|Northern League: Wavertree: 31
July. Promotion for Senior Team:
From the moment Phil Robinson
and Ray Vose scored a double victory in the pole
vault to the javelin clean sweep achieved by
Phil and Ben Fisher we knew we would have a good
day. And so we did - so good we came within 5.5 points
of defeating winners Wigan, taking second place on the
day and for the season. We will start 2005 in division 2.
It was a victory based on self
sacrifice as Diane Appleton delayed her evening
out to finish second in the 800, 400 and 4 x 400
relay - when we only had four girls still standing.
Julia Eccleston gave up the day celebrating her
husband's birthday to achieve a personal best in the
3000. Chris Dempsey was unable to greet her son
on his return from holiday so the club would be represented in
the middle distances and Louise Casey competed despite
food poisoning. Lucy Mitchell won the triple
jump with ease before rushing off to her evening stint
at a restaurant.
It was a day for heroes and heroines,
Ian Crompton running a brilliant 300 metres then
realising there was another 100 metres to go!! Craig
Knight and newcomer Rachael Price took on the
unaccustomed role of 200 metres runners, Craig winning
and Rachael all but repeating the result in the ladies'
race to add to her second place in the high
Sue Lowrie led the sprinters
with a captain's performance and can now finally look forward
to resting her troublesome ankle. Natalie Mullineux was
again invaluable in the throws and Vicky Davies took
second place in the long jump with 4.21m.
There were winners too: Caroline
Morley bravely resisting the opposition in the 400 metres,
Greg Williams, Dave Twigg and veteran Andy
O'Connor scoring maximum B string points in the
steeplechase, 800 and 1500 metres respectively.
Puneet Gulati overcame her fears to add third place in
the discus to her javelin win.
Craig Knight set a club under
17 record in the 100 metres, Jake Davidson
set two in the jumps and added a senior one for good measure.
Steve Knowles, who has made a difference each time he's
competed this year, was second in the long and
Steve Mayers ran superbly for
the team, Ian Hayburn was ready to add events to the
gruelling hurdles and steeplechase until persuaded otherwise
by the timely appearance of Barry Graney who, with
Ian White, slogged round the 5000m.
Layla Tapley, having been for a
job interview, made a dramatic late entrance in the
hammer, was part of the winning 4x100 relay and
anchored the 4 x400m squad into second place to
rapturous applause. Julia Hayes was third in the hammer
while Steve Moran picked up useful points in the
John Irwin, George Mullineux, Fred
Bluett and Ian Fisher were our field event officials,
Ian officiating on the discus and javelin
but wisely ignoring the example of Andy Flintoff's dad by not
trying to catch Ben's big hits. As ever the superb
Sarah was on hand to keep Mrs Fisher from
getting too excited.
Dave Morley completed his
fifteenth stint as a track judge this season while
Frank Vose did sterling work as timekeeper, in
particular in providing the splits for the 4x400
Mr & Mrs Mitchell turned up,
uniform at the ready, to whisk Lucy away for her evening's
work and Danny McLoughlin was seen relaxing in the
stand alongside Stan Erlam and Tony Raffle. Mr
Moran was on hand to give Steve support and Ray
Vose's other half brought her father along to cheer the
We had 28 athletes out today.
They scored 374.5 points finishing second on the
day and second in the division. The points earned us
promotion but it was team spirit that got us
there. We've been promoted a season early. The challenge is to
build on that success. The challenge starts now.
National Junior League: 25
A few hardy souls travelled to Macclesfield's
exposed running track to compete on a shower-filled afternoon
in the final round of the National Junior League.
The results were sensational: sensational that no-one went
down with the 'flu or suffered from hypothermia. Our trio of
girls defeated Wirral to stay in seventh place
overall at the end of their first season. The lads were
fifth and took fifth place in their competition.
Rumours abound that the League will undergo changes. If it
means scoring as a club instead of separately as males and
females then St Helens-Sutton will give their full
Our cavalier trio opted for their favourite events.
Nicola Quinn set a personal best and club junior
record 18.87 in the hammer and recorded our
first junior league 100 hurdles in 21.7.
equalling the club record she set at Wavertree on 4 July.
Sarah Lewis ran the 100 and was our leading
discus thrower but withdrew from the 200 leaving
Layla Tapley to battle bravely in the sprint in support
of her jumping & throwing events.
Tom Griffiths and John Appleton ran superbly
in the 3000, each finishing second before giving new meaning
to the phrase "get one in" with a 1.51. javelin (Tom)
and a 4.28 shot (John). Tom was third B
and John fifth B in a nine club match, so titter ye not
as Frankie Howard would say.
Richard Atherton and Steve Moran tackled the
sprints with gusto, joining ace jumper Jake Davidson
and the irrepressible John Appleton in the relay.
