Bongart and Barnett are cream of the crop
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James Bongart and Anna Barnett are the respective winners of the 2012 JC Daniel Sacks Memorial Award for Outstanding Young Athletic Achievement.
Bongart, 16, claims the Boys title following a successful season where he won eight of his nine under-17 javelin competitions, achieving victories at the Essex Schools and Essex County Championships. He ranked 27th in the UK with a distance of 50.97m.
Bongart said: “Last year was difficult, returning from injury, but this year I have been training four times a week and have been very pleased with my progress.
"I am proud to be a Jewish athlete and have already applied for next year’s Maccabiah Games. I just hope there will be a javelin event for me to compete in."
Barnett, 13, surmounted the twin challenges of a new event, the Girls 3kg hammer, and a move into the under-15 age group as one of its youngest competitors. Having been a strong contender for the award last year - ranking 12th in the UK in the under-13 discus - she competed in both discus and hammer this year, maintaining a similarly high ranking amongst the girls of her own age.
Her best performance was a hammer throw of 26.63m to win the Blackheath and Bromley Open meeting.
Barnett said: "I am really pleased to win this award, if a little surprised. In a way it was a difficult year, entering the under-15 division and fitting in training together with batmitzvah preparation. But I was particularly pleased to set a discus PB at the last event of the season."
Several other young athletes progressed well over the year. In particular, Jessica Hurley, now 13, reduced her 800m PB to 2:28.02 to rank 26th among UK under-13’s. George Grant, 14, finished 49th in the UK under-15 pole vault with 2.62m. Ellie Edwards, last year’s award winner, moved up to the 300m and 400m distances, with impressive times of 42.40 and 63.30 respectively.
Her Trafford clubmate Zoe Gibson, also 15, achieved 23.80m in the discus, while Rebecca Hurley, 14, achieved 18.07 in the same event.
Harrow athlete Chloe Greenberg, 16, achieved 29.44m in the javelin. Natan Bloom, 14, Ben Hatch, 14, and Sam Shindler-Glass, 16, were all nationally ranked in the 1,500m, as were Leo Kaye, 16, at 200m and Simon Zeffert, 16, in the triple jump.
Further information, including detailed performance lists and photo features, can be found at the Award site www.danielsacksaward.org.uk.