Summer 2019 Annual Track and Field Awards Presentation

Conservative Club Hornchurch 8 November 2019 

 (text of presentation speeches from Tony Benton & Clare Brennan}

 

 

Good evening everybody and welcome on behalf of Havering Athletic Club to the presentation of the track and field awards for 2019.

Every year I say what an amazing season it’s been but what other word could I use to describe the 2019 summer season?!

It’s difficult to pick the highlights but here are just a few!  The Eastern Young Athletes League team finished the season unbeaten to win the league title for the first time since 2010 and added the Top 6 Trophy to complete the double for the first time since 2001. The Senior Men’s British League team had a great season and won promotion to National Division 1 – their highest ever level.

The Under 13 & Under 15 Youth Development League (YDL) team again finished third in the highest possible National Premier division.

Our relay teams were on fire winning 11 gold medals at the county relays including lifting five of the six sprint relay titles. New club sprint relay records were set by the Under 13 and Under 15 boys, the Under 17 Men, and the Under 15 girls, with new 4x300m records for both Under 15 teams plus the Under 17 Women.  On a great day at the Club: Connect Relays at the Anniversary Games in July not only did all three teams there set club records but the Under 15 boys won.

A record 17 club athletes were selected to compete at the prestigious English Schools Championships, with five winning medals in their events plus there was the usual pile of county podium places and more medal success at South of England and National level. Club athletes earned international vests for England, Great Britain (and Ireland) at various levels and featured highly in the Power of 10 rankings. Such are the standards in the club that several of these national medal-winning and record-breaking athletes have missed out on awards tonight. Without any doubt, the future indeed looks very bright. 

So this evening is the chance for us all to celebrate these successes and to recognize the superb efforts of our brilliant team of Club Coaches, our Team Managers, our Officials and all the numerous other volunteers who give up an enormous amount of their time to ensure that athletes are able to do their best when it matters.

There are three categories of award in each age group where we have the Club Best Performance Track Award, the Club Best Performance Field Award and also the Team Member Award - all of which have been selected by the respective team managers who it’s fair to say have had some very difficult choices to make after such a great season. 

The presentations will finish with some special awards chosen by the club committee for top performances achieved outside the league system.

Our new Club President Claire Brennan will be presenting the awards this evening and will be saying some kind words from the respective team managers about each of the winners so without any further delay I’ll hand over to Claire.

Thank you Tony and good evening and welcome to you all. As I did last year, I will explain why each athlete has won their award and then invite them all up together to receive them. 

I begin with the Men’s Masters age group.

The Club Best Performance on the Track award by Male Veteran goes to an athlete who only recently joined the club having previously attained great success with Kent AC. Having originally planned to concentrate on road running a change in circumstances led him to successfully compete at 3000m and 5000m in both the British and Southern Leagues. His 5000m time of 15:01.5 was not only good enough to place him first on the clubs V35 all-time list but also an impressive 13th on the Club’s overall list. Two weeks ago in the Frankfurt Marathon he ran the second fastest ever time by a club athlete, a brilliant 2 hours 22 minutes and 7 seconds, under a minute outside the club record which has stood since 1992. Here’s looking forward to him continuing to race both track and road for many years to come, the winner is… JAMES CONNOR.

Next up we have the Club Best Performance in the Field award. Every year regular as clockwork this athlete comes out and dons the Havering vest. Even with the challenges of a young demanding family he competes for the club in the SAL whenever he can. At competitions he is always on the move from one field event to another, bringing us a haul of valuable points in the shot, discus, javelin and hammer. He’s a pretty decent pole vaulter too and ranks in the M40 age group top 10 nationally. He always finds time to give advice and guidance, especially to the next generation of field eventers. He is an inspiration to young and old – once again the Masters Field award goes to ARRON BONNING. 

