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St Helens Sutton
Athletic Club

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St Helens Sutton Athletic Club

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Welcome to St Helens Sutton Athletic Club

January Results 2005

Northern Senior Indoor Championships :Sheffield 30 January

Emma McClatchey improved her pole vault best to record 2.50m and take fifth place in the Northern senior indoor event at Sheffield.

Northern Cross Country Championships : Consett: 29 January

Dave Forrester went into the history books with the club's first individual medallist at the Northern championships for many years with a splendid silver medal in the under 15 boys' race at Consett. Dave took the contest straight to his opponents in the battle for gold, defeating pre-race favourite Ross Millington (Stockport) and succumbing only to East Cheshire's Simon Horsfield who got away on the final uphill section to win. From having no complete team last year the club took 13th position, support coming from John Dumbell (85), Ben Clough (100), Peter Knowles (134) and Steve Clague (171).

Last year we finished three complete teams, this year we increased that to four. The under 13 girls improved by six places to finish 16th. Joanne Sturgeon (41), Heather Drillingcourt (88), Lauren Bradshaw (133) - who lost her shoe but didn't give up - and Katie Jolley (144) closing with 406 points.

The senior ladies improved dramatically  from 20th to 8th, Gill Bacon (33), Sarah Charnock (61), Julia Eccleston (81), Cecilia Fitzsimons (134), Chris Dempsey (145) and Chris Dickinson (151) scoring 309 points. Sarah, who appeared to bring a fan club, had her best race for the club and Julia will at last be resting her injured foot.

The senior men also improved for the second time in two years, from 46th in 2004 to 26th in 2005, beating Wirral A C by two places. Barry Graney (134) led the team home, Ian White splendidly moving into second counter (162), Ian Hayburn (209), Ray Vose (255) and Denis Wharton (278) packing well with David Bradshaw (492) anchoring them home and Tony Raffle (519) in support in case of injury.

Steve Mayers finished 32nd and Greg Williams 43rd  in the junior race while the trio of under 17's, James Farghar (64), Tom Griffiths (113) and a rejuvenated Tom Rigby (124) were only denied a top 15 place by John Appleton's illness. Chloe Wilson (72) was the seventh Merseyside runner to finish, improving on her county position.

Jake Healy's first major championship saw him finish 20th while John Ashcroft (127) and Daniel Hughes (154) continued to impress as solid team members.

The total number of finishers was 31, an increase over the 23 we had last time we had to travel two years ago. The number of medallists and complete teams were also up. Some were disappointed with their own individual performances. They have no need to be, especially those competing in their first major championships and those who are in the middle of training for long distances and haven't tapered their training. A post race analysis of results reveals our athletes continue to improve. Our long term objective is to be competitive at this level each and every year and in that respect 2005 was a good year on the learning curve to ultimate success.

Many thanks to the parents who gave support to their offspring, to John Irwin for his work on the day and Phil Thomas for acting as team manager. Thanks, too, to the Committee for agreeing to subsidise the coach travel. Those who went by coach were back home by seven o'clock, over an hour earlier than allowed for with plenty of time for - falling fast asleep for the following 36 hours!!    Results: Pictures

Helsby Half Marathon - 23 January

Mark Laithwaite was first back, finishing 21st overall,  in 76.40.65 (76.43.85) while Gill Bacon took third place in the ladies race 82.41.5 (82.36.1). Dennis Wharton was 98th 84.17.54 (84.09.1), Karl Allender 93.39.5 (93.15.45) finished 321st , Peter Code went through in 1.51.26 ( with Jo Anne Code just ahead in ( Janet Holmes recorded ( while Sue O'Hanlon, who ran for the club many years ago as Sue Lunt, will be coming down for speed work sessions following her 1.47.00 ( (Sue arrived on Monday night looking remarkably fit).  Pauline Picton went through in 2.03.14 (2.03.9) Times are gun and chip times. For record purposes only gun times are accepted as it is the only point of comparison between all races and, as is noted on the Helsby site, the gun times are the official times. Whichever it's looked at Gill Bacon removed almost two minutes from her previous club record. Fuller details when we've spoken to the athletes who ran.

Sports Hall Meeting - Connahs Quay 23 January

Despite the partiality of some of the judges St Helens-Sutton qualified for all three boys' finals of the North West Sports Hall League on Sunday at Widnes on 6 March. 

