News reports - November 2019

24th November 2019: Amber Hughes beats her shot club record at sportshall athletics

The 3rd and final round of the North West Sportshall Athletics League was held at the Greenbank Sports Academy in Liverpool on Sunday. For such a local fixture - there is no closer venue - it was disappointing to see we did not turn up in the hoped-for numbers. It is, of course, a time of the year when viruses spread like wildfire through schools and a number called off sick. We don't have the number of Under 11s we have had in the past but our 1 Under 11 girl and 3 Under 11 Boys at Greenbank compares with no Southport Waterloo Under 11s at all at this fixture last December!

We should particularly recognise those young athletes who turned out for their team today after running a tough cross country course at Sefton Park on Saturday; Harry Williams, Emily Dean, Lottie Hughes and Reuben Donnelly!

As expected, host club Liverpool Harriers competed in force but it was the mighty Crewe & Nantwich junior teams who won the Under 11 Boys' and both Under 13 competitions with Southport Waterloo in 3rd place. Macclesfield were strong in the Under 11 Girls' and pipped Crewe & Nantwich here by 2.5 points.

Erin Griffin was our lone Under 11 Girl. Against such strong opposition, she won both the 4-lap race in 68.0 and the vertical jump, clearing 38 cms, and was 3rd in the speed bounce with a tally of 43. Erin accrued 68.5 points all on her own!

Our Under 11 Boys were Rufus Galvin, William James and Harry Williams. Harry was 2nd scorer in the 4-lap in 68.9 secs, he cleared 1m 63 in the standing long jump, and 4m 98 in the triple jump. William was 2nd in the chest push reaching 6 metres. He achieved a 43 count in the speed bounce and recorded a time of 33.2 secs in the 2-lap race. Rufus ran the 2-lap in 32.0 and reached 32 cms in the vertical jump.

Our Under 13 Girls were Emily Dean, Holly Hudson, Lottie Hughes, Apphia Keenan, Natasha Murphy and Hannah Murray. Hannah continued her excellent outdoor form with a won in the shot competition with a best of 6m 77, a win in the standing triple jump with 6m 37 and she was our fastest over 2-laps running 28.4. Apphia was our other Under 13 event winner, in the speed bounce with a 78 count in the allowed 30 secs. She was 2nd 'B' in the triple jump with a leap of 5m 64, she reached 38 cms in the vertical jump and she was our 2nd fastest 2-lapper running 29.8 secs. Emily was 3rd in the 6-lap race in 1:45. She won the 'B' speed bounce with a 75 count and was our best long jumper clearing 1m 74.

Natasha ran 31.5 for 2-laps, reached 39 cms in the vertical jump, cleared 1m 68 in the long jump and had a count of 66 in the speed bounce. Lottie long jumped 1m 69, triple jumped 4m 65, had a count of 59 in the speed bounce and ran 32.1 in the 2-lap race. And Holly put the shot 5m 69, was 2nd 'B' in the 6-lap and reached 33 cms in the vertical jump.

Adam Byrne and Reuben Donnelly were our Under 13 Boys. Adam was 2nd in the shot with 8m 15, cleared 5m 94 in the standing triple jump and ran 31.0 in the 2-lap race. Reuben long jumped 1m 52, reached 27 cms in the vertical jump and ran 1:49 in the 6-lap race.

Four of our Under 15 Girls competed at Greenbank, Amber Hughes deserving special mention. In addition to winning 3 of her 4 events, she put the shot a massive 10m 60 which is 16 cms beyond her current Under 15 club record! Amber still has another year as an Under 15 so she has plenty of time to target 11 metres plus!

Amber ran 27.9 for 2 laps, 66.2 for 4 laps reached 51 cms in the vertical jump as well as putting the shot 10m 60.

Libby Simpson ran 30.1 for 2 laps, 69.5 for 4 laps, reached 40 cms in the vertical jump and put the shot 7m 73.

Ellie Clark ran 30.3 for 2 laps, 75.6 for 4 laps, reached 46 cms in the vertical jump and put the shot 7m 79.

Maisie Bird ran 34.2 for 2 laps, 77.0 for 4 laps, reached 26 cms in the vertical jump and put the shot 5m 55.

The NW League Reg'l Final is on Sunday 19th January at Widnes. We will need to wait and see if any of our age group teams qualify.

