The world 1500 metres champion saw off stiff competition from Eilish McColgan and Laura Muir in what the organisers dubbed “the toughest selection decision in the history of the award”.
McColgan, in particular, captured the public imagination when she landed the first major title of her career, winning gold in the 10,000m final at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham and emulating her mother Liz in the process. But McColgan hailed Wightman as a worthy winner. “It’s been an amazing year for top Scottish athletes, but Jake was the one to win gold at the World Champs and that’s the very highest level,” said the Dundee Hawkhill runner.
Wightman’s win in Eugene, Oregon, in July saw him beat a stellar field which included Olympic champion Jakob Ingebrigtsen. The victory was made even more special by the fact that his father and coach, Geoff, was commentating in the stadium. Geoff was guest of honour with Katharine Merry at the Scottish Athletics awards dinner in Glasgow on Saturday night and picked up the trophy on behalf of his son who is now based in the US.
“What happened for me at the Worlds still feels a bit surreal – even a few months later,” said Jake. “You go into the sport as a kid and you dream of being Olympic champion or world champion – but how many actually get that honour beside their name?”
Birmingham 2022 wheelchair marathon silver medallist Sean Frame won the 4J Para Athlete of the Year title.
Athlete award winners
4J Athlete of the Year: Jake Wightman
4J Para Athlete of the Year: Sean Frame
4J U20 Athlete of the Year: Megan Keith
4J U17 Athlete of the Year: Corey Campbell
4J Masters Athlete of the Year: Charlotte Morgan
Commonwealth Games Achievement Award (Birmingham 2022): Eilish McColgan
George Dallas Memorial Trophy: Samantha Kinghorn
Martin Hyman Junior Hill Runner Trophy: Fraser Gilmour
All other awards winners:
Impact Club of the Year: Springburn Harriers
Off-track Club of the Year: Giffnock North AC
Track and Field Club of the Year: Aberdeen AAC
Janice Eaglesham MBE Para Development Club of the Year: Aberdeen AAC
Performance Coach of the Year: Geoff Wightman
Performance Development Coach of the Year: Alison Grey
Para Performance Coach of the Year: Rodger Harkins
Community Club Coach of the Year: Colin Thomas (West End Road Runners/Bellahouston Harriers)
Volunteer of the Year: Stuart Donnelly (Team East Lothian)
The Tom Stillie Award (sword): John Mackay of Shettleston Harriers
Technical Official of the Year: Alison McGree
Raymond Hutcheson Trophy for Services to Officiating: Margaret-Ann MacLachlan