Simon and Jones crowned Athletes of Year at Junior Awards

On the afternoon of Sunday 28th October, the Pegasus Club house was packed full of junior members and their guests to celebrate the end of a successful season and the annual Junior Awards.

Guest of honour was CHAC’s own Junior World Silver medallist Charlie Dobson; who presented a video charting his own junior athletic story from first joining the club to world stage. He then stayed to present each award.

The first honour of the afternoon was awarded for Speed Girl: nominee certificates were presented to Lilly Sillett (U15) she reduced her 100m PB from 15.0s to 13.6s and has reduced her 75m Hurdles from  14.0s to 13.0s during the season, Lilly has a great start and now needs to work on her strength. Olivia Gillon (U13) Under 13 Olivia won the 200m bronze medal at the Indoor Essex and Eastern Champs in February and has had a very consistent year scoring valuable points for the team in the EYAL at 100m, 200m and 4 x 100m relays.  Olivia ended the season with her first sub 30 second 200m time in winning the B string at the EYAL Plate final to finish the season as the fastest under 13 girl over 200m, her PB is currently 29.55s.  Hollie Martin Whymark (U13) has reduced her 70m Hurdles time from 15.0s to 13.1s.  With more consistent training in this event she could do very well next season.

Maya Rattray (U17) was the first major award winner of the day, claiming Speed Girl 2018. Her first two races for the club were competed as non-scorers however her times were quick enough to soon move up the club’s rankings to become a firm A string runner not just at EYAL but on occasion for the SAL team as well.  Her highlight of the season came at a windy Essex County Champs where having qualified through her 100m heat she produced an excellent race to bag herself a well-deserved bronze medal. Her consistent improvement of form saw her become the only Harrier in her age group to run under 13s this season, she also made the final of the Essex Schools Championships. Within this season she has managed to knock 1.3s off of her 200m time – an event prior to this year she had not even competed – to end the year with a PB of 26.8s. More often than not she finished in the top three in her races earning much needed points for the team.

In the Speed Boy category – Daniel Jones (U17) was presented with a nomination certificate for having become an Essex Schools finalist and despite not being his strongest event, took a very good fourth place in final of 100m.

The U15 Boys relay team was given a special mention following a very successful season, where they recorded five sub 50 second times which is a first, certainly in Harriers more recent history. Congratulations went to Sam Shippey, George Lavender, Kai Chilvers and Oliver Mitchell backed up by Harvey Daniels, George Mann and Charlie Walder.  The Harriers quartet won all but one of their relay races in 2018.  In June they became the Essex County 4x100m Relay champs not only taking the Gold medal but also a new Club record of 46.55s.  They all now move up to U17 next season, so it will be very interesting and exciting to see how they progress.

Speed Boy 2018 was Awarded to Sam Shippey having enjoyed an outstanding year: as well as being part of the Gold winning 4x 100m relay squad he was the only athlete in the club in his age group to run sub 12s for 100m, sub 24s for 200m and sub 40s for 300m, claiming numerous first places at EYAL meets. As well as team successes in June he became both the Essex County Schools Junior Boys 300m Champion with a new PB and claiming a new Championship Best Performance time and the Eastern Counties U15 Boys 300m Champion at Peterborough. In July he represented Essex Schools as a finalist in the Junior Boys 300m New Balance ESAA English Schools Championships in Birmingham where he came seventh with a great new PB of 36.52s which was an improvement of an already good club record by more than 1.2 seconds – this also achieved him a National Standard for the first time.  In August he became a Silver medallist in the U15 Boys 300m at the South of England Championships at Lee Valley and in September 2018 – representing Essex he took Gold in the U15 Boys 300m South of England Inter Counties   U15 Championships in Horspath. He ended his 2018 track season in Watford running his debut 400m race to claim an amazing top five UK ranking in a time of 53.16s.

He finished the year ranked 10th in the UK in U15 Boys over 300m (just 2 1/100dths of a second off the UK target of 36.5s).

In the Distance categories, Jess Longstaff received a commendation for her significant improvement over 800m and her contribution to Cross Country.

This year’s Winner of 2018 Distance Girl was once again awarded to Milly Presland. Her cross-country season saw her dominate the 53 – 12 junior races winning each of her age group races. In the Essex League she ran well with her best finish placing third in Writtle.  In the school’s finals she finished 9th in the South East championships in Newbury and 29th in the National championships in Leeds.  She also represented Essex in the inter counties championship.  Earlier this month she ran a fast leg in the Suffolk junior cross-country relays at Bourne Park, Ipswich to aid the U15 Harriers Girls team to win gold.  This month she ran her 50th park run.  Her performances are impressive especially as on many occasions she is the first female to finish.  Her personal best is currently 19m 20s.

