News reports - July 2019

17th July 2019: Ben Johnson improves his 5000m track club record
Just Just 3 days after running 14:54.9 to win the 5000m at our Northern League meeting last Sunday, Ben Johnson took to the track again on Wednesday at the BMC meeting at Eltham in South East London for his 4th 5000m race in as many weeks; and won in 14:47.8. That PB mark replaces his own club record of 14:48.35 set in 2017 which was also run at a BMC meeting at Eltham.
14th July 2019: Great 2nd place finish for Seniors in Northern League

Round 3 of the Northern T&F League for Southport Waterloo's Div'n 2W was held at Leigh Sports Village on Sunday. Last year, our athletes won promotion to this Division in a closely fought contest with Seaton who were promoted with us. We knew that it would be tougher this year but it is perhaps a reflection of our athletes competitive spirit that whilst we have fought to stay up, Seaton have languished at the bottom of the division and will certainly be relegated. Fortunately, we have broken away from the yo yo effect of past years; up one year and down the next!

But it has proved a strange division this year. Preston Harriers have won all the matches and will contest a place in Division 1 in the Promotion match on 24th August. Going into this 3rd round match, the 4 teams below Preston were all on 7 League points, Southport Waterloo being the lowest with fewer Match points. It is still too close to call who will be relegated along with Seaton but we have given ourselves the best possible chance by a 2nd place finish today.

The match scores were Preston, 434 points, S'port Waterloo 363, Blackpool 337.5, Leigh 305, Bolton 302 and Seaton 248.5. By my reckoning that leaves Preston well ahead with 18 League points, S'port Waterloo with 12, Blackpool with 11, Leigh with 10 and Bolton with 9. Any of the clubs below Preston could still be relegated! Blackpool host the final meeting on 10th August. We were strong today and will need to be strong again at Blackpool to be sure of staying up.

Today, we had good performances in both track and field and had 6 event wins - 3 male and 3 female - and the fullest teamsheet this season, one that will be difficult to replicate in August. Five of our athletes were at English Schools over the weekend and we are grateful that they came along today to bolster the team effort.

We had an amazing 15 competing in the Women's events! I don't know if that's a record but its more than the total competing over a whole season as far back as I have checked and is in stark contrast to years like 2015/16 when we maxed at 6 or 7!

Bekki Roche could be forgiven for resting today after her success at English Schools winning the Inter Girls Hammer competition and getting her first England vest. Incidentally, I thought Bekki might have been the first Southport Waterloo member to win an English Schools T&F title but a bit of research thru' our HonoursBoard reveals Phillip McDonnell won the Inter Boys' 400m Hurdles back in 1981. Hopefully we won't have to wait another 38 years for the next but many congratulations to Bekki for an outstanding performance. In the more mundane Northern League, Bekki won the senior hammer with 45m 47, the senior shot with 10m 93 and she threw the discus 26 metres for 3rd place.

Stephanie Robertson was another who impressed at English Schools and was our other event winner at Leigh, in the triple jump today with a 10m 54 hop, skip and jump. She was 2nd in the 100m with 12.9. Lauren Lewis ran the 'B' 100m in 13.1, ran the 200m in 27.3 and triple jumped 8m 24. Abi Bamber was 2nd over 200m recording 26.2 secs which compares to a PB of 26.19; and she cleared 1m 25 in the high jump.

Katy Coupland was again our multi-eventer competing in 6 events at Leigh. On the track she ran the 400m in 91.3, both hurdles in 29.1 and 116.6, and in the Field she high jumped 1m 10, long jumped 3m 48 and threw the discus 25m 49; a great contribution to team effort!

