Maxwell wins top award at Larne Athletic Club

JUSTIN Maxwell was named Athlete of the Year at Larne Athletic Club’s annual dinner which was held at the weekend.

Wednesday, 30th March 2011, 10:38 am

Here we take a look at the club’s prize winners:

Elizabeth Sloan Trophy for the Handicap Series – Ruth Wilson; Runner-up – Beverley Gaston

Ruth Wilson finished 13th in the last race of the season at Ballygally to win the series by two points from runner-up Beverley Gaston.

Wooden Spoon – Raymond Bannon

There was a presentation to each of the 21 runners who completed the Wine Bar sponsored series. The Handicap Series Wooden Spoon was won by Raymond Bannon, having completed the requisite six races. No less than 71 club members took part in one or more of the handicap races through the year.

McManus Trophy for Merit in the Handicap Series – Nat Glenn

The McManus Trophy for Merit in the Handicap Series was awarded to Nat Glenn. Although Nat did not finish higher than tenth, he ran hard and with determination on every occasion, finishing fastest in three, second fastest once and third fastest three times.

Veteran of the Year – Craig Hutchinson; Runner-up – Nat Glenn

Craig Hutchinson won this year’s Veteran of the Year Award, having won his category on several occasions and in a particularly good run at the Millisle 10K, he finished third overall in under 34 minutes and won the Vet 45 category. He was selected for the Northern Ireland Masters Cross Country Team but missed the race due to injury. Runner-up: Nat Glenn.

Newcomer of The Year – Brian Heron; Runner-up – Davy Clarke

The Newcomer of the Year was awarded to Brian Heron. Brian raced more times than any other new member and made steady progress through the year, ending up with a 37:55 time for 10K and a sub 30-minute time for five miles. Runner-up was Davy Clarke who, although only having raced a few times, ran exceptionally well and was rewarded with a Northern Ireland Masters team place and a nomination in the Larne Borough Sports Forum Awards.

Most Improved Athlete – Bernie Regan; Runner-up – Ruth Wilson

Bernie Regan was this season’s Most Improved Athlete. Bernie broke the four-hour mark for the marathon for the first time, improving her personal best by 20 minutes and also improved her times over five miles, half marathon and in most of the handicap races she took part in. Runner-up: Ruth Wilson.

Performance of the Year was awarded to Mark McManus for three performances in one day at the Northern Ireland Veteran’s Track and Field Championships. Mark won gold in the 400m, 800m and Triple Jump.

Club Person of the Year – Billy Thompson

Billy Thompson was awarded the trophy for Club Person of the Year for his support and encouragement during the Tuesday beginner’s sessions, for his involvement in the Larne Half Marathon sub-committee every year and for his dedication and hard work in the run-up to the event and on the day.

Athlete of the Year – Justin Maxwell; Runner-up – Ryan Maxwell

Justin Maxwell won the award for Athlete of the Year. Although he did not race as often in 2010 as the previous year, he still raced over all terrains – road, fell, cross country and trail – and his 10K time of 34:21 was fastest in the club during the year.

He won the Mourne Way Half Marathon, the only outright win by a Larne AC member in 2010, and was second in the Causeway Coast Half Marathon. However, it is in the longer distances that he excelled. In the Connemara Ultra Marathon over 39.3 miles he finished in eighth place in the marvellous time of 4.38.18. Just a few weeks later he ran in the Prague and Dublin marathons, setting a new personal best in Prague (2.41.55), before breaking it again in Dublin with the fastest time (2.40.54) by a Larne AC member since 1993.

Ryan Maxwell was runner-up, having performed consistently through the year, finishing first for the club on many occasions including both the ECOS-5 and the Scott and Gault 10-Mile. He finished second overall in both the Causeway Coast 10K and the Mourne Way Marathon.

Female Athlete Of The Year – Rhonda Montgomery; Runner-up – Bernie Regan

Female Athlete of the Year was awarded to Rhonda Montgomery. In a year which has seen a dramatic increase in Larne AC female membership, Rhonda occasionally ran in longer races, but is clearly better suited to sprinting. A recent recruit to athletics, particularly the track, she won gold in the 200m and bronze in the 400m at the Northern Ireland Veteran’s Track and Field Championships and followed this up by finishing a commendable fourth in her category in the Irish Masters Championships 200m.

Bernie Regan was runner-up, having won her age group four times from four in the East Antrim Trail Harriers Trail Series, running 3 hours 55 in the Dublin Marathon and finishing fourth in her category in the Waterside Half Marathon.

For more news and pictures on another successful season for Larne Athletic Club see this week’s Larne Times