Half a dozen Stevenage and North Herts Athletes were in action in the Eastern Athletic Association Championships at Lee Valley over the weekend. Improving progressively in each round, U17 Jessica Astill won her heat of the 300m followed by the semi final and final. Recording 41.00 in the final gained her the gold medal (42.51 heat, 41.87 semi-final). In the same event Niamh Day reached the semi-final (44.13 heat, 43.75 semi-final). Aimee Taylor cleared 2m80 to win the U17 pole vault. U20 Nile Odejimi- Riley won the triple jump with a fine sequence of jumps the best being 13m23. Senior Woman Shannon Rapacchi and U13 Oscar Whitely brought home silver medals. Shannon clearing 3m20 in the pole vault and Oscar running 29.86 in the final of the 200m.
Competing in Staten Island, New York on Friday Senior athlete Oscar Jopp came fifth in the 60m hurdles with a time of 8.87.
The Chiltern Cross Country League came to an end in lovely weather in Campbell Park in Milton Keynes on Saturday. U13 boy Calum Fairey finished his season in style by finishing 2nd in Division 2 (9.58 mins) but finishing 1st in the Division overall. Calum along with Joseph Lee (10.50mins), Jake Coles (11.02mins) and Thomas Redfern (12.21) all contributed on the day to the Under 13 Boys team finishing 3rd overall. In the Under 15 Boys event Benedict Clark finished in 3rd place in a time of 15.47mins ensuring that he finished the season 3rd overall. Benedict along with William Galliford(16.07mins) enabled the Under 15 Boys team to take the silver medal position. In the Under 20 men race Charlie Major finished his season in 5th place (35.37mins) to take the 2nd place trophy. In the Senior Men’s event SNHAC were represented by Adam Searle (37.31mins), Antonino Cucchiara (39.34mins) and Ed Manson (40.03mins). In the Senior Ladies V55 athlete Chris Feely finished in 27.23 which meant she took 3rd place overall, also competing in the Senior Ladies event were Jasmine Searle (25.12mins) and Alex Gates (28.04mins). In the Under 17 Ladies event Lizzie Raymont finished in 8th place (19.37mins) and Katie Thompson 11th place (20.03mins). In the U15 girls competition Laura Thompson finished in 9th position(19.30mins), Amelie Hobbs 13th (20.08mins) and Amy McCague 17th (22.15mins). Representing the Under 13 girls were Abigail Manson (10.42mins, Imogen Rose (11.50) and Grace Hart (12.15), . Esme Searle (6.09) and Jessica Manson (6.57 mins) competed in the Under 11 girls’ event.
The team managers were delighted with the final haul of 4 individual and 2 team medals, the most won by the club for many years!
The fourth round of the Chiltern League took place on Saturday at the Keysoe Equestrian Centre and the course included a run through the water feature for the younger athletes. A muddy, although largely dry day, saw Stevenage and North Herts U13 Calum Fairey have a great run. Not content with winning the division 2 race he also led the division one runners home as well, completing the 3km course in 11.10mins. Competing with him in this age group were Joseph Lee and Joe Raymont and the team finished second. U15 Tyler Wannerton also enjoyed the conditions, finishing second in division 2 covering the 4km course 14.17mins. Competing with him were Benedict Clark, William Galliford and Tom Malone giving the team another second-place finish. U13 girl Abigail Manson finished 6th completing her 3km course in 12.41 mins. Supported by Grace Hart and Violet Temple the team finished 4th. Laura Thompson was the first U15 girl home finishing 10th with Amelia Hobbs in 13th and Amy McCague in 17th with the team finishing fourth. U17 Katie Thompson finished 10th covering the 5km in 22.40mins and U20 Lizzie Raymont as 8th in 23.30min. U20 Charlie Major finished 8th U20 man in the division running 10.2 km in 49.29mins. Chris Feely continued her fine form in the Senior Race coming in third in the W55 age group running 6.1km in 29.55mins. Alex Gates and Jenny Cotter were also competing. Running for the men’s team Antonino Cuccharia, Edward Manson and Tony Carolan ran the 10.2 km in 50.12, 55.42 and 59.37 mins respectively.
Last Thursday saw the last coaching session from long-time member Len Albrighton. Len first came to SNHAC when he brought his daughter along in the 1980s. Jeanette was followed by Len’s grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Part of his legacy to the Club is his granddaughter as an athlete and pole vault coach. Len held many roles at the club over the years, Treasurer, Coach and Field Official as well as competing as a veteran athlete in recent years. He started coaching with the year 9 and 10 athletes, moving on to take the javelin squad when the previous coach retired. His first success here was with Alisha Levy who threw a U13 All-Time Record in 2012 (now ranked fifth on this age group’s All-Time List). Latterly he has been Lead coach with the steadily growing numbers of sprinters the club is attracting. The Club is indebted to Len for his 0000’s of hours of volunteering over the years. All members of the Club will miss his presence at training, matches, committee meetings, his humour, advice and cheerful demeanour. We are sorry to see you retire Len and wish you all the best future - enjoy that cruise!