Northwest Regional Final, Norwich Union Sportshall , Wigan, 23 February.
Vicky Johnson, Laura Savage, Mike Ehlen and Callum McDowell collected medals in the Norwich Union Sportshall Northwest meeting at
Wigan. Vicky won the shot and together with Laura formed part of the winning 4 x 2 lap obstacle race team while
Mike and Callum collected silver in the triple jump and Bronze in the vertical jump. Sarah Lewis,Ryan Tapley and
Ben Clough also competed for Merseyside in another successful afternoon for St Helens-Sutton.
National Cross Country Championships at Parliament Hill,
London, 22 February
Not for 20 years has the club experienced such an eventful National, with quality and
quantity going hand in hand as today's athletes laid the foundations on which we will build over the next ten years.
Twentythree athletes started the five events in which the club took part and twentythree athletes finished.
Some were bathed in glory, others were covered in mud, all were outstanding ambassadors for the club.
Dave Forrester and Mike Burke finished 12th and 20th in the under 13 Boys' race, Dave continuing his fine run of form and Mike
showing great character after recent setbacks. Mike Ehlen, running with one shoe, Ben Clough, John Dumbell and Steve Clague
made up the squad which took 11th place,
defeating all other Northern teams bar Leeds City who took the silver medals.
Dave Twigg, starting more conservatively than at the Inter-Counties, came through to 32nd place, in the under 15 race,
thus placing three runners in the top forty of any National for the first time in more than 20 years. Barry Cunliffe made it five in 100, taking
87th place in the junior competition.
The first senior women's team to finish a National since 1996 were 40th our best result since Luton in 1995. Cecilia Fitzsimons, Louise Casey,
Chris Dempsey and Pam Appleton making the count ahead of
Julia Eccleston, Janet Holmes and Margaret Hunter-Frackelton. Chris had two falls but refused to submit as she collected half the
course on her legs and shoes while Margaret was eight minutes ahead of the final runner to finish in a field of almost 400.
The girls were the first Merseyside team to finish.
Gill Bacon continued her mastery, or should that be misstery, over Sarah Jones
(Macclesfield) to finish 62nd. Gill has been chosen to represent Merseyside in the forthcoming inter-counties half marathon at Wilmslow.
The course got heavier as the day went on but Ray Vose led the team to a two place and 143 point improvement.The club was
the second Merseyside team to finish behind Wirral A.C. Ray finished 110 places higher than he did at Bristol in 2002.
Barry Graney's late night team talk didn't prevent him from picking up 40 places over last year while Ian White's Sunday
morning training paid off as third man home for the team. Anthony Davies, Andy Boyack and Richard Bradshaw completed the
count with John Irwin and Alan Davies completing the course before getting lost on the London Underground on the
way back to the hotel!!
That only continued the tradition of those who couldn't find the hotel in the first place.
Changing the name from the Howard Johnson to the Holiday Inn didn't help and having two Holiday Inns within 600 metres
of each other was a crafty move but everyone got there eventually and enjoyed a convivial time eating at the Fox and Goose,
ordering slow pizzas and exchanging tall tales. Many thanks to Duncan and Denise Twigg, Paul Forrester,
Steve Eccleston and offspring, Sandra Dumbell, Sue Clague and Frank Ellis for being part of the club's travelling
support and easing the burden of driving. A small thanks to Phil Thomas for administrative work before and on the day.
Many thanks too Joe Ehlen who provided a tent fit to sleep in, Sue Clague for providing wind shelters,
Mrs Forrester, Colin Cunliffe, Luke Burke and Tom for travelling on the day to support the club and showing more stamina than most of us
could manage. They all deserve a few days rest. Dream On !
