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News: October 2021

Thursday 21st October 2021

The annual audit of all the Track and Field equipment provided by Stevenage Borough Council took place on Wednesday morning. This audit happens every Autumn and is a joint effort between the Club and SBC. It ensures that competition equipment for any match under UKA rules is top quality. Damaged equipment is discarded and that which is no longer top quality for competition is moved to the container which houses training equipment for use by the Club or the Schools for their matches. The last audit was done in November 2019. Everything has to be taken out of the containers, checked and if necessary weighed and replaced. The weather stayed dry, the sun shone and five SNHAC volunteers and a member of SBC’s staff set to work at 9.30am. Mick and Caroline Shortland , Steve Feely, Peter Keefe and Norma Harris along with Max from SBC emptied containers, counted, weighed and checked over 500 items of equipment. By twelve o’clock the task was completed, the lists updated and the job done for another year. Steve has taken home some hammers to put news swivels and wires on and some javelins which require new grips have been temporarily retired to SBCs compound. Fully collated lists with recommendations about addition equipment needed will be with SBC by the end of October.

Sunday 17th October 2021

Twenty-Five Stevenage and North Herts members made the journey to Shotover Hill, Oxford on Saturday for the first Cross Country League Match since December 2019. The journey in pouring rain had team members a bit worried, but by the time the races started it was a beautiful day and quite hot. The Chiltern League is even bigger now as a result of other cross-country leagues being unable to run post-COVID. 21 Clubs were taking part; this is serious competition.

It was great to see so many new Club members taking part. It was quite an intimidating occasion, most had not experienced anything like this and many hadn’t even run a cross-country race before. The races are all far longer than anything on the track, the course was demanding, taking most age groups into the Chiltern Hills and up one particularly long, steep hill – not for the faint hearted! Seniors got the opportunity to scale it twice!

The team did particularly well and there were some fine individual performances. A special mention must go to Hazel Spitzer U11 in her first competition who completed the 2km course in 7.46mins to finish 3rd. U11 Oliver Rose was 5th in the boy’s race with team mate James Cook 23rd.

Competing for the seniors in Division 2, Adam Searle finished the 8.9km in 37.15 mins for 33rd while M40 Bob Whitten, returning from injury was 134th. The Ladies race was over 5.8km and in spite of being ill earlier in the week Alex Gates finished in 16th in 26.43 mins. U17 Boys William Galliford and Isaac Whitten finished their 5.8km course in 9th and 12th positions in 21.42mins and 22.28 mins respectively. U17 Amelie Hobbs finished 11th in 26.22 mins over the 5km course. The U15’s ran over 4km. Top finishing was Jack Thompson in 13th 15.43 mins with Thomas Redfern 21st and Harrison Lund 25th. The team finished 6th. Abigail Manson led the girls home finishing 4th in 16.26mins, Charlotte Livingstone was 19th, Lilly Ash 21st, Alessia Payton 22nd, Imogen Rose 23rd and Molly Allen 25th. The team finished 4th. U13 Jake Trevelyan finished the 3km course in 10th with Matthew Thompson 11th – times 12.55 and 12.57mins respectively. Esme Searle led the U13 girls home in 6th 13.15mins with Lauren Griffin 7th 13.33mins, Jane Griffin 14th, Gracie Hall-Watts 15th and Hannah Cook 17th. The team finished 4th.

It was pleasing to see how everyone gave their best, supported each other and seemed to enjoy it (maybe after the event). It was a great experience and if this is how the team started the season, then with more training under their belts we should expect great things from this talented group of athletes.

Photos by Barry Cornelius ( )

Friday 1st October 2021

On Saturday, Stevenage and North Herts AC athlete Jessica Astill finished off her season by competing in her first international competition, the SIAB schools home international. She was selected to compete for England after finishing second in the u17 girls 300m at the English national schools’ finals back in July. Firstly, Jess finished fourth in the individual 300m in a time of 40.36 seconds. Later on in the day, Jess was part of the England team when they broke the national record for the 4x300m, winning the race in 2 minutes 37 seconds. This sees the end of a fantastic season for Jess, which after considerable training disruption due to lockdown, has seen her win 2 national medals.

Also, out in action this weekend was some of the club’s road runners. Competing at the Standalone 10k, including the Herts veteran’s county championships. The highest finisher of the day was Chris Westcott, who finished in 11th position overall, and 4th in the V40 age group in a time of 36 minutes and 19 seconds. Next was Trevor Mason, who finished overall 126th and 18th in the V50 age group in 46 minutes and 8 seconds, and lastly Tony Carolan was 448th and 31st in the V60 age group in 58 minutes and 36 seconds.

Overall, this weekend saw a triumphant end to the track season, as our athletes now look towards the road and cross-country season in the coming months.