Jewish Athletics 2016: Text Versions June to December

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June 3

Lia Radus,14, narrowly missed out on a place on the rostrum at the Junior British Athletics One Mile Road Championships, held as part of the Westminster Mile series of races. Radus placed fourth in the U15 Girls’ event in 5:13, the same time as bronze medallist Lucy Olsen. David Stone, 14, placed 23rd in the U15 Boys’ race in 4:52, while Matti Harris, 13, recorded 5:27 to finish high up in the non-championship field. In all cases, actual “chip” times, adjusted for the time taken to pass the start line, were one or two seconds faster.

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, trimmed her 10,000m PB by 37s to 36:03.87 at the Highgate Harriers Night of 10,000m PBs, which incorporated the Olympic Trials. The performance raised Viner to 7th in the UK U23 rankings.

For the second year running, the three younger members of the Hurley family each won medals in the Hertfordshire Championships at Watford. Rebecca,17, won silver in the U20 400m hurdles in a personal best of 68.99. Greg, 15, recorded 57.80 for silver in the boys’ U17 400m, while Jessica. 16, took bronze in the girls’ U17 400m in 59.98. Eden Davis, 17, gained silver in the U20 100m, recording 11.16. Davis followed this achievement some days later with triple victories over 100m, 200m and 400m in the Southern Athletics League at Erith.

Lucie Wolfenden, 14, cleared 2.60m for silver in the U15 pole vault at the Greater Manchester & Cheshire County Championships at Macclesfield.


Contesting the "A" stream 1500 m race in the British Milers Club PB Classic at Milton Keynes, Lia Radus, 14, recorded 4:47.7 to cut three seconds from her best time for the event.

Ellie Edwards, 19, took silver in the Greater Manchester & Cheshire senior 100 m Championships, recording 12.8s seconds against a strong headwind.

June 17

Eden Davis, 17, medalled twice in the South of England U20 Championships at Lee Valley. Herts Phoenix sprinter Davis gained silver in the 200m in 22.03 and then bronze in the 100m in 10.97, in both events running against a headwind.

Pole vaulter Sophie Dowson, 17, took on senior opposition at the Welsh Championships in Cardiff, placing fifth with a clearance of 3.65m.

James Bongart, 19, moved to ninth in the UK U23 javelin listings with a throw of 56.72m in the British Athletics League at Sportcity, Manchester. Also at Sportcity, Ellie Edwards, 19, cut her 100m best to 12.38 in the North of England U20 Championships.

June 24

Lia Radus, 14, has positioned herself as one of the country's leading young 1500m specialists in the space of two races. She earned her place at next month’s English Schools Championships by winning the London Schools U15 title in a new PB of 4:46.55. She then cut her time to 4:42.9 with a win in the Young Athletes League at Bromley. This raises her to 13th in the UK age-group rankings.

"They were two very different races", Radus reflected. "In the London Schools I sat in behind the leader and sprinted with 300m to go. But at Bromley the leader set off very fast and tired herself out. I was left out in front for the last half of the race. But I'm benefiting from a new training routine, more tailored to my needs and with a greater emphasis on speed. So I have learned better pace judgement and how to save some energy for a final surge.”

Four community athletes contested the England Athletics U20 / U23 Championships at Bedford. In the U23 division, James Bongart took javelin silver with a PB throw of 57.71m, while Hannah Viner placed fourth in the 5000m in 17:49.71. Sophie Dowson placed fourth in the U20 pole vault, hampered by vaulting with a pole of the wrong specification. Her own implement had been taken away in error, and this certainly cost her a medal. Eden Davis narrowly missed a place in the U20 100m final.

Sale Harrier Lucie Wolfenden, 14, won the Mason Trophy Inter Counties Schools pole vault title at Birmingham. Her winning height of 2.75m was a 15 cm personal best and moved her to 13th in the UK age-group rankings.