I now move on to the Team Member award. The last time this athlete won an award Jaws was the no1 film and flares were the height of fashion. However, perseverance and hard work have seen him competing again in the steeple chase and the 5000m for club teams, and you had to be there to witness his 5.21m pole vault – I mean Hammer throw - it was quite something! Although we jest at such things, he did not come last gaining the team even more valuable points. Coming back from another injury the Masters team award goes to…MARTIN CHESTER

 

So, I come to the Senior Women’s age group and begin once more with the Track Best Performance award.  The winner juggled work, childcare and athletics challenges to register her fastest time since 2013. She may have run even faster if the weather had been kinder and had events not called an early end to her season in July! Her fine performances saw her win four of her five 400m hurdles races in the SAL & UK League, placing second in the other.  She also placed first or second in her three SAL sprint hurdles races and scored well in that event in the UK League too, as well as regularly contesting both relays.  She’s still training despite expecting baby no. 2 in the New Year and plans to be back competing for the club in Summer 2020. The worthy winner isFLIC CLARKE

The winner of the Field Best Performance award returned to her first full season for six years and proved to be vital member of both the SAL and UKWAL teams.  She competed in four of the five SAL matches and two of the three UK Leagues, often competing in all three jumping events and scoring well for the club cause including wins and second places. She also covered gaps in the 100m and 400m hurdles. We hope that with a full winter’s training we’ll see much more next year from : ELLIE WATSON

Next up is the Team Member award which goes to an athlete who has been in fantastic servant of the club competing for Havering AC teams for over 20 years.  An injury-free season saw her ever-present in the eight SAL & UKWAL fixtures, competing in the 400m each time and posting her fastest time for 10 years. She was also a regular in the 4x400m relay, hammer & discus and even filled a gap in the pole vault to rack up point after point for the club cause.  A valuable and committed member of the squad, the winner is of courseNINA BRENNAN.

 

 

Moving onto the Senior Men’s category and the winner of the Club Best Performance on the Track award. This young man has faced a series of injuries in recent years, hampering his progress since winning an English Schools’ medal. Having opened the season with a personal best, he went on to gain a silver medal at the BUCS championships, followed up with a personal best 47.50s, at the England Athletics Under 23 Championships, placing him fifth on the Club’s all-time list. This success and a similar time saw him win gold in the Irish U23 Championships, which led to his international selection for Ireland in the European Athletics U23 Championships in Gavle, Sweden. I’m sure that, with a full winter’s training behind him, 2020 will bring even greater rewards and possibly a club record, our winner is TOM PITKIN.

The next award is for Club Best Performance in the Field which goes to a young man who, having surpassed all expectations in 2018, continued to show what a talent he is over all three jumps. Whilst not quite reaching his club record distance in the long jump, his season’s best of 7.55m gained him the bronze medal at the England Athletics Under 23 Championships. He also remarkably set a new personal best in the high jump of 1.95m even though he does no specific training for the event, placing him joint fourth on the Club’s all-time list. It is hoped that a renewed commitment to the sport will lead to even more success in the future for SHANDELL TAYLOR.

The last award in this age group is the Team Member award and goes to an athlete who is a team manager’s delight. He’s ever-present at training and unlike some athletes he doesn’t hide days before a meeting, telling his team manager well in advance if he can’t make a competition. He represented both the BAL and SAL in the 100m and 200m and relays, scoring big points. Don’t be fooled by his middle-distance physique - he can shift as many an opposition can testify as they only see his back. He ran a swift 10.96 seconds for 100m this season, just short of his PB and his 200m season best was close to his PB too. We’re hoping he has a great winter and rewrites those PBs in 2020. The Team member award goes to LEWIS BAILEY. We'll see he gets his award.

Next up is the Under 20 Women’s age group

The Club Best Performance on the Track award goes to a sprinter who has competed across the YDL, Southern and UK Women’s leagues scoring valuable points at all meetings she attended.  She moved up well into the Under 20 age group, taking on the new challenge of the 400m event.  Her times consistently improved throughout the season whilst also improving her 200m PB and ranking in the club all-time U20 top 10 for both events.  A regular in both the 4x100 and 4x400 relays, she can always be relied upon as a strong anchor leg. This athlete attends training regularly, always giving 100% effort. The winner of this award is JADE KAVANAGH.

