News reports - November 2016

26th November 2016: Freezing fog greets runners at Cross Challenge

We have had varying weather conditions for the British Athletics Cross Challenge, inc European Trials, held in Sefton Park in Liverpool but never before, I think, have we had freezing fog. { Ed: Maybe not freezing fog but Graham and Steve Boreham remember it was foggy in 2008 - and my archive records confirm that the fog stayed in Sefton Park until the last race.}

When we arrived about 9 am, visibility was down to less than 100m so only the most obvious landmarks - caravan and registration tents, the Start and Finish and the high viz orange coats of the officials, could be seen. Temperatures were just crawling about zero and were held between 1 and 2 degree C for most of the races. There was no wind, the upside of that being there was no wind chill; the downside being the freezing fog wasn't shifting! In fact, in wasn't until the Senior Men's race after 2pm that visibility got better than 200m!

Nonetheless, we were treated to some excellent, competitive races.. We have come to expect this from the biggest and best cross country event held annually in the North West and the record entry this year didn't disappoint. With the sub-soil frozen, running conditions were pretty good. I'm not saying 'easy' because the surface did become slippery with footfall and the quality of the runners here forces the best from everyone; but we didn't have the heavy, energy-sapping ground conditions we have seen here in previous years.

This event incorporates a Mid Lancs and a Liverpool & District League fixture, but it is really a UK level event giving league runners the opportunity to race against the best runners in the UK.

There was a record entry for this year's event and a record 2031 race finishers. Southport Waterloo managed a very good turnout with 21 of our juniors, 14 Senior Women and 23 Senior Men taking part. Positions reported below are main race positions. We will need to wait a few days - possibly a week - to see the Mid Lancs individual and team positions. These will be linked from the Mid Lancs web site in due course.

The Under 11s ran as one race over 1.9 kms.We had five youngsters running. Our only boy, Sammy Pickerill, did very well indeed to finish 12th of 69 boys, in 7:41 for the distance. Amber Hughes was 22nd overall of 83 girls in 8:15. Libby Simpson was next, 40th overall in 8:38, with Katelyn Swift the final team counter, 62nd in 9:22. Maisie Bird completed the course in 9:53.

Our Under 13 Girls were Alice Bird, Millie Ireland, Lizzie McCoy, Olivia Logan and Grace Tobin. Olivia was 2nd in both previous Mid Lancs fixtures this season and was again our first finisher; but 27th overall of 139 girls and 8th Mid Lancs finisher against some top competition. She ran 11:59 for the 3 kms lap. Grace was 75th in 13:07 and Alice the third team counter, 109th in 13:48. Lizzie completed in 14:28 and Millie in 14:57.

It was great to see six Southport Waterloo vests in the Under 13 Boys' race, led home by Michael Henderson, 63rd overall of 159 finishers in 11:50 for 3 kms. Sam Coupland ran 11:57 and Finn Cain completed the team in 12:31. Lewis McMahon was 99th overall in 12:37, Matthew Nicholls in his first run for the club, 102nd in 12:40, and James Pike, 118th in 13:04.

Our Under 15 Girls' team was affected by non-availability and illness, a pity because they were joint 1st in the Mid Lancs League after the first two fixtures. But, awards are decided on the best 4 from 6 so there is plenty of time to secure a winning end to the season. Freya Walsh was our first finisher, 77th overall of 125 finishers in 12:20 for 3 kms. Hannah Doyle completed the course in 14:09 and Bethany Swift ensured a team finish by completing in 19:15.

In the Under 15 Boy's race, Harry Pike was 69th of 134 runners in 10:56 for the 3 kms. James Cain was 84th in 11:15..

An excellent turnout of 14 Southport Waterloo Senior Women got stuck into this challenging 3-lap course. That's the same number as at Cuerden Valley but not all the same runners. Tracey Allan was first back and so wins the club's Senior Cross Country award for 2016. She ran the 8.1 kms in 36:45 for 145th place overall of 269 finishers. Nicola Simpson was 161st in 38:07 and Karen Wilson completed the team, 163rd in 38:13. Sue Cooper was next, in 40:24, then Carol James, 40:37, Vicky Jamieson, 42:01, Sue Stewart, 42:49, Helen Lodge, 43:01, Helen Lavelle, 43:14, Gina Bellhouse, 44:12, Lilly O'Driscoll, 45:31,Lyn Vickers, 47:12, Elaine Sutton, 48:35, and Jane Blacklin, 50:08. Congratulations to team manager Carole James for developing a very strong and committed cross country team!