On the track this young athlete has had a great year breaking the under 15 girls club records at 800m, 1500m and 3000m.  One of her best races of the year was in the EYAL 800m race at Norwich which she judged to perfection winning in 2m 22.7s to beat the home athlete with a blistering last 100m, smashing KJ Watts six-year old club record.   She also took the 1500m and 3000m club records, lowering the 1500m record to 4m 51.71s in the final of the Essex Schools Championships in June where she just missed out on a medal finishing 5th, such is the quality of middle distance running in Essex.  In May she became the first under 15 girl to run 3000m in under 11 minutes when she clocked 10m 55.98s to win the silver medal at the Essex County Championships.

Nominees in the Distance Boys award were presented to William Long who as a first year U13 has impressed with an excellent  1500m PB of 5m 08.8s. Charlie Parmenter improved his 800m time by more than 5 seconds this year, regularly competed in both Essex League and 53 -12 cross country races and last Sunday ran the first leg of the Suffolk cross country relays coming in first in a time that was only narrowly beaten by two other runners in subsequent legs. Thomas Palmer certainly earnt his very fair share of the points for the club competing all EYALS and Plate final as well as in SAL meets, producing many exciting races including claiming a fantastic bronze medal at Essex county schools’ champs in 1.59.

The 2018 Distance Boy winner went to Danny Milward (who forgot to attend the awards after competing in the morning!)  Danny has maintained a steady improvement during 2017/18 in all of his events from the 1500m on the track to the 10k on the road, much of his progress is due to his determination in training and his desire to test himself in racing.  He is a good role model for his peer group and has done himself and his club proud, one of his highlights on the track was winning a Silver Medal in the Inter boys 3000m with a time of 9.25.74 at the Essex Schools Track/Field Champs held at Chelmsford in June.  In the winter months he also made his mark at cross country winning a place in the Essex inter boys’ team that competed in the English Schools Cross Country Championships at Leeds in March, more recently Danny has tasted success in the Wix Essex 5-mile Road Race being the first under 20 home in 28 mins 19secs PB.

Field Girl Nominees included Eliza Betts (U17) who this year became Suffolk Champion and Anglian Schools Champ in Long Jump and this season cleared the 5m mark for the first time adding 40cm onto her PB to jump 5.14m , she also added Triple Jump into her skill set jumping just outside a top 100 ranking for her age with 10.16m. Emily Swan (U15) added 10cm onto her High Jump and started competing the technical PV 1.50m. Kayleigh Hale (U15) came a good 4th at Essex Schools County Champs in Javelin and has now moved to a dedicated throws squad. 

Winner of Field Girl was Awarded to Olivia Simon who has had an extremely busy year, competing and excelling in a full indoor and outdoor season, in not just one but two different field events (and competes a third). Of her many achievements those that stand out include at St Albans where she once again demonstrated her developing skill and technique in the Pole Vault claiming the top slot and equalled her indoor PB of 2.60m to garner a new outdoor Club Record and PB, just the day before she had beaten her own record in U15 Hammer whilst competing at Bury St Edmunds with 35.61m. In June and the day before our home EYAL meet (which she won) she had claimed yet another new Club Record with a throw of 36.10m to gain the English Schools Entry Standard at an open meet hosted at the Garrison taking first place in the Hammer with 35.49m. In August and back on her pole and determined to conquer her bogey height of 2.60m which she had been struggling to better over her last few meets – she joined the competition at 2.30m and with plenty of air space between her and the bar she then went on to clear 2.65m, earning maximum points and yet another PB and Club record.   No sooner had she put her Pole down she was picking up a Hammer and looking nice and relaxed managed to grab herself another PB and her second Club Record and first place finish of the day with a best throw of 38.46m – winning by a clear 6m.  More often than not she is the top or one of the top scorers for the team she finished her year as U15 Club record holder in both events with a best 3k Hammer Throw of 40.55m.

U13, Bhramav Rajesh received a Commendation for Field events having added 4m onto his discus PB, competed High Jump, Shot – where he increased his distance by just under half a meter as well as earning points in Javelin.  Harvey Daniels showed true resilience in High Jump and Pole Vault. Charlie Palmer was commended for his persistence and is the epitome of earning a point for the club having competed three throws events at all the meets, quietly just getting on, he has shown steady progress.

Field Boy was awarded to U17 Joseph Clarke who was described by his coach as quiet, modest, and hard-working. At the start of the season he struggled badly with nerves which could have severely hampered his progress, however he soon developed a new-found inner strength which allowed him to compete nine out of the ten team competitions this year. At the Home meet he gained a huge PB in this Triple Jump with a distance of 11.50m – adding 67cm onto his last best.  Not content with that he added 10 cm onto his Long Jump to gain his second PB with a leap of 5.89m. Hopefully this new- found confidence will enable him to make good progression again next year.

