News reports - December 2018

16th December 2018: 4 club records and 9 PBs set at Sale Harriers indoor open Mtg

What a pleasure it is in mid December to get out of the cold and wind and rain and enjoy competitive athletics in a warm amphitheatre. Today it was Sale Harriers 2nd indoor meeting of the season at Sportcity and eleven Southport Waterloo athletes were there to enjoy their sport.

Indoor meetings are mainly sprint events but there are longer distances races for middle distance runners and popular Field events as well so its well worth taking part in several over the winter. At Sportcity today, our athletes achieved 8 PBs but the icing on the cake was four new club records; by Amber Hughes in the 60m sprint, Graham Boreham in the 600m and Harry Flanagan in both the 60m and the 300m races.

The meeting started with a series of 60m hurdle races where Amber Hughes and Sam Coupland competed. Amber is now an Under 15 and has started to set club records already in this age group. She won her U15 60m hurdles in 9.55 which coincidentally is her club record time for the U13G hurdles specification. Sam Coupland is also in an older age group, now Under 17, and he ran 9.62 for his 60m hurdles.

Eight of our athletes took part in the 60m races, so popular that there were 38 of them. Senior Chris Burgess ran 7.83. Under 20 Ethan Harrison ran 7.79, just a little slower than his 7.74 PB set at Sportcity on 2nd December. Under 20 Harry Flanagan ran 7.24 to improve his club record, albeit still a little slower than his Under 17 club record of 7.15. Under 17 Luke Suarez ran 7.60, a new PB for him, Under 17 Josh Stammers ran 7.80, another PB, and Under 15 Marcus Burgess ran 8.93, yet another PB. For the girls, Stephanie Robertson's 8.33 was a PB as was Amber Hughes 8.28. Amber's time replaces Stephanie Robertson's Under 15 club record to give her two club records just weeks into the Under 15 age group.

Moving over to the circular track, Graham Boreham ran his 2nd indoor 600m of the season. At Sheffield on 1st December he ran 1:29.36 to set a Senior club record. At Manchester he improved on that getting around the three laps in 1:28.82.

In the 300m races, MV40 Chris Burgess ran his first 300m of the year in 40.43. Harry Flanagan favoured this distance too and won his one and a half lap race in 35.88 which replaces Matthew Brown's 37.6 club record from 2002.

In the Field events, both Sam Coupland and Jonathan Pilkington competed in High Jump. Sam cleared a best of 1m 75 and Jonathan set a new PB with a 1m 35 clearance. And in the Shot, Marcus Burgess threw 7m 05.

Full results

8th December 2018: Difficult but memorable XC at Hyndburn

After the near-perfect conditions for the BA Cross Challenge in Sefton Park last month, the Mid Lancs XC fixture at Wilson Playing Fields, Hyndburn, was always going to be challenging. With so much of the course on narrow woodland trails, tree roots have caught out many a runner and with recent high winds and rain the ground was littered with woodland debris and several areas of treacherous mud.

Driving to Hyndburn I had doubts about being able to erect the club tent in the forecast strong winds. But in fact the wind was not too bad. It was the scattered showers of torrential rain that drove people to seek what shelter they could.

Any athletic event requires a lot of volunteers and cross country is no different. I think host club Hyndburn AC did not get the volunteers they needed and this led to real difficulties on the day. I think the 2nd U11 race and the Senior Men's race were the only ones to go off as planned. The first U11 race had to be delayed until the course and marshals were ready, Races 3, 4, 5 and 6 were delayed whilst the course was made ready for them. Race 5 (U15 Boys and U17 Women) was delayed by nearly half an hour which put pressure on officials releasing subsequent races, always mindful that we couldn't delay the final race or senior runners would be at risk as darkness descended. Several races went off-course and leading runners in the Under 17 Men's and Senior Women's race diverted into the Finish after the first lap instead of heading back out for the next lap. All in all, this was possibly the most problematic Mid Lancs Cross Country event in living memory! We had several new cross country runners at Hyndburn. Let me seek to re-assure them that today was not typical of the League.