But our Senior Men's team was even stronger with 23 runners completing the punishing course. They were led home by Ben Johnson, 128th in 32:37 for the 9.8 kms. Ben wins our Senior Men Cross Country title for 2016. 632 senior runners completed this race so, by the 2nd lap, there was a line of runners snaking around the course. The quality of the field here is illustrated by comparing with the Mid Lancs League. Border Harrier James Douglas is a regular Mid Lancs winner and he finished 99th at Sefton Park today! Under 20 Lewis Rooney initially led our Senior contingent and in the end finished 2nd counter, in 33:29. Unfortunately, his time in the results is calculated from the start of the Under 20 race until he finished in the Senior race so that needs to be corrected. Ciaran Walsh had a very good run to finish 3rd counter in 33:48 with David Hamilton running 34:31 Mark Dunham 34:49, and John Sprackland anchored the team in 38:33. Other finishers were Peter Roome (40:24), Neil Adshead (40:39), Paul Warrington (40:39), Simon Tobin (40:56), Rob Johnson (41:00), Ian Fitzpatrick (41:16), Carl McMahon (41:51), Alan Joyce (44:12), Keith Swift (44:45), Richard Kitt (44:51), Brian Davey (45:13), Ian Doyle (45:44), Matt Nelson (45:48), Neil Silcock (46:24), Billy Hargreaves (49:45), Lee Coupland (54:38) and Ian Pike (54:59).

Thanks to our team managers Katy Coupland, Carole james and Steve James. And thanks too to the local organisers of this event. May it grow stronger and stronger each year and continue to give local runners some great competition.

Full results (under Liverpool tab and scroll down) | Mid Lancs results | & L&D results.

Senior runners have another league fixture before Christmas; the L&D fixture on 10th December on the popular Beacon Park course.


18th November 2016: Annual General Meeting update

On Friday 18th November the club AGM was held at The Royal Clifton Hotel, Southport.

The event started this year at 7pm with a meet and greet session with the Committee members and Team Managers; along with a good hot cup of tea or coffee with some biscuits.

Members were able to discuss the many disciplines and events available to them and perhaps show an interest in doing something new. The new club kit was also available to view, purchase and order. Looking around the room with plenty of time remaining before the start time, it was evident the quorum figure had been surpassed.

The business part of the meeting started with the apologies and the previous minutes of 2015 being accepted as a true account. The Hon. General Secretary went through his report with the AGM and highlighted the main points. This was followed by the Chairmans’ report and the financial reports for 2014-15 and 2015-16 (attached), no questions were asked about either. The Committee elections then took place with all the previous Committee members being re-elected. We welcomed three new additions in David Gough as Coaching Secretary and both Mari Dyson and Shaun McKeirnan as general members. The Vice-Presidents were also Re-elected En-Bloc.

The big announcement on the night was that of the return of the SWAC 15k for 2017, this was met with cheer and applause from the AGM attendees. The event will be run in partnership with a race management team to ensure the necessary preparation and delivery is achieved wheb we have far too few volunteers to deliver such an event.

The AGM finished with an energetic presentation by David Marsh on “Team GB< Planning for Success”.

A very successful AGM was then closed with many of the attendees retiring to the lounge bar to socialise and share many stories. Thank you to all those attendees and any suggestions for next years guest speaker or presentation topics can come to any Committee member.

The full minutes of the 2016 meeting are already prepared for you to read if you were unable to attend. (attached)

The new Committee will be meeting up on Monday 6th February, so any issues you want us to discuss will need to be received prior to that date for consideration.

Secretary's report to the agm | AGM Minutes | Accounts 2014/5 | Accounts 2015/6

13th November 2016: Under 13 and Under 15 Girls are 2nd in Sportshall Athletics Round 2

Once again, there was magnificent support by our Under 11 Girls at the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes, for Round 2 of the NW Sportshall Athletics League on Sunday. We are fortunate that our three league matches are all at the Kingsway Centre and we avoid the long haul down to Crewe which some clubs have had to undertake..