June 24

Hendon swimmer Yaron Gerber, 17, has passed a major milestone in his quest to represent Great Britain at the Olympics. Having won the British Junior 100m breaststroke title in April, Gerber has been selected to be a member of the England 2020 Development Squad. In their first competition, Gerber will compete in the French Open Championships in Paris over four days at the beginning of July.

"I will contest the 50m, 100m and 200m breaststroke events as well as the individual medley, so with heats and finals there are potentially eight races”, he explained. ”As it is an open championship, I am swimming against juniors and seniors, and there are 27 countries competing."

 Now standing 6'3" tall, Gerber has been swimming competitively for six years and won several national age-group titles since then.

"I swim with an elite national group at Barnet Copthall,” he said. “I train eight times a week, with Sunday as a rest day, and cover around 6 km per session, switching between freestyle, breaststroke, backstroke and butterfly.”

"My long course times for the breaststroke are 1:04 for the 100m and 2:19 for 200m and I haven’t yet decided which is my ideal distance. I am now starting a gap year to focus on my swimming, and to try to win an elite swimming university scholarship. Hopefully I am on the right path towards Tokyo 2020.”

July 1

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Gilad Nachshen, 12, has risen to sixth in the UK U13 800m rankings, recording 2:16.34 at the recent Watford Open Graded Meeting. Nachshen, who has only recently resumed running after some months off with a calf injury, will represent Hertfordshire in the forthcoming Inter-counties Championships.

Three further young athletes have set new PBs that place them in their age-group national standings: Rebecca Hurley, 18, recorded 68.36 for 400m hurdles at Lee Valley; Lia Radus, 14, posted an 800m time of 2:20.6 in a British Milers Club race at Eltham; and Joel Alexander, 14, cleared 1.50m in the high jump in the Youth Development League at Hornchurch.

Bini Bloom, 13, improved his 800m time to 2:24.72, also at the Watford Open Graded Meeting.

July 8

David Stone, 14, won the 1500m in the Eastern Young Athletes League at Ipswich, setting a four second PB of 4:32.5. Following two weeks out with knee ligament damage and three days’ treatment for asthma, Stone’s race was a triumph over both injury and illness. Sophie Dowson, 17, raised her pole vault best to 3.76m when outclassing the opposition in the Youth Development League at Hendon, while Bini Bloom, 13, improved his 800m time to 2:24.72 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting.

July 15

Pole vault specialist Sophie Dowson and 100m sprinter Eden Davis struck silver and bronze respectively at the English Schools Championships at Gateshead. For both athletes, it was their third successive year of reaching the Championship finals in their events, and also their first year in the U20 division.

Dowson's silver, secured with a clearance of 3.70m, made up for her slight disappointment last year when illness in the preceding week meant that she finished fourth. "It was a very long competition, and the blustery crosswinds made running with the pole very difficult,” Dowson said, “so I'm really happy with my performance."

Davis battled a strong headwind to take 100m bronze in 11.06. The previous day, facing a less severe breeze, he had won his semi-final in 10.80. “Being a lighter athlete, the wind pushes me back harder," he explained. "But I'm really grateful to add to last year's bronze. The Championships are an amazing experience and I have learned a lot from them."

Lia Radus, running in the English Schools for the first time, was unlucky not to make the U15 1500m final, being the fastest non-qualifier in the heats.

Hannah Viner scored multiple points for Highgate in the Southern Athletics League at Parliament Hill, winning the 1500m in 4:54.3 and 1500m steeplechase in 5:23.0, and placing second in the 800m in 2:21.2.

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Matti Harris, 13, cut nine seconds from his 1500m personal best, recording 4:41.9 in the Eastern Young Athletes’ League at Ipswich.

July 22

Gilad Nachshon, 12, moved to third in the UK U13 800m rankings when recording 2:15.11 at the latest Watford Open Graded Meeting. Fellow Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Biny Bloom, in his last race as a 12-year-old, also improved his time to 2:23.35.

