News reports - May 2017

29th May 2017: New club record and Schools qualifying for Stephanie Robertson

Monday saw the third Trafford open meeting of the season, a great competition for PBs, just a shame we didn't have more athletes attending. We had 2 under 11 girls, Lottie Hughes and Hannah Keenan, both sporting some impressive cartwheels- a lack of energy left over can perhaps be blamed for Lottie's lack of PBs, she competed in 150, 600 and LJ. This was Hannah's first event outside Merseyside, and for some reason her only event on power of 10, she set times for 150 and 600: 25.54 and 2:11.45, some good times to build on. U13 sister Jessica Keenan opted for the equivalent 150/800 combination, clocking 23.84 and 2:55.89, both close to pb's.

Sam Coupland had a good day setting 3 pb's, in hurdles, javelin and finally long jump (where David displayed some excellent raking skills before he lost the will to live.) His hurdles race was ran well, with some smooth hurdling, his third hurdles PB of the weekend taking a combined 1.23 seconds off, now 14.57. Not bad at all. Did anyone else know mid lancs now has hurdles? They're every other meeting. A new javelin best of 26.53 is rapidly catching his impressive best from last year with the 400g, I think a weight increase of 50% is a bit intense but Sam is coping well. 4.53 was a long jump and a great way to finish the day as it was about to start to drizzle.

Steph Robertson has been in fine form for her selected event: hurdles, bar one competition all races this year have been grade one even in damp conditions. Conditions were damp again today, but we were thankful the forecast rain held off until late afternoon as the meeting was winding down. Steph ran a good technical race to win with a new PB and club record of 11.54, well inside English Schools standard. Competent performances in long jump, 4.64 and Javelin, breaking 15 meters, which isn't bad for a 1st competition throw, completed a strong day for Steph.


28th May 2017: David Hamilton 5th in Great Manchester Half Marathon

On Sunday, Manchester hosted the Great Manchester Run. Just 6 days after the tragic events of last Monday evening it was an emotional affair but Manchester was vibrant with tens of thousands of runners and spectators thronging the city centre, determined not to allow terrorism to affect this brilliant sporting spectacle, the biggest 10K race in Europe.

For the first time, this year's Great Manchester Run included a Half Marathon at 9 am in the morning before the 10K race in the afternoon. David Hamilton ran a PB here, crossing the line in 76:09 for 5th place overall; an impressive result. David Marsh also ran the Half Marathon - in 1:39:39.

In the main 10K race, Southport Waterloo's Robbie Edwards ran 57:44, Jan Marsh 83:15 and, as guide to a visually impaired runner, Keith Lunt ran 86:35.

27th May 2017: Poor turn-out at Mid Lancs

This being a bank holiday weekend, many of our competitive members were not available for Round 2 of the Mid lancs Track & Field League at Witton Park in Blackburn. The meeting itself was fairly well attended but with fewer technical officials than usual, partly because of the bank holiday and partly because of a YDL (Upper) and other events on the same weekend.

The weather was more benign than expected with the predicted thunderstorms just clipping Witton Park.

In terms of scores, and before officials points are added, our 12 male athletes were 6th of 7 teams in Division 1 with 67 points (although 5th placed Blackpool had only 69 points); and our 6 female athletes were 6th of 6 team with just 28 points, possibly the lowest score we have ever achieved!

Our Under 13 Girls were Jenna Christian, Bethany Rose and Grace Tobin. In just her 2nd competitive club fixture, Jenna ran a PB 34.9 for 200m, high jumped 1m 15 and long jumped 3m 25. Grace also achieved a PB taking 6 seconds off her 1500m best time from Warrington last year, finishing 2nd in 5:17.0. More to come here! Bethany had her first outing in a club vest, completing the 1500m in 5:20.

Ella Tobin was our only Under 15 Girl. She ran a Season's Best 2:45.9 in her 800m race.

Eve McMahon competed in the Under 17 Women, throwing the javelin 24m 41 and achieving a hammer PB of 21m 37.

Our Under 13 Boys were Michael Henderson and Marcus Burgess. Michael was 2nd in his 1500m race in 4:59.0 and he equalled his high jump best of 1m 25. Marcus put the shot 4m 23, a new PB, and threw the javelin 10m 33.

In the Under 15 Boys' competition Sam Coupland, Lewis McMahon and Josh Stammers were competing. Josh achieved a well-deserved PB in the 100m running 13.4 and in the 200m he finished in 27.9. He won a good long jump competition by 5 cms with a best of 4m 89, a Season's Best. Sam achieved two PBs from his three events. He managed a massive 7m 46 in the shot, a 37 cms improvement, and he ran 15.1 in a closely contested 80m hurdles race. This was the first Mid Lancs meeting to include sprint hurdles. Sam also threw the hammer 17 metres. Finally, Lewis competed in the 800m running 2:36.8.

Ethan Harrison was our Under 17 man. His 12.4 for 100m was a PB and his 26.0 for 200m was a Season's Best. Ethan ran 24.9 for 200m in Merseyside Schools two years ago.

