The club's Fixtures and Committee Secretary, Helen Pickard was one of 9 winners at last night's England Athletics Awards. Having won the Eastern Region's Unsung Hero of the Year Helen went one step further with a very well deserved win in the event hosted by Olympian Katharine Merry . Helen has spent hours making sure that athletes could safely return to training after the Covid lockdowns. If you missed the event it is available to watch at https://www.englandathletics.org/about-us/hall-of-fame/volunteer-awards/national-volunteeer-awards/ . The club is very grateful for all the hard work done by Helen and all our volunteers without whom there would be no club!
The 4th match of this years‘ Chiltern League cross-country races took place on Saturday 15th Jan at Campbell Park, Milton Keynes. Always a very testing, undulating and technical course, with steep inclines and streams to navigate, this year the recent rain had resulted in areas of deep mud making things even more challenging. Those without spikes would struggle and although it was cold and foggy with a biting wind, some team managers were heard to comment that at least it wasn’t raining!
It was great to see that Stevenage and North Herts Athletics Club representation was the best so far this year. Most had a smile on their face at the end, albeit mud splattered. As we have come to expect, competition was fierce and the effort by our athletes was once again really impressive.
There were some fine individual performances with several of our age groups well placed before the last round of races next month when the overall competitions for best individuals and teams over the season will be decided.
In the Under 11 boys’ race Oliver Rose came 8th with James Cook 28th. In the girls’ race Hazel Spitzer was 10th.
Aubrey Murray, was a very creditable 3rd in the Under 13 boys’ race. Evan Robson was 9th, Fred Dilley 10th, Casey Wyatt 12th, Matthew Thompson 18th and Henry Price 19th. Together the team came 2nd and as things currently stand are in silver medal position overall.
In the Under 13 girls’ race, Esme Searle finished in 7th position, with Hannah Cook 12th, Jane Griffin 13th, and Gracie Hall-Watts 15th. This keeps the team in bronze medal position overall.
For the U15 boys, Calum Fairey came 6th, Thomas Redfern 12th, Jack Thompson 15th, William Toffa 21st, Harrison Lund 26th, and George Fifield 27th. The team placed 3rd.
Abigail Manson was 5th in the Under 15 girls’ race.
William Galliford came 5th in the Under 17 boys’ race, with Isaac Whitten 9th which keeps them in bronze medal position overall despite both being young in this age group and not having had a 3rd runner this season! Amelie Hobbs was 17th in the girls’ competition.
Lastly, in a large Seniors men’s field, Adam Searle finished 48th with Bob Whitten 149th. Alex Gates came 22nd in the Senior women’s race.
It remains all to play for; here’s hoping for a good medal haul next time but well done SNHAC for a great showing on Saturday!
The sun was shining brightly on Stanborough Lakes on Sunday but that didn’t mean there was no mud as nearly 30 SNHAC athletes took part in the Herts County Cross Country Championships. Best team performance of the day was the U17 Men (Will Galliford, Isaac Whitten and Tyler Wannerton) who took gold to become county champions. There were also 2 team silvers for the Under 15 girls (Abigail Manson, Charlotte Livingston and Imogen Rose) and Under 13 Boys (Aubrey Murray, Casey Wyatt and Evan Robson). Oliver Rose was a double medallist in the Under 11 Boys, in a fast finish he held off the opposition to take an individual bronze and was then joined by James Cook and Matthew Creak to take team bronze. In the Under 13 girls Esme Searle ran a fantastic race to take an individual bronze. The team of Esme, Jane and Lauren Griffin, Hannah Cook and Eleanor Roberts narrowly missed out on a team medal, finishing in 4th place. In other races Will Toffa, George Fifield and Harrison Lund made up the U15 boys team that came 6th and Hazel Spitzer (4th overall) and Ellie Morris made great debuts in the U11 girls races. Alex Gates (37th) and Adam Searle (57th) completed the senior women’s and men’s races respectively to ensure SNHAC had finishers in every race.
Meanwhile 150 miles north in Sheffield, Oscar Jopp was competing in the national indoor combined championships having travelled back from the USA. PBs in the 60m (7.63 seconds), long jump (6.30m) and shot (10.68m) saw him make a superb start before 3 fails in the pole vault saw him slip back to finish in 15th.
Club athletes return to action next weekend in the next round of the Chiltern Cross Country League in Milton Keynes as well as various indoor competitions through the rest of January.