News reports - March 2018

25th March 2018: SWAC athletes represent Merseyside in Sportshall

There were 6 young athletes from Southport Waterloo competing for Merseyside in the North West Inter-Counties sportshall athletics competition at Sportcity on 25th March. I think others were also selected, showing the strength of the club in sportshall athletics, but other activities prevented them taking part.

Stephanie Robertson and Jamie Hopkins were selected for their third and final time and Stephanie was u15 girls' team captain.

Stephanie won the 2 lap in 20.9, came 4 th in speed bounce with 82 and was 3rd in the standing long jump competition with 2.19m. She came 2nd equal as an individual and the team came 2nd.

Jamie went one better and the boys' team beat Cheshire by 1 point to win a place in the national final, again in sportcity on 15th Aprill. He did the 2 lap in 20.9 to be 7th equal, was 5th on speed bounce and 10th in standing long jump with 2.12m.

Katie Piercy was in the u13 girls' competition and won the shot with 9.64.

There were three Under 11s; Apphia Keenan, Lauren Byrne and Daniel Jones. Daniel took part in the U11 Obstacle Relay (2nd) and the U11 Vertical Jump (44cm). Overall the Merseyside U11 boys' team came third.

25th March 2018: Amber and Sam take S Yorks series titles

Sunday was the last round of the 4 event South Yorkshire Indoor Series held at EIS in Sheffield.  Meetings throughout the winter attract 400 junior entrants U11-U15, who compete over a range of athletic events in a combined events format, scoring points for sprints, middle distance, throws and jumps.  100 entrants are allowed from outside of Yorkshire and Southport Waterloo has had a number of athletes attend over the years.

This winter we had 7 athletes taking part, Charlotte Hughes, Amber Hughes, Lauren Byrne, Katie Piercy, Adam Byrne, Sam Coupland and Joshua Stammers.  The points from the first 3 rounds combine to decide age group winners, the last round reserved for presentations and an additional opportunity to compete. 

Today, we had 9 personal bests and two age category champions on the top step of the podium.  Under 11 Charlotte Hughes set a new PB of 2:09.1 in the 600m, ran 25.95s in the 150m and Long Jumped 2.99m.  Adam Byrne set a new PB in the High Jump of 1.10m, another PB in the 150m of 23.63s and completed a hat-trick of bests with a 200m in 31.77s.  Joshua Stammers looked strong setting his first mark in the 300m of 41.77s, a new PB of 26.0s in the 200m, and a new high jump best of 1.50m.

Combined Eventers, Sam Coupland and Amber Hughes, have both had fantastic winters and concluded this winter season with the U15 boys and U13 girls titles respectively both winning by good margins.  Today Amber ran 150m in a new best of 20.65s, winning even though for some reason she was in heat 5.  She also won both the high jump with 1.35m and 200m with 27.97s.   Sam ran a new best of 26.54s in the 200m and won the high jump competition with an amazing leap of 1.75m, a grade one jump that equals a club record set in 1988.

18th March 2018: Gateshead glory for trio of combined eventers

After what was supposed to be a nice warm-up in Blackpool on Saturday (see Ron's write up!!), 3 of our young combined eventers travelled over to Gateshead to wrap up their indoor season with an indoor Pentathlon.

Amber, Katie and Sam treated us to 1 Championship Record, 4 Club Records and 9 PBs between them!!

First up is U13 Amber Hughes who ran 9.87 for 60 hurdles, threw 9.59 for the shot, jigh jumped 1.37, long jumped a PB 4.45 and rounded off with a PB and improved club record of 8.35 in the 60m. This gave Amber a club record winning total of 2881 over 450 points ahead of second place and also claimed the new Championship Best Perormance for this competition.

Then we have U15 Katie Piercy who has stepped up an age group this year.

Katie ran a PB 10.95 for 60 hurdles, a PB 4.12 in the long jump, threw the shot 8.80, then added a fantastic 9cm to her previous high jump best in jumping 1.34 and rounded off with a 4th PB of the day with an 8.77 in the flat 60m. This gave Katie 3rd place overall with a club record  total of 2407.

