News reports - May 2021

30th May 2021: Two club records and a Northern title for Sam Coupland


This weekend’s welcome return to athletics also included the first National event in the England Athletics Senior & Under 20 Combined Events Championships held at Bedford International Stadium.  The event had been questionable just days before when Bedford’s high rate of the new variant of virus made the headlines but went ahead with all athletes (and support) having to be tested before both days of competition and no spectators allowed.


Sam Coupland attended competing in the Under 20 Decathlon, once again the youngest in his age group, his previous England Medals having caught the attention of the announcer who piled the pressure on before the first event by sharing high hopes for Sam over the tannoy, and it was a slightly disappointing start to the weekend with a 100m in 12.21s in cool windy conditions.  Confidence was restored with a good long jump of 6.19m and a Shot personal best of 9.76m maintained high spirits.  A slightly lower than expected high jump of 1.77m was followed by the concluding event of day 1 with a credible 53.34s in the 400m.   Concluding day 1 with a point total of 2,978 good for 6th place.


Day 2 was much warmer and sunny, though still windy and Sam was drawn in the higher pools/heats which he would have preferred to have avoided.  In the first event the 110m Hurdles a knocked over hurdle was quite a distraction, but Sam managed to get to the line safely in 17.16s and a new Southport Waterloo club record.  Discus was very disappointing with a standing “safe” effort being the only one to count at 20.35m.  Pole Vault is the 7th event and does take a lot of time in the schedule, a best effort of 3.44m also another age group club record though Sam has jumped higher a great return to competitive vaulting.  Javelin 29.39m into a very strong headwind followed by a gruelling 1,500m in 5:11.1 at 7:30pm.  A long two days.


Sam finished 9th overall, 4th Englishman (in a field with lots of home nations talent and a Frenchman) with a total of 5,120 points and presented with the Northern Athletics gold medal and title, noted in the Roll of honour. Congratulations to Callum Newby of Edinburgh AC on winning the event.  

Next combined events fixture for our athletes will be the Regional Schools championships in Telford where Sam will be joined by many club team mates representing both Merseyside and Lancashire on 26th/27th June – a date that unfortunately collides with the next round of the YDL upper. 

30th May 2021: First league T&F meeting since August 2019

Hurrah! After a loss of the 2020 season due to Coronavirus, the partial lifting of national restrictions enabled West Cheshire to host a truncated Youth Development League match for Under 17s and Under 20s at Ellesmere Port on Sunday. Social distancing and sanitation rules applied but it was such a delight to see so many young athletes competing in club competition after an absence of 21 months. And the weather joined in the celebration with glorious warm sunshine.

Even with restrictions partially lifted, many venues remain unable to host a meeting and so West Cheshire are to be congratulated for a successful meeting.

Competition was not completely back to normal, however, with a restricted timetable imposed by the League - to keep competitor numbers down perhaps? - with only half of the 76 events on offer on Sunday. But it was a start; and a most welcome one.

To minimise travel, the League has been structured to keep clubs fairly local this year so Southport Waterloo was up against stronger competition than they would normally face in this league, up against Preston Harriers, Liverpool Harriers, West Cheshire, Wirral and North Wales. A widely defined 'Merseyside' division ! All to the good for our athletes but few were available for this first match. Just 6 women and 6 men. With no promotion or relegation this year, points were less important than just getting back to competition but Wirral won the match with a strong team competing, followed by Liverpool, N Wales, Preston, West Cheshire and Southport Waterloo.

Olivia Logan was our best athlete recording a grade 3 performance in the 1500m race. After such a long absence of in terms of both training and competition a wave of PBs can be expected this year from our teenage athletes. And our 12 athletes recorded 11 at Ellesmere Port.

Women's match. Triathlete Olivia Logan was an early competitor, winning the U20W's 1500m race in 4:52.9. The other event winner was Lucy Milling running 11:01 for the 3000m combined U17W and U20W race in very warm conditions in the mid 20s C. U17 Amber Hughes competed as an Under 20, running a PB 200m in 26.4 for 2nd place, clearing 1m 50 in the high jump and putting the 4 kg shot 8m 65. Under 17 Niamh Procter also competed as an Under 20 in the 200m, recording a first time in this event of 30.0. In the Under 17 competition, she high jumped to a PB 1m 40 for a 2nd place and put the shot 6m 21. Jessica Keenan also put the Under 17 shot, recording a PB 7m 14 and her 29.3 for 200m was also a PB. Sierra Jalloh also ran a good 200m in 26.8.

Finally, Lucy, Amber, Jessica and Niamh competed a 4 x 400m relay, finishing 3rd. Amber ran the fastest leg in 64.1 but Lucy on the fist leg was almost as fast from a standing start, running 64.8.

Men's match. Joshua Stammers was a winner in the long jump with a best of 5m 86, with Drumayne Moore winning the 'B' competition in 5m 13. Joshua also recorded our team's fastest 100m time crossing the time in 11.4. Luke Suarez ran 11.5 in a very closely contested 'A' 100m race, all 6 runners finishing between 11.0 and 11.9! Drumayne ran a guest 100m in 12.3 and threw the discus 20m 6. Luke also featured in the discus with 20m 43.

In the Under 17 events, Jonathon was 2nd in the 400m hurdles in a PB 62.7. Nathan Fitzgerald ran a PB 11.7 for 100m and James Pike ran 2:22.9 for 800m, another PB.