After enjoying a buffet, the awards ceremony continued.

Chris Akehurst presented his Run Jump Throw awards for the seventh consecutive year. And this year two nominees were commended for their achievements as multi eventers. U15 Kai Chilvers has shown sublime 1500m running using his speed to out run his opponents in the latter stages of the race; he has great Hurdle technique as well as ground speed and is the only male sprint hurdler in the junior ranks.  He also has a massive throw in the Javelin with a PB (32.46m). U15 Madeleine Claydon was commended for consistent performances year in year out.  Madeleine competed twenty-four times for the club in 2018 and is good all-rounder. Not only competing cross country and park runs, she hurdles, sprints, jumps and throws this year she improved her PB in 800m, 75m hurdles and long jump and in the 300m she improved her PB during the year by just over 2 seconds to 44.7s, comfortably quicker than the other Harrier under 15 girls.

The 2018 Run Jump Throw Girl was won by U13 Alexandra Bell-Cobbold who achieved 2,201 points across her five competitions.  She has improved her sprint performances for the 200m by 0.7 second from 30.3s to 29.6s.  Coached by Tonie Wilson, most progression has been made in Middle Distance events where her one 800m race knocked 8.2s off her 2017 time and her 1500m time by 5.6s.  The Home meet allowed her to add points in the long jump with a PB of 3.72s. Her Shot competition in Peterborough recorded a best throw of 4.65m.

In the Boys category the winner was under 15 athlete, Sebastien Jacobs who gained 1,341 points, coached by Annette Bland and Chris Akehurst. In a small field of boys eligible for this award, Jacobs came out on top having sprinted over 100m, 200m and 300m and competed in a long jump and shot competition during the season. He improved his 300m time from 49.7s in 2017 to 46.5s this year. In August he added 7cm to his long jump PB when he leapt 3.72m. A 1.39m improvement in his shot gave him a new measurement of 6.54m.

New for 2018 was the Young Ambassador Award. This initiative was introduced at the end of last year to encourage the older more experienced athletes in the team to take on more responsibilities. It has been encouraging to see that a number of the girls have stepped up to assist at both the Mini Quad kid style competitions hosted by Harriers and at the EYAL matches.

Ella Gray (U17) – who was sadly unable to attend due to work commitments, became the first ever recipient. As well as being an accomplished athlete; she was a finalist in 200m at Essex Schools County Champs and Essex County Champs and produced a great PB in the last match of the year to run 26.88s in the 200m -almost a second quicker than her 2018 time.  she is a very respected team member, who is inspiring and encouraging of younger athletes.  She is currently Working towards her Coaching Assistant qualification which is being sponsored by the club.  At meets she not only makes sure she is prepared to compete but also uses all her own knowledge and experience to look after the younger athletes getting them ready for their races.

Annette Bland and Chris Akehurst’s Team Manager Awards went to Daisy Rickwood who as an under 13 athlete is always happy to fill in when required.  This year she ran three 1500m races instead of her favoured distance of 800m picking up good points for the team.  Daisy got involved in throwing for the first time in 2018 regularly throwing the discus in the EYAL.  She finished the season as our A string thrower with a PB of 12.44m.   The Boys award was presented to U13 Tom Ashley who has a lovely relaxed attitude for such a young athlete. He is always happy to fill in when required.  When he was injured and unable to run or jump he took on the three throws at Norwich picking up valuable points for the team.

This years Most Improved Shield was awarded to two athletes U15 Zion Ateba and U15 George Lavender. Zion has improved significantly despite facing challenges which often hinder her availability to train. What she might have missed in training she certainly made up for competing all EYAL meets including the plate final this year. She has improved her 200m time by 1and half secs, from 29.5 to 28.00,  competed in some exciting HJ comps usually getting down to the last two,  this year she has added a decent 7cm onto her previous best finally gaining a great new PB in August with a clearance of 1.55 to gain a top 60 ranking, and there is still so much potential for more! Her Long Jump has increased by over half a meter from 3.84 to 4.35 and in hurdles – as well as learning how to adapt to the new height and longer distance required for an U15, she still managed to improve her time down to 12.36 knocking off half a second from last year’s shorter distance. Zion has bags of talent and is one determined athlete who could go far!