The under 11 Boys were champions with 27 points to spare, the under 13 Boys were fifth and the under 15 Boys sixth. The under 15 girls were desperately unlucky to miss out by two and a half points while both the under 13 and under 11 girls were each only two places shy of earning places in the final.

At Deeside,  the eight girl under 11 squad of Emily Dickinson, Louise Hayes, Danielle McGifford, Natasha Le Surf, Lauren Sanders, Natalie Bannister, Lauren Atherton and Abigail Hodgson took fifth place, Danielle winning the Speed Bounce with 58.

The under 11 boys' team of Drew Atherton, Patrick McCormick, Andrew Hutchinson, James Evans, Dylan Riley, Ryan Marsh and Grant Oldham scored nine maximums, two seconds and one third in an afternoon of dominance over the opposition, winning with 14 points to spare.

The under 13 girls team of Laura Crook, Heather Drillingcourt, Nicola Gravener and Lauren Bradshaw defeated West Cheshire, Laura winning both the six lap and shot putt events.

Adam Taft also had two wins in the under 13 boys' match in which the club defeated Sale and Deeside despite only having Adam, Lee Taft and Daniel Hughes available on the day. No member of the team finished lower than third all afternoon.

The under 15 girls' quartet of Becky Keegan, Helen Grady, Rachel Hutchinson and Hannah Green gave it all they had and were unlucky to miss out on a place in the final by such a narrow margin as both Becky and Hannah picked up maximum points for B string victories while Helen and Rachel earned good points in the speed bounce and triple jump.

Anthony Marsh and Matthew Pilling were our representatives in the under 15 boys' contest, taking the club to within three points of Deeside but 28 ahead of the Welsh club in the final table. Results:

Northern Junior Indoor Championships : Sheffield. 23 January

Mike Ehlen made it two successes in two years for the club by winning a medal at the Northern Indoor Championships. Mike surpassed his outdoor best to leap a superb 1.65m in the high jump, take the bronze medal and set a new indoor record for the under 15 age group. With another year in the age group Mike can look forward to raising the outdoor best in 2005. Thaddeus Anim-Somuah returned for a second day just missing out in the 200 metres final with 24.65 (3rd in heat) and Jourdan Cotter was seventh in the final of the under 17 1500 metres in 5.14.18.

Northern Junior Indoor Championships : Sheffield. 22 January.

Thaddeus Anim-Somuah celebrated winning 2004 Performance of the Year by setting new indoor Under 17 records at Sheffield. Thaddeus recorded 58.64(5th in Heat) for the 400 metres and 7.77 (6th in Heat) for the 60 metres.

National Air Cadets Championships : RAF Cranwell 22 January.

It was all systems go for Chloe Wilson and John Dumbell in the National Championships. Having won through from Merseyside both were chosen to represent Wales and the West. Chloe took the individual silver and led her team to victory in the team race while John anchored his team into the gold medal position, finishing 11th. Many congratulations to both.

Merseyside Cross Country Championships: Arrowe Park : 15 January

The club continues to make great progress lifting three individual titles at Arrowe Park in Birkenhead. Jake Heeley (U/13 Boys), Dave Forrester (U/15 Boys) and Steve Mayers (Junior Men) all won the title "Merseyside Champion", a 50% increase over 2004.

Individually there were also medals for Gill Bacon, fourth on the day, but third in the senior race and Joanne Sturgeon third in the under 13 race. All bar Steve have been selected to run for Merseyside in the inter-counties at Nottingham in March. Under European rules Steve is ineligible for the junior race and will have to wait to see if he is the senior squad.

The number of medals already earned in 2005 was doubled when Joanne was joined by Heather Drillingcourt (17), Lauren Bradshaw (21) and Katie Jolly (22) to take the silver medals in the team with all the girls eligible to run again next year. Laura Crook (24) gamely finished the course despite breathing difficulties.


In the lads' race Jake was joined on the rostrum by Joe Jameson(23), John Ashcroft (24) and young Jaime White(27), who still has two years in this age group. Daniel Hughes (30) made an excellent championship debut while Alex Thow had the misfortune to twist his ankle.

Illness and injury meant we only had three runners in the under 15 race but what a superb effort they made, Jourdan Cotter (7), Sara McLoughlin (10) and Chloe Wilson (13)  well placed. Had we had the fourth runner we would have taken second place ahead of Wirral by a point. Perhaps next year!.