Luke, Drumayne, Jonathon and Josh ran the 4 x 100m relay in 45.5 for 3rd place.

Lets hope club competition can continue with the YDL Lower match at Ellesmere Port next Saturday . Our Northern League division can't start until July and there is no word yet on when the Mid Lancs League can re-start.

Thanks to team managers Lee Coupland and Barrie Hughes and to Steve James and Lesley Scott for officiating on Sunday.

Full results (when published) : Results for club athletes.

15th May 2021: Young athletes impress early season at Trafford

With very little competition to speak of in 2020, it had been up to 2 years since many of our athletes last competed for the club. Over the past few weeks the open meetings at Trafford have been providing an opportunity for competition relatively locally and across 2 Saturdays, several young athletes made their way across to Stretford where PB’s were in abundance.

On 1st May, 11 athletes were in action; 1 U11, 3 U13’s and 7 U15’s. Under 11 Sophie Burns was competing for the first time and ran 12.68 for 75m, 25.40 for 150m and 2:19.02 for 600m. Older sister Jessica was also competing for the first time in the U13 Girls and produced a 12.17 75m and a 23.76 150m before finishing with a win in her 800m heat in a very creditable 2:58.42. The other U13 girl was Erin Griffin who competed in 75m & 150m, running 11.45 and 22.82 respectively, both of which were PB’s.

Lauren Byrne, Apphia Keenan & Emma Frankland-Hayes were the 3 U15 Girls in action. With the vast majority of the girls being either sprinters or multi eventers, all 3 stuck to the shorter distances. Lauren and Apphia both competed over the sprint hurdles and both ran PB’s, Lauren finishing in 13.09 and Apphia in 13.21. Later on, Apphia also competed in Long Jump and produced a PB 3.96m. Emma was competing for the first time, finishing the 100m in 13.49 and 200m in 28.27.

Conversely, most of the boys in the younger age groups are distance runners, and 4 of the endurance group competed over either 800m, 1200m or 1500m. U13 Harvey Thompson was running 1200 for the first time, and a charge in the final 200m brought him home in 2nd place in 4:17.01. U15’s Reuben Donnelly and Luke Ward both raced 800 and produced huge PB’s, Reuben front running almost the whole 2 laps to finish in 2:29.38, a first sub 2:30 and an improvement of nearly 7 seconds, while Luke, having already recorded a big PB over 1500m 2 weeks previously, did exactly the same here, pulling clear of everyone in the last 200 to finish in 2:25.24, again a first sub 2:30 and an improvement of more than 7 ½ seconds. Stephen Morgan ran a 1500 competitively for the first time, running 5:32.92 for the 3 ¾ laps of the track. Finally, multi eventer Adam Byrne competed in High Jump and cleared 1.51m, an improvement of some 11cm from his previous best.


2 weeks later, once again, 11 young athletes headed to Stretford for the last of the 3 junior open meetings; 3 U13’s and 8 U15’s. Erin Griffin again competed in the U13 Girls, improving the 150 time she set 2 weeks earlier by just over 0.2 seconds to 22.61, before running an 800 competitively for the first time later on, finishing in 2:53.6. Renee Adams also competed over 150 and in the fastest heat improved the PB which she set 4 weeks earlier by over half a second to 20.36, putting her within a second of the club record set by Sierra Jalloh in 2018.

Lauren Byrne, Charlotte Hughes, Emma Frankland-Hayes and Apphia Keenan competed in the U15 Girls. Lauren once again competed over the sprint hurdles and improved on her mark of 2 weeks ago, finishing in 13.7. Apphia stuck to the field events this time round, improving her long jump PB from 2 weeks earlier by some 44cm to 4.40m, and clearing 1.50m in High jump, another PB. Charlotte and Emma both raced over 100 and 200, Charlotte running 14.92 and 30.86, both PB’s and Emma finishing in 13.51, just 2 hundredths outside the time she ran 2 weeks previously, and 28.05, an improvement of just over 2 tenths on last time out.

On the boys side, U13 Harvey Thompson was in action again, this time over the shorter distances. First up was 150m, where he took nearly a second off his previous best from October 2020, winning his heat in 21.33. 90 minutes later, he ran an 800 competitively for the first time, in which he went from 6th at 200 to go to 1st at the finish, producing an excellent time of 2:35.47 for the 2 laps.

Under 15 Boys Stephen Morgan, Daniel Jones and Reuben Donnelly also competed over 800. Also running it for the first time competitively, Stephen finished in a very creditable 2:38.84 to win his heat after pulling away from everyone else in the final 200, while shortly afterwards, in his first 800 for nearly 2 years, Daniel took a colossal 27 seconds off his time in a very close race, finishing in 2:32.47. Also in a very close race was Reuben, as he held off 2 others down the home straight to finish 2nd in his heat in 2:26.06, a further improvement on 2 weeks previously of over 3 seconds. In the field, Adam Byrne was in action once again, improving his high jump best for the second time in as many weeks, clearing 1.55m, before improving his Shot PB by nearly 3 metres, throwing 10.08m.

There is a medal meeting at Trafford on Monday 31st May, details of which can be found on Trafford’s website. Following that is the first YDL fixture, on Saturday 5th June.