Finally we have U15 Sam Coupland who's still buzzing from his exploits in the Nationals the weekend before. He went on to better that score with some fantastic performances. In the 60 hurdles he got under the elusive 10 second barrier for the first time with 9.83, he then threw the shot 8.69, saved his competition after 2 no jumps with a 4.97 long jump, put 5 cm on his high jump PB with an amazing 1.70 leap and rounded it off with a 60m in a further PB of 8.50.

This gave Sam a 3rd place finish overall with an improved club record of 2325 points.

A big Summer lies ahead for these 3 athletes, as long as it gets warmer than Blackpool!

17th March 2018: Club President Steve James takes the MV80 silver medal in British Masters XC Champs

Steve James added to his long list of cross country successes with his latest age group placing in the British Masters Cross Country Championships in Forres, Scotland. Steve completed the 6 kms course in 33:57 to take 2nd MV80 place, just a minute behind the MV80 winner, Leslie Nicol from Aberdeen, and 3 minutes clear of 3rd placed Walter Ryder from Morpeth. Steve reports that the course was the driest he'd seen all winter, with the highest hill he's seen on a cross country course. Conditions, like the rest of the UK, were cold but thankfully no snow.

Age is no barrier in sport and Steve should continue to rack up more successes as a Vet 80. See HonoursBoard for Steve successes in a Southport Waterloo vest.

17th March 2018: Olivia Logan 9th Jnr Girl in challenging English Schools Cross Country

Whilst waiting for the results from Saturday's English Schools' Nat'l Cross Country Championships, I was interested to read the following from Athletics Weekly online.


The Temple Newsam grounds on the outskirts of Leeds was not a place for the faint hearted on Saturday. Bitterly cold winds and occasional showers of sleet ripped across the rolling fields, while underfoot conditions rapidly deteriorated as runners in the 58th boys’ and 50th girls’ cross-country championships churned up the ground.

Amid fears the event might be called off due to bad weather, the organisers from the English Schools Athletics Association issued a defiant statement on the morning of the races. “This is normal cross-country weather in England and the championships will go ahead as planned.

“This is your chance to decry the increasing perception that kids nowadays are ‘snowflakes’! Turn up. Run. Get cold. Get muddy. Enjoy getting warm again! This is proper cross country weather.”


I kind of half agree! But at these events when athletes travel by team coach they often have to stand about for hours with little shelter before the coach departs for home. I support the event going ahead and I have no problem with challenging running conditions but authorities need to balance that with a duty of care for young runners.


On Saturday, several Southport Waterloo runners were included in the Merseyside Schools' team.

Michael Henderson was 296th Junior Boy in 16:51, final counter in the M'side team finishing 28th.

Harry Pike was 265th Inter Boy in 20:48, 4th counter for the M'side team finishing 40th.

Olivia Logan was 9th Junior Girl in 11:39, 2nd counter for the M'side team finishing 14th.

Lilly-Ann Grayson was 225th Inter Girl in 16:26, 5th counter for the M'side team finishing 22nd.

Well done to all selected and running so well in Leeds!

Full results

17th March 2018: Two PBs in an icy cold Blackpool Open

Driving to Blackpool for their Spring Warmer Open T&F Meeting on Saturday morning with reports of the 'Mini Beast from the East' bringing snow and ice to the UK, I suspected that the very cold temperatures and biting wind would keep people away from this the first open track & field meeting of the season. If numbers were so affected it couldn't have been by much because the meeting was as busy as ever. The weather was the outstanding feature of the day, however, with temperatures below zero and feeling like -7 in the bone-chilling easterly wind, gusting strongly at times. And the snow! All afternoon we had snow showers drifting across to make things even more unpleasant if you happened to be competing at the time. Apart from that, a warm sunshine was enjoyed from time to time!

These early meetings are useful for athletes and coaches to gauge levels of fitness for competition after the hard winter training. Athletes had good competition on Saturday but by and large performances were well below expectations in the very difficult conditions.