There were some good results in the Under 20 / Senior Men with a number of PBs and SBs. Under 20 Jimmy Alderson set two new PBs running 12.4 for 100m and 54.1 for 400m, a step change in performance! Nathan Byrne was the other U20 and he put the shot 9m 66 and threw the discus 27m 71. Senior Chris Burgess produces remarkably consistent times and achieved 12.3 and 25.2 to equal Season's Bests for both short sprints. Mathew Campbell is another consistent performer, running 52.4 for 400m, 9/10th faster than at Stretford on Tuesday evening. Graham Boreham had a pleasing afternoon as well with a PB and an SB. He ran the 400m in 54.3, an SB, and later, running in the fastest Senior 200m heat, he clocked 25.0 to shave a tenth off his PB! Finally, Ian Fitzpatrick ran in the Senior 800m finishing in 2:25.3.

Thanks to our team of officials on Saturday: Steve Boreham, Lee Coupland, Barrie Hughes, Dan Stammers and Sam Coupland.

Full Results | Results for Club athletes

20th May 2017: Ben Johnson sets new track 10000 record
On Saturday, Ben Johnson ran the 'C' Race at the British 10000m Championships incorporated within the 'Highgate Harriers Night of the 10,000 PBs' at the Parliament Hill Fields track in London in a great new club record time of 30:40.21. In the 'B' race he might even have run faster! This might well be Ben's first track 10000m and he has taken a minute off Steve James' club record of 31:55 set back in 1980. Congratulations Ben!
20th May 2017: Young Athletes make it two wins from two matches

Team performance in match 2 of the YDL (U13/U15) showed beyond doubt that our win in match 1 at Whitehaven was no fluke! Salford Met hosted Round 2 at the Cleavley Track, Eccles, under the M60 / M62 motorway junction, so teams had easy transport links. And, against strengthened opposition, our young athletes took their 2nd victory of the season. But even the team would be surprised by the extent of their win; by 123 points over 2nd placed Chorley. The scores were Southport Waterloo 623.5, Chorley 500.5, Horwich 408, Border 390, Blackpool 364, Salford Met 255 and Hyndburn, who seem to find it difficult to put a team together this season, 98. 623 is a staggeringly high score for our youngsters and, bearing in mind we didn't have a full U15 Girls' team, well beyond any expectations!

Watching the Track races, my impression was that Chorley might be getting the better of us and in fact it turned out to be very close. They scored 238 on the track to our 251. But in the Field we scored 283.5 to their 193.5. That's what made the difference! To score more in the Field than the Track is a potential game changer. Over the years, reporting on our Young Athlete team performance, I have repeatedly commented on how good the team would be if only we had more field eventers and not just track athletes filling in. How things change! The club has progressed significantly in jumps and throws in recent years, not just because we have people interested in these events but because we now have more very able jumps and throws coaches who are developing our latent talent. And that showed in today's results!

Interestingly, whilst we had a massive points score and 18 event wins today, we had only 13 PBs. And apart from the Under 13 Girls, we had fewer graded standard performances than you might expect. Looking at the results, it was almost as if athletes were doing enough to maximise points and then saving themselves for their next team event. Certainly, there was an outstanding team spirit with blue and yellow ribbon and face paint on display.

The weather at Eccles was disappointingly "as forecast", ie heavy rain showers all afternoon! That too is bound to have had some effect on performances.

The best performance of the day was by Stephanie Robertson winning her 75m hurdles race in a grade 1 time of 11.8 secs. There was also a grade 2 by Katie Piercy in the javelin and several grades 3s and 4s. There was a stark contrast between the boys and girls here in that of 15 standard graded performances achieved, 13 were by girls and just 2 by boys!

Our Under 13 Girls were Amber Hughes, Sierra Jalloh, Jessica Keenan, Annabel Lockie, Grace Malone, Rachel Murphy, Alex Murphy-Worrell, Katie Piercy, Katelyn Swift and Grace Tobin. These 10 girls did extremely well with 5 'A' wins and 2 'B' wins. It is clearly now getting difficult to get selected for this team. As an example, Sierra Jalloh only got a run in the non-scoring 75m and won that race in an impressive fashion in 10.7 secs. That's only a tenth of a second off a grade 2 standard and puts her just a tenth behind Amber at the head of the club rankings. This girl has potential! Amber herself sets a high standard and so it was no surprise to see her win all three of her events; running 21.6 for 150m, 13.0 for 70m hurdles and 1m 31 in the high jump. The reality for this talented athlete is that she could probably win almost any event she's put in! Grace Tobin also impressed, reducing her PB to win the 800m race in 2:31.8. She won the 'B' high jump with 1m 28 and was 2nd in the long jump with a 3m 76 clearance. The other event winner was Katie in both the shot (7m 81) and the javelin (23m 24) and she long jumped 3m 53. Rachel had her first run for the club, 12.1 in the 75m. Grace Malone was the other 75m runner, running 11.4 before going on to throw a PB in the javelin with 11m 53. Alex ran 2:46.8 for 800m and her best shot put of 6m 91 was a massive PB by 55 cms! Jessica ran in the 150m in 23.4, in the 1200m Annabel ran 4:36 and Katelyn 4:58 and Katelyn earlier competed in the 70m hurdles, falling at the first but bravely getting up and completing the race. She also did a 12.2 rin in the non-scoring 75m. Jessica, Grace M, Amber and Katie were 2nd in the 4x100m relay in 57.8.