Roger Bruck, 77, gained two victories in the Inter Area Masters competition at Solihull. Competing for Southern Counties in the V70 division, Bruck won the high jump with a clearance of 1.23m and also participated in the winning relay team.

July 29

Lia Radus, 14, improved her 5K parkrun PB by 43 seconds, moving to 17th in the UK U15 rankings. Radus completed the 5K Oak Hill parkrun in 18:52, placing 5th out of 145 competitors. Close to 100,000 runners of all ages contest parkruns each week, in almost 400 events acoss the country.

Despite being troubled by asthma during his run, David Stone, 14, recorded 4:58.56 in his first ever track mile, in the Golden Stag Mile Open at Hendon.

August 12

Contesting her first ever 3000m race, Lia Radus, 14, jumped straight to second in the UK U15 rankings. Radus recorded 10:07.32 in the Watford Open Graded Meeting, in probably her most impressive result to date. At the same meeting, Biny Bloom, 13, improved his 1500m time by eight seconds to 4:43.20.

Eden Davis, 17, reduced his 100m PB to 10.74 in the English Senior Championships at Bedford. Herts Phoenix athlete Davis did not progress to the final, in which Olympic bobsledder Joel Fearon became the third fastest ever GB sprinter in 9.96.

Gilad Nachshen lined up against several of the country's fastest U13 800m runners in the Derek Crookes Southern Inter County Match at Kingston. Nachshen, 12, finished fourth in 2:15.85, as Jaden Kennedy increased his lead at the top of the UK standings with 2:09.00.

August 19

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Gilad Nachshen, 12, rose to third in the UK U13 800m rankings with a 2:14.0 victory in the Eastern Young Athletes League at Hendon. He also won the 200m event in 27.9 at the same meeting. Nachshen returned to 800m racing three days later in the Watford Open Graded Meeting, again improving his time to 2:13.69. Now further inspired by the Olympic victory of his hero David Rudisha, Nachshen is continuing his training on holiday with dawn runs on Netanya beach.

Shaftesbury Barnet teammate Matti Harris, 13, cut his best to 2:20.05 at the same Watford Open Graded Meeting.

2013 Maccabia silver medallist James Bongart, 20, improved his javelin PB to 58.34m in the British Athletics League Premiership at Hendon, moving to fourth on the UK U23 list.

Sale Harrier Lucy Wolfenden, 14, edged her pole vault best up to 2.80m when placing fourth in the U15 Northern Athletics Championships at Middlesbrough.

August 26

Lia Radus, 14, reinforced her status as one of the country’s brightest young middle-distance stars with two impressive victories in the space of four days. Blackheath & Bromley athlete Radus first won the British Milers Club women's 800m event in Eltham in a new PB of 2:18.96. She followed this up by winning the South of England U15 Championship, recording 4:47.40 for a 3s winning margin. Meanwhile her younger sister Maayan, 12, returned to competition at the Bushey Park parkrun, clocking 20:27 for a 33s improvement on her previous best.

 “I am very happy with my 800m PB as I had been trying to break 2:20 for some time,” Radus commented. “The South of England 1500m was a very tactical race, run in windy conditions. It was obvious from early on that there was no chance of a PB so I concentrated on the tactical aspect and winning the race”.

 Eden Davis, 17, gained victories in the 100m and 200m and third place in the 400m in the Southern Athletics League at Bromley. His times in windy conditions were 11.33, 22.22 and 52.94.

September 9

Lia Radus achieved an impressive fourth place in the England Athletics U15 1500m Championship in Bedford. City of London Girls’ pupil Radus recorded 4:43.56, having set a PB of 4:42.18 the previous day in the heats.

Radus reported, "The preliminary race was comfortable and I spent most of it in a good position just behind the leaders. I was surprised and happy to set a personal best. But in the final I spent most of the race forced out into the second and third lanes. Then I was shoved as I started to make a move to sprint. I am a bit disappointed because I feel that I was in medal contention up to that point. But overall I am pleased with coming away with a PB and a lot of experience gained from both races."