The winner of the Club Best Performance in the Field award goes to a throws specialist who competed in all four throws.  Taking on the javelin and hammer events, in addition to her preferred shot and discus, she was rewarded with PBs in the latter. She scored valuable points in the YDL and SAL winning the shot at all five competitions she attended, and also competed well in the UK League. A regular in discus, she happily stepped up to cover gaps in hammer and javelin when asked. With another season in the Under 20 age group in 2020 we look forward to another strong year in club teams - the winner of best performance on the field goes toCHIMDI OKPALAUKO. - she's unable to attend tonight so we'll see she gets her award.

The Team Member award winner in this age group goes to an athlete who competed in all seven YDL and UK women’s league competitions. She has enjoyed the first of her two seasons in the Under 20 age group and achieved personal bests in the 100 and 200m events, as well as the pole vault. She can also be relied upon to cover gaps and support her team mates whenever asked to do so. Her love for being part of the team has earned her regular positions on the 4x100 relay team and even brought her a grazed knee after a dive across the finishing line when anchoring the relay team in Glasgow!  We look forward to seeing more progress in her second season as an Under 20 athlete fromCHARLIE WRIGHT

Now moving onto the Junior (Under 20) Men’s age group and once again begin with the award for the Club Best Performance on the Track award. This winner is a sprinter who has competed well for the Club in all three leagues he takes part in – the YDL, SAL and BAL – earning several first and second places. He also gained valuable points on the Field, with good performances in the High jump and Shot. But, of course, it’s on the track where he excels, topping the U20s Club Rankings for the year, in both the 100 and 200m events; and making the All-time U20s Top 10 Club Rankings with an excellent sub-11-second performance. This athlete also had success at County level, gaining a well-deserved 100m Bronze medal in the Essex County Championships. Well done on another fantastic season and we look forward to another great year in the Under 20s, in 2020, from RICHARD AKINYEBO

Moving to the winner of the Best Performance in the Field award.  This athlete who has gone from strength to strength this year, with A string wins in the YDL and SAL, achieving several PBs competing for the Club.  His javelin throw of 51.26 took him to sixth place on the Club All-time U20 Rankings and helped him to achieve his highest ever UK Ranking of 27. After performing well, finishing fifth at the Essex County Championships, he then went on to smash his PB at the Eastern Counties Championships to win gold. He also helped his team by competing in the Shot and bravely took on the 2000m steeplechase, off of very little training but taking full points for the club. We hope to see even more next year from OLIVER WOODS

The Under 20 men’s Team Member award goes to an athlete who has won this award several times as he’s moved through the age groups, and for very good reasons. His commitment to the team goes far beyond what should be expected, making himself available for the first and last events of the day, even if this means he may not be completely fresh for the event he is concentrating on that day. His versatility and reliability are so important to the team that it makes his name the first one on the team-sheet! He competed in seven different events for the club, plus relays, and had a great season obtaining good PBs in the 100, 200, 400, hammer, discus, high and triple jumps. This award goes to the well deserving AARON FRESHWATER.

Continuing to move down the age groups, we come back to the Under-17 women.

The Club Best Performance on the Track award this year goes to a dedicated middle-distance athlete who can always be relied upon to bring home valuable points for the club.  She competed in eight of the 10 EYAL fixtures and also in the SAL.  Recording victories in both leagues, she often doubled up and scored good points in every event. She improved her PBs, from 800m to 3000m, with her 3000m PB ranking her eighth on the Club all time Under 17 list. She also filled gaps in the 300m, 400m, discus and high jump, and competed well for her school in the World Schools event in Croatia, finishing fourth.  An important member of the Coopers’ English Schools Cup final team, she added silver at the Essex Schools and a third place for Essex in the Southern Inter Counties. She is a fantastically committed athlete for club teams, and with another season in the Under 17 age group were sure there’s so much more to come from  SYDNEY FOLEY.

