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PROTRACK » GENERAL » AAC Awards for 2010-2011 & "Pro Tack" Awards

AAC Awards for 2010-2011 & "Pro Tack" Awards

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1 AAC Awards for 2010-2011 & "Pro Tack" Awards on Mon Aug 22, 2011 3:40 pm



Australian Athletic Confederation Awards

Athlete of the year Jerome Whiteley (TAS)

Male Sprinter of the year Matt Hargreaves (VIC)

Female Sprinter of the year Laura Jane Hilditch (VIC)

Female Distance Athlete of the year Lauren McHugh (SA)

Male Distance Athlete of the year Jerome Whiteley (TAS)

Trainer of the year John Henry (VIC)

Administrator of the year Sandra Davidson (TAS)

Meeting of the year Burnie (TAS)

Special commendation Woodside Gift (VIC)

Those in attendance at the AAC conference in Melbourne yesterday were:

Ken English (NSWAL)
Billy Edwards (NSWAL)
Terry O'Donnell (VAL & AAC President)
Sandra Davidson (TAL)
Mark Howard (VAL)

Qld, WA & SA were not represented however reports were presented on behalf of the absentees.

Last edited by Admin on Wed Sep 07, 2011 10:16 am; edited 2 times in total


The AAC needs a revamp. It has little credibility and desperately needs someone else at the helm to give it some respectability in the wider athletic community.

There's a good reason why the SAAL doesn't bother to attend its annual conference. Terry O'Donnell is president. And as we have seen in recent weeks, he has demonstrated he is not a leader.

(How does one become AAC it a case of whoever wants it? Can't be that hard.)

I could not imagine AA being the slightly bit interested in dealing with the AAC on any level.

A strong independent AAC would be a boon for the sport.

I will give them one thing, the athlete of the year in Jerome Whiteley was a good choice.

"Let's Go While We're Young"


Hey Youngy, would be interesting to know who your awards would have gone to for each category? Had you have selected.



OK Forest,

If I was to offer the 2010/2011 ProTrack Awards, this is how I would have gone:

Athlete of the year AND Male Distance Athlete of the year: Jerome Whiteley (TAS)
It's been a long while since a Tassie athlete has had an impact at Stawell, but Jerome Whiteley certainly made his mark in 2011. He won the backmarkers 1600m on the Saturday and later in the carnival finished a commendable 6th in the 800m at Stawell off a relatively tight 40m in 1-48.

In one of the most dominant pro-seasons recorded by any individual, Whiteley was literally in everything from 800m to the mile on the TAL circuit.

He kicked off with a win over 1600m at Launceston in November.

THEN in a stellar December, Whiteley:

  • Ran 2nd in the Ulverstone 1600m.

  • Ran 2nd in the 1600m and won the 800m at Rosebery just before Christmas.

  • He then ran 2nd in the Latrobe 1600m (winning $1000).

  • A few days later he won the big Devonport mile worth $1500 to the winner and the next day ran 2nd in the Devonport 800m off 60m in 1-47.

  • He concluded the Tassie Christmas carnival series with 4th place in the Burnie mile.

And in the TAL's last three meets, Whiteley won the 800 at Hobart, the 1000m at St Helens and the 1600m at Richmond.

The Stawell backmarkers mile win clinched the Athlete of the year.

Trainer of the year: John Henry (VIC)
JH's athletes won 24 sashes for the season and over $44,000 in prizemoney. He enjoyed success in NSWAL winning the 70m at Queanbeyan, and his athletes were prominent in races in the SAAL without winning (Mt Gambier: 2nd Women's 120m, 3rd Novice 120m & 2nd Open 400m) .

They won three feature races of the season - the Movember 550m, the Woodside Open Gift and the Woodside Women's Gift.

Male Sprinter of the Year - Jordan Caldow (SA)
Caldow won 6 sashes through the season including one of the big three - the Bay Sheffield. He opened up with a solid win with the Port Adelaide Gift and concluded the season with a win in the Stawell Gift Winner's Gift. He won nearly $20,000 in prizemoney.

It is very difficult for an athlete to compete across three different athletic landscapes, yet Caldow did so with extraordinary success. He represented SA in the national All School's championships in December and caused a huge upset winning the national open beach sprint title in March.

For the record Matt Hargreaves won 2 sashes and over $13,000 in prizemoney, made numerous finals over distances from 70m to 400m and won the rich Woodside Gift.