The good attendance on Saturday included 18 athletes from Southport Waterloo, many more than in recent years. Incredibly, two girls stand out, managing to achieve PBs on a day when they must have been like gold dust! Under 13 Libby Simpson dipped below 2 minutes for the first time running 1:59.6 for 600m. And Under 15 Niamh Procter improved her high jump best by 10 cms to 1m 30.

Under 11 Charlotte Hughes was 2nd in the 600m race in 2:18.2 and she cleared 2m 89 in the long jump.

Under 13 Girls were Amber Hughes, Emily Dean, Libby Simpson Sierra Jalloh, Lauren Byrne and Sahara Jalloh.

Amber won the 70m hurdles in 11.7 and her 100m race in 14.0 in a tight finish, both girls given the same time.

Emily cleared 2m 66 in the long jump and then had a long wait for the 1200m race where she finished in 4:41.3.

Libby was 2nd of 12 girls when she ran 1:59.6 for 600m.

Sierra won her 100m heat in 14.8, won her 200m race in 29.0 and was 2nd in the shot with a best of 8m 08.

Lauren ran 13.8 to win her heat of the 70m hurdles she was 3rd in the high jump with 1m 20 and put the shot 5m 48.

And Sahara cleared 2m 96 in the long jump.

Our Under 13 Boys were Adam Byrne, Sammy Pickerill, Will O'Donnell, Will Collins and Jack Clark.

Adam ran 16.0 for 100m and cleared 3m 33 in the long jump.

Sammy was 3rd in the 1200m in 4:14.1 and ran 32.0 for 200m.

Will O ran a 600m for a 2nd place in 1:57.0 and he also ran a 100m in 15.6 and a 200m, in 31.7.

Will C ran 4:53 for 1200m and 37.8 for 200m.

Jack ran 29.4 to win his heat of the 200m, 2nd fastest overall, after running 14.5 for 100m, 2nd in his heat.

Under 15 Girls Katie Piercy and Niamh Procter competed at Blackpool.

Katie ran a 75m hurdles in 15.3 and threw the discus a best of 13m 37.

Niamh managed to clear 1m 30 for a high jump PB. She also long jumped 4 metres and ran 16.5 for 75m hurdles.

Under 15 Sam Coupland was 2nd in his 80m hurdles, 3rd overall, in 14.0, and he long jumped 4m 57.

Under 17 Woman Jess Dean was 2nd in her 800m race in 2:38.2.

Under 17 man Ethan Harrison ran 12.8 for 100m and 57.3 for 400m

And Senior Woman Milly Smith ran 16.2 for 100m.

Full results.

14th March 2018: More than 320 young runners at Sefton Jnr Schools XC Champs

The Sefton Schools' Cross Country Championships for Years 5 and 6, organised by Southport Waterloo and now in its 10th year, attracted over 350 entries. 320 young runners competed the slightly over-distance course on Birkdale Common on Wednesday. That's more than last year at Jubilee Woods and 40 more than in 2015, the last time these championships were held on Birkdale Common. Only 18 out of Sefton's more than 70 junior schools were represented, however, and interestingly both last year's trophy winners were either absent or few in number so that new names would be added to the Challenge Trophy and the Sefton Cross Country Cup for smaller schools.

Around 300 is probably average for this event and no year before or since has yet come close to the packed-out event on Bootle Golf Course in 2014 when we had 457 finishers from 30 schools.

In the past, Birkdale Common has been an ideal location for this event but the temporary building works on the Common for the Open Golf tournament last year has damaged the extensive grassland, making it more difficult to build a good cross country course. However, the hillock close to Waterloo Rd always makes for an interesting and challenging feature close to the massed spectators; and this is one of the best locations for on-site parking. On Wednesday, a strong south easterly wind was always present but it stayed bright and dry for the runners.

Southport Waterloo runners were in evidence with, in particular, Emily Dean and Sammy Pickerill winning the Year 6 races.