Jessica McDonough made her first track appearance since 2014. Enjoying her running once again she competed over 400m in a very creditable 66.2 secs. Lilly-Ann was our 'A' 800m runner finishing in a season's best 2:28.7. Olivia Taylor ran the 'B' 800m and recorded a first sub-2:30 time, a PB 2:29.9. Over 1500m, Lucy Milling ran 5:25 after a 5K for her school in the morning! Freya Walsh ran the 'B' in 6:04. Jessica Dean and Tracey Barlow took on the longest women's race of this league, the 3000m. Jessica was 4th in 11:51 and Tracey, a road and park runner, was 2nd 'B' in 13:31.8 in her first track event as a senior.

Back in the Field, Amy Rex won the 'B' shot with 7m 74, Megan Howarth got close to her best with a 29m 55 javelin throw and she threw the hammer 13m 39. And Eve McMahon threw the Senior javelin 25m 35.

The women completed both relay races. Eve, Abi, Lauren and Stephanie ran 52.1 for the 4 x 100m and Lucy, Freya, Lilly-Ann and Olivia got the baton around in the 4 x 400m in 4:30.7, Lilly-Ann with the fastest leg of 63.9.

18 of our Under 17, Under 20 and Senior athletes took part in the Men's events. Again, I suspect this might well be a record. We had three event wins here. Ben Johnson was available for this one and he started his day with a win in the 1500m, in 4:04.3, not bad for a distance runner; and a PB. Over 5000m, he once again came from behind to win in 14:54.9, his 3rd 5000m race in the last 4 weeks and his fastest since 2017. Anthony Pratt ran the 'B' 1500m in 4:45.4 in his first track race and seasoned track distance runner David Hamilton ran 17:11 for 5000m.

The other event winner was Sam Coupland. Both Sam and Josh Stammers were at English Schools for long jump and they were back in the sand today. Sam won the competition with 6m 24 and Josh won the 'B' competition with 6m 08.Sam was also 2nd in the high jump with 1m 80 and 3rd in the pole vault with 3m 10. Drumayne Moore high jumped 1m 60 and impressed in the pole vault, clearing 2m 90, a 20 cms improvement in his PB. He also ran 71.9 in the 400m hurdles where Leo Christian ran a little faster in the 'B' event running 67.5.Leo also triple jumped 10m 32.

Our main sprinters were Ben Apps and Joe Kane and both ran 11.6 for 100m. Over 200m, Joe ran 23.2 but the main memory of that event would be the sight of Harry Flanagan pulling up short of 100m with a very painful injury, a suspected hamstring problem. Lets hope its not as bad as feared and that we will shortly see Harry back on the track.

Graham Boreham had a good day over both 800m and 400m. His 800m time of 2:05.4 was a new PB and he ran 53.9 for 400m . Ethan Harrison equalled his PB over 400m running 54.3. Mike Taylor ran the 'B' 800m and ran another PB in 2:14.3. Mike also triple jumped 8 metres. Finally on the track races, Paul Warrington agreed to come along for the 3000m steeplechase. I don't know if Paul, usually more at home on the road, has history as a steeplechaser but he attacked the barriers with some style and confidence in contrast to the race winner who clambered over them. Paul completed in 13:16.4.

In the Field, there was a welcome return to competitiive T&F by Sam Moran who put the shot 7m 25, threw the discus 16m 59 and impressed in the javelin with 30m 92. Chris Burgess put the shot 8m 35, and threw the javelin 28m 45. Lee Coupland threw the discus 19m 11 and the hammer 18m 11 where Barrie Hughes also competed, with a best of 15m 81.

Drumayne, Ben, Josh and Joe got the baton around in the 4 x 100m in 45.4 and Graham, Darion, Ethan and Sam ran the 4 x 400m in 3:42, Sam with the fastest final leg in 53.9.

Thanks to team manager Lee Coupland and our officials; Dave Whitehead, Steve James, Lesley Scott, Lee Coupland, Barrie Hughes, Emma Howarth, Mike Dandy and Ann Dignan.

The numbers competing for us today and the level of performance more than justifies our place in Division 2. A strong performance is needed again at Blackpool so book 10th of August in diaries.

