NAC annual awards night

The 2024 annual awards night was held at Caroline Chisholm school on 19th April

Almost 200 athletes, family and friends gathered at Caroline Chisholm School on 19th April for the NAC annual awards night. The awards celebrated our athletes’ achievements on behalf of NAC in league fixtures across the track & field and cross country seasons.

Track and field commitment awards were awarded to 42 athletes who attended all the YDL lower,  YDL upper or SAL events on behalf of NAC.  We also rewarded 6 athletes who competed for NAC on at least 4 league matches across both the SAL and YDL upper but were not able to attend all of the matches in either league.  Benjamin Westmoreland-Alexander, Freddie Cushing and Rebecca England completed a clean sweep and attended all upper YDL and all SAL matches this year.  Medals were also awarded to three Corby AC athletes, who fulfilled the same criteria for NAC as second claim athletes.

Track and field top scorer trophies were presented to Matthew Olupitan and Jemina Alaka (U13), Harry Flowers and Stephanie Longden (U15), Samuel Palmer and Rosie Davis (U17), Sami Elhag and Molly Pinder (U20) and Keiran Ashman and Brittany Wood (SAL), who contributed the most league points for NAC during the respective YDL and SAL campaigns.

Quad Kids commitment awards went to 15 athletes who attended ALL three NAC Quad Kids events.  Top scorer trophies were presented to Gabriel Spina and Georgina Holley (U11), Matthew Olupitan and Hollie Sanders (U13).  Special mention to Georgina who won every single event across all 3 matches!

Cross Country commitment awards were presented to 39 athletes who competed in at least 4 of the 5 league matches in the season.  Trophies were awarded to the athletes who achieved the best points score based on their finishing positions during the league campaign: Rose Tannasee and Oliver Ward (U11), Grace Fontenla and Oliver Groves (U13), Imogen Bennetts and Jude Nutt (U15), Thea Oakley and Freddie Cushing (U17), Laura Bennetts (Senior Women), Linda Thomas (Masters Women), Josh Robson (U20/Senior Man), Adil Zbirou Khalouq (Masters Men).

Chiltern League awards were also presented.  These are awards given by the league for overall performance:  Individual awards were presented to Rose Tannasee (U11G 3rd overall), Imogen Bennetts (U15G 3rd overall), Hazel Dalley (U17W 2nd overall), Freddie Cushing (U17M 3rd overall) and Josh Robson (U20M 3rd overall).

Team league awards were presented to the U15G team of Imogen Bennetts, Emily Denton, Emma McFadian, Eve Taylor and Steph Longden – bronze medal.  The U17M earned a silver medal, presented to Freddie Cushing, Ben Westmoreland-Alexander, Daniel Wood, Lewis Robson and Archie Miller.  A bronze medal went to the U20/Senior Men’s team – Tom Bishton, Josh Robson and Kieran Ashman.

There was also success for NAC athletes at the Northants County XC.  The team silver award was won by the U17 Men’s team: Freddie Cushing, Lewis Robson and Daniel Wood.

 

Athletes of the season awards were presented to the athletes the Committee/team managers/coaches felt had gone the extra mile – either through performance, commitment, attitude to training or fortitude to knuckle down and keep pushing during the respective seasons.

Track athletes of the year were Eleanor Turnbull and Freddie Cushing.

Eleanor re-joined at the start of the 2023 season having given birth to daughter Ocean in Aug22. A plan was set with the aim of returning to something similar to her top performances in 2021. With an incredible hard work ethic and mindset, fitness improved. With the first six races of 2023 being against strong head winds performances ranged from 13.0s to 12.7s, but this did not dent her self-belief. Supported by Megan Exley and Molly Pinder she soon found the form the training stats indicated, running a couple of 12.5s followed by three 12.3s performances. This form saw her win all SAL league 100m races and anchoring NAC to win all the 4 x 1 relays. These great performances last summer were in fact further cemented with some amazing indoor performances during last winter, culminating in a new indoor 60m PB of 7.56s, a UK Championship qualifying time.

Freddie had a commanding win in the 800m in the first YDL Upper match and was recognised as top league athlete of the day.  For match 2, half of his family had already set off to go away for half term.  Him and his dad followed on later after the event and was hoping to leave straight after the 800m but stayed for the U17 relay and then travelled to Suffolk, arriving by about 10.30pm. That is great club commitment. In the first Southern League match, he ran the 800m (2nd-A) in a new PB before running the 400m (3rd-A).  In the 3rd match, he set a noticeable PM in the 1500m.

 

Field athletes of the year were Rosie Davies and Sam Palmer.

Rosie had an excellent season.  At the first SAL, she worked with Ella to lock out the High Jump, Long Jump AND Triple Jump, ensuring maximum points for NAC. At the second YDLU, she was Female athlete of the day – winning the High Jump with a PB of 1:55 also taking 2nd and 3rd in the Triple and Long Jump, before filling in at the last minute to complete the U20W 4x100m quartet.

Sam’s high jump performance got better and better all year, ending in a new PB of 1.73m. He stepped up to throw U20 javelin and discus weights, which are heavier than the equipment he trains with, to secure valuable points for NAC despite competing with senior athletes and heavier implements. Sam sacrificed his preferred events to give NAC league points in the Pole Vault.

 

XC – most improved awards went to Rose Tannasee and Ben Westmoreland Alexander.

Rose worked very hard in training and raced very well, giving 100% in every race. She did very well in schools competition and enjoys her cross-country races, always managing a smile however tough the conditions are.

Ben improved from his previous seasons’ performance, adding consistency and higher finishing positions. He gives everything he has in races and showed increased maturity in the way he approached the cross-country season.

 

XC athletes of the year were Imogen Bennetts and Freddie Cushing.

Imogen  stepped up to Under 15 competition and scored consistently high placings despite being one of the youngest competitors in her age category.  She never gives less than 100% and developed her running skills throughout the season. In one race, she was accidentally tripped up at the start, losing her bib number, but picked herself, and her number up and carried it all the way around in her hand to finish 3rd.

Freddie continued his excellent form from the 2023 track season, again excelling in the Chiltern League and Championship races. He is often seen using his increased track speed to good effect at the end of his races.

 

Finally, the Committee were delighted to make an inaugural NAC SPECIAL AWARD to a club athlete who has broken into international ranks.

Tom Wilcock started the season by representing Wales at the Loughborough International, finishing 5th in the senior men 110m hurdles.  Tom also achieved Gold England U23, Gold Welsh senior champs, then at the British championships on 9th July, he finished a magnificent 4th, just 0.02 seconds off of bronze! What an inspirational athlete!  Well done Tom.

 

Huge congratulations to all of our award winners this year, and massive thanks to everyone who made this happen:  our coaches and coaching assistants, our officials, and to parents for supporting your athletes.

Finally, thanks to Jim and Adrian for arranging the awards evening, to Tansy, Keith and Fiona for arranging the refreshments, and to Sean for the photography – images will be made available as soon as possible on the club website and social media sites.

Anyone who could not attend will be contacted shortly and arrangements made to get their award to them on a training night.

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