We missed Danny McLoughlin who was unable to travel owing to his wife's hospitalisation and Jodie Nelson who was doing
course work but are looking forward to them taking part next year at Leeds, along with full teams in as many age groups as possible
so we can expand on the superb performances at Parliament Hill on 22 February 2003. Results
Stockport 16 February
A dozen members
competed at Stockport with David Forrester taking first place in the
under 13 event. The Under 13 girls' trio, Sara McLoughlin, Lucy Cannon
and Kim Bridge were fourth on a course not suited to their nimble feet and
the under 11 team, Laura Crook, Zoe Woodward and Katie Jolly packed well
for sixth. The senior ladies, Louise Casey, Cecilia Fitzsimons & Julia
Eccleston were eighth in the senior and veterans' contests. Mike
Ehlen steered the under 13's into sixth place with Melissa McLoughlin
defying the cold to claim 21st position and tenth in the team event. The
aggregate team results are not yet available and, as the last match clashes with
our own road race, attendance will depend on those positions, athletes' track
preparations and our overall racing strategy. The senior men chose to rest prior
to the National championships which remains an primary indicator of our overall strength
as a club. Results
Parbold Hill Race:
Parbold 15 February
St Helens-Sutton didn't
appear in the results at Parbold, although three club members were in the
top eight. Mark Laithwaite finished third in 42.17, Paul Singleton
was sixth in 42.41 and Tony Smith eighth in 42.52. None are available for
this weekend's National but hopefully their performances are indicative of good
performances to come on the track.
Nick Beer 10k,
Llandudno 9 February
One year on from
fielding our first road race team of the new era the same trio of Louise
Casey, Cecilia Fitzsimons and Chris Dempsey travelled to Llandudno, where
they finished third 12 months ago and came away with five prizes, including
first team. Louise was 8th, finishing second in the
open race. Cecilia was 10th (second in the over 50
category) while Christine in 15th place was the first over
40 lady to finish, having run seven minutes faster than 2002. Julia Eccleston
made her debut in the event, running faster than Chris did last year. Richie
Bradshaw kept the men's flag flying by finishing tenth in the over 50
category. St Helens- Sutton
is back in winning mode and there's much more to come. Results
A late flash that Tony
O'Connor, the reigning Northern 1500 metres champion, won a bronze medal in
the Northern crosscountry championships in which he was the first over 40 to
finish. Full details as soon as possible.
Meeting, Crewe 9 February
The under 11 girls were
fourth in this final fixture, defeating SouthportWaterloo by a single
point. The under 13 and under 15 girls took fifth place. Plans are
already in place to strengthen this re-organised area of the club's activities
for the 2003/4 season. Results
Cross Country Woolaton Park, Nottingham, 8 February
Travelling reserve Ben
Clough was called into the Merseyside team on the day giving the club
50% of the under 13 Boys' team. Lead runner Dave Forrester beat
county champion Paul Cummings again to finish 12th. Mike Burke was 87th, Mike
Ehlen (201) and Ben 244. Significantly, the alds were less than two minutes
apart in time. Merseyside finished eighth overall.
Tony Smith justified
his call up to the team by making the count, Barry Cunliffe was the fifth
Merseyside runner home. Gill Bacon suffered a reoccurance of her recent
illness and was obliged to withdraw during the race.
For Cheshire, Dave
Twigg tried a different tactic while Jodie Nelson enjoyed her last
minute call up. Results
Meeting : Warrington 1st February
musketeers competed in artic conditions at Warrington. Laura Crook
won the 75m, 150m and long jump with 11.5, 23.9 and 2.95. She also
took second place in the 600 metres in 2.06.9. Zoe Woodward won the 600m
and was second in the 75m, 150m and long Jump with 11.7, 25.2 and
2.91. The third member of the hardy squad was Katie Jolly who
recorded 13.4, 2.21.9 and 2.83 in the 75m, 600m and long jump. Caroline
Morley also turned up in plenty of time only to be told she could not
compete. Warrington A C will be informed of our displeasure.
Schools in Action
Dave Forrester clinched his place in the Greater Manchester Schools team
for the ESSA Championships next month by finishing third in the Junior
Boys' event. In the Merseyside Schools' League under 12 competition Mike
Ehlen was third, John Dumbell 5th, Ben Clough eighth and Steve Clague 33rd.
In the older age group Mike Burke finished eighth. We are still waiting to hear how Dave Twigg, Jodie Nelson and Sara McLoughlin
fared for Cheshire Schools' at Frodsham