The Best Performance award in the Field goes to an athlete who despite studying hard for her GCSEs, she still managed to compete in eight of the ten club EYAL and YDL events at her favoured javelin event, and also competed for the SAL team. She recorded first places in seven of her nine club competitions, including two wins in the YDL Premier Division, and placing second in the others – an outstanding record and excellent points for the club. She also won gold in the Eastern Championships and silver at both the Essex County and Essex Schools events, and won for Essex at the Inter Counties. She now moves up to the Under 20 age group where she is sure to do well. The winner is ADELAIDE THATCHER-GRAY.

Next up is the Team Member award which goes to a committed athlete who has competed an astonishing 13 times for club teams in the YDL, EYAL and SAL league competitions and also the county relays.  The Under 17 age group is a difficult one to manage due to athletes’ exam commitments, so when an athlete is always available and willingly covers any event she is asked to, she is a priceless asset! She competed at every event from 100m to 800m, 80m hurdles, 100m hurdles, 300m hurdles, steeplechase, triple jump, high jump, discus and hammer, plus of course both 4x100m and 4x300m relays – where she was a member of the club record breaking and gold-medal quartet. An all-round athlete who is a great credit to the team. The winner is ALICE ATKINS.

Now we come to the Under-17 men’s age group and begin with the Best Performance on the Track award.  This multi-talented athlete recorded eight A string victories across the season – four in the EYAL and another four in the YDL – along with a string of other high scoring positions in a range of events. Specialising mainly in both long jump and 100m Hurdles, he jumped 6.75m in June to go fourth on the U17 all-time list, and then quickly followed that with a superb 13.47 secs Hurdles, gaining fourth on the all-time list. He won silver in the hurdles at the Essex championships and placed eight in the English Schools hurdles final. As a regular member of the 4x100m relay team, he helped the squad to county silver, breaking the club record at the Anniversary Games at the Olympic Stadium. A popular team member also - the worthy winner is SAM SANUSI.

The Best Performance Field award goes to another hugely talented all-round athlete. He started his season by winning the Essex County Championships in May and over the season had five EYAL & two YDL victories, with his three EYAL wins coming in the specialty field event for which he has won this award. His stand out performance of the season was saved for the ESAA English Schools Championship where he threw a huge 59.31m, earning him a new PB and the Bronze medal. This placed him sixth on our extremely competitive all-time list for the age-group and eighth nationally this year. He also ranks sixth all-time in the club at both 100m hurdles and 400m hurdles! A polite but driven individual who has another year in the age-group to further excel. The clear winner is BRADLEY JAMES.

The Team Member award this year goes to another athlete who is strong across a range of events, and who just gets on with what he is asked to do without any fuss. He is actually so laid back that sometimes the team manager has to go and find him last minute before his event! Ever present in all 10 EYAL & YDL meetings and the Essex relays over the season, he recorded a massive twelve victories – six as A string and six as B string. He is the top ranked club Under 17 at 200m, triple jump and High Jump, and second at 400m and also helped the U17 Men to a 4x400m Essex County Relay Silver, posting the fastest split. An invaluable member of the team, very well deserved KIMATHI CHRISTIE. - we'll make sure he receives his award

And so we move down another age group to the Under-15 girls.
The Best Performance on the Track goes to an athlete who made an amazing contribution this season. Such is her talent that she competed in nine different individual events and the pentathlon where she was 15th for Essex Schools in the National Championships. She won nine times for the club teams and posted two individual entries in the all-time top 10 at 800m and long jump, as well as being ranked nationally in the top 50 in four different events including 13th for 800m. She is a key member of the club relay teams that set club records in the 4x100m and 4x300m, but the most impressive of her many highlights was her haul of three gold medals on one night at the Essex Relay Champs. Critical to the team’s success, a leader by example, always humble and a pleasure to manage, I think you’ll agree the winner is truly deserving of the award, she is. STEPHANIE OKORO.

