Saturday the 14th and Sunday 15th July saw the annual Isle of Man Athletics Association Track & Field Championships sponsored by Zurich take place at the NSC. Conditions were conducive for standout performances and the 185 athletes taking part didn’t disappoint.
The day started with the blue ribbon event the 100m many of the races rekindled old and new rivalries. Pb’s galore seemed to be the order of the day as in nearly every race many athletes bettered their existing times. The stand out race though was the men’s 100m which pitted Thomas Riley against Brandon Atchison for the second time in 2 weeks with Brandon having the upper hand in that race. The gun went and Tom blasted from the blocks leaving Brandon trailing, as the race progressed Brandon began to reel Tom in, but approaching the line Tom held on to his lead and managed to out dip Brandon to take the title in a time of 11.0 secs.
The competition raged on in the field with long jump, high jump, hammer, shot putt, discuss and Javelin. Not only were there pb’s and Island Games standards but there were Manx records being broken. The first fell to Sienna Dunn in the U15 girls Javelin where Sienna took control from the off and threw a massive 25:67m. The second record fell to Abi Sinclair in the U9 girls 600m, a race which she controlled from start to finish with a time of 2:05.
The race of the day without any shadow of a doubt was the men’s 1500m. It pitted Joe Reid our 800m Commonwealth Games representative against Ollie Lockley the Islands top 5/10k runner giving them a middle ground for battle. From the off the lead changed hands on numerous occasions. Coming into the last lap there was nothing to separate them so it became a straight 400m race, as they approached 200 to go Joe pushed on and opened a small gap, but Ollie wasn’t giving up easily and as they approached the line they were neck and neck neither willing to budge. On the line it was too close to call and the result was a dead heat in 3:57. Everyone is hoping for a rematch next year.
Day 2 started with the Hurdles, Long Jump and Pole Vault again the athletes started at breakneck pace. The pole vault again pitched twins Craig and Kyle Martin into battle, Craig managed to come out on top with a vault of 3:10m an Island games development standard. The plaudits must go to Aimee Christian who 2 weeks ago set an u15 girls Manx record. With all eyes on her to see if she could do it again Aimee didn’t disappoint. She vaulted to a height of 2:15m to increase her record by a further 5cm and achieve an Island Games Development Standard.
The rest of the day saw many, many fantastic performances and pb’s in the 200, 800 and 75m races., the triple, long and high jump, shot,discuss, javelin and hammer.
There really were too many quality performances to mention everyone individually.
Two further awards are presented over the course of the weekend
The David Teece Trophy of Excellence.
This award is given by the late David Teece’s family to an athlete who has shown extraordinary commitment, improvement and desire to succeed within the sport of athletics. The award for 2018 went to worthy winner Rachael Franklin, who this year has won many top races in the UK, broken Manx records and made the final of the 1500m at the British Championships. Rachael wasn’t there to receive her award so it was presented to her proud dad and stalwart official Alan.
The Spirit of Zurich Award
This award is presented by our sponsors Zurich, who select an athlete who has proven to be an inspiration to others, over come adversity and performed consistently well at the highest level. The award for 2018 went to the Manx queen of race walking Erika Kelly. Erika is a fantastic ambassador for the sport who has competed and won numerous races in the UK and this year represented the Isle of Man at the Commonwealth Games in Australia. I think everyone within the sport of athletics would agree with their choice.
To finish the two day event the awarding of the Victor and Vitrix Ludorum Shields for the age group overall champions for the weekend, they were:
U9 boy Donovan Skillicorn
U11 boy Sonny Finch
U13 boy Regan Corrin
U15 boy Harry Thompson
U17 men Kyle Martin/Keoghan Taylor
U9 girl Christina Angelakis
U11 girl Lucy Ormsby
U13 girl Macy Hillier
U15 girl Katie Crook
U17 woman Megan Lockwood
The IOMAA would like to thank sponsors Zurich for their ongoing commitment to this event, all the track and field officials and volunteers, Tracey Bell, Petra Atchison, Kelly Hillier, Tonya Corrin, the NSC staff and most of all all the athletes because without them the Championships wouldn’t happen.