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St Helens Sutton
Athletic Club

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St Helens Sutton Athletic Club

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Liverpool & District League, Beacon Park. 30 November

Chairman Ray Vose was optimistic for the championship season after the team finished fourth in the final Liverpool & District Cross Country League match at Beacon Park, Upholland. The result means the team are relegated although they can take heart from the fact that their scoring was significantly better than the two promoted teams and we can expect to bounce straight back next season. What we should now ask for is a division two trophy.

With Mark Laithwaite nursing a broken rib from his foray in Borneo it was left toTony Smith to remind the Merseyside selectors of his quality by leading the club home in tenth place. Paul Singleton (16), Barry Cunliffe (28), Barry Graney (33), Ray Vose (33) and Gill Bacon (49) completed the count and managed to get her picture on the SouthportWaterloo website.

Ian White (64), Tony Davies (74) and John Irwin (132) also completed the course with John delighted there were 11 finishers behind him. No results are available for the youngsters’ races although our lads dominated the events which took place. Full details will be published when they are available.

Wesham 10k: 30 November 

Three members competed in the Wesham 10k. John Appleton, who is a family member, was 35th in 28.20. Two new veteran ladies, Joan Byrne and Donna Brimble finished 298th and 299th in 59.20 and 58.21 respective both creditable debuts. 332 finished the course.

Salford Women’s 5 : 24 November.

The club’s progress over the past 12 months was demonstrated by the record turn out of senior women in the Salford Women’s 5 held over 5 miles 378 yards at Swinton. A dozen girls ran (double last year's number) the team was second - one place up on last year - Cecilia Fitzsimons and Dorothy Fairhurst were second in their respective age groups while Dorothy, Chris Dempsey and Jeannette Sanderson picked up spot prizes.

Jeanette was one of five newcomers who passed the five mile mark under the pre-race target of an hour. The others were Karen Wright, Nicola Bescoby, Janet Eccleston and Susan Howarth. All will now be stepping up their training to compete in the Liverpool Women’s 10k in May.

Louise Casey led the club home, running 90 seconds faster than last year, Cecilia set a personal best for the course, Pam Appleton and Chris completed the team.  There were sterling performances from Julia Eccleston, who finished in the top third of the 208 strong field and Margaret Hunter - Frackelton on her return from injury.

Cecilia was very disappointed she finished ten seconds short of winning her third successive over 50 prize but she has already laid claim to the over 55 award next year. Everyone else is recruiting another runner to double our numbers again.

The Two Mikes on Song : Coventry 23 November.

Mike Burke and Mike Ehlen started the weekend off in fine style by doubling the number of club athletes competing for Merseyside Schools. The experienced  Burke finished 14th with Ehlen 40th on his debut run. Well done to both of them. 

Indoor and Out

A small but enthusiastic group of Sports Hall athletes competed at Ellesmere Port in the second round of the winter league. Laura Crook, Zoe Woods, Katie Jolley, Zoe Woodward and Louise Hayes competed in the under 11's, Vicky Johnson won the under 13 shot putt, Mike Ehlen and Ben Clough spearhead the challenge from the under 13 boys with Ryan Tapley and Greg Brierley our under 15 competitors. Full results will be posted on the website when received. Julia Hayes and John Irwin stepped in to carry out the team manager's duties and Julia will continue in that capacity for the rest of the season. Teams for all future matches will be selected in advance and notification provided for all the athletes concerned. As non counters can score in all events the club will be aiming to maximising its turn out for the next match in January. Many thanks are due also to all the parents who provided transport and support for the competitors. Their continued support will make this club strong again.

The previous day Mike Ehlen and Mike Burke had won their respective races at the Merseyside Schools' Cross Country League, Sara McLoughlin was eighth in her race and Melisa McLoughlin made a steady debut. The two Mikes have been chosen to represent Merseyside Schools in a match at Coventry this weekend and carry our heartiest congratulations with them.

Northern Women's League Sherdley Park, St Helens 10 November    

Gill BaconIt was another record breaking day for the club with eight finishers in the senior race and three in the under 13 competition. Gill Bacon led the team home finishing third. Louise Casey (16), Cecilia Fitzsimons (33) and Pam Appleton (47) completed the count with 99 points, an improvement of 69 over last time. The B team of Chris Dempsey, Julia Eccleston, Pauline Picton and Janet Holmes came in at regular intervals to score 227. 

In the under 13 competition Sara McLoughlin, Kim Bridge and Lucy Cannon all found the going tough but finished, covered in mud, of course. With Jessica Cretu available for the championships we should be able to challenge for medals at Croxteth Park in January. 

Many thanks are due to course layers John Irwin, Janet Holmes, Joe Ehlen, Alan Davies and Phil Robinson. Phil, Alan and Joe also helped marshall as did Steve Eccleston, Sue Clague, Sue Lowrie and Dorothy Fairhurst. Jackie Lewis hobbled along to provide moral support and several of the young sprinters stayed on after their morning training session to support the club. Julia Hayes supported guest timekeeper Robbie Wood as recorder. Many thanks to everyone.

Liverpool & District League: Huyton, November 2.    

The club finished third, defeating Liverpool Harriers, in the second league match of the season. Mark Laithwaite in third place was well backed by Paul Singleton, Tony Smith and Barry Graney, all of whom earned places in the top two dozen. Ray Vose held off the fast finishing Gill Bacon to close the team score with 146 points, an improvement of 113 on last time and only beaten by Wirral and Liverpool Running Club. 

It was good to see Danny McLoughlin and Andy Boyack keeping up the club numbers on a far from salubrious day and, although Andy O'Connor pulled up with a pulled calf, the good news is that he will be available for the Championships. The club will need to produce a strong team performance in the final match to avoid relegation, although, as both divisions race in the same contest and the scores are completed on a joint basis, it seems ludicrous to promote clubs whose scores are inferior to those which will be relegated unless, of course, some tangible award, such as a trophy or sets of medals, are awarded to the promoted sides. 

Greg Williams, Dave Twigg and Dave Forrester each won their races, Tom Griffiths and John Appleton completing a clean sweep in the under 15's, Mike Ehlen and Ben Clough taking third and fourth in the 13 race. With Mike Burke, who was a superb sixth in the Reebok Challenge race at Birmingham, to count, the club will be looking for a set of team medals at the Merseyside Championships in January and the continuation of the rebuilding of St Helens-Sutton into a major force. Results.

Abergele 5 : Sunday, November 3.    

Louise Casey and Dorothy Fairhurst were amongst the prize winners at the Abergele 5 although neither of them knew it until the results appeared on the Web. Louise was the sixth lady and Dorothy was the first over 60 to finish. Dorothy thought several over 60's had beaten her until it was pointed out that she's looking younger than ever these days!! Julia Eccleston made up for missing the postponed Seaside race with a hard run in 137th place overall. Results.

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