Results: SHA1 | SHA2 | SHA3

23rd November 2019: Cross Challenge comes to Liverpool

Many of the country's top cross country runners converged on Sefton Park in Liverpool on Saturday for the 3rd fixture in the 2019 British Athletics Cross Challenge series. This is the major cross country event held each year in the North West and again includes Trials for the upcoming European Cross Country Champs in Lisbon on 8th December. The races across all age groups include the Liverpool & District and Mid Lancs XC Leagues and Merseyside primary schools giving league and school runners the opportunity to compete in the same races as the country's elite runners.

Sefton park is a relatively flat course but there was a fair bit of surface water and a number of places where the mud underfoot was 'challenging'. I think as the day progressed the ground softened up even more, becoming 'heavy'. Certainly, there were runners of all ages, male and female, who were showing signs of exhaustion at the end and just glad to get across the line.

Southport Waterloo had 51 runners out; 33 seniors and 18 juniors. The best finishes were Monty Barr's 12th place in the Under 13 Boys' race and Olivia Logan's 21st place in the Under 17 Women's race. James Tartt was our best Senior, 106th in the final race. Several of our runners had not run a club cross country race previously and this was a tough one to begin with. So all credit to all those who took part today!

Results reported below are on-the-day overall race results. We will need to await separated out Mid Lancs results to see how we fared in that league.

Harvey Thompson was a Southport Waterloo runner in the Under 11 Boys' race. He ran 8:06 for the 2 km course and finished 54th of 133 finishers. However, club runners Harry Williams and Charles Fletcher also ran, as part of the Sefton Primary School team. Harry was 57th in 8:08 and Charles completed the course in 8:52.

We had two girls in the Under 11 Girls' race. Felicity Fletcher ran for Sefton Primary Schools, 40th in 8:48. Then Renee Adams was 59th in 9:11 for her 2 kms

Emily Dean was our first counter in the Under 13 Girls' race. Running one long lap for 3 kms, Emily was 57th of 141 girls in 13:33. Hannah Keenan completed in 15:26 and Charlotte Hughes in 15:56. Tiana Chambers completed the course in her first race in club colours but she is showing as an Under 11 in early results with a time taken, I think, from the start of the Under 11's race. My guess is she was our 2nd team counter in about 14 minutes.The girls will certainly score a team finish in the Mid Lancs League.

The Under 13 Boys' race carried expectation of Monty Barr putting on a good performance against some of the best in the country. He didn't disappoint with a 12th place finish in 11:22 for his 3 kms. Luke Ward and Reuben Donnelly finished virtually together, Luke 62nd of 125 in 12:30 and Reuben 63rd in 12:31. Sammy Pickerill was 85th in 13:05 and Daniel Jones was 126th in 15:52. Good to see a team finish here too!

Jemima Fletcher ran in the Under 15 Girls' race, covering the 3kms course in 15:32. More Under 15 Girls please!

The Under 17 Women's race featured three of our club runners. 1st year Under 17 Olivia Logan won the Mid Lancs at Hyndburn and was 2nd Mid Lancs finisher here at Sefton Park. She finished 21st of 96 runners overall in 17:14 for her 4.4 kms. Lucy Milling ran her first cross country race of the season and finished 59th in 18:34. Freya Walsh also ran but doesn't figure in the results. Perhaps a DNF.

Moving on to the seniors now and we had 9 Senior Women running at Sefton Park. Leading them home was Tracey Allan finishing 103rd of 332 overall in 36:46 for the challenging 8.1 kms. Nicola Simpson was next, 138th in 39:22, just getting the better of Jessica Dean at the end, 140th in 39:23. These three should finish a good Mid Lancs team. Carole James was next, running 44:59, then Helen Lodge, 45:22, Elaine Sutton, 48:42, Sarah Pickerill, 49:08, then senior Cross Challenge debutantes Emma Hopwood, 60:36, and Lesley Syms, 60:42. As our first finisher in this race, Tracey Allan becomes our 2019 Cross Country Champion.

Our Senior Men put on a good show with 24 runners completing the Cross Challenge. In only his 2nd race this year, James Tartt led our men home, 106th of 625 finishers overall in 35:29 for the 9.8 kms. He therefore retains his title as club Cross Country Champion; in fact his 7th title since the award was brought in in 2008.