That said, and despite the weather and ground conditions, my sense is that most runners enjoyed the experience and, covered in mud, went home happy!

Luke Ward was our only Under 11 running at Hyndburn and didn't he do well? Always in touch with the leaders, he finished 5th boy of 80 finishers in 7:46 for the 2 km course.

Apphia Keenan was our only Under 13. She completed the 2.5 km course in 13:23.

Despite a slip in the mud, Olivia Logan won the Under 15 Girls' race, first of the 41 girls to finish, in 10:43 for the 3 kms. This was Olivia's 2nd win in this Mid Lancs season. Millie Ireland also ran, finishing in 14:41.

Jessica Dean was our only other Junior runner. Under 17 Jessica was 7th in her race completing the 4 km course in 11:22.

Fortunately, the Senior races were better supported by Southport Waterloo runners. There were 9 in the Senior Women's race, including two new team members; Julie McSloy and Ellie Ireland. Once again, Clare Constable set the standard, leading the ladies home in 16th place of 146 finishers in 26:15 for the 6 km course. Nicola Simpson is another strong cross country runner, 23rd today in 26:50, with team manager Michelle Spencer our 3rd and final team counter, 53rd in 29:18. That was a 9th place team finish today - a 4th place finish in our Division 1 I think - and also 4th L35 team. Carole James finished 72nd in 31:14 and Ellie Ireland 94th in 34:22. Gina Bellhouse finished the race in 35:57 but got barged by passing Senior Men and may have done some serious ankle injury. We wish her well and hope it heals quickly. Julie McSloy completed in 36:12, Katy Coupland in 37:18 and Sue Stewart in 38:13. Sue was 2nd L65. Clare, Carole and Gina were 5th L45 team.

Despite a clash with the L&D at Beacon Park, we had 15 Senior Men running at Hyndburn. Francois Rafferty was first home for the club, 31st of the 242 finishers completing the 10 km course in 40:02. Francois was also 2nd MV50. John Sprackland, 6th MV50, was next in, 81st in 44:00, followed by Anthony Pratt,96th in 45:06, Ian Fitzpatrick, 102nd in 45:26, Keith Lunt, 109th in 46:04, with Richard Talbot anchoring the team, 115th in 46:34.. Other finishers were Carl McMahon, 46:57, Martyn Smyth, 49:14, Rob Johnson, 49:25, Clive James, 52:59, Neil Silcock, 55:50, Malcolm Teale, 56:56, Gareth Williams, 58:51, Lee Coupland, 60:49, and Ian Pike 68:23. Francois, John, Ian and Keith were 6th MV40 team, 4th in Div'n 1 but that leaves three clubs - Southport Waterloo, Glaxo Hoad Hill and Wigan Harriers - heading that division with 17 points each. And Francois, John and Ian formed the winning MV50 team.

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

Results | Divisional Standings

Meanwhile, some of our fastest Senior Men were running at Beacon Park, Skelmersdale in the Liverpool & District League. James Tartt finished an excellent 3rd behind two Liverpool Harriers, running the course in 32:44. Mark Dunham was 9th in 34:06, Alex Waddelove 23rd in 37:21, Martin Smith - yes, he also features in the Hyndburn results - 54th in 43:44, Graham Liu, 85th in 50:55, and Billy Hargreaves, 92nd in 54:55. So that's a team finish at both cross country venues!

2nd December 2018: Poor showing at 3rd Sportshall match puts Final in doubt

Round 3 of the North West Sportshall Athletics League was held at the Greenbank Centre in Liverpool on Sunday, the first time in many years that Liverpool has hosted a Sportshall league match. The venue was excellent. Parking onsite was limited but there was plenty of street parking and a car park close at hand at Sefton Park. Greenbank has a very large sportshall just over 40 metres in width so the track events were longer than we usually run and s times are not directly comparable with, say. the Kingsway Leisure Centre in Widnes.