Up against Wirral AC, Liverpool Harriers, Halton & Frodsham, St Helens and Warrington AC, our Under 11 girls were well rewarded with a 2nd place finish with 160.5 points, the winners being Wirral with 179, and ahead of Halton with 151.5 in 3rd place. Our Under 11 Girls were also 2nd in Round 1 so must be well placed to win through to the Regional Final. Our Under 13 Girls were fourth with 96 points behind winners Liverpool with 175.5, St Helens 2nd with 174 and Wirral 3rd with 169. Our four Under 15 Girls were 2nd with 165 points behind winners Wirral with 186.

In the Boys' match, it was no surprise that our Under 11s and Under 13s were last, with just one boy competing in each age category.

Our Under 11 Girls were Maisie Bird, Daisy Bond, Emily Dean, Natalie Denise-Piercy, Amber Hughes, Lottie Hughes, Hannah Keenan, Jessica Keenan and Grace Malone. Amber won the chest Push with 7 metres and was 2nd in the 2-lap in 27.3 secs. She was also our best triple jumper clearing 4m 84. Jessica won the 4-lap race in 60.8 and was our best long jumper, clearing 1m 73. Daisy took the 'A' points in the vertical jump with 35 cms and Grace was just 1 cm behind in taking the 'B' points. She was also just 2 cms behind Jessica when taking the 'B' long jump points with 1m 71 and she also won the 'B' 2-lap race in 28.4. Hannah took the 'B' points in the chest push with 3m 25. Natalie took the 'B' points in the 4-lap race. All the girls ran the 2-lap race. Maisie was our best speed bouncer with a count of 47, ahead of Emily with 45 and both Jessica and Hannah scoring a count of 43. Lottie competed strongly in the non-scoring races and field events. With some great runners in the team, the girls finished with a well-deserved win in the 4x2-lap relay race.

Our Under 13 Girls were Elisa Dean, Katie Piercy and Millie Ireland, just one fewer than we had for Round 1. Katie was 2nd in the shot with 6m 22, ran 28.5 for the 2-lap race and triple jumped a very good 5m 40. Millie was our 'A' speed bouncer, for a count of 59, and Vertical Jumper, with 28 cms. and she ran the 4-lap in 1:45. Elisa ran 31.2 for 2-lapcleared 2m 55 in the standing long jump and 4m 19 in the standing triple jump.

Surprisingly, we had more Under 15 Girls competing than Under 13s. The team was Jessica Dean, Megan Howarth, Eve McMahon and Stephanie Robertson. All the girls were either 1st or 2nd in the 'A' or 'B' string. Stephanie won the vertical jump competition with a massive 52 cms and was 2nd in the triple jump with 6m 13. And she won the 'B' 6-lap with 1:40. Eve was 2nd in the 2-lap with 28.1, won the 'B' shot with 7m 58 and had a best of 1m 67 in the standing long jump. Jessica was 2nd in the 6-lap in 1:36 and 2nd in the speed bounce with a total of 76. Megan was 2nd in the shot (behind Liverpool Harriers sole Under 15) with 7m 95, 2nd in the long jump with 1m 83 and 2nd 'B' 2-lapper in 28.5 secs.

Our Under 11 Boy was Thomas Kilburn, a new member in Sportshall I believe. He competed in both the 2-lap and the 4-lap races, the standing long jump and the chest push. The chest push was his best event, finishing 2nd with 5m 25.

Adam Henders was our Under 13 Boy. He competed in the long jump, the vertical jump and he won the shot competition with 7m 54.

Round 2 results | Round 1 results

13th November 2016: Indoor season continues to produce PBs

Sunday was the first in a series of indoor T&F meetings organised by South Yorkshire Athletic Association, not only for S. Yorks athletes but open to others. Four Southport Waterloo juniors took part - and it would have been many more had it not clashed with Sportshall Athletics.

Grace Tobin ran an 800m in 2:35.55, long jumped 3m 87 and set a new PB over 200m of 30.36. Next stop sub-30 secs!

Ella Tobin ran 2:43.48 for 800, long jumped 3m 97 and ran 31.16 for 200m.

Luke Suarez ran 8.43 for 60m, won the long jump competition with 4m 59 and set a new PB for 200m; 26.19.

Finally, Sam Coupland long jumped 4m 10, put the shot 6m 35 - improving his PB by 1 cm - and he too set a new 200m PB running 30.12. His previous best was 31.53, set indoors last year.