The first race was for Year 5 Girls running over 2 small laps for around 1.7 kms. 86 runners completed the course with Katy Nicholson of Trinity St Peters winning in 7:50 with Farnborough Rd's Tianna Chambers 2nd in 7:54 and Felicity Fletcher 3rd in 7:59. Southport Waterloo's Charlotte Hughes was 6th overall in 8:29. Farnborough Rd won the team event ahead of St Edmund's and St Thomas' and Freshfield.

As always, the Year 5 Boys' race was the biggest of the day with 114 completing on Wednesday. The overall leader was Levi Seddon Davidson winning in 7:10 but he had to fight to hold off Woodlands' Elliot Cray, 2nd in 7:11. What a great finish! Norwood's Dexter Lewis was 3rd in 7:22. Farnborough Rd was again the team winner, ahead of Woodlands and Great Crosby.

On then to the Year 6 races and the Year 6 Girls where 51 completed the two long lap course for about 2.2 kms. Emily Dean representing St Phillips was a clear winner in 10:24 with Issy Conway, St Luke's Formby, 2nd in 10:34 and Frankie Lewis, Norwood, 3rd in 11:11. Team honours went to St Luke's Formby with St Edmund's and St Thomas' 2nd and St Jerome's 3rd.

The final race of the day featured the Year 6 Boys where Sammy Pickerill, running for Our Lady of Lourdes, won in 9:36. Harry Rimmer from St Jerome's was 2nd in 9:54 and Nathan Taylor, St Luke's Formby, 3rd in 9:58. Another Southport Waterloo runner, Will Collins, was 6th overall in 10:23 and James Pike was 28th in 11:31. Aintree Davenhill won the team event, ahead of St Jerome's and Trinity St Peters.

Overall, Farnborough Rd won the Southport Waterloo Challenge Trophy for the first time and St Jerome's resumed their hold on the Sefton Cup for smaller schools.

All athletics events can only take place with willing volunteers. With apologies for anyone I've missed, I'm truly grateful for the support and assistance given by Chris Henders, Steve James, Mari Dyson, Lynn Vickers, Sheila Marshal, Lesley Scott, Sue Stewart, Vicky Logan, Brian Davey, Barrie Hughes, Wally Bridson, Katy Coupland, some of Greenbank's sports leaders and our hares, Sam Coupland and Olivia Logan.

Full Results | photos

11th March 2018: Sam Coupland, Northern Indoor CE Champion

This weekend was the England Athletics u15/u17 Indoor Combined Events Championships at EIS in Sheffield. Saturday had featured the u17 girls' pentathlon and the first four events of the u17 boys' heptathlon. Sunday saw the conclusion of the heptathlon and the u15 boys' and girls' pentathlons.

Sam Coupland was the sole representative for Southport Waterloo on what was to be a very long but rewarding day. Sam's timetable followed on from the 52 x u15 girls, and as such having had to report at 09:30 he didn’t complete his events until 19:00. He was competing against 21 other u15 boys from all over the UK. 7 of these boys were competing for the Northern title.

As usual the pentathlon started with hurdles, and Sam started his day well with a new personal best time of 10.00s. This was the 8th fastest on the day and quickest of the Northern competitors. The long jump followed on with a personal best first jump of 5.20m Sam scored well moving up to 7th overall but slipping to 2nd Northern.

Shot was considerably delayed whilst the girls completed their event and Sam was not happy with his warm ups. However, in competition a personal best of 8.80m was good to retain 7th overall and regain 1st place Northern.

After another significant delay the u15 boys took to the high jump. Warm up couldn’t have been more positive with Sam jumping a cm off his best in his tracksuit. Entering the competition at 1.50m, Sam cleared every jump first time through to 1.65m, another personal best. This moved Sam to 6th overall and he remained 1st Northern.

The 800m is the last event and it was 7pm when Sam and the leaders of the event took to the 200m track for 4 laps. 2:25.41 was Sam's 5th personal best and solidified his Northern success.

Finishing overall 6th with an indoor pentathlon score of 2,259 it was just a case of waiting for 52 girls to be acknowledged before the boys were able to be rewarded for a great day of athletic competition.


Ed: An outstanding performance by Sam. Naturally, his points total is a club record and I believe he is the first Northern combined events champion in the history of the club!.

