News reports - November 2017

25th November 2017: Club runners join the UK elite at Sefton Park

Saturday saw Liverpool host the 3rd round in the British Athletics Cross Challenge series, including Under 20 and Senior Trials for the European Championships, at Sefton Park. With the fixture combining with the Mid Lancs Cross Country League and the Liverpool & District Cross Country Union, local and North West club runners have the opportunity to run with some of the UK's best. And there was no doubting the quality in the races, particularly the Trials races where competition for team places made for several very exciting finishes. Whatever your age or ability, it is always fascinating to watch how fast elite distance runners can run - and indeed how they race - and to motivate young runners to emulate the stars.

The Sefton Park fixture has been in the calendar for a number of years now and I doubt Britain's best will any longer expect a fast, flat, course over good, mown grass. As usual, the course was tough with a lot of surface water and boggy areas; the course fast deteriorating with vitually end-to-end surface mud as the 10 races progressed. A previous event in Sefton Park had also resulted in damage to parts of the course which necessitated some re-routing to avoid the worst of it. The run-in to the finish cut up badly and First Aiders were kept busy dealing with several distressed finishers. I would say the going was soft, occasionally good but very heavy in places!

Despite early rain, we were spared the forecast strong wind and the juniors at least got their races run in Autumn sunshine. Seniors had to endure a bit of rain and hail!

There had been reports of a record entry for this year's event. I've not seen figures but there were just over 400 entered for the combined Under 11s race and only 249 finishers. A good field none the less in all the races..

The number of Southport Waterloo juniors competing was disappointing. There is a large beginner Middle Distance training group at Litherland and yet few took the opportunity to compete at Sefton Park. And most of them are girls. Surely not all boys play football on a saturday!

In the following, positions given are in the total race. We will have to wait for the Mid Lancs (and L&D) runners to be extracted and these league results will appear on their web sites in a few days. Apologies for anyone missed.

In the Under 11 Girls we had Emily Dean and Charlotte Hughes competing over a 1.9 km course. Emily was well up early on and a 23rd place finish of 121 girls was a very good result. She ran 8:49 and Charlotte finished in 9:59.

Sammy Pickerill was again involved in an exciting finish in the Under 11 Boys, this time beaten into 2nd place, by just 2 seconds. He ran the 1.9 kms in 7:14. Will Collins was 16th overall in 7:50 and William O'Donnell 26th in 7:57. So a team finish for our Under 11 Boys in the Mid Lancs and with 2nd, 16th and 26th of 128 finishers it will hopefully improve on their 4th place at Cuerden Valley.

We had six Under 13 Girls competing. Amber Hughes, although not a distance runner, is such a talented athlete that it was no surprise to see her first home for the club. She ran the 3 kms in 13:10 for 53rd place overall of 146 finishers. Grace Barr was 85th in 13:55 and Libby Simpson was the final team counter, 106th overall in 14:24. Katelyn Swift finished in 15:26, Chloe Sutton in 15:31, and Millie Ireland in 16:42.

Disappointingly, James Pike was our only Under 13 Boy. james was 85th overall of 123 finishers in 13:14 for the 3 kms.

Back to the girls, and we had a team finish in the Under 15 Girls, led home by Lilly-Ann Grayson who was 46th overall of 127 finishers in 12:34. Freya Walsh ran well for 76th place in 13:20 and Bethany Swift gave the girls a team result running 18:54.

The Under 15 Boys also managed a Mid Lancs team finish with Sam Coupland, Lewis McMahon and Joe Sutton competing. Sam covered the 3 kms in 12:32, Lewis in 12:58 and Joe in 28:05, clearly not Joe's best run but a finish meant a team score..

Jess Dean was our only Under 17 Woman - hopefully she will have some Under 17 team mates next season. Jess covered the 4.4 km course in 19:37. We had no Under 17 Men or Under 20s.

14 Southport Waterloo Senior Women was a good turn out . Team Manager Carole James is to be congratulated on her success in encouraging participation in cross country and for developing such a good team spirit. Tracy Allan, Rachel Jacks and Nicola Simpson were never far apart through the 8.1 km, 3 lap course. After the first long lap Tracy Allan led the group with Rachel several seconds behind and Nicola Simpson several seconds behind her. But at the finish it was Nicola Simpson who finished first, in 37:10, and becomes the club women's cross country champion. Rachel then crossed in 37:18 and Tracy in 37:28. These three will our Snr Women's team in the Mid Lancs. Lucy Wathan ran well to finish in 38:13, Helen Lavelle in 43:18, Carole James in 43:23, Helen Lodge in 44:47, Sue Stewart in 47:32, Elaine Sutton, in 48:49, Catherine McElhinney, 49:11, Gina Bellhouse, 51:35, Katy Coupland, 51:48 and Jane Blacklin 53:04. I believe Joanne Fenna ran but had to drop out after a couple of laps. Mid Lancs team results will need to await publications of the Mid lancs results.

This was a very high quality race won by Emelia Gorecka with a number of household names in the top ten, such as Jessica Judd, Gemma Steel, Lily Partidge, and Stephanie Twell. What a great display for the younger girls to watch!

In the Senior Men's race we had 23 competing. I guess there was little doubt that Ben Johnson would lead our men home and so it proved. He finished 116th overall to take the club cross country title lin 34:36 - his position reflecting the quality of the runners that this race attracts - . Even cross country legend Andy Vernon finished down at 8th place.

Our 2nd finisher was Ciaran Walsh and he held that position throughout the race. However, I believe he lost his timing chip at some stage so he isn't recorded as a finisher in the results. I think he may need to write this one off to experience! Next was Mark Dunham, 35:55, with Andrew Kershaw closing to finish in 36:01. David Hamilton finished in 39:27, Peter Roome in 42:57 and I think the final team counter will be Gareth Simpson, finishing in 42:59.