The Best Performance Field award goes to an athlete who has really progressed in her specialist event of discus.  She’s improved her national ranking from 53rd in 2018 to 18th this season and finishing seventh in the England Athletics Championships. She represented the club in nine league fixtures, won gold at both the Essex County Championships and the Essex County Schools Championships and silver at the Eastern Counties. As well as taking on Hammer throwing duties this season, she has also frequently secured valuable points in the 800m, including two excellent league victories, and is a versatile, committed and brilliant team. She’s hardly missed a league fixture in four seasons and is always willing to step up and invariably delivers crucial points for the team. Much appreciated by her team manager and team-mates alike, a deserving winner of this award isHANNAH YEXLEY.

The Team Member award goes to an exceptional athlete who has delivered improved performances in nine events this season, in addition to taking up the pentathlon where she earned an Essex Schools vest. In addition to six league victories she set a new club record at 300m, ranking 12th nationally. She was a key member of the relay teams that set club records in the 4x100m and 4x300m and was a double gold medal winner in these events at the Essex Relay Champs. A naturally gifted sprinter who is now excelling in other events, there is no doubt she will continue to go from strength to strength. She is a fantastic team member who has made a significant contribution to the team’s success this year and will be a real force to be reckoned with in the Under 17 age group next season. A truly deserving winner..UCHE OKPALAUKO.

We now come to the Under-15 Boys age group and the winner of the Best Club Performance Track award goes to an athlete who is the most laid-back person but boy can he pull it out of the bag when needed! He competed in most of the EYAL & YDL meetings, recording wins in both the 100 & 200m sprints as well as the 300m. He is a versatile athlete who finished seventh in the National Schools pentathlon at Exeter, fifth in the English Schools long jump and won long jump bronze medals in the Southern Inter Counties and the prestigious England Athletics championships.  He is fifth fastest U15 in the club all-time 100m list and ranks fourth all time at long jump. A regular in the club record breaking 4x100m relay teams, with his landmark blistering anchor legs the winner is DENZEL ACHI.

The Best Performance award for Field events goes to an athlete who started the season competing in throwing events but after gentle persuasion added an extra field event, and a track event. He competed in almost all of the club fixtures, scoring maximum points time after time, often winning all three events.  He added to his medal collection with gold in the Essex Championships and Eastern Championships, silver in the Essex Schools, and won a brilliant javelin bronze at the England Athletics champs with a PB of 51.32m, to rank fifth on the club all time lists. He also represented Essex in the Southern Inter Counties and competed at his first English Schools championships this year. His team manager describes him as a polite yet very competitive individual, who is highly respected by other team members and who has been a pleasure to manage. Good luck in the Under 17s OLIVER YEXLEY.

Finally, in this age group, we come to the Team Member award which has been deservedly won by another athlete who has had a great season, going above and beyond for the club cause.  He competed in eight of the ten league meetings and the county relays, where he won gold with the 3x800m squad and silver in the 4x300m quartet. He was one of the few middle-distance athletes to compete in the YDL fixture the day before the mini marathon and as well as competing regularly for club teams at 800m or 1500m throughout the season he also covered gaps in the 300m and high jump where needed, scoring good points. He is a determined and strong competitor who is improving all the time. He’s an asset to the team and is sure to do well in the Under 17s next season. Well done to SHANE HART

Finally it’s the turn of the youngest age group, the Under-13s and we begin with the girls’ who have been waiting so patiently for their awards.
The
Best Club Performance on the Track award goes to an athlete who truly deserving of it. She finished the season the top ranked club sprinter, second best ever in the club all-time 75m and third in the 150m lists. She was a committed team member who was ever present in all 10 EYAL & YDL fixtures achieving an impressive nine first places – including a 75m win against top opposition in the YDL – and three second places. She was part of the winning sprint relay team at the Essex Championships, won 200m gold at the County championships, silver in the Essex Schools Championships, and also represented Essex in the Southern Inter Counties. She ended the season on a high, with new PBs in both sprints – good luck in the Under 15s to… CASSIE CAMPBELL.