In the same Championships, Sale Harrier Lucie Wolfenden placed 8th in the pole vault with a clearance of 2.71m.

For the second successive week, Maayan Radus, 12, improved her parkrun personal best, recording 20:14 at Bushey Park.

Roger Bruck, 77, took four age group titles in the Southern Counties and Veterans AC Championships at Kingston. His gold medal performances were 17.57 for 100m, 37.09 for 200m, 1.15m in the high jump and 3.06m for the long jump.

“I had hoped for better performances,” Bruck commented, “but both jumping events were interrupted by wind and rain and the sprints were run into the wind”.

Rosalind Zeffert moved into the V50 national shot put rankings with a throw of 6.37m, competing for Shaftesbury Barnet in the London Inter-Club Challenge at Hendon.

September 16

Lia Radus, 14, maintained her impressive form with three further successes. The Blackheath & Bromley athlete took 1500m victory at the UK Youth Development League National Final in Bedford in 4:45.07. Next she improved her 3000m best to 10:03.68 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting, placing her second in the UK U15 rankings. She then produced the fastest girls’ stage time in the 3x3000m Will Bolton Relays, an inter-club competition organised by Blackheath & Bromley. Running the same stage and following close behind was Radus’ sister Maayan, 12, now returning to her best form.

Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier Bini Bloom, 13, made an impressive 3000m debut, recording 10:15.41 at the Watford Open Graded Meeting.

Gilad Nachshen, 12, provided excellent service to Shaftesbury Barnet at the Eastern Young Athletes League Final in Stevenage, winning the 800m in 2:19.77 and the B event 200m in 27.51.

David Stone, 14, ran the second fastest stage time in the U15 Middlesex & Hertfordshire Young Athletes Road Relays, recording 9:40 for the 3000m leg.

September 23

Roger Bruck, 77, took M75 high jump gold in extraordinary style at the British Masters Championships at Birmingham. His clearance of 1.27m placed him top of the national age-group rankings, added 4 cm to his own M75 Southern Counties record and was 2cm higher than his own M70 record. "I was absolutely elated," Bruck commented, "and heartened by the appreciation shown by everyone present in the high jump area." Bruck added to his medal tally with bronzes in the 200m (a season’s best of 34.64) and long jump (3.14m). He also placed fourth in the 100m in 17.23.

In running the fastest stage time at the Middlesex U13 Young Athletes Road Relays, Gilad Nachshen, 12, helped Shaftesbury Barnet to take the team gold medal. He recorded 10:54 for the 3 km lap. "I was running the second stage and set off rather fast as I had a 47s gap to close,” Nachshen said. “I paid for this on my second lap, but I was helped by the stamina I have gained through the club’s endurance training."

September 30

In her first ever attempt over the distance, Elena Dolinin set a new Israeli record of 2:35:59 to place seventh in Sunday's Berlin Marathon. Her performance was a 37 second improvement on the previous record, set by Nili Abramski in 2004. She ran the second half more than a minute faster than the first half.

Dolinin, 38, had been a middle-distance runner in her youth in Russia, and emigrated to Israel in 1999. However, she had not run for 20 years before taking up the sport again two years ago.

“I increased my speed throughout,” she said, “but I held back a bit because I was scared I would hit the wall. I never thought I would run that fast.”

October 7

Lia Radus ran the fastest leg of the day in the U15 Southern 3-stage Road Relays at Bedford. Her storming run, timed at 9:24, brought her Blackheath & Bromley team home to win silver medals from over 50 other teams. Younger sister and team-mate Maayan helped the club to also win silver in the U13 event. Running the second leg, she improved the team position from 14th to 7th, recording 10:46.

