Over the weekend of Saturday 3rd and Sunday 4th August 2019 the Isle of Man Track & Field Championships, sponsored by SPAR, were held at the National Sports Centre. In the aftermath of the Island Games it was great to see so many senior athletes taking part alongside our very talented juniors.
The mild calm conditions on Saturday proved to be perfect for competition. The first events on the track were the hurdles, setting a high standard for the rest of the meeting to follow. The first island record of the day was set almost immediately by talented young athlete Regan Corrin (Manx Harriers) in the U13s boys 70m hurdles category in a time of 12.8 seconds.
The 100 metres followed the hurdles where many new personal bests were set, but the main race saw the seniors battle it out in what proved to be a stacked field. The race was won by Jack Lemaire (Western AC) in a very swift 10.9 seconds.
A feature of the weekend was an unofficial Octathlon contested by several of the island’s leading male sprinters, four events being contested on each day. This took the competitors well out of their comfort zones, particularly in the pole vault and 800 metres events on the second day.
Not to be outdone by the track athletes the field athletes literally had a field day, smashing records all over the place. In the senior men’s V45 category Peter Callin (W AC) set a new island record in the triple jump, and Louise Kneen (WAC) set a new record in the senior woman’s Hammer V40 category. In the U13 boys high jump Regan Corrin (MH) was at it again setting a new island record of 1m 63cm which equalled the highest jump for a boy of his age in the UK.
The medal presentations came thick and fast for many athletes, too many to mention individually, who all ran, jumped and threw superbly.
There was also a special presentation of the David Teece Trophy, which is awarded by the late David Teece’s family to an athlete who over the year has shown extraordinary commitment, improvement and desire to succeed within the sport of athletics. This year’s winner David Mullarkey (Manx Harriers), the recently-crowned Island Games 1500 metres champion, proved to be a very popular choice.
Sunday’s conditions were not quite as conducive for excellent times but it didn’t deter the athletes. There were lots of excellent performances on the day but only one island record set in the U15 boys 800m. This was one of the races of the day, pitting English Schools medalist Ben Sinclair (MH) against Ieuan Owen (WAC). During the race the lead changed hands a couple of times, but Ben just pushed ahead in the final 100m to win in a time of 2:02.5.
There was an excellent showcase for race walking on Sunday, with a high-quality field including international athletes Tom Partington and Erika Kelly who have both been selected to represent England in the Manchester International match next week. Both produced top performances to win their respective 3-kilometre races, with Hannah Hunter also performing extremely well.
The 800 metre races also saw the culmination of the Senior Men’s Octathalon. Over the two days the guys took part in the 100m, 400m, Shot Put, Discus, High Jump, Pole Vault, 400m hurdles and 800m which provided great entertainment. With the overall win still up for grabs Michael Haslett (MH) ran a strong 800m to take the overall victory from Daniel Stewart-Clague. Hopefully this event will become a regular feature in Championships.
There were other notable performances, including a 1.90 metre high jump clearance by first-year U17 athlete Jack Coates (Northern AC), and a similar clearance by senior Daniel Stewart Clague who finally joined the ‘1.90 club’ after many years of trying. Island Games debutante Megan Lockwood continued her excellent season with new personal best distances in both javelin and hammer.
Over the course of the two days nearly all the athletes in age groups from under-nine to u17 take part in a number of events to gain points for the Victor and Victrix Ludorum shields. This year’s competition was a good one with many athletes very close on points, but the eventual winners were,
U9 girls Issy Kennaugh (NAC)
U9 boys James Jelski (NAC)
U11 girls Abi Clayton (MH)
U11 boys Ollie Eyres (NAC)
U13 girls Lucy Ormsby (NAC)
U13 boys Regan Corrin (MH)
U15 girls Macy Hillier (MH)
U15 boys Ben Sinclair (MH)
U17 girls Aimee Christian (MH)
U17 boys Craig Martin (MH)
The final award of the day was presented by our sponsors, the SPAR Spirit of Sport award. This award is decided by many different factors and doesn’t always go to an athlete. This year’s winner proved to be possibly the most popular decision yet as the ovation he received was tremendous. The award went to John Whitlow.
John spends almost every day at the track and at one point or another has coached nearly every athlete on the island. Many of the athletes he’s currently coaching or has coached have gone on to achieve great success at Island Games, English Schools, and have reached national and international level. Not only that, John gives up even more of his time to officiate at every athletics event on the island. IOM Athletics would like to thank John for all his hard work, passion and commitment over so many years.
Finally, IOM Athletics would like to thank SPAR for their support, and Debbie and Dean from SPAR for medal presentations. Many thanks also go to the organising committee of Tonya, Kelly, Di, Petra and Simon for their continued hard work, all the officials and volunteers for giving up their precious time, but most of all the athletes for their excellence and the entertainment they provided.
Here are the full results:
Simon Sinclair/David Griffiths