Athletes bag a double at awards night

It was a successful evening for Dacorum & Tring AC at the Dacorum Sports Awards. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

It was a successful evening for Dacorum & Tring AC at the Dacorum Sports Awards. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

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Dacorum & Tring Athletics Club were celebrating a double win at the Dacorum Sports Awards on Friday night – including the coveted Club of the Year accolade.

The club – which also finished runner-up in an impressive four categories – has produced some remarkable results over the past 12 months.

Dom Ashwell finished third in his semi-final at the U20/U23 England Athletics Championships. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

Dom Ashwell finished third in his semi-final at the U20/U23 England Athletics Championships. Picture (c) Gary Mitchell

Tia Stonehouse (U13 javelin and high jump), Dom Ashwell (U17 100m), Chenna Okoh (U17 400m), Michael Fryer (U17 pole vault), Jackson Cowans (U17 triple jump) and Phillipa Lowe (400m hurdles) are all ranked in the top-10 in the country so far in 2015 for their respective events, while many other club members have posted impressive results at district and county level.

The adult Road Runners section has won individual and team awards up and down the country, in distances ranging from 5k to the marathon.

But the Club of the Year award wasn’t the only honour won by Dacorum & Tring on Friday.

Andy Jackson, the club’s long-standing pole vault coach, won the trophy for Community Coach of the Year, backed by testimonials from a number of his athletes.

These included Michael Fryer, national level U17 vaulter, Natasha Brunning, former world masters champion and Oliver Williams, who travels from Chelmsford every week just to train with him.

Ashwell, meanwhile, showed why he’s one of the top sprinters ever to come out of the club as he took to the track the day after the awards.

Competing at the England Athletics U23 and U20 Championships and European trials, he won his heat in a time of 10.61s to qualify for the semis.

He then finished third in his semi-final, in 10.70s, in wet and windy conditions – holding his own in the final against runners who were up to three years older.

“We didn’t expect him to get that far with such a tough field of men,” said Dom’s mum Michelle. “Dom only turned 16 last week. He did so well for his age and level of experience.”

Ladies captain Sam Fawcett, who ran in the Nike Women’s 10k over the weekend with 10,000 other women, said she was proud of all the ladies in the club.

“We have more than 60 women of all abilities and at all stages of running who contributed to this award,” she said. “It’s so well deserved: we’re competitive yet inclusive and committed to bringing the joys of running to more women in the community”.