News reports - November 2019

10th November 2019: Johnny Wright

Sadly, I have been informed that Johnny Wright, a founder member of Southport Waterloo AC along with Ray Bishop and Larry Hyland, passed away over the weekend. Many of our older members and associates will remember Johnny and know that he won his battle against cancer some years ago.

Our condolences to his family.

I will post further details here when I have them.


Johnny's daughter Cathy has posted on social media "If any runners would like to come to dad's funeral its on Thursday 28th November at 2 pm at St Cuthberts Churchtown and then Southport Crem."

9th November 2019: Olivia Logan and Monty Barr win their Mid Lancs XC races

Round 2 of the Mid Lancs Cross Country League was held at Wilson Playing Fields by the Hyndburn track on Saturday, on a series of re-arranged laps over a grass and woodland course. As ever, it was muddy! The weather stayed dry until the drive home but this venue seems to hold surface water. Some parts were good to run on but the many muddy paths meant fast running was difficult to achieve. There also seems to be a number of sharp turns that proved increasingly difficult to manoeuvre. But hey, its cross country!

I would add, however, that Hyndburn is a tricky course and requires care particularly going through the woods. Despite minimising risk when setting out the course, tree roots are a perennial problem and led to several injuries on Saturday, including one of our Under 13 Boys. And the thick mud accounted for a fair few lost shoes!

Overall, we had 25 Southport Waterloo runners at Hyndburn, including only 7 juniors. I can recall the days when Southport Waterloo was known for its junior endurance runners. For example, our Under 13 Boys won this league for 5 consecutive seasons in the 1990s and our Under 13 and Under 15 Girls three times each in the 1990s. In recent years a team finish at just one fixture is noteworthy. Our 7 juniors may be small in number but high in quality with 4 top 10 finishes including outright wins by Monty Barr and Olivia Logan.

Overall, numbers were down at Hyndburn, perhaps because the Manchester and Red Rose Leagues had fixtures on the same day and many NW clubs affiliate to more than one league.

More Under 11s traveled to Ulverston than Hynburn. As a club, we had no Under 11 Girls but we did have an Under 11 Boy - Harvey Thompson - who ran a really strong race to finish 7th of 49 boys in 9:00 for the 2 kms.

Emily Dean was our sole representative in the Under 13 Girls' race. A strong, consistent competitor, Emily was 7th of 41 finishers in 12:05 for 2.5 kms.

There did seem to be strong club pre-race interest in competing in the Under 13 Boys' race and, indeed, three runners did start, enough for a team. Monty Barr ran a superb race. Coming off the final bend any one of three boys could win but Monty just edged it to run 11:19 for the 3 kms, both 1st and 2nd given the same time. Luke Ward was 13th in 12:23, pretty good going considering he was carrying a shoe! Our 3rd runner, Stephen Morgan, was unfortunately the victim of a tree root in the woods and was forced to retire. Hopefully he will make a quick and full recovery.

We had no Under 15s running.

There were two Southport Waterloo finishers in the Under 17 Women's race won by Olivia Logan in her first cross country of the season and her first as an Under 17. She ran the 3.6 kms in 14:06, 30 seconds ahead of the 2nd placed runner. Freya Walsh was 13th in 17:48, impressing with a really fast finish.

Five of our Senior Women runners were at Hyndburn, led home by Clare Constable, 23rd of 164 in the prov'l results, 5th L45, in 29:33 for the 6 kms. Nicola Simpson was never far behind, finishing 28th overall, 7th L35, in 29:52. Team manager Michelle Spencer was 50th in 31:29, Carole James 92nd in 35:08, and Helen Lodge 111th in 37:53. Clare, Nicola and Michelle made up our 'A' team finishing 7th on the day. Our Snr Women's team is in Division 1 and, interestingly, only Preston from Div'1 finished above us on Saturday, the first 5 teams being from Division 2 and one from Division 3. Clare, Nicola and Michelle finished 2nd L35 team, behind Lytham, and Clare, Carole and Helen finished 6th L45 team. Some very good team performances there!

In the Senior Men's race we had 13 competing. None of our top 20 finishers were at Hyndburn but regular team counter Gareth Simpson was first home for the club running 42:33 for the muddy 10K, 56th of 274 finishers. I think Peter Roome might have been our 2nd counter but he is not in the prov'l results as I write this. John Sprackland was our next, 68th and 3rd MV50 in 43:21, followed by Keith Swift, 47:30, Neil Adshead, 47:40, and Martyn Smyth, 48:04. Final team placing will need to await correction of results. We had enough for a 'B' team with Carl McMahon running 49:42, Paul Hill, 51:50, Clive James, 55:42, Neil Silcock, 59:54, Mark Gillan, 65:01, Lee Coupland, 66:13 and Ian Pike, 66:35. John, Keith, Neil and Martyn were 10th MV40 team and Peter, John and Neil finished our MV50 team.

Thanks to team managers Lee Coupland, Michelle Spencer and Steve James. The next Mid Lancs XC fixture is the BA Cross Challenge in Sefton Park on 23rd November. You need to be pre-entered to run in this one so make sure you have contacted your team manager. And for Vets, the British & Irish Masters XC International at Aintree next Saturday has an Open Meeting

Full results.


8th November 2019: Pathway to senior success

For many if not most junior athletes, the transition to the senior ranks is tough. To help those aged between 16 and 18 years of age, the Youth Talent Programme is part of the 'talent to performance' pathway designed to meet the needs of talented young English athletes, not just in terms of their athletics discipline but dealing with nutrition, psychology and indeed the full range of skills, abilities and behaviours needed for Senior success.

Both Stephanie Robertson and Bekki Roche have been identified and selected to take part in the programme which will be based at the Manchester Performance Centre of the English Institute of Sport, a great place to support young talent with its state-of-the-art facilities and resources.

This is great news for Stephanie and Bekki and indeed for the club. Congratulations to both girls and, indeed, their coaches and family.

Further information about the programme can be found here.

3rd November 2019: Indoor T&F season gets under way

Many readers may not have noticed that the winter indoors Track & Field season got under way on Sunday at the popular EIS facility in Sheffield, the iconic venue for the Northern indoor open meetings, the Northern Indoor Championships and several of the English Indoor Championships. And what an indoor arena it is for athletes to perform in. Magnificent!

On Sunday, the first of the South Yorkshire series of indoor open meetings was held. They do allow a limited number of non-Yorks athletes to take part and several of our juniors have been doing so for the last few years. After a training break, we don't expect lifetime best performances at this time of year but it does get athletes back into the rhythm of competition.

Under 13 Holly Hudson ran 9.91 for her first indoor 60m sprint, long jumped 2m 50 and put the shot 5m 75.

Under 13 Charlotte Hughes put the shot 5m 72.

Under 15 Rachel Murphy ran an 800m - her first on the indoor boards - in 3:02, long jumped 3m 66 and put the shot 4m 67 - a new PB!

Under 15 Amber Hughes ran 8.39 for 60m -close to a season's best - won the shot put competition with 9m 83 and was 2nd in the 200m in 27.41.

Lauren Byrne moved up to Under 15 with the new competition year starting on 1st October. She ran 31.78 for 200m, just outside her 31.69 PB. She long jumped 3m 89 and put the 3kg shot 7m 24 to put her 3rd in the club's Under 15 rankings for the year!!

Adam Byrne also moved up to Under 15 for this meeting. He ran 9.45 in his 60m race against a PB of 9.44! He cleared 3m 76 in the long jump and was 2nd in the 4kg shot with 7m 04 - which also put him 2nd in the club's Under 15 Boys' rankings for the year.

A great start all round with considerable promise of success over the coming season.