John used the race as a warm up for his fourth place in
the steeplechase, recording club records for the
under 17 and junior age groups. Ben Fisher
won the javelin and set a new junior discus
record of 28.67. He was supported by high jump
debutant Sheru Gulati, mercifully wrapped up
against the cold and the rain.
Gold medals to John Irwin, Mr Atherton and Mr Fisher
- our field judges - and timekeeper Janet Holmes
who discovered that waterproof & rainproof are two
different things. Phil Thomas acted as team manager.
The Moran Family, including Steve's soon-to be hurdling
girlfriend, Mrs Fisher and Ben's girlfriend
(must get her name one of these days) were all in
A useful first season in which we attended all the matches
and opened the way for next year's crop of youngsters to move
through the ranks to raise the possibility of promotion. Of
course some will have to plan their annual holidays better but
that's another story.
Warrington Open Meeting 24
Thaddeus Amin-Somuah, Vicky Johnson and
Mike Jukes set club records at Victoria
Park. Thaddeus beat Dave Forrester's
400m mark by one tenth in 58.2 and
Vicky added over 20 cms to the record she set at
Nelson and equalled at Stretford earlier in the season and
shot putted 10.19m. Mike took the under
13 long jump record and came within a tenth of a
second of equalling his own 200 metres time.
Dave competed in the 800 finishing first in his age
group in 2.06.8,
confirmation of his rapid improvement while Adam Jukes
was fourth in the long jump and recorded 7.36 in
the shot putt. Owen Davidson won the cricket ball,
throwing 33.43 and long jumped 3.26.
Laura Crook recorded 10.9 (75), 21.4 (150) and
finished second in the shot with 7.27m. Zoe Woodward
collected the bronze in the 1500 m in 5.21.7,
recorded 11.3(75) and long jumped 3.43.
Jake Davidson long jumped 5.83 and shot
putted 10.57, the latter four cms. short of
another club record. Ben Fisher won the javelin with
53.99. Elliott Barron's results are to hand 11.4
(75m) & 2.03.7 (600). Thaddeus won the
100 & 200 metres, the latter in 25.3.
South Liverpool 5. Sefton Park 21
Half a dozen of our ladies tackled the South Liverpool
5 with John Irwin adding male support. Julia
Eccleston (83) 35.63, edged out Louise Casey (89)
35.48, and Chris Dempsey (141) 39.42. John came next
(177) 44.21, Janet Holmes (182) 44.43, Jean Dearing (187)
45.19 and Dorothy Fairhurst (189) 45.40.
Three More New Club Records:
Stretford 20 July
The club has three new club records as well as a
host of personal bests following the latest Grand Prix meeting
at Stretford. Dave Twigg set a new under 17 800m
record of 2.00.72, taking half a second off Steve
Mayers' previous mark. Dave Forrester took three
seconds off Dave Twigg's under 15 800 metres record
with 2.05.22. Vicky Johnson moved into third
place in the U.K. under 15 hammer rankings with
37.10, just under two metres beyond her previous best.
Vicky also competed in the shot (9.75) and discus
Ian Crompton made a long awaited return to
competition with 2.05.96, Laura Davenport came
home in 2.15.04. Those contesting 1500 metres included
Greg Williams (4.23.21), Ian Hayburn (4.34.4), Tom
Griffiths (4.44.42), John Appleton (4.42.41) and Ray
Vose (4.44.34). Ben Fisher won the javelin with
52.83 and the high jump with 1.70.
National Young Athletes
Six club records fell as the
club produced a magnificent result against two of the
promotion chasing clubs, finishing second to Trafford,
beating Stockport - giving security for next
season when, with athletes moving through the age groups, we
can make a strong challenge for promotion.
Newcomers Jordan Purnell and
Mike Jukes made their presence felt. Jordan set
club records in the under 15 hammer and shot.
Mike removed Andrew Garner's 1994 under
13 Boys' 200 metres mark from the record books. Mike
came within six centimetres of taking the club long jump
record with a leap which was good enough to win him one of the
Athlete of the Match awards.
Vicky Johnson rewrote the
under 15 girls shot putt record, Jake Davidson
cleared six metres in the under 17 long jump and
Zoe Woodward beat her own 1200 metres
With limited numbers owing to holidays
and injuries, team managers adopted the two athletes field
event strategy. In simple terms wherever possible rather than
one athlete contesting a single event the club fielded A &
B athletes to maximise points. In addition, the club
concentrated on the field events where more points could be
The results were remarkable. Vicky
Johnson, Becky Keegan & Laura Savage scored maximum
points in the throws, Steve Knowles won the high jump
and gave onlookers an insight into the mysteries of the
mechanics of javelin throwing. Jake Davidson added
second place in the shot to his long jump win, Lawrence
Bright made a significant difference in the field
events, as did Nichole Harrod on her debut, while
Vicky Davies was a revelation on track and
Mike Atkinson won both his field
events, the long jump with Mike Jukes, the shot putt
with newcomer Anthony Lewis. Laura Crook & Jenny
Hamon took the under 13 shot putt, Sammi Nicholls
filled a gap in the long jump by winning the B string event.