Gilad Nachshen secured bronze medals for his Shaftesbury Barnet team in the 4-stage U13 boys event, by producing the fastest final stage performance of the day (9:32). In the U15 event, David Stone recorded 9:07 for the second fastest penultimate stage. His team finished seventh.

October 14

Lia Radus led off the Blackheath and Bromley U15 team towards an eventual silver medal at the National Young Athlete Relays at Sutton Park, Birmingham. Younger sister Maayan, taking the middle leg in the U13 event, gained ten places to help her team finished sixth. This national competition brings the road relay season to an end, with the cross country season beginning in earnest next month.

October 28

Richard Goodman launched his cross country season with a convincing win in the Metropolitan League at Claybury Park, Woodford. Goodman finished 35 seconds clear of England international Andy Maud, recording 24:17 for the undulating 8 km course.

“It was a really warm day, the ground was very dry, and the field set off quickly. I ran with the leading group for 2 km, then increased the pace a little and found myself alone in front. So I pushed on to the finish for a satisfying season opener.”

Goodman, 23, achieved his main aim of 2016, which was to gain First Class Honours at St Mary's University, Twickenham. He still lives in Twickenham, no longer as a student but as Founding manager of Athlete Mannies (“ Providing role models for your children"). He is now coached by former Olympic 800m athlete Craig Winrow.

"My training emphasis has changed in two main ways. On my ‘session’ days, the repetitions are longer and harder, with greater emphasis on running at race pace. Then on the intervening days, I am running more slowly to avoid any build-up of fatigue. I feel I am in a good place, and looking forward to the year ahead.”

November 4

Richard Goodman gained a clear victory in the North of the Thames cross country championships at Kingsbury, finishing 52 seconds clear of his Shaftesbury Barnet teammate Jake Shelley. The race, which also serves as the Liddiard Cup competition, has a seventy year history and has been won by several national record holders and international medallists. For Goodman, 23, it was a return to Fryent Country Park, where he started his career nine years ago winning the Brent Schools Championship wearing his football boots.

Lia Radus, representing Blackheath & Bromley, won the second fixture of the U15 Kent cross country league at Tonbridge. The somewhat inconsistent age classifications within the sport mean that Radus, 15, is classed as U15 for cross-country and U17 for track and field.

November 25

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, was first lady and seventh overall amongst 862 finishers in the Matthew Walker 10K at Heanor, near Derby. She recorded 38:07 for the multi-terrain event, finishing almost three minutes ahead of the next lady.

Shaftesbury Barnet star Richard Goodman, 23, won the second race in the Metropolitan League at Stevenage, recording 25:42 for the 8K cross-country course.

Lia Radus was second and David Stone third in their respective stages in the National Road Relay Championships at Mansfield. Almost 100 teams contested these U15 boys and girls events.

Roger Bruck was bemused to note that his recent high jump clearance of 1.27m in the British Masters Championships would have shared the gold medal for his V75 age group at last month’s World Masters Championships.

December 16

Blackheath & Bromley middle distance specialists Maayan and Lia Radus achieved high placings in the prestigious British Athletics Cross Challenge in Liverpool. Maayan, 12, placed 18th in the U13 event while Lia, 15, finished 21st in the U15’s. Their times were 11:41 and 11:09 respectively for the 3Km course.

Maayan's race represented solid progress after the disruption of changes of school and coach. Older sister Lia also overcame adversity, in tackling the event one week after recovering from a bout of shingles. The races were run over firm ground but through thick mist on a cold morning.

Harrow athlete Rachel Ayrton, 17, made a fine start to the indoor season, clocking 1:48.17 for 600m in the Lee Valley November Open.

December 30

The winners of the 2016 Daniel Sacks Awards for Outstanding Young Athletic Achievement are middle-distance specialist Gilad Nachshen, 13, and pole vaulter Lucie Wolfenden, 15.