Next was Andrew Kershaw, 121st in 35:55, David Hamilton, 37:59, Ron McGrath, 40:51, Gareth Simpson, 41:32, and, final Mid Lancs team counter, Peter Roome, 41:42. Our other finishers were Stephen Ward (42:08), John Sprackland (42:27), Richard Talbot (44:39), Neil Adshead (45:02), Ian Fitzpatrick (45:15), Rob Johnson (45:49), Martin Smythe (47:18), Keith Swift (47:34), Paul Hill (47:58), Gary Kenny (48:47), Sam Moran (48:53), Michael Cunningham (50:08), Ian Kilshaw (51:56), Graham Liu (52:16), Mark Gillan (53:55), Neil Silcock (55:01), Carl McMahon (61:14) and Ian Pike (65:02).

Thanks to our team managers Lee Coupland, Michelle Spencer and Steve James.

The L&D have there next senior cross country race on the popular Beacon Park course on 7th December. After that, in January, the County Champs will be at Stadt Moers Park on Saturday 4th, the next Mid Lancs is at Burnley on Saturday 11th, Merseyside Schools on Saturday 18th at Arrowe Park and the Northern Championships are on Saturday 25th, near Catterick.

Full results (when available)

17th November 2019: SWAC Trail GP series finishes at 13 Arches

The final SWAC trail grand prix race of the season took place on Sunday 17th November at the 13 Arches Trail Half-marathon,  Radcliffe. The race HQ this year was at Sedley Park rugby club resulting in an altered course, with sections run in reverse. After a swift descent to the River Irwell the route followed an old railway line up the valley to Radcliffe, before descending back down the valley to Prestwich Clough and a final climb back up to the finish. After recent rain the course was muddy in places and unusually crossed the M60 four times by high level bridges. Runners were rewarded with passing under the impressive Clifton Viaduct in the later part of the race.

The six SWAC team members enjoyed a damp run on a challenging course. The race was won by Spencer Shaw in a time of 1:17:47 and the first lady was Annie-Marie Hindle of Rossendale Harriers in a time of 1:31:36. First home for the club was Simon Coughlan with a time of 1:30:13, followed by Tracey Allan in 1:32:22, Paul Hill in 1:42:21, Graham Liu in 1:54:49, Mark Gillan in 1:55:43 and Sue Stewart 1:58:40. Strong running from the ladies with Tracey Allan finishing second lady overall and Sue Stewart coming home first in Vet category. Thanks to the Radcliffe AC for organising the event and to Sedgley Park RUFC for their hospitality.

Congratulations to the 2019 champions Simon Coughlan and Tracey Allan. Graham Liu and Sue Stewart led the Vet standings.


This concludes the Trail GP in its inaugural year.

46 members participated in the series completing 93 individual runs, running over 970km of trail, with 7 members reaching the finisher threshold of 5 events . A special thanks to Gina Bellhouse for coming up with the idea and event list. Please pass any comments or feedback on the events this year and other events for consideration of inclusion to myself. The 2020 Trail GP event list will be broadly similar to this year’s and we hope that Gina is recovered to be able to run some of the events in 2020.


Final Trail GP Standings

16th November 2019: British & Irish Masters come to Aintree

The British and Irish Masters International Cross Country fixture was held in Merseyside on Saturday, on the Aintree Racecourse; or rather inside the racecourse, providing a flat and fast course. Based on a 2 km lap, younger master runners ran 4 laps for 8K and older runners 3 laps for 6K. LPS's Kirsty Longley won the W40 title, leading the England age group team to victory. England were the overall winners.

I don't think any SAWC runners made the England team but the meeting ended with an open race and four of our vet runners took the opportunity to run at Aintree. The Open race gives nation teams' reserve runners an opportunity to run and so the standard was impressive. Clare Constable finished her 6K in 26:37, 4th F45. Ian Fitzpatrick ran 34:26 for the 8K, finishing 3rd M55 with Rob Johnson 4th M60 in 34:30 and Graham Liu, M59, in 35:02.

Others, including Steve James, Susan Cooper and Sue Stewart, were there in support of the event.

Full results

10th November 2019: Under 13 Girls 2nd at Sportshall Athletics Round 2

The 2nd round of this year's NW Sportshall Athletics League was hosted by West Cheshire AC at the new Ellesmere Port Leisure Centre. This was the first time the league has used this new, modern and well-equipped facility; a vast improvement on the old leisure centre closer to the track. Whilst the competition was keen, the programme this season hasn't really got the balance right between Field and Track events, leaving the track vacant for periods whilst the Field caught up. And the age group results for Southport Waterloo were poorer than we would have hoped. Up against West Cheshire, Liverpool Harriers, Warrington and WESPA, our Under 11 and Under 13 Boys finished 5th of 5, our Under 11 Girls were 4th of 5 but our Under 13 Girls - undoubtedly our strongest age group squad this season - were 2nd, behind host club W Cheshire and ahead of WESPA, who previously competed as Wirral in this competition. But its about enjoyment as well as winning and we finished well up on the enjoyment stakes!