The down side on Sunday was the lack of atmosphere as the match was poorly attended. 5 clubs were scheduled for this fixture: Liverpool Harriers, Crewe & Nantwich, Southport Waterloo, Macclesfield and Handforth. Handforth and Macclesfield had few athletes and Southport Waterloo had the poorest turnout I've seen in some time, partly because some regulars athletes were competing elsewhere but also affected by illness and no-shows. To be fair, host club Liverpool Harriers were not strong either and we beat them in both the Under 13 matches. I had hoped that our Under 11 and Under 13 Girls would made it to the League Final but that now looks unlikely for the Under 11 Girls. The Under13s may yet qualify.

We had no Under 11s at Greenbank at all!

Our Under 13 Girls were Maisie Bird, Lauren Byrne, Emily Dean, Apphia Keenan and Libby Simpson. Lauren won both the shot put with 6m 47 and the standing long jump with a best of 2m 12. Emily won the 'B' speed bounce with 73. Apphia was 2nd in the speed bounce with a count of 75 for the 30 secs. Libby was 2nd in the standing triple jump with 4m 96 and she was our fastest girl in the 2-lap race in 30.3. (2-lap times are about 2 secs longer than at Kingsway.). Maisie took the 'B' points in the shot with 6m 09. The girls scored 166.5 points to finish 2nd behind Crewe & Nantwich with Liverpool Harriers 3rd.

We had two Under 13 Boys competing - Adam Byrne and Joseph Wake. Adam was 2nd in the shot with 6m 90 and 3rd in both the 2-lap race, in 32.5, and the speed bounce, with a count of 66. Joseph was 3rd in both the 6-lap, in 1:41.1, and the triple jump, clearing a best of 4m 89, nd he cleared 1m 66 in the standing long jump. The boys scores 84 points and finished 2nd in their age-group match, again behind Crewe & Nantwich

Millie Ireland was our only Under 15 Girl. She was 2nd in both the 2-lap (31.4) and the speed bounce (a count of 73) and remarkably finished 2nd team with 30 points.

Club Results Match 1; Match 2; Match 3

1st December 2018: Annual awards at new venue in Formby


Southport Waterloo’s Annual Awards evening for Junior and Senior athletes was held at the Gild Hall, Liverpool Rd, Formby, on Saturday evening; a new venue for our pre-Christmas get-together.

Club President Steve James made the presentations, starting with the Junior Bishop Awards. Based on points earned for the club, all juniors who had competed for the club in league competition in Sportshall Athletics, Cross Country and Track & Field received a certificate. This included Under 20s this year as we had entered the YDL (Upper) League for Under 17s and Under 20s .(See Ron Scott or Chris Henders for uncollected certificates.) Individual ‘Bishops’ were presented for the ‘top scorers’ as follows:


Sportshall Athletics

Apphia Keenan


Cross Country

Emily Dean


Track & Field

Stephanie Robertson


Sportshall Athletics

Adam Byrne


Cross Country

Sammy Pickerill


Track & Field

Sam Coupland

YDL team manager Graham Boreham presented the Team Manager awards for commitment and willingness to support the team through the track & field season. The awards went to Millie Ireland and Will Collins. Graham, who as YDL (LAG) team manager for the past two years has led his team to eight consecutive match wins, was also presented with the YDL Division 2 winner's trophy and, on behalf of the team, Sam Coupland presented him with a 'thank you' gift for all his work with the team.

In reviewing the candidates for performance awards, specific mention was made of the 26 club T&F records set in 2018. Remarkably, Amber Hughes had set 6, Sierra Jalloh 3, Harry Flanagan 3, Sam Coupland 3, Katie Piercy 2, with 5 others setting one each; A sure sign of the continuing improvement of our young athletes.

The Junior Athlete of the Year award recognises improvements made in a main event. Like last year, one young athlete stood out not just for improvement in one favoured event but across 9 events, by between 5% and 28%. The winner of the George Bebbington Memorial trophy, our Junior Athlete of the Year, was Sam Coupland.

