivity – so much so that he has led the club home in some Derby Runner XC races – he has reached a level which promises much for the future. Brenda Shrive and Adam Brooks.
5. Best Newcomer of the Year
This award is for people who have been with the club for less than two years. A couple of people who already had a background in running have excelled this year – Dave Waddington has shown good form on both road and country since joining us from Hull, whilst Jason Pitcher has been in top form in all disciplines since rejoining us. Katy Williams has again performed well in the sprints section of the ladies’ masters’ team achieving good results at Midland Masters and the Astley brothers have strengthened the men’s sprint team. Tom Duck showed himself to be a natural athlete in his road and country performances before unfortunately succumbing to injury. Sarah van Nierop is proving herself to be a capable athlete. The winner of this award has proved himself to be a potentially strong member of any road teams with his performances over the year he has been with us, improving his 5mile times from 35m in the winter to 33m in the summer. Ady King.
6. Club/ Team Athlete
This award is for the person who, when necessary, puts the Club before their own performance., For instance, at the last senior men’s T & F meeting, Dan Worley did nine events, whilst Dean Rushby volunteers for every event that is left and acquits himself admirably in them all. Karen and Lianne Brooks have turned out in the majority of meetings open to them and scored many points in their non-specialist events. Jill Roginski has kept the ladies’ field team going by competing in all events except the pole vault. However, this award is going to someone who is always prepared to help out her team-mates and support them if she isn’t competing. She is always the first to volunteer to make up a team and help out in whatever way she can, never more so than the recent marathon world record attempt. Yvonne Barber.
7. Track Performance of the Year
In a year in which the ladies’ masters were vying for first position for most of the season, there have been some impressive performances. Katy Williams has continued where she left off last season in the sprints. Karen Brooks has achieved some notable middle distance wins as has Hannah Eveleigh in her debut track season. Sarah Haines won the County 5,000m title. On the men’s side, Will Clapp has had a good year in his middle distance races, whilst Martin Gore has made a welcome return to form after injury. Jason Pitcher has shown good form in his races, no more so than when winning the 800m at the recent masters’ meeting the night after one of Sean’s Clack Hill sessions! The award goes to someone who has raced sparingly whilst carrying an injury, but still retained her National Masters Indoor walks title, came 2nd in the Masters outdoor championships and was awarded an international vest at an Interland Match in Ashford against Belgium and France, finishing 5th. Toni Boa.
8. Field Athlete of the Year
Darren Tucker scored highly in many of his throwing events in the Senior Men’s League and has now joined the Masters League competition. Andy Wilkinson has generally scored well on the pole vault whilst Stuart Avins has continued to garner his usual points at the Masters T & F. The award goes to someone who has covered most of the field events whenever possible, performing creditably in them all whilst captaining the ladies team. Jill Roginski.
9. Sue Clayton-Drabble Track & Field Award
This trophy was donated by Sue to go to the person who most embodied the spirit of the ladies track and field team. Yvonne Barber’s attributes were mentioned earlier.
Linda Lawton has done well when available. Karen Brooks has appeared at almost all meetings, scoring highly on the track, but the award goes to another member of the Brooks family who, for the first time in her life, has competed in hurdles races as well as anything else that nobody else fancies. She plans to do some pole vault training over the winter to be ready for next summer. Lianne Brooks.
10. Cross Country Runner of the Year
Megan Booler, Jessica Edge, Sarah Haines, Hollie Williams, Peter Swaine and Sean Fenwick all gained selection for the Inter-Counties with Sarah and Megan both gaining top 100 positions. Megan and Sarah Ward both competed in the English Schools race. Megan had a couple of victories in the Leicestershire Schools XC League. Maurice Gray won his age group in the Derby Runner League. Toni Boa put in some commendable performances on the country, particularly at the County Champs. The Masters Men won the County Championship, with Sean in 3rd place. Nicola James shone in the Prison Service championships, enabling her to compete on the continent. Sarah and Karen Brooks both achieved podium positions in the North Mids League. The award goes to someone who consistently placed well in all his events, including a top ten finish in the North Mids League and a 4th place in the County - Peter Swaine.