Full results | Results for Southport Waterloo

12th/13th July 2019: 7 club juniors represent M'side at English Schools: Bekki Roche wins hammer and international call-up

12 months ago it was tales of very tight shorts, a crazy coach driver and eating grapes whilst watching 'Love Island' that entertained fans of Southport Waterloo.  Could this year's report be anyway near as insightful?

7 Southport Waterloo athletes were selected to represent Merseyside Schools at this year's English Schools Track and Field Championships at Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.  Junior Girls Amber Hughes (Shot) and Sierra Jalloh (200m), Inter Girls Stephanie Robertson (80m Hurdles) and Bekki Roche (Hammer), Inter Boys Sam Coupland and Joshua Stammers (both Long Jump) and Senior Boy Ben Apps (Triple Jump)

Their adventure begins on Thursday lunchtime... at 1pm or sometime thereafter.  As the athletes started to arrive at Sacred Heart School in Crosby, greet each other, load their bags onto the coach and say goodbye to their parents, Steph and Sierra were missing!  They were travelling together and it was quickly established that they were running a little late, in part due to Sierra's mum Tracy thinking that she was dropping them at Wavertree and also because Tracy believed Wavertree was our track at Litherland... Sierra and Steph arrived looking a little flustered.  Coach Barrie Hughes found this most amusing. 

When the team of 40 athletes arrived at their hotel base in Birmingham, there was some time to settle in, who was 'rooming' with who, eat, provide appropriate accreditation for the event, have a team meeting and then a good night's sleep.  Many were competing early the next morning. 

The Friday forecast was for average temperatures and through the day it was quite warm in the sunshine but when the cloud rolled in it was also quite windy.  It did however mainly stay dry other than a few spots. The Merseyside team take both a coach and minibus to this event, the minibus being used to transport those competing early so the whole team isn't wheeled away from the hotel too soon.  At a major championships, there is dedicated warm up facilities, call rooms and scrutiny of equipment, this all takes time.  Sam, Amber, Josh and Steph were all on the early minibus, they arrived at the Stadium at 8:00.

Amber Hughes was the first in action in the Junior Girls Shot Putt competition.  Combined Eventer Amber, who is also a first year junior girl, was always likely to run into stiff competition but held her own, her best putt was 9.64m in an event won by Cleo Anyepong of Kent with 13.19m.  Valuable high level competition experience for Amber.

Sam Coupland and Joshua Stammers were competing at the same time as Amber in the Inter Boys Long Jump. Both jumping in excess of 6 metres (Josh 6.24 and Sam 6.07) but missing out on the final for this event that was eventually won by Jerel Livingston of Greater Manchester with a leap of 6.89m.

Stephanie Robertson was calm in the build up to her 80m hurdles qualifier, not like mum Kerrynne who was proudly watching whilst mumbling something about nerves... Steph safely into the Semi finals later that day with a run of 11.91s

The rest of the team had arrived in time to see these events, the afternoon program included Sierra, Ben and Steph's semi.  Most athletes wanted t-shirts and hoodies from 'New Balance' the event sponsor, emblazoned with their county and event as they are rightly proud to have this opportunity.  The queue to order these stretched three times round the globe!  If an athlete was missing it was safe to say this is where they were.

In the 200m, Junior Girl Sierra Jalloh was drawn in heat 1 lane 8, but last minute withdrawals saw her moved into heat 2 lane 7.  She ran a good bend finishing in 26.61s in an event eventually won by Success Eduan of Greater Manchester in 24.37s 

Steph's semi final saw Kerrynne reduced to a nervous wreck, and Steph taking it in her stride in 11.96s and qualifying for Saturday final.  Poor Kerrynne... 