In looking at performance, each year Southport Waterloo recognises, with a memento award, athletes selected to represent their county at the English Schools National Track & Field Champs. This year, mementos went to Olivia Logan, Lauren Lewis, Harry Flanagan, Sam Coupland and Joe Kane.

We had five girls competing at Grade 1 level in 2018; Under 13s Amber Hughes and Sierra Jalloh, Under 15s Olivia Logan and Abigael Bamber and Under 17 Lauren Lewis. One girl stands out, however, with grade 1 standards achieved in 12 events. She is ranked in the UK top ten in 6 events including No 3 for 70m hurdles, No 4 for shot and No 4 for pentathlon. The Eddie Heckle Performance Trophy for Girls goes to county and Northern champion Amber Hughes.

Fewer boys have achieved Grade 1 standards but the best performances were by Under 13 Rhys Hulse, Under 15s Joe Kane and Sam Coupland and Under 20 Harry Flanagan who, towards the end of the season, extended his normal 200m distance to 400m and became only the 2nd person in the club's history to dip under 50secs, taking the Under 20 record with 49.5. For the award, it was a tough decision but with grade 1 performances in three events, this year's winner of the Heckle Performance Trophy for Boys went to Rhys Hulse.

The final Junior award, the Vera Drury Challenge Trophy for a girl who excels in enthusiasm, attendance and club spirit, was awarded to Amber Hughes.

The Senior awards commenced with the awards for the Grand Prix of Road Races. For the ladies, Tracey Barlow and Sarah Lunt were joint 2nd and our winner, for the 7th time, was Tracey Allan. The vet winner was Tracey Barlow.

For the Men,  Boyd Park was 3rd, Keith Lunt 2nd and the winner for the 2nd year running was Francois RaffertyKeith Lunt took the vet category award. This year, a memento was given to all Road Race Grand Prix runners who completed the minimum requirement of 5 races.

Next, the Fell Grand Prix awards. In 3rd place for the Women was Tracey Allan, runner up was Carole James and our winner for the 5th year running was Michelle Spencer.

For the men, Clive James was 3rd, Brian Davey 2nd and the winner for the 4th year running was John Sprackland.

The Progress Trophy for Senior runners is another improvement award.  Mention was made of Sarah Lunt, Gina Bellhouse, Sarah Pickerill and Jan Marsh; David Wright, Tony Bond and Mike Leatherbarrow. The Progress Trophy winner for 2018 was David Wright.

Next the Cross Country awards.  Like the Grand Prix awards, we knew these winners in advance because we used last weekend's BA Cross Challenge event in Sefton Park as our cross country championships. We had 57 club runners competing in the races, most of them seniors.

In the Women’s race, the three principal contenders were Tracey Allan, Clare Constable and last year's club champion Nicola Simpson. Clare led our ladies home so the winner of the Norman Marshall Women's Cross Country Trophy is Clare Constable. This was Clare's 3rd win in the club.

In the Men’s race, last year's winner Ben Johnson was held behind James Tartt who led our team home ahead of Ben and Ciaran Walsh. So our Men's Cross Country Champion was James Tartt, a 6-times club champion.

The  Senior Track & Field Award is, like the Juniors’ Bishop awards, based on points earned for the team in the Northern League Track & Field competition.  Having won promotion in 2016, holding position in 2017, the team emerged as Division 3WC champions this year. Over the 4 matches we had nearly twice as many male as female athletes so are always looking for more, particularly more females. The top points scorers for the club were once again Katy Coupland and Liam Harris. For the 4th year running, the Senior Track & Field award went to Katy Coupland.

Our final award was for Volunteer of the Year. This year the award went to someone who has established himself as part of the fabric of the club, making a real difference as a team manager and junior coach. He also took the club into the YDL (UAG) this year, worked to encourage 2nd claim athletes to join us and led the team to a promotion in their first season. The Volunteer of the Year was Lee Coupland.

Past winners of these awards can be found on the club honours page.

Quiz answers