What a first night of competition for the TVH Vets!
Her prowess at 800m and 1500m has ranked her consistently in the top 10 nationally for her age group, while her grit during the winter sees her regularly challenging for – and winning county and regional – honours.
She has been a truly bright prospect since first competing for TVH six years ago and has gone from strength to strength since then, invariably turning in great performances for the club.
How did you get into athletics?
I was lucky enough to have an inspirational PE teacher at primary school called Romilly Hunt. He got me involved in cross country and athletics among other sports, and I have many happy memories of the events that the school entered, including the TVH primary school relays, which was where I first found out about the club.
Which achievements in the sport are your proudest of?
My best winter season came as an U13 with wins at the London Youth Games and Southern Inter-counties cross country. I also got the fastest lap at the National Road Relays where our TVH team finished 4th, and 6th at the UK Inter-counties cross country.
Most recently, highlights have been winning my first proper national medal at the Indoors in February and also finishing fifth two years running at English Schools.
What have been the biggest factors in your development?
My involvement in the primary school swim team for 4 years was a big part in developing my early fitness. Since March 2017 I have been training with Adrian Hemery, who has helped me develop a more structured programme to work around and to target events and set goals. I am also training with a group now, which helps to motivate me further.
What’s the toughest challenge you’ve overcome?
Touch wood, I have so far been lucky enough to avoid injuries, but an ongoing challenge I face is having to decide which events to prioritise, as I am forced into making more decisions between cross country, indoor competitions and school sports matches; I would love to be able to do them all!
Who have been your heroes/role models? And your mentors?
When I first joined TVH as an U11 I looked up to the older runners, including Izzy Dye, Eve Goodhart and Maddie Turner. I have since been inspired by the achievements of Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah, who I watched win 10,000 gold at the World Championships in London last summer. I also enjoy following the results of TVH athletes Zoey Clark and Tracy Barlow, who I often see out running when I’m on my way to school.
What part has TVH played in your development?
I first went to a few training sessions aged 10, but as I grew older school sport took over, and although competing more and more for the club in the cross country leagues, unfortunately I struggled to find time to get to the track to train.
Roy’s commitment to the club and the young athletes cross country has always encouraged me to come to events not only for myself but for the team too, especially as TVH has allowed me to make new friends through the age groups.
What are your top athletics goals – for the near-term and the long-term?
This year I would love to beat my 800 PB from last season, which, although a long shot, could put me into contention for selection for the European U18s this summer. However my main goal is to improve on fifth place at the English Schools in July.
My brother has always told me that I need to have more self-belief and I know I will need to be mentally strong in order to succeed further.
What are your interests and aims outside athletics?
I play regional lacrosse, county and club netball as well as being part of teams for both these at school. I am about to start my GCSEs, and will be studying sciences next year for A-levels, I will see where this takes me.
What is your top training tip?
Although it brings challenges, I believe that keeping up other sports alongside athletics helps to maintain a good all round level of fitness. I also believe that quality training is better than quantity.
Describe your personality in three words!
Room for improvement!
TVH’s name was up in lights down under as two of our female stars celebrated Commonwealth Games glory on Australia’s Gold Coast.
TVH’s long jumper Lorraine Ugen showed her world-class sprinting speed by anchoring the England team to gold in the 4x100m relay in a new English national record. Lorraine has not run a relay for almost four years, but an injury to Corinne Humphreys, who had run in the semi-final, meant she was asked to step in.
After just 10 minutes of practice with the baton she ran the final leg, holding off Jamaica’s double Olympic champion Elaine Thompson to secure victory for the English quartet in 42.46. Lorraine, the British record holder and world indoor bronze medallist in the long jump had earlier finished fourth in her main event.
“I did my first changeovers earlier today,” said Lorraine. “But it went pretty well. I knew if I was going to get called up that I’d only accept it if I knew I could do a good job. The girls gave me a really big lead so all I had to do was hold it. All I was thinking was ‘keep running, keep running’.”
Julia Ratcliffe came back from a back injury in the best possible style to win the hammer, going even better than her silver medal in Glasgow 2014. Her throw of 69.94m was just short of her New Zealand’s national record of 70.75m that she set for TVH in the Southern Athletic League match at Linford Christie Stadium two years ago.
British junior pole vault record holder, Molly Caudery, who vaults for TVH as a higher competition athlete was England’s youngest competitor having just turned 18. Molly only just missed out on the medals by 20cm in her first major senior championships as she finished in an impressive 5th place.
Zoey Clark was coming off the back of gold medal success in the World Indoors narrowly missed out on the final of the 400m individual but can take consolation from her Scottish National record in the 4x400m.
Amelia Stricker was hampered by a recent calf tear but did very extremely well to finish 9th in the shot final in her first Commonwealth Games.
Amongst the men, our second claim athlete Kevin Seaward had Northern Ireland’s best- ever Commonwealth Games marathon finish with an excellent 4th place finish in very hot conditions.
Congratulations too to Track Academy athlete Amar-Mazigh Aichoun, who has come through TVH’s Youth Development League teams, and finished 8th in the T38 100m.
Commonwealth Games, Gold Coast, Australia, 8th -15th April 2018, Results:
Amar-Mazigh Aichoun 100m T38 8th 12.14
Amelia Strickler Shot Put QA 4th 16.57m; Shot Put Final 9th 16.78m
Julia Ratcliffe Hammer 1st GOLD 6.94m
Kevin Seaward Marathon 4th 2:19:54
Lorraine Ugen Long Jump QB 3rd 6.42m; Long Jump FInal 4th 6.69m, 4x100m Final 1st GOLD 42.46 English National Record
Molly Caudery Pole Vault Final 5th 4.40m
Zoey Clark 400m Heat 2 2nd 52.07; 400m Semi-Final 1 4th 52.06, 4x400m Final 6th 3:29.18 Scottish National Record
The European Masters Indoor Championships took place in Madrid, Spain from Monday 19th March to Saturday 24th March. Congratulations to all TVH’s athletes that represented Great Britain, especially to Eddie Betts and Kermitt Bentham for bringing back home a bronze medal each from their 400m races.
TVH/GBR Masters Results:
400m M45 Heat 1 1st Eddie Betts 55.40
400m M45 Semi-final 1st Eddie Betts 53.83
400m M45 Final 3rd Eddie Betts 54.13
400m M55 Heat 1 2nd Kermitt Bentham 59.29
400m M55 Semi-final 1st Kermitt Bentham 57.04
400m M55 Final 3rd Kermitt Bentham 56.05
Long Jump Final M45 7th John Munroe 5.71m
Long Jump Final M60 11th Trevor Wade 4.45m