Cronulla Carnival

~ Warwick Everingham

A squad of 15 of our younger beach sprinters, plus a couple of young board paddlers in Sam Cantarella & Harrison Smith (don't worry Andy & we already told 'em they'll never paddle again) turned out at the Cronulla carnival on the weekend.
Many of our older stars were unavailable due to administrative issues; being at schoolies; or. in the case of our stable superstar Black Caviar (aka Jessica Thornton), being in cotton wool for some bigger money events down the track. So in the spirit of 'how quickly the years go by',  Jack Harrison took the reins as the sprint team's elder statesmen for the day.
While it wasn't a huge a carnival, it was an extremely well-organised and enjoyable one. It presented a great opportunity for our beach sprinters to clear the cobwebs out and get a guide of where they were at after months of training. They will all be better for the run!
Also in a week of mourning after the loss of Club icon Joe Seddon, our boys and girls ran in his honour wearing black arms bands into competition. It was only a season ago I discussed our competitor funding with Joe and he immediately took on the running of a 200-Club to raise funds which assisted our young competitors get to the National Titles.

Most of us in administrative positions in our club spent our formative years working alongside Joe. We gained our Coogee values, our pride in wearing and competing in the two blue colours of our club, and our administrative "zeal" from Joe. He was a major force in our club's competitive leap forward in the 60's which continued through to the new century. We had a lull for a short while but we are back in the thick of it again now. I started as a competitor myself with the club in the late 60's and my love for beach sprinting was built on the foundations of a number of Coogee xenophobes such as Phil Costello and Rod Miller, and, of course, Joe Seddon, who, while mainly a swim and R&R person, always provided material aid and support for anything Coogee.

So our runners wore their black armbands on Saturday to the memory of a man they have certainly heard about, maybe only in the last few days. I doubt any of them knew Joe personally. But it is not too long a bow to draw to say these young beach sprinters today, are also the result of work done by Joe Seddon 50 years ago and in the decades since then. Thanks Joe for all you have given us. We will miss you.
The Cronulla club also paid its respects with a great tribute to Joe over the PA system and it was remarkable how many people from various clubs approached us to pass on their sympathy and best wishes after it was announced. I'm sure Joe would have been proud of both how the team conducted themselves and how they performed.

Beach Sprint Male
Open: Jack Harrison 1st
Under 17: Jake Irvine 1st, Ben McDonald 2nd, Tom Fagan 3rd - the trifecta with not much separating the three of them
Under 15: Will Harrison 1st, Hugh France 2nd.
So it was a clean sweep for Coogee in the male beach sprint event

Jack Harrison

Beach Sprint Female
Under 15: Nubia Mendes 2nd, Eliza Cotis 3rd.
Beach Relays
Under 15 Boys: 1st. Will Harrison, Hugh France, Sam Cantarella & Harrison Smith - a couple of super subs from the board team
Under 17 Boys: 1st. Jake Irvine, Ben McDonald, Sean O'Byrne & Jackson Deans-Harvey
Open Mixed: 2nd Jack Harrison, Tom Fagan, Luke Bond & last but not least Eliza Cotis who ran a brilliant anchor leg.
Beach Flags:
Under 17: Ben McDonald 1st, Jake Irvine 2nd
Under 15: Hugh France 2nd.
The Highlight of the Day
While the improvement in some our Under 17 competitors is promising and a reward for the effort they are putting into training, the performance of super nipper Nubia Mendes at her first senior carnival was outstanding. Not only did she finish 2nd in the Under 15s girls sprint - as 13 year old - but she also proceeded to back that up with a post-race vomit into the shoes of legendary Competition Director Warwick Everingham in the team tent. Warwick, in his inimitable style, laughed it off and mumbled people in the Club doing worse things to him over the year as he trudged over to the nearest tap!
We hope to have the full team on deck at North Cronulla on December 21st. Until then...

Luke Bond, Sean O'Byrne, Tom Fagan, and Jackson Deans-Harvey

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