Our Under 13 Boys were Marcus Burgess, Sam Devine, Michael Henderson, Joe Norris, James Pike, Jonathon Pilkington and Oliver Turner-Bone. Michael won his 800m race in 2:29.3, his first sub-2:30 time so very satisfying indeed.He also high jumped 1m 20 and long jumped 3m 34. Sam is one of several new names in the team and he won the 100m race in 15.2 and ran 31.7 for 200m. He was also 2nd in the 75m hurdles in 21.5. Jonathon equalled his PB of 15.8 in the hurdles, for 2nd place, he won the 'B' 100m in 15.7 and he high jumped 1m 10 for 1st 'B' points. Marcus featured in the throws with a 3m 89 shot put and a 7m 47 javelin throw. James ran 33.1 for 200m, a PB 5:28 for 1500m and he put the shot 3m 43. Joe ran 3:03 for 800m and he long jumped 3m 12. And finally, another newcomer Oliver ran 6:14 for 1500m and threw the javelin 6m 10. Michael, James, Jonathon and Sam won the 4x100m relay

For the Under 15 Girls we had Megan Howarth, Lucy Milling, Stephanie Robertson, Bethany Swift and Ella Tobin competing. Traditionally, the Under 15 Girls squad has ben our strongest but it was our weakest today in terms of numbers with 9 gaps in the team sheet (OK, 7 if you ignore pole vault which attracted no competitors at all today). We didn't have the numbers at Eccles but there is no denying the quality! These 5 girls achieved 6 event wins. Stephanie won both the 75m hurdles in an impressive Grade 1 standard time of 11.8 secs and the long jump with a 4m 79 clearance. She was also 2nd in the 100m in 13.7. Megan won all three of her events - again exactly what we have come to expect from such a talented and consistent athlete. She won the shot with 7m 94, the javelin with 27m 49 and the hammer with 28m 65. The final event win was by Lucy Milling in the 1500m where she handled the 3 3/4 lap course with ease despite being 8 seconds or more ahead of the nearest opposition. She ran 5:11.5, not quite as fast as her 5:08 in last weekend's county championships but there is a satisfying consistency here and I think Lucy should shortly run sub-5 minutes, which hasn't been achieved by one of our Under 15 girls since 2013. Lucy also high jumped 1m 25 and ran a 33 secs 200m.`

Ella ran 2:46 for 800m and she achieved Season's Bests in both the shot (6m 39) and the discus (16m 16). Bethany earned useful points for the team in the three long throwing events; 7m 98 in the discus, 5m 84 in the javelin and 5m 06 in the hammer. Lucy, Ella, Megan and Stephanie ran a Seasons Best 3:16.8 in the 4x300m relay. As last leg runner, Stephanie gave everything to chase down the leader but had to settle for 2nd place.

The Under 15 Boys competing at Eccles were Leo Christian, Sam Coupland, Jamie Hopkins, Lewis McMahon, Tom Murphy, Sam Rouse, Joshua Stammers, Joseph Sutton and Luke Suarez.. Another strong squad of 9 with lots of fine performances but Jamie Hopkins stands out with three event wins; running 13.8 for 80m hurdles, a PB 1m 56 in the high jump and another PB 4m 94 in the long jump. Joshua equalled his best this season with 13.6 for 100m and his 27.6 for 200m was a new PB. His 4m 80 to win the 'B' long jump was another season best. Sam Coupland was 2nd in the discus with 19m 57 and he won the 'B' competition in the hammer (19m 21) and the high jump (1m 45). Following an injury at last weekend's county champs. Luke wasn't running today but supported his team in the Field events with a PB15m 78 in the discus, 6m 08 in the shot and 12m 35 in the javelin. Sam Rouse competed for the club for the first time with a 2:32.8 800m and a 49.4 300m. Tom was likewise new and ran 14.8 for 100m, 48.3 for 300m and 16.8 for the 80 hurdles. Lewis ran a PB 800m in 2:32 .1. He also put the shot 6m 25 and threw the javelin 4m 82.

Finally Joe ran 5:19 for 1500m and Leo ran 29.9 for 200m, 5:26 for 1500m and he was 2nd in the hammer with 19m 36.

The boys dropped the baton in the 4x100m relay and were unfortunately disqualified; but managed to get the baton round safely in the 4 x300m relay in 3:11.1.

This team performance is giving confidence that we could win promotion this season but we need to keep this up for the remaining two matches, at Blackpool on 18th June and at Litherland on Saturday 15th July.

Thanks to all who competed today. A special thanks to team manager Graham Boreham who has worked tirelessly not only to fill as many places in the team sheet as possible but also to agree events with athletes in such a way as to maximise points. And thanks to officials - Dave Whitehead, Nicola Swift, Steve Boreham, Lee Coupland, Emma Howarth, Dan Stammers, Eve McMahon.- who earned the team 55 points.

Full results | Results for club athletes

17th May 2017: School milers race around Victoria Park

The Annual 1 Mile Races for Schools clashed last year with Liverpool's appearance in the Europa Cup Final. Not a problem this year and in fact with 333 young runners in Victoria Park, Southport, numbers were well up on 2015 and 2016 and hopefully may be getting back to the 400+ of previous years.

The weather was kind too, providing near perfect conditions with virtually no wind.