It is the belief of George’s coach that we have not seen his full potential yet. At the Essex Schools Champs, he showed great form to take a Bronze in the JB event, His throw of 38.28m in the final round clinched a PB and a podium placing amongst a strong field. At the Plate final in September he obliterated his PB by over 2m to throw 41.05m, almost 7m further than the next best athlete and a distance which puts him as the second farthest thrower for an U15 boy in the Harriers records. However, not only that but he has also proved himself to be very handy on the track. At the second meet he stepped in at very short notice to run U15 boys 100m clocking a great PB of 12.3s for 3rd place – and ended the season running 12.2 and under 25s in the 200m. and He is a valuable member of the 4 x 100 relay squad.

The afternoon was wrapped up with the presentation of the Athlete of the Year accolades: the criteria for these is at the selector’s discretion.  However, there was no quibble over the Female award. And for the second year Olivia Simon was awarded the best of the best having surpassed her last year’s achievements.  2018 saw her claim County Champion titles in two very different events: She started the year breaking records by taking gold at both the Essex and Eastern indoor Champs and the South of England Indoor championships competing the U15 girls Pole Vault.

At the outdoor Essex champs, she claimed a good silver and she was Harriers youngest representative at the Eastern champs where in fine form she worked her way through the heights and held her nerve to equal her PB to win the competition and take the gold medal. She finishes the year ranked 18th in the UK for U15 Pole Vault.

In her second discipline at the Essex County Champs she brought home her first Championship medal by winning the 3k hammer throw in a best of 31.88m.  A month later she was crowned Essex Schools Champion competing for North East Essex District. Her opening throw of 38.17m laid down the gauntlet to the field and added an enormous two meters onto her previous best, smashing her Harriers record – a throw which was eight meters ahead of the silver placed athlete, and she only picked up a Hammer for the first-time last autumn!

As a first year U15 she competed at the England Age Group Championships in Bedford and took a respectable 10th place in the U15 girls Hammer and received her call up for Essex on 1st September to compete at the Southern Inter counties in Horspath.

After an exhausting 23 competitions she has increased her PB and broken then re broken the CR numerous times to end on a 3k PB of 40.55m and on the morning of the awards took a new Club Record in the 4k throw with a distance of 28.78 bettering her previous best by over 4m and finishes the year ranked 16th in the UK for 3k Hammer.

Junior Male Athlete of the Year was awarded to U17 Daniel Jones who over the years has displayed not only very natural talent but an excellent attitude towards training and is a gutsy competitor; he is  modest, quiet, respectful of his opponents, supportive and encouraging of his team mates  he shows a good level of control, never allowing his emotions to over-come any situation despite having been plagued over the years with small and niggling injuries which have to some extent hindered his progression, until this year.

With a good block of winter training under his belt and a change of event focus this year – he came out to run in the SAL at Norwich and literally smashed his PB of 11.6 run at the first EYAL running a fine 11.3s.  He was picked for the 100m in Essex schools Championships (not his favoured event) where he ran 11.25 breaking his PB again but finishing agonisingly in 4th place in a photo finish.  At St Albans on the 6th May competing in the EYAL he finally broke that elusive 23:00 for the 200m running 22.9.

With good early season form behind him he entered the Welsh National Championships at Cardiff for the 100m and 200m. He negotiated the heats well to reach both finals. In the 100m he ran 11.37 into a strong headwind to win a silver medal. The following day in the 200m final, after a fantastic start, he stayed strong in the final 30m to take another silver and a new PB of 22.76. A time that would have crowned him Essex Schools Champ had the selectors chosen to nominate him for his favoured event.

Eight days later and at The Eastern Counties Championships, choosing the 100m he again negotiated the heats to make the final. He performed well to win the silver medal and equalled his PB of 11.25.

To cap a fine season, he received his first call up for Essex to compete in the 200m at the U17 Southern Inter counties match.  He didn’t disappoint running a fantastic race finishing 2nd with a Final PB of the season 22.72.  He has adapted well to his new squad and will his coach is sure be a valuable asset as he progresses into his senior career.

Attendance Medals were presented to all athletes who competed four or more of the EYAL matches in recognition of their commitment and dedication to the team.

AAA Certificates were also presented to those who had through the course of the season achieved the desired standard.

A raffle raised £197 for Club funds.

Female field award and young athlete of the year - Olivia Simon

Male young athlete of the year - Daniel Jones

Female speed award - Maya Rattray

Female distance award - Milly Presland

Female Run, Jump, Throw award - Alexandra Bell-Cobbold

Male speed award - Sam Shippey

Male field award - Joseph Clarke

Team managers award - Daisy Rickwood

Team managers award - Tom Ashley

Most improved - George Lavender

Female field commendations - Emily Swan and Eliza Betts

Male distance commendations - William Long and Charlie Parmenter

Male field commendations - Bhramav Rajesh and Harvey Daniels