Immanuel College student Nachshen returned to competition in June after an extended injury lay-off, and within two months had risen to third in the UK Under 13 800m rankings. In competition he twice scored double victories over 200m and 800m in the Eastern Young Athletes League.

"I am really happy with how the season went, in particular setting my 800m personal best of 2:13.69 at Watford”, Nachshen reflected. “I would particularly like to thank my coaches Colin Godfrey and Tony Smith."

After the track season ended he extended his competitive distance to 3 km in inter-club road relays. By setting fastest stage times of the day Nachshen helped Shaftesbury Barnet to win the Middlesex Young Athletes’ Championships and to medal in the Southern Counties event.

Sale Harrier Lucie Wolfenden also progressively improved during the season, vaulting 2.80m for fourth place in the Northern Championships and 15th in the UK U15 rankings. Her finest victory was a 2.75m clearance in the Mason Trophy Inter Counties Schools' Championships at Birmingham, while she also achieved three wins in the Youth Development League.

King David Manchester pupil Wolfenden said, "I feel honoured to win this award. I am training hard to improve further next year, when I will be competing in the Maccabiah in Israel."

Several past winners of the Award also featured amongst the community athletes who won medals and titles during the season. Eden Davis, in his first year in the U20 division, repeated his success of last year in winning 100m bronze in the English Schools Championships. He also took 200m silver and 100m bronze at the South of England Championships, as well as 100m silver in the Hertfordshire Championships.

Pole vaulter Sophie Dowson, 17, was delighted to win silver in the English Schools Championships. Her year’s best clearance of 3.76m placed her sixth in the UK U20 rankings.

Javelin thrower James Bongart, 20, took silver in the England Athletics U23 Championships. His personal best throw of 58.34m moved him to fourth place on the national U23 list.

Lia Radus’ excellent competitive season included winning gold medals for U15 1500m at the Middlesex, London Schools and South of England Championships. Her best 3000m time of 10:03.68 placed her third in the UK U15 rankings. Younger sister Maayan, 12, also performed well, winning the Middlesex U13 cross country title and taking bronze in the county 1500m championship.

In his first attempt over the distance, David Stone, 14, took the Under 16 trophy in the Jerusalem 10K, finishing 68 seconds ahead of the 531-strong field. He enjoyed success over cross country, road relay and track 1500m, despite being hampered on occasion by breathing problems.

Highgate Harrier Hannah Viner, 20, recorded 35:20 in the Vitality London 10,000 to finish top in the UK U20 10 km road race rankings. She also recorded 36:03.87 for the distance on the track.

Three members of the Hurley family each won medals in the Hertfordshire Championships. Rebecca won silver in the U20 400m hurdles, Greg also took silver in the U17 400m, while Jessica achieved bronze in the U17 400m. Anna Barnett, 17, gained silver in the Kent U20 discus championship while Ellie Edwards, 20, also struck silver in the Greater Manchester & Cheshire senior 100m.

Brothers Bini (13), Jack (15) and Nathan Bloom (18) all competed well over the middle distances. Bini was the most active, recording an excellent 10:15.41 for 3000m.

Roger Bruck’s gold medal haul in British Masters M75 competition included four each in the National Indoor and Southern Outdoor Championships. In both contests his victories were over the two sprints, high jump and long jump. Bruck, 77, won the high jump in the British Masters Championships outdoors with an extraordinary clearance of 1.27m. This leap added 4 cm to his own M75 Southern Counties record and would have tied for gold in the recent World Masters Championships.

Richard Goodman, 23, took the North of the Thames cross country title as well as three victories in the Metropolitan cross country league. He was the year's most televised Jewish athlete, featuring in coverage of the Great Edinburgh Cross Country and the 10 km Manchester Great Run. On that latter occasion he finished as top Briton and earned high praise from Steve Cram. ”Running side by side with Kenenisa Bekele, one of the all-time great distance runners, was an absolute privilege”, Goodman reflected. “Experiences like that are part and parcel of why I love running."


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