With two girls' team wins, Great Crosby won the overall Primary Schools' trophy. Our Lady of Lourdes was 2nd and Churchtown 3rd. The Senior Schools trophy was won by Formby High who outclassed the opposition with 4 team wins from the six high school races. Stanley were 2nd and Range 3rd. Formby were also the winners of the Fair Play award.

The meeting started with the Year 5 Girls' race with 66 runners completing the circuit of Victoria Park. The race was won by Emily Dean from St Philips in 6:33 with Issy Conway, St Luke's Formby, 2nd in 6:45 and Frankie Lewis, Norwood, 3rd in 6:57. Great Crosby won the team award with St Philips 2nd and St Luke's Formby 3rd. In addition to Emily, 6th placed Charlotte Hughes running 7:03 was also a Southport Waterloo runner.

As expected, the Year 5 Boys' always produce the biggest field and, with 81 running this year, there were many exciting and close finishes. Southport Waterloo's Sammy Pickerill, representing Our Lady of Lourdes, won the race in 5:39 ahead of Tom Walsh, Churchtown, finishing in 5:50, and William O'Donnell, another Our Lady of Lourdes runner, was 3rd in 5:58. With three runners in the top 4 and the final counter at 19th, Our Lady of Lourdes were clear winners in the team competition, ahead of Great Crosby and Norwood. Another Southport Waterloo runner I recognise was Will Collins, 4th in 6:00.

50 girls competed in the Year 6 Girls' race where Southport Waterloo's Amber Hughes, last year's Year 5 runner-up behind this year 3rd placed Year 6 girl was always the one to beat. Running for Forefield in Crosby, she won the race in 6:02 and, in fact, you have to go back to 2004 to find a faster time for a Year 6 Girl in this event! Another Southport Waterloo girl was placed 2nd, Libby Simpson from Norwood, finishing in 6:18, and Alicia Woods was 3rd in 6:20. It is a measure of how these girls have developed that Amber ran 38 secs faster than last year and Libby was 45 secs faster! Other Southport Waterloo runners were Maisie Bird, 9th in 6:52, Katelyn Swift, 10th in 6:57 and Jenna Christia, 20th in 7:30. Great Crosby won the team competition with Norwood 2nd and St Jerome's 3rd.

68 runners in the Year 6 Boys' race produced another strong field. Harry Rimmer, a Southport Waterloo runner representing St Jerome's won the race in 5:58 ahead of Churchtown's James Read, 6:00, and Sam Langford from Norwood running 6:03. Farnborough Road took the team award by a whisker from Churchtown in 2nd and St Jerome's 3rd. Other Southport Waterloo runners noted were Jack Clarke, 5th in 6:07, Arthur Weights, 8th in 6:18, and Paul Murphy-Worrall, 11th in 6:22.

As we move on to the High School races, number drastically reduce. The Year 7 Girls' race had a fairly healthy 18 runners, easily led home by Southport Waterloo's Grace Tobin. Running for Christ the King, she crossed the line in 5:52, ahead of another club runner Alex Murphy-Worrall, 6:15, running for Formby High. Emily Williamson, also from Formby High, was 3rd in 6:16. In fact, the first four places in this race are the same girls as the first four Year 6s from last year. Again, reflecting their improvement as athletes, Grace ran 27 secs faster this year and Alex 16 secs faster. Team winners were Formby ahead of Stanley High. Other Southport Waterloo connections were Annabel Lockie, 6:28, Elisa Dean, 6.30, and Millie Ireland, 7:39.

Jacob Slater from Sacred Heart won the Year 7 Boys' race in 5:21. Southport Waterloo runner Michael Henderson, last year's Year 6 winner and running now for Formby High was 2nd in 5:32 and Adam Oakley, Stanley High, was 3rd in 5:41. Formby won the team competition ahead of Stanley and Range. Club runner Ian Pike was 6th in 6:00.

Formby High took the first 4 places in the Year 8/9 Girls' race which was won by Jennifer Williamson from Formby High in 5:59. Drew Gallagher was 2nd in 6:08 and Faye Hannaway was 3rd in 6:10. Formby were again team winners, ahead of Stanley. The club's Bethany Swift ran 8:33.

Harry Steele from Holy Family won the Year 8/9 Boys' race in 5:37. Southport Waterloo's Joe Sutton , representing Birkdale, was 2nd in 5:40, a new Southport Waterloo member Sam Rouse, Formby High, was 3rd in 5:43. Club runner Sam Coupland was 5th in 5:48. Only Formby High managed a team in this year group.

Southport Waterloo's Jessica Dean led a small field of Year 10/11 Girls, finishing 1st in 5:57 for Greenbank High. Mollie Riding, Stanley, was 2nd in 6:15, and Kyro Igham, Stanley, 3rd in 7:55. No team finishes here.

Stanley High did manage a team in the Year 10/11 Boys' race which was won by Aaron Austin, Stanley, in 5:21. Southport Waterloo and Range High's Harry Pike - 2nd year 8/9 last year - was 2nd in 5:31 and Louis Tobin Jones, Stanley, was 3rd in 5:40.

Thanks to Race Director Gill Gillison and her team for today' event.

Full results and photos

As an aside, many 'older' members and coaches will know Dennis Gill who coached at Chaffers for many years and fought to get a home synthetic track for the club. Dennis was at Victoria Park where he had 7 grandchildren competing in the mile races. We reckon that must he something of a record .... unless you know differently!