Rachael Hutchinson won the high jump, Anthony
Marsh chipped in with a B hammer win. Mike Ehlen
equalled the under 15 high jump club record of 1.55 for
the second time this season.
There were successes on the track too
Dave Forrester winning Athlete of the
Match for a grade one performance in the 3000 metres
with Mike Burke taking the B string and winning the B
javelin. Thaddeus Amin-Somuah won the 100, the 200 ( a
fraction outside the club record) and was second in the 400
metres. Jason White provided excellent support in the
short sprints before winning the B shot. In the under 13's
Paul Nicholls pulled off a win in the 200
Heather Drillingcourt took the
under 13 sprint and led the relay team to victory, Zoe
Woodward pulled off long jump and hurdles wins, Laura
Crook & Joanne Sturgeon the 150 and 800 metres A &
B. Jessica Cretu and Caroline Morley each won
the 200 metres, Taja Rundle finishing second while
Sarah Lewis, back from injury, was our leading discus
The day was also about responding to crises, Katy
Jolley and Nicola Gravener taking second places in
the jumps after being drafted in at the last minute.
John Seddon showed good fitness in the 800
metres as did John Ashcroft and Alex Thow in the
under 13 event. Jake Healey made a very encouraging
debut in the 1500 metres where John Jameson remained as
solid as ever.
Tom Rigby and Tony Emley contested the 1500
metres and both were relieved there was no 4 x 400
metres relay to follow although the under 17 and Under 15
boys races could have been significant in the final score.
Shauna Kerr produced an excellent third place in the
long jump, Hannah Green bravely continued her sprinting
after injuring herself in the high jump.
The adjusted scores were Trafford 338; St Helens-Sutton
325; Stockport 309; Halifax 138. First or second place in
the final match at Warrington on 1 August will mean we
have achieved our objective of consolidating our position in
division one in anticipation of a push for promotion in 2005.
However, it can't be taken for granted, especially in view of
holidays and other absences, so a maximum turnout of athletes
and the need to contest all the relays is essential. Keep the
Joe Ehlen and Julia Hayes were team managers
today, Dave Morley & Tony Davidson were on
the judges stand, Ray Vose, Dave Green, Pam Appleton
and Janet Holmes were timekeepers, while field
event referee, Roger McCall, had the support of
John Irwin, Alan Davies, Fred Bluett, John Woodward &
Steph Forrester. Paul Forrester acted as marksman and we
were grateful to Colin Robinson who travelled from
Rochdale to officiate and Mr Smith who came from Bolton
to act as starter.
Hazel Morley delayed her holiday packing to combine
with Steph Forrester in mastering the recording system.
Chris and Alanya Dempsey provided excellent
transfers to the master sheet while Phil Thomas
coordinated the meeting. Thanks too to the many parents
who came to provide support and encouragement to their
offspring and the club as a whole.
Northern and Open Decathlon :
Hexham : 17 & 18 July.
A magnificent club record 4530
by Phil Robinson was one of the factors helping Dean
Macey earn his place in the Olympic team. Phil kept the
pressure on all the way with a 12.48 100m (560 pts), 5.61
long jump (504 pts), 9.23 shot putt (440 pts), 1.59
high jump (457 pts) and 55.70 400m (571 pts) for a first
day's total of 2532.
On day two Phil recorded
19.93 110 hurdles (355 pts), 29.67 discus (458 pts), a
first ever pole vault clearance 2.30 (199pts), 26.79
javelin (396 pts) & a 1500 metres in 4.54.2
for a personal best by 500 points and a club best by 200
points. Macey recorded 7842 to qualify for the Olympics
but with Phil breathing down his neck he can't afford
to be complacent !!! Phil's total was enough to earn
him fourth place in the Northern Championships.
ESSA Championships : Gateshead :
9 & 10 July
Ben Fisher became the club's first ESSA
Champion since the amalgamation in 1990 when he won the
senior boys' javelin, following in the tradition of
Sutton Harriers whose ESSA Champions included Lynton
Boardman & Ann Williams. Ben's winning throw
Dave Forrester was on the six strong victory rostrum
finishing fifth in the junior boys' 1500 metres.
David produced a remarkable run in his heat with a
personal best (4.16.16), then bettered it again in a
fine run in the final (4.13.78). Only Paul
Forrester had a higher heart rate!!
Vicky Johnson reached the final eight of the
discus with a solid series of throws,
(29.38), a superb performance in her first
Championships. Vicky's already looking forward to
Birmingham in 2005 whether it's in the discus, hammer or
Jourdan Cotter set a personal best in the junior
girls' 1500 metres (4.55.63), an excellent achievement for
someone so inexperienced at track racing and her second club
record this season.
