Athletics Wollongong recognises high achievers

Off and running: Athletics Wollongong Most Outstanding Track Athlete James Turner.
Off and running: Athletics Wollongong Most Outstanding Track Athlete James Turner.

One of the highlights of the main season happens to be the end of season awards presentation.

We look forward to the presentation night as it is a great way to unwind, catch up with friends, admire the efforts of others, be entertained by the humorous wit of our MC, President Mike and enjoy free pizza at the end

Despite the season being shortened, it had been an outstanding one for the club as indicated on the domestic scene with a huge 72 records broken or set during local track meets, 16 of which were by Christine Shaw W60, followed by Ron Perry M80 with 13 and 7 by Anthony Howlett M50. James McPaul in the Open Mens 400m broke a 27 year record to establish a new one at 50.36 seconds.

Club athletes are allocated points for places and competing during the course of the season and must compete in a minimum of half of the available weeks. The winner of each age class is determined by whoever accumulates the greatest number of points.

Congratulations go to age category winners, E.J McHenry, Darcy Comer, Axel Comer, Scarlett Dunne, Alistair Swinbourne, Mikaela Markovski, Kaylee Reid-O'Brien, Patrice Sivills, Olivia Sivills, Rowan Karanja, Nathan Cowgill, Larni Cowgill, Anna Comer, David Comer, Natalie Heywood, Anthony Howlett, Donna Hiscox, Simon Harmey, Christine Shaw and Ron Perry. I think the strategy of the Comer clan was to swamp us with numbers and someone is bound to win. It was a very successful strategy.

The National Championships were cancelled due to COVID19, however we fortunately had three amazing juniors represent our club at the National Combined events carnival in Brisbane. Two of the group, Eleanor Tozer in the U17 Heptathlon with 4167 points and Lara Check in the U18 Heptathlon with 4897 points. came ever so close to medals finishing 4th..

Thomas Noakes won a silver in the Under 18 Decathlon with a very respectable 6027 points.

Best Newcomer Male Award, went to Axel Comer who impressively achieved 27 personal bests throughout the season. Anna Comer was the most improved female with 10 personal bests and one record.

The most Outstanding Track Athlete award went to the very impressive T36 para athlete James Turner.

Just in the last year James was, the Oceania champion, a dual Para world Champion with multiple broken track records. He was well and truly primed for the Paralympics in Tokyo. So we all genuinely hope his form holds out till July 2021.

The Most Outstanding Field Athlete Award went to the amazing high jumper, Rosie Tozer. In a reduced competitive season, Rosie managed to become the junior NSW High Jump Champion, an Open State High jump medallist and was invited to two international Indoor high Jump comps and medalled. She also competed in Sydney track classic competitions and trialled for Olympic qualifying, and on top of that had to complete year 12.

The Most Outstanding Junior Athlete Award went to Thomas Noakes, who won our only national medal and that was a silver at the Australian Combined Championships.

The Most Outstanding masters Athlete Award went to Christine Shaw W60 who won the W60 NSW combined events pentathlon as well as winning gold in 6 events and silver in one, and breaking two records at the NSW Masters Championships.

The President's Award went to very classy young athlete, who is quite a mature and efficient exponent of her craft. Tayissa Buchanan won the Girls U15 800m in the NSW championships and also won the National All Schools title and showed a great capacity to understand race tactics in both events.

Support for the club is quite strong amongst members. Three gents Anthony Howlett, Dennis Bindon and Peter Gandy have all dug into their own pockets and provided prize money for various events which helps to pique interest and provide motivation for members keen to compete in these events.

To show our appreciation, these gents were awarded the Ron Bragg Award, which is named after a former very staunchly loyal member of the club.

The Pinch Trophy, awarded to the Club person of the Year, ended up with joint winners. Nicole McHenry was a season starter as a helpful parent, pitching in wherever she felt there was a need.

It wasn't too long before she was bitten by the athletics bug, joined as a competitor and then tried her luck at the NSW masters. She ended up with a bronze in the 60m and a silver in the 100m. She proved that you never know unless you try.

Mitchell O'Neill attends all club nights, is highly motivating and infectious with his enthusiasm and also competes at higher comp levels. His best performance was a B level win in the NSW open 200m.

The number of new members who won awards is very encouraging. If you have an interest in Athletics stay tuned to our Facebook page "Athletics Wollongong" or visit our website on Our season normally starts early October. Hopefully it will happen that way this year as well.

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