13th May 2017: Club Records, CBPs, PBs and plenty medals at M'side T&F Champs

Updated 14th May '17 to recognise CBPs and other club records: I thought last year's Merseyside County Championships were possibly the best for the club in many years but this year we had more athletes than ever taking part. The championships - the first major Track & Field Championships of the year - were again held at Bebington Oval, of Chariots of Fire fame, on a warm, dry and sunny day. Numbers were up overall and included 50 from Southport Waterloo, 15 more than last year. Many counties in England hold their championships over two days and such a large entry for Merseyside on one day made for a very busy day at Bebington for the 60-odd officials needed to make the championships a success.

Last year's club successes included three Championship Best Performances (CBPs); and we had three again this year! - Stephanie Robertson in the Under 15 triple jump, Megan Howarth in the Under 15 javelin and Katie Piercy in the Under 13 javelin! And we had 5 x Club Records, Under 15 Girl Stephanie Robertson in the 75m hurdles and triple jump, Under 15 Megan Howarth in the javelin and Under 13 Katie Piercy improving the javelin and equalling the shot record - 17 x championship wins + 5 x wins in the Under 11 non-championship events, we took 51 medals, and achieved 17 x graded standard performances, including two grade 1s by Stephanie and Megan, 37 x PBs and 12 x SBs. What a day!

With CBPs and improvements to club records, we have to have a three-way tie for our Athletes of the Day; between Stephanie Robertson, Megan Howarth and Katie Piercy. But others are progressing fast. Under 13 Amber Hughes, for example. And amongst the boys in particular there were names with very good performances that have not appeared for the club in competition previously. See, for example Harry Rimmer who won both his Under 11 sprint races and Under 13 Jack Clark who in his first competition achieved a grade 4 standard in the 200m. There were many more excitingt performances as described below.

Our Under 11 Girls were Emily Dean, Charlotte Hughes, Hannah Keenan, Natalie Piercy, Sophie Pilkington. Emily won her 600m race in a PB 2:12.4 with Charlotte taking 2nd place in 2:16.0. Natalie had a great run over 1000m to finish 3rd. Sophie already has connections with the club but this was her first competition and she ran 75m in 14.5 and long jumped 2m 41. Hannah was our fastest sprinter running 12.7 in her 75m time trial.

Our Under 11 Boys were Will Collins, Thomas Kilburn, Sammy Pickerill and Harry Rimmer. These Under 11 events are designed to give youngsters a taste of what championships are like but Sammy and Will are already quite experienced. Today, Sammy won his 600m race in 1:51.1 with Will taking the 3rd place medal in 2:06.4. Sammy also won the long jump competition. His best of 3m 47 was a new PB by 10 cms and he also took a medal in the 150m. The other two boys are new to club competition. Harry was outstanding with wins in both 75m and 150m in 11.0 and 22.2 and he took silver in the long jump clearing 3m 34. Thomas too won a medal to take home, in the turbo javelin, with a best throw of 12m 60.

Our Under 13 Girls were one of our two largest contingents, made up of Maisie Bird, Amber Hughes, Jessica Keenan, Annabel Lockie, Grace Tobin, Katie Piercy and Alex Murphy-Worrall. These girls had six event wins between them and two 2nd places. Amber won her 150m heat in 21.2 and went on to won the final in a PB 21.0. She also won the 70m hurdles in 13.3 - a delight to see two Southport Waterloo girls lead the hurdlers down the straight, Katie taking 2nd place in 13.5 secs. Katie was individually impressive in the throws where she won both the shot, with a best of 8m 06, equalling the club record set by Alex Bunclark in 2013, and the javelin, with 24m 56, which replaced Megan Howarth club record of two years ago. Her previous javelin best was 17m 52, so this is a vast improvement. Grace was another event winner in the 800m. She looked very impressive at the head of 10 runners, winning fairly easily in 2:37. Grace also ran a PB 21.7 in her heat of the 150m to qualify for the final. Alex also took a medal in the 800m when she finished 3rd in 2:46, a new PB time. Jessica ran 11.9 for 75m and her 4m 19 shot put was a Season's Best. Finally, Annabel ran the 1200m in 4:37 and Maisie ran an 800m in 3:09, finishing at a fast pace to encouragement from her coach. All these girls are progressing very fast indeed and clearly enjoying their athletics, the first requirement of success.

Our Under 13 Boys were Jack Clark, Michael Henderson, Paul Murphy-Worrall and Jonathon Pilkington. Michael took a bronze in the high jump with a PB-equalling clearance of 1m 25 but he is better known as a distance runner. He led the field in the 1500m but lost 1st place in the last couple of meters when the 2nd runner surged past and the 3rd placed runner just got Michael on the line by the thickness of his vest. But another bronze medal and a PB and grade 2 time of 4:54.4 is not to be sneezed at! Paul's 15.1 for 100m was a new PB, as was his best long jump of 3m 72. Jonathon competed in the YDL match at Whitehaven and managed to improve his performances here at Bebington with a PB in both the high jump (1m 20) and the 75m hurdles (15.8). And finally, Jack Clark was another new athlete competing today and with 14.4 for 100m, 29.1 for 200m and 2:46 for 800m, we can look forward to the potential developing here.