Ben Apps appearance in the Senior Boys Triple Jump was short but personally successful.  He looked fast on the runway and his first round jump a new PB of 13.82m was greeted with positivity that he had more to come.  Indeed, coach David Gough's attendance wearing a t-shirt with the word 'COACH' in perhaps the largest t-shirt font seen must have helped. Unfortunately, jump number two saw a recurrence of an injury and Ben had to withdraw.  He finished 5th overall and just 17cm from the silver medal in a competition won by Joel Townley of Gloucestershire with a hop, step and jump of 14.39m

Final action of the first day was the 4x100m relays, the other Southport Waterloo athletes watched on as Amber and Sierra helped their Junior Girls team get the baton round in 49.80s and Steph leading off the Inter Girls team to finish in 51.33s.  Unfortunately, neither team progressed.  

Athletes back on their transport and off to the hotel whilst parents looked a little lost, their normal responsibilities someone else's problem.  Reports from the hotel that evening included eating Yorkshire Puddings filled with Fruit Salad (Athletes are very careful to get a balanced diet) and Amber and Sierra setting an alarm for 12 midnight in order to do each others makeup... 

The weather on Saturday was cooler but dry with not as much wind.  On arrival on Saturday morning, Sam had lost his accreditation and spent a while wandering round the perimeter mumbling to himself, much like Kerrynne the previous day... Sierra's father Sam arrived on Saturday to watch his daughter, unfortunately a breakdown in communication as Sierra had competed on Friday.   

Bekki Roche's Inter Girls' Hammer was the first activity of the day. Bekki's approach and attitude was very positive, she was very happy throughout... Supported by mum Jayne, who has a fine collection of tents, on this occasion keeping a very proud Grandmother in what must have been the smallest one in their collection.  As club team mates and coaches congregated to watch the competition Bekki's first throw was a new PB and the lead, a series of throws followed all good enough to win the event her best of which 57.83m entitling Bekki to the English Schools title and an invitation to represent England next week. Mid competition, Jayne took a call from club throws coach Ann Dignan, the language used not something anyone is used to from Ann, very flipping proud indeed!  Bekki very proudly beaming when stood on top of the podium. A new club record and a place on the club's roll of honour

This meeting is the 4th largest athletics event in the world and mid afternoon the competitors parade round the stadium to the delight of onlookers.  Last year the banner bearer was our own Olivia Logan; this year again one of ours had this day as Sierra had the honour of leading the Merseyside team. 

The last action for our athletes was Steph's final in the 80m Hurdles.  Kerrynne was white with nerves, making no sense at all.  Silence, followed by the bang on the gun, and then the most noticeable shout of "Go On Steph!" from all our clubs followers.  Steph leading over the first and second hurdles. But races are not won at the second hurdle and Steph dipped for the line with a time of 11.75s, 6th place in the final is a considerable achievement and just reward for all the work that Steph puts in. Kerrynne can finally relax. 

Just time then to travel home, consider how many Southport Waterloo athletes will be attending in 2020 at this events a new home (Alexander stadium is being rebuilt for the commonwealth games) and what stories can follow...

Full results

6th July 2019: The Tour of Merseyside challenge

Several SWAC members lined up along with some 400 other runners to take part in the 7th annual Tour of Merseyside race event.  This test of stamina consists of 52 miles in total run across six races in seven days, kicking off this year with the Southport Half marathon on Sunday 1st July.  After that the runners took on a multi-terrain 6-mile course at Thurstaton.  Other races in the series included a fancy dress 5 miler along the Otterspool Promenade in Liverpool, and 6 miles of cross country at Stadt Moers Park in Knowsley.  The series rounded off last Saturday morning with a 12 mile run along the front from New Brighton to Hoylake and back.  SWAC members who took part this year included Boyd Park who came 1st in his age category M50+.  Others included James Brooker, Catherine McElhinney, Ellie Jayne Ireland, Mari Dyson, Emma Hopwood, Lesley Syms and Sarah Pickerill, many of whom recorded course PBs at each of the stages of the tour! 