The Club Best Performance award for the Field events in this category goes to an athlete who was a massive points scorer for the Under 13 girls’ team. One of the first names on the team sheet, she competed in nine of the ten EYAL and YDL meetings, winning seven of her nine club shot competitions.  She placed second in the other two and added three wins and two second places in the discus in the EYAL, as well as points in the javelin when needed. She won bronze in the Essex Schools championships and ended the season with the second longest ever shot put by a club Under 13 of 10.33m at the EYAL final, leaving her rank fifth nationally.  The outstanding winner is ZIKORAH EZEONWUKA.

The Team Member award goes to a young lady who demonstrated her all-round abilities competing at seven different events plus a pentathlon during the season.  Another regular she also competed in nine of the ten club fixtures and was a big points scorer with nine first and two second places. At the county relays she helped the team to gold in the sprint relay and silver in the 3x800m, won an individual bronze medal in the Essex Schools 800m and represented Essex too. She is a reliable team member who listens carefully and often willing to swap her events.  She even attends extra training and will try something new for the greater good of the team. The future is bright for RUBY TILLSON.

And so we come to the final three age group awards, in the Under-13 boy’s age group.
The
Best Club Performance Track

award in this age group goes to an extremely talented athlete who only joined the club in April after winning the Essex County Pentathlon Championships. Recording some remarkable achievements; he broke the 200m, 75m hurdles, shot and pentathlon club records and is ranked second on the club 100m and high jump all-time lists. He also anchored the sprint relay team to a new club record and UK Number 1 ranking.  Individually he’s ranked No. 1 nationally at 100m, 200m, hurdles and pentathlon, and is only third at shot!  He won Essex golds at 4x100m and 3x800m, won the Eastern Counties Pentathlon Champs and at the South of England Champs he won hurdles gold and 200m silver. A truly amazing athlete with a big future ahead of him and a pleasure to coach and team manage. The deserving winner is AL-AMEEN SALAAM.

The Club Best Performance for Field award goes to a polite young man who is developing into a mature and focussed athlete. He competed at nine of the ten YDL and EYAL meetings in shot putt, discus and high jump, recording eight first places and four seconds. In May he won discus bronze at the Essex County Champs and improved his PBs in discus and shot throughout the season.  He set new marks in both throws at the EYAL Final, ranking him seventh in the all-time shot list and just outside the discus top 10, after adding four metres to his PB. He made a significant contribution to the team’s success this season especially the U13 boy’s one-point win at the EYAL final! Good luck as an U15 next seasonNOAH HARRIOTT.

The final Team Member award of the evening goes to a talented versatile athlete who is willing to compete at field events as well as his favoured track events. He won 800m gold at both the Essex County and Essex Schools Champs and was in the winning 4x100m and 3x800m teams at the Essex Relay Championships.  A new 800m PB at the English Schools Cup Final earned him fifth in the all-time club rankings. Also a fine sprinter and long jumper, he ranked second in the 200m and long jump and third in 100m this season. He also competed at javelin and high jump and despite an injury at the EYAL final, he gritted his teeth in the 800m to earn those valuable points for the team. A permanent member of the record breaking 4x100m UK No.1 relay squad, well-mannered yet driven in his athletic career – the worthy winner is DANIEL LAMMAS.

I’ll now hand over to our Chairman Tony who will introduce some Special Awards presented by the Club Committee before we let you loose on the buffet.

(TONY}

The first of these isn’t awarded every year but once again this year there were so many outstanding performances that we felt it was well deserved. The Cleanaway Havering Best Relay Performance Trophy was introduced by the Cleanaway Havering organisation (now known as Veolia) who contributed some 50,000 towards the costs of refurbishing the track and field facilities at Hornchurch Stadium in 2004.
This summer truly was an excellent one, with seven teams breaking club relay records
, with the three relay quartets representing the club in the Olympic Stadium at the Anniversary Games all setting new club marks.  Among these results, was a series of stand-out relay performances by a team which we now recognise tonight.  The Under 15 boys 4x100m club record of 47.0 seconds had stood since July 2000 and the team in 2018 had come close but just feel short. But the team of 2019 set a new mark at the Essex Relay Championships at Chelmsford at the end of June taking over half a second off the club best with a gold medal performance of 46.41s.  That alone would probably have justified this award but two weekends later this mark was beaten by the same quartet twice more, first at the YDL match at Bromley on 21st July, with a time of 45.82s, and then the following day at the Anniversary Games when they took a further second off with an amazing 44.82s to win this prestigious event and win 250.  Congratulations to the record-breaking Under 15 Boys sprint relay quartet who we’re also sharing part of the prize money with them with a sports voucher. Congratulations to: Charlie Black, Jacob Blanc, Jack Botha and Denzel Achi.