This year's crop of Under 15 Girls is showing great promise. At Bebington, they were Alice Bird, Megan Howarth, Lucy Milling, Louise Murphy-Worrall, Stephanie Robertson and Freya Walsh. Megan improved her javelin club record to a G1 36m 41 to win that competition and she was 2nd in the hammer with a best throw of 29m 08. Stephanie improved her 70m hurdles record to 11.7 to win that competition and she also won the triple jump with 10m 01, a 60 cms improvement to her PB - very satisfying to clear the 10 metres barrier and to reeplace Charlotte Buckingham 9m 79 record from 2006! I don't know why but Stephanie appears in the Under 17 Women's 100m heat where she ran 13.4 and qualified for the final where she again ran 13.4, outside of the medal positions. She would almost certainly have medalled in the Under 15 Girls' race. Lucy took a county bronze in the high jump clearing 1m 30 but looked particularly impressive in the 1500m race, her first over tat distance as far as I am aware. She ran an excellent 5:08.6 for a 5th place finish. Freya is experiencing unpleasant growth pain at the moment but still competed in the 1500m, finishing in 5:37. Alice opted for the shorter middle distance, completing the 800m in 2:49. Louise ran a Season's Best 14.3 for 100m and took a shot bronze medal for a PB throw of 8m 30.

Our Under 15 Boys were Sam Coupland, Lewis McMahon, Josh Stammers and Luke Suarez. There were no event wins here but 6 medals were taken and a number of PBs achieved. Sam took three bonze medals with a great 1m 55 high jump, a 21m 32 discus throw and a 25m 53 PB javelin throw. Sam's previous best in UKA high jump competition was 1m 47 although he did improve that at Bebington recently in other competition. His javelin throw at Bebington was also a PB by about 2.5 metres!! Lewis recorded PBs in all his events; 21m 14 in the javelin, 6m 33 in the shot and 2:33.2 for his 800m. Luke ran a PB 25.9 for 200m but it was his long jump that gave him a county medal , a bronze for 4m 62. Luke long jumped 5m 82 in an English Schools Cup match last week so there is clearly more to come here. Josh ran a Season's Best 13.6 for 100m and a PB-equalling 27.7 for 200m and he took the long jump silver with 4m 65.

Our Under 17 Women were Jessica Dean, Eve McMahon and Mia Tomlinson-Oldfield. Mia took a 300m bronze with a 46.0 run over 300m after finishing 2nd in her 100m heat, in a SB's 13.3, and she went on to run 13.6 in the Final. Jessica has had to wait a long time to beat her 2015 800m PB time of 2:31.94 but it happened today; 2:27.5! And Eve threw a PB 26m 20 in the javelin competition, an improvement of about 1.5 metres, to take a county silver and she was 4th in the shot with 7m 79.

The Under 17 Men were Ben Apps, Ethan Harrison, Tom Kwissa, Darion Moore, Jack O'Neill, Joshua Pieles, and Joseph Stuart. Great to see so many competing in this age group and good news for our Senior T&F team. Ben Apps won the triple jump competition. He showed a big improvement at Cleckheaton in the Northern League and he has improved his best again to 12m 86. He is now just 40 cms off Adam Chandley's club record that was set in 2002! Ben also won the long jump with 6m 08, another PB. High jumper Tom marginally improved his PB to 1m 66 with a 3rd place at Bebington. On the track, Joseph achieved a massive improvement to his 200m PB from 26.9 to 23.4! That earned him a county silver. Other sprinters competing were Jack, 12.4 and 25.4, Ethan 12.8 and 26.2, new runner Darion, 13.1 and 28.5, and Josh 26.7 for 200m and 59.6 for 400m. Josh's 5m 07 long jump was also a Season's Best.

If it was good to see seven Under 17 Men at Bebington, it was even better to see five Junior Men! They were Jimmy Alderson, Nathan Bradshaw, Nathan Byrne, Harry Flanagan and Ethan Hughes. Nathan won both the shot and discus competitions with PB throws of 11m 65 and 34m 09 respectively. Harry and Nathan Bradshaw were the short sprinters, Harry running 11.3 for 4th ain the 100m, Nathan running 12.2,. Earlier, Harry ran a Season's Best in the 200m in 22.6 Harry was 4th in his 100m straight final but that doesn't tell the story as the first four crossed the line virtually together, the first 2 given a time of 11.2 and the next two 11.3. In such finishes, the dip can make the difference between 1st and 4th. In his 200m race, there was only a tenth of a second between Harry and the winner. Jimmy ran an 800m in 2:05.5, just outside his recently set PB.

Katy Coupland was our only Senior Woman. She won the discus competition with a PB 29m 65 and was 2nd in the shot with 7m 27.

In the Senior Men's competition, Matthew Campbell, Lee Coupland and Liam Harris were competing. Liam left with two gold and a silver medal, winning the shot and hammer competition with 10m 26 and 39m 57, and finishing 2nd in the discus with 30m 86 - all Season's Bests. Its very early in the season but Laim is already closing in on his 40m 39 hammer PB which isn't that far off the club record of 41m 64.

Lee won the triple jump with a Season's Best 9m 18 and Mathew ran 53.6 for his 400m race.