When asked to describe "the Tour"  Mari Dyson said "It brings together members of clubs from all acroos Merseyside, as well as non-affiliated runners.  The atmosphere at the races is second to none, and there is a real feeling of inclusivity.  It's great fun, and although it's tiring running such distances on consecutive days, I really would recommend it to anyone who wants to give themselves a bit of a challenge!". 

Entries for next year's event (which will start once again with the Southport Half Marathon on Sunday 28th June) are now open: https://www.btrliverpool.com/tour-enter

6th July 2019: Mid Lancs produces some pleasing surprises at Lancaster

The sun shone and all was well for the athletes who travelled to the Salt Ayre track in Lancaster for Round 4 of the Mid Lancs League. It was a little breezy but it kept the temperature under control and, if anything, helped the sprinters pull off some fine performances.

Overall, and subject to officials points being added, our Male team finished on top in Division 2 with 158 points, more than twice 2nd placed Burnley with 77 points. They are now almost certain to be promoted as Division 2 champions. Our female athletes are already in Division 1 and finished 5th of 7 clubs with 73 points. But they will have to pull something very special out of the bag at the last fixture at Litherland on 3rd August if they are to avoid relegation.

There were some outstanding individual performances, mainly in the track events, but Lauren Byrne was one of three Grade 1 performers with a 1m 43 high jump. Amber Hughes and Sierra Jalloh achieved Grade 1s in the sprints and special mention must be made of new Under 15 Girl athlete Lauren Holden who, in her first club event, ran a Grade 2 100m in 12.9 secs. And she gets her name in the Club Record books too. Lauren, Amber, Katie and Sierra set a new Under 15 Girls' club record of 52.5 in the 4 x 100m Relay. To set a record in your first club event is rare indeed.

In addition, our 23 athletes produced 18 PBs between them!

Our Under 13 Girls were Lauren Byrne and Charlotte Hughes. Lauren is developing into a fine and stylish high jumper with lots of potential. She cleared 1m 43 at Lancaster, a new PB, to win the event. She also won the shot competition with 8m 09 - a Grade 2 standard - and her 2nd place discus throw of 17m 17 was another PB. Charlotte also achieved a new PB with a 6m 34 shot put and she threw the discus 11m 59.

Our Under 13 Boys were Adam Byrne and Monty Barr. Adam cleared 1m 30 in the high jump and threw the discus 11m 15. Monty took part in the 1500m race with 9 others runners and it proved to be one of the best races of the day. He went off easy and after maybe 300m started to work his way up through the field and took the lead. A Kendal runner sat just behind him and with 300m to go made several attempts up the back straight to go past Monty but each time Monty reacted to stay in front. Then, coming off the final bend, both boys injected a burst of speed and either could have won from there. But Monty held him off and won in 5:05.9 just 4 tenths of a second in front. This wasn't a PB but too much can be made of times. Running is essentially about racing and this was arguably the best race of the day!

Our Under 15 Girls were Eleanor Clark, Lauren Holden, Amber Hughes, Sierra Jalloh and Katie Piercy. Eleanor stuck to throws with a best of 15m 18 in the javelin and 14m 72 in the discus. Katie threw a PB 17m 52 in the javelin and she high jumped 1m 30. Amber's 1m 45 high jump clearance was enough to give her 3rd place.

But it was in the sprints that these girls excelled! Three of the heats of 100m were won by a Southport Waterloo girl; Sierra in Heat 1 running 12.8, then Amber in heat 2 with 12.7 and then the surprise package of Lauren winning in 12.9. I think it puts these performances into perspective when Amber's PB before Saturday was 13.04!! What would happen if all three girls were put in the same race? Maybe our Open Meeting on 31st August will be the time to find out!

Sierra ran 26.1 in the 200m, a new and encouraging PB ahead of next weekend's English Schools championships. Lauren ran 27.2 in her 200m race.