10th March 2018: Record medal haul at Tom Pink Relays

With the EIS in Sheffield booked over the weekend for the Northern and England Indoor age group Combined Events Championships, there was room on Saturday for the Tom Pink Relays to enjoy this magnificent indoor stadium. For the fifth year running, Sportshall Team Manager Chris Henders took a team of Under 11s and Under 13s to Sheffield and emerged with more medals than ever before.

Our Under 11s over and under relay girls came 3rd (Apphia Keenan, Reneé Adams, Megan Hulse and Emily Dean).

Our Under 13s relay girls in Chasing Paula came 3rd (Brianna Hanlon, Niamh Proctor, Amber Hughes, Sierra Jalloh and Libby Simpson).

Briannon Hanlon came 2nd in the Standing Long Jump clearing 2m 04.

Amber Hughes came 2nd in the Standing Triple Jump with 6m 93, an indoor PB, and in the Shot with 8m 75.

Katie Piercy won the shot with the same distance as Amber, 8m 75..

Sierra Jalloh won Weight for Height. 

Lauren Byrne won the Standing Long Jump  with 2m 02.

Rhys Hulse came third in Weight for Height.

Chris spent much of the day organising the lane draws and teams for all the relays, and so didn't see much of the action! He thanks his assistant team managers Barrie Hughes and Jimmy Alderson who organised the athletes on the day. And also Lucy Potter, Alice Bird, Jessica Dean and Eve McMahon who helped to officiate the events.

Roll on next year!


10th March 2018: Half M'side Snr Men at Inter Counties from Southport Waterloo

In fairly atrocious conditions underfoot, the CAU Inter Counties Cross Country Championships took place on Saturday at Prestwold Hall in Loughborough. Recent rain softened the surface and, I'm told, the course was quickly covered in mud all around. And it wasn't just the course. The park generally was extremely muddy for runners, officials and spectators.

11 Southport Waterloo runners were selected to represent Merseyside.

In the Under 13 Girls race, Grace Barr finished 6th Merseyside counter, 248th overall, in 17.45 for the 3 kms. Under 13 boy Michael Henderson also ran over 3 kms. He finished 3rd county counter, 76th overall in 13,38, a very good result!

In the Under 15 Girls race, the Merseyside team included three Southport Waterloo runners. Olivia Logan was 2nd counter, 21st overall in 20:10 for 4 kms. Another very good result. And Lilly-Ann Grayson improved on her pen position by finishing 5th counter, 211th overall in 23:00 with Freya Walsh 8th counter in 23:43.

Harry Pike ran in the Under 17 Men's race over 6 kms. He also improved on his pen position finishing 4th counter for Merseyside in 26:04.

Under 20 Matty Johnson was 3rd counter in his race over a grueling 8 kms. He finished 133rd overall in 36:28.

And in the Senior Men's race over 12 kms there were 4 Southport Waterloo runners. Ben Johnson had a good run for 2nd Merseyside counter, 90th overall in 47:59. James Tartt was 4th counter, 137th in 49:54, and Andrew Kershaw improved on his pen position to finish 5th counter in 50:01. Ciaran Walsh also ran but I believe had a spikes problem and didn't finish.

English Schools and British Masters have their cross country championships next weekend and Sefton Yr 5 and 6 schools children have theirs on Birkdale Common on Wednesday. Attention then switches to the track where the first of the season's open meetings, at Blackpool, is also on next Saturday.

Full CAU results

3rd March 2018: Under 15 Girls and male vets seal Mid Lancs success at Ulverston

Well, despite the media pre-occupation with dreadful weather conditions affecting sport and travel across the United Kingdom, the weather conditions for the final Mid Lancs cross country fixture at Ulverston were precisely as forecast with virtually no snow on the roads north or on the course. Maybe not 'precisely'! In fact, the biting easterly wind had moderated by Saturday morning and although the temperature barely rose above 1C, the runners and spectators enjoyed a crisp and sunny afternoon's running. The grassland turf was initially frosted hard but did soften a little as the sun got to work.