Our Under 11 Girls were Renee Adams, Erin Griffin, Esme McNally and Isabel Murray. Renee won both the 2-lap and standing long jump with 25.9 and 2m 09 and was our fastest 4-lap running in 57.3.Erin was 2nd in the 2-lap in 57.6, our 2nd fastest over 2 laps running 27.1 as a non-scorer, she won the 'B' vertical jump with a 39 cms clearance and was our best triple jumper clearing 5m 10. Esme won our chest push points with 3m 75, cleared 1m 35 in the long jump and ran both track races; 29.5 for the 2-lap and 67.0 in the 6-lap. Finally Isabel achieved a count of 39 in the speed bounce, triple jumped 4m 54 and ran both track races; 30.2 for the 2-lap and 64.1 for the 4-lap. THe girls were 3rd in their 4 x 2-lap relay.

Our Under 11 Boys were Joe Cooper, Rufus Galvin, William James and Harry Williams. Harry was 2nd in the standing long jump with a best of 1m 70. He was also our fastest 2-lapper, running 27.3, ran 59.6 for 4 laps and cleared 4m 40 in the triple jump. William was our only competitor in the chest push, hitting 5 metres. He achieved a count of 47 in the speed bounce, was our fastest 4 lapper running 59.3 and he ran the 2-lap race in 28.3. Joe achieved 46 in the speed bounce, cleared 1m 52 in the long jump and ran 30.0 and 62.9 in the 2- and 4-lap races. And Rufus was our best triple jumper clearing 4m 66. He had a reach of 33 cms in the vertical jump, and ran both track races in27.6 - our 2nd fastest - and 62.0. The boys managed a relay team running 1:54 for the 4 x 2-lap relay.

Our Under 13 Girls were Lauren Byrne, Emily Dean, Holly Hudson, Lottie Hughes, Apphia Keenan, Lucy Mitchell, Hannah Murray and Natasha Murphy. With such a big squad, there was real competition for the scoring positions. Lauren was the star performer, winning the shot competition with 8m 2, the standing long jump with 2m 36 and the 'B' 2-lap race with a time of 25.5. Apphia was 2nd in two competitions, clearing 6m 12 in the triple jump and reaching a count of 82 in the speed bounce. She also ran 26.2 as a non-scoring 2-lapper. Hannah was our fastest 2-lapper, in a time of 25.2and she was 2nd 'B' in both the shot put, 6m 33, and the triple jump, 5m 98.

Lucy won the 'B' 6-lapper in 90.5. She also cleared 1m 65 in the long jump and a reach of 31 cms in the vertical jump. Emily was our fastest 6-lapper, 3rd overall in 88.4. She long jumped 1m 77 and was 2nd 'B' in the speed bounce with a count of 75. Lottie ran the 2-lap in 27.6, put the shot 5n 46achieved a count of 66 in the speed bounce and cleared 4m 66 in the triple jump. Natasha equalled Lottie's time for the 2-lap - 27.6 - achieved 60 in the speed bounce,35 cms in the vertical jump and she cleared 1m 70 in the standing long jump. And Holly put the shot 5m 76, reached 35 cms in the vertical jump, cleared 5m 06 in the triple jump and ran the 2-lap in 27.8.

The girls were 3rd in the 4 x 2-lap relay in 1:45.

Our Under 13 Boys were Adam Byrne and Reuben Donnelly. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Adam won the shot put competition with 8m 60, not too far off his 8m 72 outdoor club record. He also cleared 5m 83 in the standing triple jump and he ran the 2-lap in 26.2. Reuben ran the 6-lap in 93.4, cleared 1m 50 in the long jump and achieved a reach of 29 cms in the vertical jump.

For Under 15s, competition is more individual and not a team event. We had no Under 15 Boys but four Under 15 Girls took part, Amber Hughes coming out on top in all four of her events, winning the 2-lap and 4-lap races winning the long jump with 2m 27 and the speed bounce with an 80 count. Libby Simpson impressed too winning the 'B' 2-lap, the 'B' 4-lap, and the 'B' long jump with 1m 88. Millie ireland ran both track races, achieved a count of 69 in the speed bounce and 1m 64 in the long jump. And Maisie Bird ran both races, long jumped 1m 70 and equalled Millie's 69 count in the speed bounce.

Results: SHA1 | SHA2

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.