For those not in attendance at the annual Awards Dinner here is a chance to read the introductory notes of the main award winners.
SHGA MAIN AWARDS [Those not in attendance had briefer notes]#
YOUTH CYCLIST OF THE YEAR -ISAAC SMALL[Deeside]
Similar to Charles Fletcher in the senior cycling, Isaac Small had to start all his races from the backmark, always giving away big starts to his rivals.
This didn't deter the Deeside rider and he got his season off to a great start with a treble on the opening day at Blackford. He followed that with doubles in Fife at Thornton and down the road from here in Markinch.Following a short mid-season break he returned with a treble at Dornoch. Places were recorded at a number of other games as he found out what it's like being a backmarker.
CYCLIST OF THE YEAR – CHARLES FLETCHER [Grantown on Spey]#
Charles had his best ever season on the circuit winning 35 races all of them from the backmark and accumulating 191 points.
He enjoyed clean sweeps at Alva, Burntisland and Strathmore. More importantly he won 5 of the six SHGA Championships as well as the British 800m title down in England.
YOUTH FEMALE ATHLETE – ERIN MCFARLANE [Pitreavie AC].
Erin had an excellent and consistent season on the circuit. The Pitreavie runner will go down as the first ever winner of the SHGA Girls[Distance] league. An 800 metres win at Markinch was followed by a 2nd place at Strathmore. Further success came with wins at Thornton,Airth, Crieff and Blairgowrie. There was also a 2nd place at Alva and 3rds at both Thornton and Stirling. Erin was also runner up in the Fife league and at Pitlochry on the closing day of the season was a member of the successful Pitreavie team which won the SHGA club relay championship.
YOUTH MALE ATHLETE – KYLE MCFARLANE[Pitreavie AC].
Kyle enjoyed a very successful final season as a youth athlete winning both the SHGA & Fife leagues for events up to 400 metres.
He put his first points on the board with a 1st and 2nd place at the Strathmore Games at Glamis Castle. A double at the Famous Alva Games was followed by wins at both Inverkeithing and Bridge of Allan. In the over-400 metres league he won the controversial 800 metres at Burntisland when most of the runners ran a lap too much. Kyle finished the campaign by adding a few more points thanks to places at Birnam and Blairgowrie. Like his sister Kyle was a member of the Pitreavie team which won the SHGA relay championship at Pitlochry.
VETS SPRINT- JOHN PAXTON [Hawick]#
John, along with son Daniel was a good supporter of the Highland games this summer, regularly making the trip up from Hawick in the Borders.
John accumulated points at Alva, Inverkeithing, Mull, Stirling and Braemar to finish in 4th place in the SHGA league, good going for a veteran runner.
VETS DISTANCE -JOHN THOMSOM [Glenrothes]
John is no stranger to winning this award. He won it last year as well as in previous years. John who resides here in Glenrothes continues to belie his age. All of his wins this summer came at his local games in Fife. Of the six games in the Fife league – which he also won – he was victorious in the 1600 metres handicap at five of them and runner up in the other which was at Thornton when he was caught on the line.Place points were also picked up at Bridge of Allan, Oban and Birnam.
Away from the games circuit John also had a successful season competing in mainstream Masters events winning Scottish and British titles and performing well on the European and World stage in Poland and Italy.
FEMALE OF THE YEAR – Natasha Turnbull [TLJT]
Natasha along with sister Samantha were regular attendees on the circuit as they have been for the past few seasons. Natasha who was consistent throughout had her best ever season. A 3rd place at Cupar was followed by a win at Thornton. An Airth 2nd and 3rd was followed a by 2nd at Inverkeithing and 3rds at both Bridge of Allan and St Andrews. .
A win was achieved at North Berwick where running was being staged for the first time. Following a ding dong battle for the Women's sprint title with her sister, Natasha had to settle for 2nd place pipped by only three points.
SCOTTISH HEAVY ATHLETE-KYLE RANDALLS [Falkirk]#
Kyle enjoyed the most successful season on the circuit by a Scottish thrower for a number of years amassing just short of 700 points in finishing in 3rd place in the league behind Vlad and Lukasz.
A hammer specialist Kyle was unbeaten in that discipline in all the games he attended, that works out around 50 competition wins. There was also a marked improvement from Kyle this year in nearly all the other disciplines. During a season when Highland games lost it's greatest ever heavy champion Bill Anderson, it's good to see a Scot coming through to hopefully challenge for top honours in the future.
HEAVY ATHLETE – VLAD TULACEK [Czech Republic]
Vlad finished 3rd in the Heavy Events league last year behind Lukasz Wenta and Scott Rider.
However, as the news filtered through prior to the 2019 season starting that Vlad would be basing himself in Scotland for the entire summer it quickly had the bookies chalking him up as joint favourite with Lukasz to take the title.
For three-quarters of the season it was nip and tuck between the duo with only a few points seperating them. It was only over the latter stages of the season the Vlad opened up a slight gap which he maintained until the end and crossed the finish line with a total of 899 points to Lukasz' 813. Vlad competed at over 30 different games breaking many ground records along the way and at some winning every discipline.
The three majors are always the target for all the top throwers. Vlad kicked off by winning the World title at Loch Lomond. An epic British Championship at Bridge of Allan saw him share the title with Scott Rider with both athletes finishing on the same points total.
This only left the most prestigious title on the circuit to be won, the Scottish Championship at Crieff. A top quality field turned up at Market Park for what would be an enthralling contest.
Amazingly Vlad won only one of the seven disciplines, however consistency won the day and with 5 second places and a third he took the coveted title. To cap what was a memorable season he also won both the Fife and Highland area leagues as well.
SHGA ATHLETE OF THE YEAR – FRASER MCDONALD [Dingwall]
Fraser excelled in both running and jumping over the season. He won the SHGA 90-200 metres league with a total of 90 points which was 29 ahead of his nearest challenger. A 4th place finish in the Jumps league and a top ten finish in the 400m-800m league and you find Fraser amassed a total of 178 points, no mean feat.
Elsewher, Fraser won the Highland area league and finished in 3rd place in the Grampian light field league.
This degree of success isn't achieved lightly, you not only need to attend a lot of games, you must perform at them as well, and consistently, which Fraser did. He got his season off to a perfect start by shooting out of the blocks to win the 90m handicap at Blackford, which incidentally turned out to be a race that attracted the most participants for a race over that distance on the entire circuit.He also finished runner up in the 200m.
Fraser went on to gather points at almost every games he competed at throughout the season including from Inveraray and Syke in the West to Durness and Halkirk in the North as well as Braemar and nearly all the Grampian games. With his tally of 90 points in the 90-200m league being achieved at no fewrer than 21 different games.
I'm sure you will agree Fraser is worthy and deserved winner of the this years main award.
Published: 2019-10-22 21:12:28