Ulverston is a new venue for the Mid Lancs League, this fixture put on by Glaxo Hoad Hill Harriers; their first cross country hosting venture on the grounds of the Glaxo Sports and Social Club. Course builders made excellent use of a very compact space with lots of twists and turns, uphills and downhills; so not a fast course but an interesting one. The course was described as "a mixture of field, slag banks covered in grass, gravel path and cinder areas and banking." No course ticks all the boxes and we could have done without the gravel path and cinder roadway. But, on balance, runners enjoyed this new addition to available venues. Unfortunately, like Leigh, it is a course that favours studded fell shoes rather than cross country spikes which is something I regret as most youngsters don't have fell shoes. But the reality is that good cross country venues are increasingly hard to find.

Today, we had fewer Southport Waterloo runners. Indeed numbers were well down on Lancaster a couple of weeks ago, partly because of the weather scares, partly because it was the final league fixture with many of the end-of-season awards already decided and partly because it was just too far to travel!

Our Under 11 Girls were Emily Dean, 9th today of 54 girls in 9:20 for the 2.2 kms course. Apphia Keenan finished strongly in 26th place in 10:08.

We had no Under 11 Boys or Under 13 Girls.

James Pike ran in the Under 13 Boys' race, finishing 25th of 28 in 13:20 for the 2.8 kms.

We were delighted to see a team finish in the Under 15 Girls' race which was won again by Olivia Logan in 10:32 for the long lap 2.8 kms. Four wins from four appearances for Olivia! Lilly-Ann Grayson ran strongly to finish 5th of 23 girls in 11:22 and Freya Walsh finished at high speed, getting the better of an LPS girl on the line to record 12:14. All three girls finished in the top half of the field and won the team event by 5 points ahead of Blackburn.

No Under 15 Boys today.

Jessica Dean found herself one of only 4 Under 17 Women so it was a 3rd place finish for her in 18:20 for 4.4 kms. Once again, we had no Under 17 Men.

We had no Senior Women at Ulverston but Senior Man Steve James ran in the MV70 race over the Women's 3-lap 6.9 kms course. Steve is in fact MV80 and finished in 41:08, having a better run than at Lancaster.

We didn't quite manage a team in the main Senior Men's 4-lap, 9.4 kms race with just 5 runners - all vets. John Sprackland was first home for the club, 70th overall of just 163 runners and 5th MV50 in 40:08. Richard Talbot was 78th and 7th MV50 in 40:42, Rob Johnson was 98th and 5th MV60 in 42:05, Carl McMahon was 105th in 42:52 and Ian Pike was 158th in 53:08. Glaxo Hoad Hill had lots of runners out in this race but surprisingly, in what is a local fixture, Bob Atkinson was the only Barrow & Furness Strider running at Ulverston. Not so many years ago, Southport Waterloo and Barrow vied for supremacy in the Senior Men's league.

John, Richard, Rob and Carl finished 7th MV40 team and John, Richard and Rob were 2nd MV50 team.

After today's results, our end-of-season results look like:


Emily Dean, 3rd= individual Under 11 Girl (but I think she loses out on a bronze medal on the tie-break rules)

Sammy Pickerill, 1st individual Under 11 Boy

Olivia Logan, 1st individual Under 15 Girl {Lilly-Ann Grayson was 4th}

Jessica Dean, 4th individual Under 17 Women

Sue Stewart, 2nd individual LV65

David Hamilton, 1st individual MV50 and 4th MV40 {John Sprackland was 4th MV50}

Rob Johnson, 2nd individual MV60

Under 15 Girls,3rd team

Snr Women, 2nd team Div'n 2, promoted

Snr Men V40, 2nd team Div'n 1

Snr Men V50, 1st team

Snr Men V60, 1st team


Well done to all and apologies for anyone I've missed.

These results are similar to and but build on last year's results where again the Under 15 Girls and Vet men were outstanding.

The Awards presentation evening is at Blackburn FC this year on Friday 20th April. See info.

Full results | Final individual rankings | Final team rankings