Matt Hargreaves is a worthy winner of the AAC award…..but my vote would have been clinched on the result of the Gift winner's Gift where Caldow conceded Hargreaves 2.50m and beat him off a very tight 0.25m.

Caldow for mine.

Female Sprinter of the year: Laura Jane Hilditch (VIC)
In an outstanding season, Laura Jane Hilditch won 6 races on the VAL circuit - incredibly over 6 different distances. These were:
VRTA 200m; Woodside 120m; Stonnington 100m; Ararat 70m; Bendigo 400m and the Burramine 300m.

Hilditch also made several finals throughout the entire season, significantly when her penalites were implemented, she was still competitive off the reduced marks.

Hilditch topped off her VAL results by performing well interstate. In November, at Queanbeyan (NSWAL), Hilditch won the open 70m and finished 2nd in the women's 120m. And in December Hilditch was 2nd in the Women's Mt Gambier Gift (SAAL).

In all Hilditch was placed 16 times including 7 sashes and won over $10,000 in prizemoney.

Female Distance Athlete of the year: Bridgid Connolly (SA)
I know the SAAL nominates whoever wins the local award - based on points to the AAC, but I felt this was a short sighted view in terms of a national award. Lauren McHugh is a frontmarker who ran OK domestically with several placings and a couple of wins at Tea Tree Gully and Loxton.

However for genuine class on a national scale, Connolly wins hands down. Bridgid won the Port Adelaide 550m, Reynella Women's 800m, Glenelg 1000m & the Bay Sheff 550m. In most races she was either the backmarker or 2nd backmarker.

In Tasmania Bridgid won the Devonport 800m and the Burnie 400m and was 2nd in the women's Devonport Gift.

Maybe you could argue that she did not win beyond 1000m but the fact is three of her wins were over 800m/1000m off tight marks and in our sport these are middle distance events.

The quality of the wins needs to be considered in term of the marks won off and the ground covered and Bridgid was undoubtedly the best performed women's middle distance athlete in Australian pro running in 2010/2011 and it's a travesty that she was not nominated.

Meeting of the year Burnie (TAS)
I believe these awards should reflect national results & performances. Therefore meets that attract interstate athletes would be prominent in the meet of the year, hence a select field of clubs like Ballarat, Bendigo, Stawell, Keilor and Maryborough (VAL); Mt Gambier, Bay Sheffield & Camden (SAAl); Latrobe, Devonport & Burnie (TAL) and Queanbeyan, Temora & Lithgow (NSWAL) - would be the clubs I would look at.

Bay Sheffield or Burnie - take your pick.

In respect to Victoria, I was tempted to go with Maryborough or Keilor but their tracks were ordinary in comparison to some of the other meets. Marborough suffered from some dingbat digging (holes) for gold on the eve of the meet, but it was a great meet and for those of us who stayed for the entertainment & fireworks afterwards, did not go home disappointed.

I wasn't at Burnie so can't comment on it but I'm pleased it was acknowledged as I know how hard they work to keep the meet up to the standard of national class meet.

Administrator of the year: Sandra Davidson (TAS)
Sandra is a stalwart of the TAL and works tirelessly for the sport. Well deserved honour.

Special commendation: Woodside Gift (VIC)
Nice acknowledgement for the work that was put in to get this 'party' started.

So there's two where I disagree with the AAC - Jordan Caldow and Bridgid Connolly were in my view the best performed athletes nationally in their respective categories.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

Like it

Good read PY! This is why protrack is the best information forum for prorunning. The other two forums are like Today Tonight and A Current Affair fighting for the biggest bullshit/smut comment. protrack is the 7.30 Report/Four Corners of prorunning!!!


In relation to Youngys post , totally agree with his assumptions but think that Butler may have just about got the nod over JH as trainer.
Butlers runners won just as many sashes (count them if you like )Won Whyalla Gift,Loxton Gift,Womans Mt Gambier gift, Womans Bay gift as well as winning interstate.
Maybe the CASH maybe less but other than that Butlers stats are certainly there and stack up very well against JH.

Maybe 2

They won three feature races of the season - the Movember 550m, the Woodside Open Gift and the Woodside Women's Gift.

Could have been the difference?


Fair call "maybe".

Agree overall results (sashes & placings) are probably similar.

When results are similar, I like the national coach of the year to have had some success interstate.

JH's squad performed reasonably well interstate, plus of course winning the big ones with runners off back marks like the Movember 550m (that win by Shaun Hargreaves was a huge result) & a 10k first prize Gift in Woodside; probably gives him the edge, in my book.

"Let's Go While We're Young"

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