Full results | Results for club athletes

And one final comment. Amongst the 60+ athletics officials working at these championships were several from Southport Waterloo, including the Field Referee Steve Boreham. Southport Waterloo officials have, over the years, regularly been appointed to senior roles as Track Referee or Chief Timekeeper at our county championships but I cannot recall anyone from the club previously appointed to the role of Field Referee. ... unless you know didfferentl! Congratulations to Steve on his appointment.

11th May 2017: Ben Johnson to represent England in Toronto Marathon

Based on his excellent time in the London Marathon, Ben Johnson has achieved his first international selection as part of the England team in the Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

From the England Athletics website: Following performance at the Virgin London Marathon and England Championships last month the following ... athletes have been selected to represent England at the Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon in October.

The Men’s team mixes experience with first time internationals.  Jonathan Poole (Club: Serpentine RC), Lee Grantham (Club: East Cheshire Harriers) and Ben Johnson (Club: Southport Waterloo AC) all finished within 15 seconds of each other at London and having achieved the England athletics development standard, will make up the men’s team alongside US-based Keith Gerrard (Club: Newham & Essex Beagles, Coach: Art Acevedo). Gerrard who has represented England on the cross-country on a number of occasions will make his debut on the road in an England vest, alongside Johnson and Grantham.

The Scotiabank Toronto Waterfront Marathon which is an IAAF Gold Label event will offer the competing athletes an excellent development experience in terms of preparing for an international marathon across the Atlantic.

Road Running Coordinator Charlotte Fisher said, "This is a great opportunity for the marathon runners. The event is superbly well organized and the elite athletes are well looked after by our Canadian hosts. Last year’s team took a great deal from their international experience in Toronto and I’m sure this year’s team will find the opportunity equally valuable in their future development."

9th May 2017: Mearley Clough, the 4th Fell GP race

Worston village was the beautiful setting on a lovely sunny spring evening for the 4th round of the fell running grand prix. The Mearley Clough is a short ‘A’ class race which is quite tough with a sharp climb.

The race starts in the village and the route to the summit can be seen from the start, it is a gradual climb over fields, through  woods and crossing streams to the start of the steep demanding climb to the summit before rounding the stones to start the fast descent back to the village. The course was very dry and the ground hard (unusual for Pendle Hill) this allowed for some good fast running. Despite the good conditions the course record remained intact.

John Sprackland was again first home for the club in 40.37, followed by Ed Sherstone in 43.31, Brian Davey was third home in 45.55 with Clive James fourth home in 49.38.

In the ladies grand prix Michelle Spencer maintained her 100% record coming home first for the club in 50.23 and Carole James was in second place in 55.39.

After the race the evening was finished off with a well-earned free pasta supper for all runners in the local pub. The next race in the Grand Prix series is at Clougha Pike on Saturday June 17th starting at 3.00 pm. There is also a programme of junior races starting at 2.00pm.

GP Standings

7th May 2017: Mark Dunham 2nd in Liverpool Spring 10K

Mark Dunham finished 2nd of nearly 3,500 runners in Sunday's Liverpool Spring 10K. His time of 33:12 was a new PB, in his 2nd 10K of the year. Rachel Jacks was our 2nd finisher and our first woman in 40:27, a new PB for the distance for her too. For others, the times look a little down on what might have been expected.

In all, 15 Southport Waterloo runners completed the course. The others were Mike Walker (41:32), Mike Murray (42:33), James Brooker (42:39), David Wright (43:00), Tracey Allan (44:23), Robbie Trecharichi (45:49), Alan Joyce (45:53), Angela Delaney (46:05), David Marsh (47:35), Chris Hewitt (54:51), Amanda Bradbury (59:12), Jane Blacklin (60:27) and Mike Leatherbarrow (77:16).

6th May 2017: Mid table finish for promoted Seniors in first Northern League fixture

The long awaited return to Division 3 of the Northern T&F League took us to Cleckheaton on Saturday for Match 1 of the new season. It was strange to see so very few club tents and Southport Waterloo were the only club flying their banner flag. And the competition was muted with low numbers in many events, similar to Division 4. The difference was in the standard of performance which was, as expected, generally a step up from the lower division. Trafford had very few athletes there and so it was no surprise that they finished last. Southport Waterloo were 4th of the six teams.

The scores were St Helens 367, Manchester Harriers 351, Spenborough 324, Southport Waterloo 294, Halifax Harriers 265 and Trafford 71.

With local club Halifax only managing 5th place and Trafford athletes presumably supporting higher league competition, we might just stay up in Division 3!

We didn't on the day have the depth of quality to finish higher, but there was no doubting the strong team spirit and the desire of all the athletes to compete for their team and get the very best score possible.

My athlete of the match was Ethan - "not all heroes wear capes" - Hughes who was outstanding for his team, winning the javelin competition and even volunteering for the 5000m. OK, so he does combined events but how many sprinters would take on a track 5000m?

Our Women's team comprised just 5; Under 17s Jessica Dean and Mia Tomlinson Oldfield, both moving up to senior competition for the first time, and Seniors Katy Coupland, Carole James, and Lynn Vickers. There were no event wins here but Jessica was 2nd in the 800m in 2:35 and Katy threw a Season's Best 28m 69 for 2nd place in the discus competition. Katy was the backbone of the women's team competing in the maximum number of events. In addition to discus, she threw the hammer 19m 91 - so close to her 19m 98 PB - the javelin 14m 77, the shot 7m 50, a Season's Best. She long jumped 3m 10, triple jumped 6m 44 and on the track ran 100m hurdles in 31.0. Lynn also competed in 7 events, including the 4 x 100m relay. She ran 100m in 20.4, 400m in 100.8, put the shot 4m 28 - a first in that event I think - 8m 72 in the discus, 12m 01 in the javelin and 12m 28 in the hammer.