11. Road Runner of the Year
Peter Swaine and Sarah Haines have produced many notable performances this year, usually leading off our relay teams. Sarah in fact led the men home at the Ashby 5m in the winter and was the fastest lady in the Livingston Relays. Sean Fenwick was 13th in the competitive Silverstone 10k and won the Whissendine 6. Tom Duck ran well in the winter league before injury thwarted his summer season. Jason Pitcher achieved a 1h21m half-marathon. Karen Brooks has run many races in both winter and summer leagues and elsewhere, usually achieving podium finishes in her age group. The award goes to someone who has come back to athletics after many years’ absence and appears to be going from strength to strength. He won a prize in the EMGP, but would probably have finished even higher had the series started later. Richard Bufton.
12. Veteran Male Athlete of the Year
With the age limit dropping to 35 the door has been opened to more athletes than before. Martin Gore has returned from injury to perform well in the recent track meetings. Stuart Avins is still never happier than explaining why he should have run faster, thrown further or jumped longer. Will Clapp has had a strong track season, with some good times and dominant running – he medalled in the County 10,000m - whilst we have already mentioned Richard Bufton’s success on the roads. The award goes again to one of our longstanding members who continues to score points in a variety of events, but has also succeeded in moving his pole vault record forward to 3m35, retaining his Midland Masters title and winning the British Masters crown. Andy Wilkinson.
13. Veteran Female Athlete of the Year
Toni Boa has struggled with injury for much of the year, but still had a good XC season and achieved international recognition for her walking efforts. Hannah Eveleigh made a sparkling track debut in the Masters League and probably doesn’t yet realise how good she is. Katy Williams remained competitive in the sprints as did Jill Roginski in the field. The award goes to someone who has raced prolifically this year, always to a high standard and still improving her times despite often putting club before self.
14. Male Athlete of the Year
This has been one of the hardest awards to decide with different people shining at different stages of the year. Jason Pitcher has shown good form in all disciplines, ranging from 400m through to marathon. Tom Duck and Andy Robinson would undoubtedly have been strong contenders had they not succumbed to injury, following strong starts to their “new” careers. Peter Swaine has raced sensibly throughout the year and achieved high placings on the country and road at a variety of distances. Sean Fenwick achieved a top 4 place in the North Mids League, victory in the Whissendine 6 and 6th at Snowdon.
The award goes to someone who has been consistently near the top of his form throughout the year, with solid performances on country, road and track. Will Clapp.
15. Female Athlete of the Year
There are only two possibilities for this award, either of whom would be worthy winners. Karen Brooks has won many prizes this year whilst at the bottom of her age group and is performing as well as she has ever done. However, the winner of this trophy had a phenomenal XC season, medalling in the North Mids League and being selected for the Inter-Counties. She has followed that up on the road by re-writing her PBs, culminating last month with victory in the East Midlands Championship 10k. Sarah Haines.
16. Club Service Award
Peter Leach has not only carried out the Chairman’s role diligently, but also officiated (and helped organise) at Senior T & F and Heart of England meetings (which he also organises). Pete has also found time to coach a group of athletes on a Thursday, as well as setting down individual schedules, the benefits of which can be seen in recent results. Andy Robinson, Tony Harrison and Jill Roginski have had the sometimes thankless task of organising the T & F teams. Yvonne Barber has efficiently run the club membership and volunteered for countless other tasks. Andy Shrive and Alan Fordham have again organised the time trial series and run Tuesday groups. Graham Hillier has carried out time-keeping duties across the area, culminating in his appointment as chief timekeeper at last week’s H of E meeting. However, this award goes to someone who does untold work behind the scenes. She has coached the Monday night group towards Regional Sportshall Athletics competition; organised teams for the Youth Games; coached a school XC team; and organised a summer Norwich Union Star-track scheme for youngsters. She has also been nominated for recognition at the East Midlands regional awards for this work. Traci Edwards.
17. Sanderson Trophy for Athlete of the Year
This award is chosen from the six age group winners:
And the winner is ------ Sarah Haines.