John Sprackland finished in 43:21, Ian Fitzpatrick in 43:40, Richard Talbot, 43:43, Rob Johnson, 43:56, Carl McMahon, 44:23, Peter Gale, 46:18, Andrew Logan, 47:00, Brian Davey, 47:32, Neil Adshead, 49:08, Neil Silcock, 49:11, Mike Walker, 50:05, Graham Liu,51:17, Gareth Williams, 52:00, Billy Hargreaves, 56:33, Ian Pike, 58:12, and Lee Coupland, 63:08.

There are several names in that list new to club cross country. Hopefully they will have enjoyed the experience and we will see them again at Leigh in a couple of weeks.

Thanks to team managers Lee Coupland, Carole James and Steve James and everyone who contributed to a great day's cross country running.

Full Results (under Liverpool tab) | Mid lancs Results

[Four items of clothing left in or by the club tent on Saturday. Contact Ron Scott for details.]


12th November 2017: Under 11 and Under 13 Girls take 2nd place at Sportshall

Round 2 of the North West Sportshall League was held in Crewe on 12th November. The results only became available on 2nd December!

Crewe is a long way to travel for a Sportshall Athletics match and although we had slightly smaller numbers participating than at Widnes for Round 1, the club was strongly represented and our Under 11 and Under 13 Girls came very close to beating the host club Crewe and Nantwich.

Our Under 11 Girls were Renee Adams, Lauren Byrne, Ruby Cable, Rosie Cushing, Erin Griffin, Charlotte Hughes, Apphia Keenan, Anna Yates and Sarah Yates. The girls finished 2nd with 166 points behind Crewe & Nantwich with 179. A great result! Lauren won the standing long jump competition with 2m 12 and won the 'B' triple jump with 5m 04. She was also our fastest 2-lapper running 26.1 and took the 'A' points in the 4-lap race albeit both non-scorers Apphia and Renee were faster running 58.5 and 58.9. Apphia was also our best triple jumper clearing 5m 42 and took the 'A' points with a count of 49 in the speed bounce. Anna scored a count of 46 to take the 'B' points there. Rosie was our best vertical jumper clearing 39 cms for 2nd place overall with Erin taking the 'B' points clearing 34 cms. Rosie was also 2nd overall in the chest push with 5m 50 and 1st 'B' in the standing long jump with a clearance of 1m 81. The other girls all did well to challenge for points and develop their skills.

Our Under 11 Boys were Adam Byrne and Sean Hopkins. The two boys did extremely well to amass 79 points. Adam won the speed bounce with a count of 47, he was our fastest in both 2-lap and 4-lap, cleared 1m 69 in the long jump, 5m in the triple jump and reached 29 cms in the vertical jump. Sean ran 28.7 in the 2-lap, cleared 1m 49 in the long jump, reached 31 cms in the vertical jump and chest pushed the 1kg ball 5m 75.

Our Under 13 Girls were Maisie Bird, Brianna Hanlon, Michaela Hopkins, Amber Hughes, Millie Ireland, and Niamh Procter. With less than half the number of girls in the team we had at Widnes it was a testament to their quality of performance that they took 2nd place behind Crewe and Nantwich. They scored 165.5 behind Crewe's 181. Amber won the 6-lap with 1:23.3, won the shot with 8m 60 and was 2nd in the standing long jump with 2m 09. Brianna was the other event winner; with a count of 80 in the speed bounce. She was also 2nd in the vertical jump reaching 51 cms and took our 'B' points in the 6-lap with 1:30.4. Niamh was our best 2-lapper running 26.2 and took the 'B' points in the standing long jump with 1m 86. Maisie took the 'B' points in the 2-lap race with 28.0 but it was close with both Michaela and Millie running 28.1. Masie also took good points with 4m 07 in the triple jump and Millie took the shot 'B' points with 3m 19. The girls were 2nd in the 4 x 2-lap relay.

In the Under 13 Boys' competition only Jack Clark competed for Southport Waterloo. He was 2nd in the 2-lap with 24.4, 2nd in the vertical jump with a reach of 35, 3rd in the triple jump with 5m 32 and ran 1:32.9 for 6-laps.

We may not have had any Under 15 Boys - scarcer in Sportshall Athletics than hens' teeth! - but three of our girls competed in the Under 15 Girls' competition. Stephanie Robertson won the speed bounce with a great count of 80, won the 2-lap running 23.9, 3rd in the triple jump clearing 6m 04 and ran a non-scoring 6-lap in 1:31. Alice Bird cleared 29 cms in the vertical jump, put the shot 5m 03 and ran 1:33.2 for the 6-lap race. And Lucy McQueen ran 1:33.8 for 6-laps and triple jumped 4m 38.

Thanks to team manager Chris Henders and his team. The final Round is at Ellesmere Port on 3rd December, with hopes for our Under 11 and Under 13 Girls making it through to the NW Regional Final.

Results Rnd 1 | Results Rnd 2

7th November 2017: Northern League div'n for 2018

The provisional dates and venues for the Northern T&F League next year are now known, together with the teams we will be up against. These are as below but all still subject to change before the T&F season starts.



2nd November 2017: Mike Walker selected for England Masters team

Following the recent Chester Marathon, England Athletics has announced the age group runners who have qualified for the 2018 England Age Group Masters Marathon team. The list includes Southport Waterloo's Mike Walker, qualifying in the MV65 category. The England team will compete at the MBNA Chester Marathon on Sunday 7th October 2018.

There will be another opportunity in the North West for runners to be selected for the England team, at the Greater Manchester marathon on Sunday 8th April 2018. Race entry information for Manchester can be found at where a dropdown box on the entry form allows runners to register an intention to qualify for the Masters Team.

More information