News January 2003

Courtney is back!
Reappearing after a long absence Liverpool Pembroke Sefton’s international athlete, Courtney Birch, literally ran away with the Lancashire County Under 20 Cross Country Championship at Blackburn, not only destroying those in her own age group but also the Senior Women as well. The Ormskirk athlete, currently completing her studies at the prestigious Millfield School, certainly looks capable of recapturing her old form and forcing her way into the England team again.
Also at Blackburn Skelmersdale’s Alan Stewart comfortably took the men’s equivalent race and with superb backing from Tom Wade(3) and Chris Watson(4) the gold in the team event as well. Rob Stocks was 3rd in the Under 17 event but disappointment awaited the local quartet in the Under 13 race as Andrew Bowen(7), Robert McLaughlin(8), Sam Hutchinson(15) and Andrew Livesey(19) looked ready to step up for the bronze medals only to be ruled out for a minor technicality over entry forms.
At the Merseyside championships which we organised at Croxteth Park, Lindsay Doyle won the Gold Medal in the U20 age group, and Maria Barrett the bronze. Also, Erin Halsall was 4th in the U17 race.
Birth or residential qualification means the local club can also field athletes in the Merseyside Championships and at Croxteth Park there was parallel success. Again at Junior level Henry Stewart(2), Rory Smith(3), Mark Donoghue(4) and Steve Donegan(8) were triumphant. Not many clubs can boast of having different teams winning two County titles in the same event on the same day! Not to be outdone the Under 17 men easily took their respective team title led home by Ben Jones in first place followed by Paul McHugh(4), Chris Williams(6) and Michael Rimmer(11). A couple of bronze medals were collected elsewhere, David Furlong in the Under 15 Boy’s race.
Report Charles Gains
5th January 2003
LPS young athletes triumph again at Lancaster (11 January)
The domination by Liverpool Pembroke Sefton of the Mid-Lancashire Alan Stewart back on form at Burnley Cross Country League continued unabated at Lancaster. Now jokingly referred to as the `Ormskirk Avalanche’ the Under 13 team of Andrew Bowen(3), Robert McLaughlin(6), Sam Hutchinson(7) and newcomer Ben Bannister(11) started the afternoon winning in style. The Under 15 squad followed with an excellent first individual place from Chris Melling ably supported by David Furlong(4), Tom McCarten(12) and David Wilkie(17). The Under 17 team with three to count were even more emphatic, Robert Stocks(2), Carl Williams(5) and Mark Leicester(7). In the Under 20 race Alan Stewart’s win, an eye-catching solo performance, sealed the day and with Chris Watson(5) and Tom Wade(7) ensured a complete `whitewash’ for the local club.
Report Charles Gains
11th January 2003
LPS second by two points at Clarke Garden
Bernie Murphy fall cost him places the Senior men opted instead for the Liverpool and District Championship at Clarke Gardens, Woolton. After struggling for much of the season little was expected but a fighting performance from Paul Cadwallader(4), Bernie Murphy(5), Jim Eden(8), Des McIvor(12), Sammy Rashid(14) and Adam Clancey(16) ensured the club was in with a chance. As the points were totted up the holders Liverpool Harriers looked nervous and were relieved when they scraped home by two points from a rejuvenated LPS. Bernie Murphy was left rueing a bad fall that cost him two places. Altogether a very satisfactory weekend for the Harriers and bodes well for the next major challenge, the Northern Championships.
12th January 2003
 Kiera Vogel just miss out on medal 25 January
The Northern Cross Country Championships at Heaton Park attracted thousands of athletes and scores of clubs. Liverpool Pembroke Sefton’s best individual performance came from Kiera Vogel in the Under 17 race who showed some of her former power in finishing 4th. Elsewhere form was sound rather than spectacular with Marie Barett 18th in the Under 20 Women, Ben Jones 10th in the Under 17 Men, Sam Hutchinson 16th in the Under 13`s and Chris Melling 18th in the Under 15`s.
Generally unnoticed though was the clubs overall performance in the mens events. The Under 13 Boys (Sam Hutchinson 18, Andrew Bowen 36, Andrew Livesey 51, Ian McGinty 67) took a good fourth spot. Chris Melling 18, David Furlong 45, Tom McCarten 53 and David Wilkie 90 were a slightly disappointing 8th in the Under 15. There followed two fifth placings in the Under 17 Men (Ben Jones 10, Rob Stocks 14, Chris Williams 44 and Mark Leicester 74) and the Under 20 Men (Henry Stewart 28, Mark Donoghue 32, Tom Wade 52 and Chris Watson 58). The Senior men showed further signs of recovery with 11th placing (Bernie Murphy 35, Paul Cadwallader 40, Sammy Rashid 126, Jim Eden 165, Des McIvor 167 and Greg Callaghan 212). Astonishingly the local side was the only one in the North of England to complete full teams in all the male categories, the true indicator of the depth and promise of a club
25th January 2003
  Silver medal for Nicola
Three LPS athletes made the trip to Birmingham for the AAAE U20 Indoor Championships. Best performance came from Nicola Gundersen who was second in the U20 800m Final in a respectable 2.16.59. Phil Taylor drew a tough Semi-Final in the 400m and went out but with a quick 50.2. Debbie Sephton will be slightly disappointed with 10.65 in the U17 Triple Jump which ensured 6th place. She is sure to improve on this as the outdoor season unfolds.
26th January 2003


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