Dave Forrester was joined at the bronze medal ceremony by John Dumbell (12), Ben Clough (15) and Peter Knowles (18), with Steve Clague (25) and Jason White (28), who managed to miss the start, both completing the course.

John Appleton and James Fargar completed the under 17 race, John finishing 10th and James 17th. With Tom Griffiths injured, Tom Rigby was under no pressure to finish and called it a day at the half way point. Tom will be working hard on his fitness in coming weeks after an intensive period of studying for exams which has limited his training opportunities.

It was always going be difficult for the senior ladies in the absence of Louise Casey and Cheshire qualified Sarah Charnock but Gill Bacon was supported by Julia Eccleston (12), Cecilia Fitzsimons (19), Chris Dempsey (21) and Chris Dickinson (25) to grab fourth spot.

Sarah finished 19th in the Cheshire Championship held at Winsford. Results

Greg Williams ran well to take sixth place in the under 20 race, team-man par excellence, Sheru Gulati, was eleventh and had Sean Ahearne been able to make it we would have taken second team medals.

The senior men were disappointed not to pick up the bronze medals, losing to LPS by three points. Yet it should be remembered that last year we failed to raise a team so fourth is an improvement and with Steve Mayers moving through in 2006 we will be stronger. A few extra bodies to bolster the senior squad would also be welcome.

Tony Smith(9), Barry Graney (12), Ian White(21), Ian Hayburn (27), Ray Vose (29) and Dennis Wharton (35) battled hard, Andy O'Connor finished after two laps on a course unsuited to his talents or current level of fitness and there was a splendid contest between debut lad Billy Mousdale(61) and David Bradshaw (62).

Phil Thomas acted as team manager, coaches John Irwin and Danny McLoughlin covered miles and there was plenty of parental support for all the athletes. The club is already planning both its Northern and National strategy and building the foundations for further successes in 2006.  Results

Liverpool & District Championships: Clarkes Gardens: 9 January

After more than a decade of waiting the club finally won a set of medals at the Liverpool & District instead of the under-scoring sixth places of previous years. The success was directed by Steve Mayers(9), Tony Smith(10) and Barry Graney(11), held together by the two Ians - White (28 ) and Hayburn (29 ) and anchored by the dependable Dennis Wharton (45 ) who closed anchor just one place ahead of Ray Vose(46). Andy Boyack (90) completed the course just ahead of former Liverpool champion Roger Harrison while Tony Raffle started the race and provided great encouragement when he had to stop..

The bare facts do not tell the superb way in which all the athletes responded to information from team manager Phil Thomas that third place was within their grasp. Neither do they tell how the front three worked for each other in the race long battle with LPS over the three laps nor of the vital places pulled back by Messrs White and Hayburn on the final circuit and the determination of Dennis Wharton to win his first cross country medal at the age of 48. The team spirit was tremendous and hopefully will translate itself into further success at the Merseyside next week.

Thanks to those who supported: Stan Erlam, Mrs Wharton, Gill Bacon and her dogs, John Appleton, whose doppelganger was seen having a run and Tom Griffiths. Results.

North West Women's League and Manchester League: Wythenshawe Park, Manchester. 8 January

The club opened the year in grand style coming away from Wythenshawe with a dozen medals. Joanne Sturgeon finished tenth the on the day and third overall to take individual bronze in the aggregate competition while the girls squad of Joanne, Laura Crook, Lauren Bradshaw, Heather Drillingcourt, Katie Jolly. Nicola Gravener, Emily Dickinson, Carmella Finnigan and the Thompson twins took the aggregate bronze          in the team race. The North West Women's League share our view that all who contribute  deserve a medal. Perhaps other organisations will catch up soon.

The senior ladies just missed out on third place although individually there was a splendid run from Gill Bacon who was third on the day and the team as a whole,( Sarah Charnock, Cecilia Fitzsimons, Chris Dempsey and Chris Dickinson) whose final position was fourth.

Jake Healy won his first cross country medal taking third place on the day and in the aggregate and with support from John Ashcroft, Joe Jamseon and debut anchorman Daniel Hughes, the lads finished a full team. In the under 17's race John Appleton had another splendid run to take tenth place.

Thanks to Julia Eccleston for assisting as team manager, David Bradshaw and John Irwin and to the many parents who provided transport, some of whom didn't come off at the wrong turning as Phil Thomas managed to do. You'd think he would know where to go wouldn't you? He gets told often enough!!