Thames Valley Harriers
NAL Premiership champions Thames Valley Harriers receive their award (credit: Mark Shearman/Athletics Images)

TVH and athletes of the year handed NAL awards

National Athletics League Premiership champions Thames Valley Harriers and all four NAL athletes of the year were presented with their awards at the England Athletics Hall of Fame and Awards Evening in Solihull on Saturday night.

Jessie Knight (female track), Scott Lincoln (male field), Chris McAlister (male track) and Amelia Strickler (female field) were each recognised for achieving the best performances at any NAL match this year according to performance tables.

Meanwhile, representatives from TVH were on hand to receive the trophy as the inaugural winners of the NAL after winning at all four of their matches last summer.

TVH team managers Manuel da Silva and Phil Wetton had great success in putting out full teams and the title was all but sewn up before the final fixture and they finished up with 64 league points and 2176 match points.

McAlister (Thames Valley Harriers) gained the male track performance of the year accolade courtesy of his 49.70 in the 400m hurdles in the third round at Eton, worth 1042 points on Mick Bromilow’s performance tables. These are the same tables which were used to rank athletes this year to tally up team score. This year’s UK No.1 missed the NAL/BAL record by just three tenths and in the fourth fixture he set a hand-timed PB over 400m flat of 46.4. He has been a stalwart for clubs over the years, having notched up 29 competitive appearances in the British Athletics League since 2014.

Chris McAlister, Jessie Knight, Scott Lincoln and Amelia Strickler – 2021 NAL athletes of the year (credit: Mark Shearman/Athletics Images)

Knight (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow) returned from the Olympics to get straight back into action for her club, clocking 54.81 in the 400m hurdles at Eton, good enough for 1088 points. The time was an NAL/ UKWL record by more than a second and would have been a PB for her before what has been a great 2021 season. A great servant of club athletics, she was a regular in the UK Women’s League from 2011 until the NAL’s formation. She said on receiving her award: “I love being part of a team. I always try to fit
National Athletics League fixtures into my season.”

Before competing for Britain in Tokyo 2020, Scott Lincoln’s throw of 20.02m in the shot at the first match at Lee Valley claimed 1146 points and was almost two metres better than any other UK thrower managed in 2021. The Shaftesbury Barnet Harrier has shown great club loyalty over the years; he appeared 26 times in either the shot or discus at the British Athletics League. 

Amelia Strickler (Thames Valley Harriers) immediately responded to the disappointment of narrowly missing out on an Olympic place by throwing a PB of 18.11m in the shot at the second round in Wormwood Scrubs. This was worth 1202 points according to the scoring tables, making it the best overall performance of the season. The UK No.2 also competed at two of the other three matches, winning on both occasions and she has competed in national league athletics since 2016.