And Lauren, Katie, Amber and Sierra impressively won the 4 x 100m relay in 52.5, a new club record time and, I'm sure they will have noticed, a faster time than the Under 15 Boys have managed this season.

Our Under 15 Boys included a new addition as well. Marcus Burgess, Rhys Hulse, Jonathon Pilkington and Lucas Smith were joined by Nathan Fitzgerald competing for the club for the first time. Nathan made his mark in the 100m races, sharing our best time of 12.4 with Rhys Hulse when he won his heat 3. He also won his heat of the 200m, in 25.3, the 2nd fastest time of all the boys. 12.4 for Rhys in a very tight finish equalled his previous best. Rhys also long jumped a magnificent 5m 50 to win that event. Marcus also took part in the sprints, running a PB in both 100m and 200m with 13.3 and 27.6 and he significantly increased his best in the shot taking 3rd place with 8m 70. His PB going into the competition was 8m 14. Lucas equalled his previous best in the high jump, clearing 1m 50. Jonathon cleared 1m 40 in the high jump and set a new PB over 400m running 62.0.

The boys were 2nd in the relay running 54.4, their best time this season.

No Under 17 Women but Katy Coupland competed in the Senior Woman competition.She won the discus with 27m 60 and was 2nd in the javelin with 17m 38.

Sam Coupland and Josh Stammers were our Under 17 Men. Sam ran 12.0 for 100m, a massive new PB, and both boys competed in the long jump for which they have been selected to represent Merseyside at English Schools. They both cleared 5m 97, Sam winning with Josh in 2nd place.

Finally, we had several Senior Men competing. Graham Boreham won the senior 400m race in 53.5. Graham's times have been getting quicker all season and after running 53.6 at Preston in the Northern League a return to his PB of 53.5 from 2017 was on the cards. Later, he smashed his 200m PB with a run in 23.9. Chris Burgess ran a Season's Best 12.0 for 100m and 24.6 for 200m. He also put the shot 8 metres.

In the middle distance races both Mike Taylor and Ian Fitzpatrick ran the 800m. Mike, a Liverpool Harrier in his youth, just keeps on improving and he ran 2:15.0. Ian ran 2:22.0. Keith Swift competed in the 3000m finishing in 11:04.8.

In the Field events Lee Coupland and Barrie Hughes swapped officiating for competition. In the hammer, Lee threw 16m 99 and Barrie 16m 02. In the javelin, Lee threw 24m 28 and Barrie a PB 22m 23.

Thanks to Team Manager Lee Coupland and our team of officials: Dave Whitehead, Lesley Scott, Lee Coupland, Barrie Hughes and John Byrne.

Full results | Results for Southport Waterloo

 

4th July 2019: 7 SWAC runners run the Badger 10K Trail Race

 

The seventh SWAC trail grand prix race of the season took place on the evening of Thursday 4th July at the Cuerden Valley Badger 10k trail race 2. The race itself was the second in a series of monthly races along the trails of Cuerden Valley Park and included 133m climb, with one river crossing and two road crossings.  

The seven SWAC team members enjoyed a cool if clammy evening running through fine Lancashire countryside. The race was won by Tim Midgley of Bingley Harriers in a time of 36:41 and the first lady was Fay Morne unattached in a time of 42:40. First home for the club (fourth overall) was Simon Coughlan with a time of 40:20, followed by Tracey Allen (second lady overall) in 43:45, Paul Hill in 45:02, Robert Johnson in 45:15, Graham Liu in 48:10, Sue Stewart in 56:37 and Elaine Sutton 1:03:58.

Thanks to the organisers for such a scenic event.

Results

 

2019 Trail Race GP Rankings

 

The next Trail GP race will be the:

Dream Trail 10k (Sutton, St. Helens) on Sunday 1st September;

Yarrow Splash 10k (Chorley) on Sunday 15th September; and finally

13 Arches Trail Half Marathon on Sunday 17th November

 

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