Caroline Morley competed in the 300 metres
hurdles (47.15) and, although she went out in the heats,
benefited from the experience. Although she also competed in
the 4x100 relay, Merseyside's team managers failed to
run the athletes in the appropriate order and the team were
eliminated in the heats.
Lucy Mitchell competed in the triple jump
recording 10.24 and fouling narrowly on two others
which looked longer. Given her recent bout of chicken pox
Lucy's participation itself was an achievement.
Congratulations to all six for reaching the championships
and paving the way for others. Hopefully the number of
participants, champions and medal winners will increase in the
next few years.
Forest Park Ladies' Race:
Birchwood: 7 July
Six senior ladies travelled to
this enjoyable fixture and came away with three spot
prizes (those mosquitoes don't half bite!). Julia Eccleston
(12th - 21.16), Louise Casey (21st - 22.10), Chris Dempsey
(36th - 23.29), Jackie Turner (58th - 25.05), Dorothy
Fairhurst (98th - 27.48)and Sheila Jackson (176th
Trafford Open Meeting: Stretford
Laura Davenport and Vicky
Johnson set new club records at the Trafford Open Meeting.
Laura recorded 2.14.86 in the 800 metres
for a new senior record while Vicky improved her own
club hammer record by almost two metres with
35.89 and equalled discus record 29.51
she set in the Young Athletes League at Nelson.
Northern Track and Field
League: Wavertree 4 July
In a magnificent display of team
endeavour the club finished second in the Northern League at
Wavertree and now stand second on match points in the division
behind Liverpool and ahead of Wigan. Promotion to division two
is in our own hands at the same venue on Saturday 31 July
and, if athletes respond as selflessly as they did today,
we can take promotion a season early.
Five club records fell,
Emma McClatchey setting new junior marks in the high
jump and javelin, Jake Davidson adding a centimetre to
the under 17 long jump record of Craig Knight, then
joining with Craig, Steve Moran and Richard Atherton
for a new junior 4 x 100 record, less than a second shy
of the senior mark. Nicola Quinn, blonde hair flowing
in the breeze, made history by recording the club's first
100 metres hurdles mark with 21.7 secs: all we need now is a B
Richard had a hard day
taking on responsibility for the 400, 200 and triple jump
while picking up two second places. Julia Eccleston
and Chris Dempsey contested the 800, 1500 and
3000 without complaint (couldn't get their breath back!!),
Julia adding the 400 and relay, Chris the
Dave Twigg ran two
brilliant tactical races, Steve Mayers was splendidly
placed in the 800, Greg Williams wanted to do the 5000
metres in addition to steeplechasing where he was first
B, but settled for the 1500 and 4x400.
Ian Hayburn fiercely
contested the steeplechase before establishing a personal best
during a crash course in the high hurdles. Phil
Robinson was disappointed not to be able to include
the pole vault in his maximum permitted events but held his
series together in preparation for the Northern
Ian White and Barry
Graney, the latter defying a dodgy hamstring, took on the
5000, Craig Knight was narrowly beaten in the 100
metres and Steve Moran contested both sprints
Ben Fisher was, well,
Ben Fisher, winning the javelin with his final throw,
finishing second in the long jump and picking up points in the
high jump and discus. Captain Sue Lowrie bravely
contested the 400 and 200, despite injury and was last seen
limping to the physio determined to be ready for the final
Throwers Anna Sheffield
and Natalie Mullineux were outstanding throughout,
Anna taking second in the hammer and discus,
Natalie finishing third in the discus before running
the final leg of the 4 x 100 metres in which the team took
Lucy Mitchell won the
triple jump, was second in the long jump and competed in the
100 metres for valuable points at an important stage of the
Julia Hayes was second in
the hammer, Joe Ehlen third, with both volunteering for
officials' duties, along with Jim and Sue Sheffield who
stayed until the last event to fulfil their duties. George
Mullineux and Roger McCall (field), Dave
Morley (track) and Pam Appleton (timekeeper)
ensured we scored maximum points for our quota of
The scores were: Liverpool 405;
St Helens-Sutton 376.5; SouthportWaterloo 329; Wigan 308.5;
Wirral 284; Macclesfield 197. The League positions are
Liverpool 14 (1099); St Helens-Sutton 14(1052); Wigan 14
(1037); SouthportWaterloo 10 (898); Wirral 6 (816);
Many thanks to all car drivers,
officials and supporters, including The Moran Family, The
Mitchells, The McClachey's, The Fishers, Ian Crompton, Wayne
Joyce, Mr Atherton, The Lowries and Sue Clague. It was an
excellent day for the club and with luck there'll be an even
better one at the end of the month.