12th November 2016: Sam Coupland takes 2nd club record of indoor season

The first of the Northern Athletics indoor open meetings was held at the EIS Sheffield on Saturday. Numbers appeared to be well down on previous years despite the increasing popularity of indoor athletics. The S Yorkshire series of indoor meetings is on Sunday and it may be that this is taking numbers away from the NA meeting. Nonetheless, there were a number of exciting under- and over-distance races, and field events, and two Southport Waterloo athletes were in the mix.

Under 13 Amber hughes ran in the 60m sprint and crossed the line in 9.41, a little slower than at Sportcity last week. But she did much better in the 600m race which she won in 1:54.84. This was not so much a time trial but a race, with Amber leading and holding off a number of challenges, right to the finish line where she held her opponent off by just one hundredth of a second! Finally, Amber competed in the shot - in the Under 15 Girls' shot competition, so she was throwing 3 kgs rather than the 2.72 for Under 13s. Amber threw 6m 84, which is nearly 20 cms further than she has put the 2.72 weight!

Sam Coupland came along to run a 1000m. This is only run indoors and Sam holds the club record at Under 13 of 3:26.0. Now an Under 15, he improved on his Under 13 PB to take the Under 15 club record in 3:21.45.

6th November 2016: Amber Hughes sets club record in first U13 race

Traditionally, autumn and winter are the cross country months but many of our younger athletes now compete in sportshall athletics, based within a leisure centre, and increasingly track & field athletes are competing in indoor athletics, based around a 200m indoor track. The two main indoor tracks in the North of England are at the English Institute of Science in Sheffield and Sportcity in Manchester. The first of this year's indoor meetings - the Stockport Harriers Open Quadrathon - was held at Sportcity on Sunday.

The quadrathon competition was open to Under 9s, Under 11s, Under 13s and Under 15s, with open individual events for Under 17s. Around 160 young athletes took part, reflecting the increasing popularity of these events. For the quadrathon, athletes competed in a sprint, a middle distance race, a jump and a throw.

Southport Waterloo had a presence with one Under 9 Girl, one Under 11 Girl, four Under 13 Girls(!) and one Under 15 Boy.

For some, this competition was the first in a new age group as the T&F competition year runs from 1st October to 30th September.

Hannah Keenan was our Under 9 Girl. She ran 10.6 for 60m, 1:25.4 for 400m, threw 3m 50 in the chest push and long jumped a magnificent 2m 81.

Under 11 Girl Charlotte Hughes was one of those moving up an age group. She ran 11.0 for 60m, a PB 2:28.2 for 600m, threw 3m 25 in the chest push and she long jumped 2m 69.

Our 4 Under 13 Girls were Amber Hughes, Katie Piercy, Katelyn Swift and Jessica Keenan. With 31 girls competing in the Under 13 quadrathon, Amber Hughes did very well indeed to finish 2nd overall with 252 points. And in her very first race as an Under 13 she set a club record in the 60m sprint running 8.9 secs. Her 600m was run in 1:56.1, which she finished very fast indeed. Her 6m 28 in the shot was the 2nd best of all the girls and she long jumped 3m 82.

Katie Piercy also did very well. In only her 3rd T&F meeting she was 6th over all in the quadrathon with 229 points. Katie looks another excellent T&F prospect. She ran 9.2 for 60m and finished her 600m like an express train, in 2:01.3; not bad for her first competitive 600m race! She threw 6m 12 in the shot and long jumped 3m 51.

Katelyn Swift ran 9.7 for 60m, put the shot 4m 29, ran 2:14 for 600m and long jumped 2m 97. And the final Under 13 Girl was Jessica Keenan who ran 9.5 for 60m, 2:00.6 for 600m - just a tenth of a second off her PB - and she put the shot 4m 53.

Finally, Sam Coupland entered the ranks of the Under 15 Boys for the first time and took 3rd place overall in the quadrathon. He ran 9.3, put the shot 6m 34, ran 2:42 for 800m and long jumped 4m 26, Another excellent set of results.

Great to see so many young Southport Waterloo athletes getting involved in combined eventing!

Full results.

Northern Athletics hold the first of their open indoor meetings at the EIS in Sheffield next Saturday and the first of the S Yorkshire Indoors series is at the same venue on Sunday. The first of the Sale Harriers open indoor meetings at Sportcity is on Sunday 27th November.