Mia equalled her best this season in the 100m, running 13.5, ran 28.1 for 200m and she long jumped 4m 20, just a couple of cms off her PB. And finally Carole featured in the track events running a 400m hurdles for the first time in 85.4, then an 800 in 3:19, a 400 in 90.1 and a 200 in 38.9.

Our Men were Under 17s Ben Apps, Tom Kwissa, Jack O'Neill and Harry Pike, Under 20s Jimmy Alderson, Nathan Byrne, Harry Flanagan and Ethan Hughes, and Seniors Graham Boreham, Chris Burgess, Lee Coupland, David Gough, David Hamilton and Liam Harris. The men had three event wins; Liam in the Hammer, Ethan in the javelin and David G in the steeplechase. In the sprints, Harry ran an impressive 11.3 for 100m with jack running 12.1. In the non-scoring race, Ethan ran 12.0, and Chris B 12.3, equalling his best this season. Over 200m, Harry ran 22.9. With three lads crossing the line behind the winner, all in 22.9, Harry was judged 3rd. Jack ran 25.0 for the 200m, close to his PB. Graham arrived in time to run a 400m in a Season's Best 55.0. In the 'B' race Jimmy ran 56.1 which was pretty good so soon after an impressive run in the 800m where he clocked a PB 2:04.7. Our 1500m runners were Harry in 4:59 and Ethan in 5:38 but it was Ethan's 5000m race we will remember, crossing the line in 23:20 (without the need for oxygen) behind David Hamilton who ran 16:29, close to his best. Ethan had also featured in the 400m hurdles taking 2nd place in 62.6, David Gough ran the short sprint hurdles in 26.3, the 1500m in 5:38.7 and was a clear winner in the 3000m steeplechase, clocking 12:03.3.

In the Field events, Tom Kwissa had a best clearance of 1m 60 in the high jump, Ben Apps long jumped to a PB of 6m 07 with Harry clearing 6m 02 and Jimmy teamed up with Lee in the triple jump, Jimmy clearing 9m 08 and Lee 8m 59.

There were several PBs in the throws. Nathan's 29m 99 in the discus was a PB (although he would have given anything for another 2 cms!) and he won the 'B' shot competition with 9m 96. Ethan's 42m 51 throw with a senior javelin gave him an event win and a PB. Liam just kept improving through the hammer competition and went on to win that with 39m 14. I predict a new PB very shortly! He also won the 'B' discus with 27m 49 and put the shot 10m 25. Finally, Chris Burgess threw the javelin a Season's Best 29m 95 and Lee's hammer throw of 17m 88 was a new PB.

Thanks to team manager Lee Coupland. After marshalling our officials and helpers for the day, Steve Boreham reports he was joined in Field events by "Christopher Henders, Lee Copeland, Steve Flanagan, Elaine Jones, with special guest appearances by our intrepid Time Keepers Ron Scott and Dave Whitehead who once again braved the Men's Hammer competition out in the field at 11am. A special mention also as once again we offered an opportunity to an U15/U17 athlete to work with the Ruling side of the competition and gain valuable experience of what it is actually like to "be an official" so a special thanks to Sam Coupland for working with us today in all our three timetabled field events." And thanks, too, to Steve James who was our Track Judge.

The next Northern League match is a Home fixture at Litherland on Sunday 4th June when we need to get out our very best squad. The July fixture hosted by Halifax Harriers is at a relatively new track on Huddersfield Rd in Halifax, and not as I previously thought at Horsfall Stadium in Bradford.

Full results (when available) | Results for Southport Waterloo

1st May 2017: Improved Club Record for Stephanie Robertson at Stretford

The Bank Holiday Monday Open Medal meeting at Stretford once again proved popular with a number of our juniors, 10 Under 11s, 13s and 15s taking part.

Under 15 Stephanie Robertson improved her own 75m hurdles club record. She set the record last year at 12.0 secs and smashed it at Stretford running 11.79.

Her 13.19 for 100m was also a PB and, in the long jump, she added 30 cms to her previous best with 4m 91.

Under 15 Bethany Swift ran 17.95 for 100m and threw the discus 9m 34, both new PBs.

Under 15 Megan Howarth ran 30.48 for 200m - a PB by half a second - and threw the javelin 32m 73.

Under 15 Sam Coupland threw the discus 21m 78, the javelin 23m 04 and he long jumped 4m 27. Both throws were PBs.

Under 13 Katelyn Swift ran 12.06 for 75m, a PB 23.76 for 150m and she high jumped 1 metre.

Under 13 Libby Simpson ran the 800m in 2:57.14.

Under 13 Amber Hughes threw the javelin 17m 99 and put the shot 6m 51.

Under 13 Katie Piercy threw the javelin 16m 87, put the shot a very good PB of 7m 73 and she ran the 70m hurdles in 14.69.

Under 11 Sammy Pickerill ran 1:56.81 for 600.

Under 11 Will Collins ran 2:01.81 for 600m.

Full results