We now come to the Special Awards presented for Best Performances by the Club Committee for performances outside the usual Club League competitions, particularly at national and international events..

The first of these is for Males in the age range U13 –U17 and although there were many contenders the Committee had no difficulty choosing the outright winner.  He was ever present in the 10 EYAL and YDL meetings and was unbeaten in his main sprint hurdles event as well as scoring well in other events including as we’ve just seen the club-record breaking relay teams. But it is for his performances outside club competitions that we welcome him here tonight: Indoor golds at 60m hurdles in the South of England and Essex & Eastern Championships, and an England Athletics indoor hurdles silver; outdoor hurdles golds in the Essex and Southern Championships and bronze medals at both the English Schools and England Athletics Championships. Club records indoors at 60m hurdles and outdoors at 80m hurdles and 300m.  He ended the season winning bronze in the English Schools pentathlon to win England selection at the Indoor Schools International in three weeks. An outstanding talent – who moves into the Under 17 age group with confidence and has already his eyes on club records and medals in that age group. Congratulations go to JACOB BLANC.

Next it’s the Female Best Performance in the age range U13 – U17 and the winner is an athlete who has already featured at these presentations in each of the past three years, including winning this award two years ago. An enormously versatile athlete who won national medals at both 800m and discus as an Under 15 and this year moved up to the Under 17 events to add more National honours. She represented her school in the World Schools Championships in Croatia and also was again part of their winning team in the English Schools Cup Final. On the track she won Essex Schools 800m silver and was part of the club record-breaking 4x300m quartet that won gold in a club record at the Essex relays. But this year her biggest successes came on the field as an early season discus PB earned her English Schools selection and at these championships in July she rose to the occasion perfectly to win discus gold with a 40m+ throw to earn selection for the England Schools’ team in Ireland where she won bronze. Once again the winner is the hugely talented ALICE BROWN.

Now to the Male age group U20 – Veterans where the winner is a permanent fixture these events, after winning the Under 13-Under 17 shield in teach of the past four years. Now in the Under 20s his progress has continued and he is already closing in on the 70m+ club record at both Under 20 and senior level with his 68.57m javelin throw.  He won gold at the county championships, and also at both the South of England, and England Athletics Championships in June but had to settle for silver against the older champion at the English Schools in July. He again won silver representing England South at the Welsh International in Cardiff a few weeks later and won gold for England Under 18s in the Youth National Cup in Dublin which ranked him fifth in the world. He was also ranked second Under 18 in the world with his senior javelin PB. I’m sure there’s even more still to come from the winner  MAX LAW.

Now for the final individual award, for the Female age group U20 – Veterans.  Again, she is a familiar face with victories stretching further back than she can remember in her 25 years competing for club teams.  A regular for the SAL and the UKWAL competing not only in both sprint and 400m hurdles, but also competing regularly at pole vault and high jump, and also javelin and triple jump when needed. But it is for her international exploits that she’s here tonight. Although now in the Masters’ age groups she hasn’t previously competed in those competitions, but the attraction of the European Masters Championships being held in Venice was too good to avoid.  Competing in the 400m hurdles event at the Jesolo track in Venice in September she placed a superb fifth place in the W35 category to run her fastest time of the year and her fastest since 2016 to equal her club W35 record of 68.56s. The winner is of course our President - CLAIRE BRENNAN.

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