Merseyside School Cross Country Championships
A number of club athletes took part in the Merseyside County Schools Cross Country Championships on a sunny winter’s day at Arrowe Park. The performance of the day came from Toby Loveridge, who despite running a year under his age group, came third in the Inter Boys race, only 6 sec. behind the winner. He was beaten into second place by Dave Forrester and the two combined to earn Sefton second team place behind Wirral. John Meakin was 25th & Sean Dignam 27th in the same race.
In the Junior Boys race, Warren Turner (18th) representing Sefton edged out Andrew Hutchinson(21st) representing St.Helens. George Curran (30th) helped Sefton finish third in the team event behind Wirral & Isle of Man. Athletes can now look forward to competing in the English Schools Championships in Sefton Park on March 8th. Elizabeth Cooper and Erin Devlin both ran well in the Year 7 Girl’s race finishing 15th and 21st respectively Results
The Lancashire Championships were held over a snow covered course at Blackburn’s Witton Park and high performers there included Sean Kirkbride(7th) in the Junior Boys and the duo of Chris Hesketh(4th) and Paul Roberts(5th) in the Intermediates. The real prize here is county selection for the prestigious English Schools Championships that will be held locally this year in Sefton Park.
Report Wally Bridson 2 February
Ashall Captains England to Victory
In the Home Countries Indoor match in Cardiff the Liverpool Pembroke Sefton 400m sprint star, Wayne Ashall, was Wayne Ashall at the EIS last monthgiven the job of captain of the England Junior team, a token of the high respect he now commands in athletic circles. Not yet 18 his maturity was recognised and rewarded by the selectors. A little short of 100% fitness he came second in his favourite event in 50.2 seconds but was also part of the 4 x 200m relay squad that took the gold medals. The double satisfaction was that in the team competition England triumphed over their UK counterparts. Wayne is now setting his sights on the forthcoming outdoor season which includes the World Junior Championships.
Meanwhile senior club colleague Phil Taylor, another 400m specialist, was competing for Great Britain in the International Grand Prix series of Indoor events in Austria. In Vienna his 48.70 gave him 10th out of 49 competitors. In Linz a few days later he was marginally quicker with 48.67 but this time 5th overall. He next tackles the trials for the World Indoor Championships in Sheffield. LPS have in Ashall and Taylor two outstanding prospects that together with the club’s 800m super star, Michael Rimmer, are bringing the local athletic scene to national attention.
Michael Rimmer Merseyside Athlete of the Year
At the glittering awards ceremony in the new Echo Arena on Monday night Michael Rimmer was named as the inaugural Merseyside Athlete of the Year. He said, `It`s a massive honour to receive this award…a recognition for all the hard work I have put in. I have proved I can hold my own with the top 10 in the world and I believe there`s a lot more to come. I`m training hard and hoping to make an impression at the Olympic Games in Beijing’. Michael beat off strong opposition from sprinter Anyika Onuora, middle distance runner Vicky Griffiths, high jumper Martyn Bernard as well as rising stars David Forrester and Katerina Thompson. It is fantastic news that the first time this award is made it goes to an LPS member.
LPS Youngsters Sparkle
Sporting heroes are not always high profile, sometimes that accolade goes to straightforward grafters. Such is the Liverpool Pembroke Sefton Under 13 cross country squad. At Hyndburn for a Mid-Lancs Cross Country fixture Kyle Nicholls(5), Warren Turner(7), Andrew Hutchinson(13) and Jonathan Bride(26) pulled off a great team victory with Darren McDonald(27), David Reece(28) and Ben Haines(31) eagerly dancing attention. They are the joy and revelation of the club’s winter programme.
Elsewhere in the U15s Toby Loveridge raced to yet another victory and with Ed Rimmer(11), Sean Kirkbride(16) and John Meakin(25) secured second team spot. The U17s were lead home by a resurgent David Forrester(2) and with Chris Hesketh(9) and Tom Hanlon(15) took another winning slot. Hidden away in the U11s Nathan Browne(5) and Aaron Quinn(6) gave more than a hint that the club’s harrier production line was alive and flourishing.
Kirsty Longley who never runs less than flat out, was an unsurprising sixth in the Senior Women’s race and immediately set her sights on the next challenge, the National Cross Country Championships two weeks ahead. Ormskirk’s June Swift was a sound 35th and will regard this as excellent preparation for her attack on the club’s 800m record during the summer months. Other girls in action were U11 Charlotte Haines(22), U13 Erin Devlin(54) and U15s Jade Hyslop(20) and Nicole Garner(32). Results
The Liverpool and District Cross Country Championships were conducted against the back drop of Croxteth Hall, hosted and splendidly organised by LPS members Robbie Wood and Richie Webster. Pride of place in the race went to a courageous Bernie Murphy(4th) with Adam Clansey, coming back into real form in 10th spot. Sammy Rashid will be disappointed with his 26th but in contrast Steve Murphy will be delighted with 51st in his first outing for the club. Mark Bleasdale also had a fine run in 80th place Results
Meanwhile at the televised Indoor Norwich Union World Trials and UK championships Phil Taylor was tackling the 400m. Fourth place in his heat with 48.38 was nevertheless sufficient to carry him through to a semi-final. Fifth in 48.64 was not good enough though for a crack at the medals. Phil is going through one of those baffling moments in a racing career when everything looks good but is not reflected in results. He just needs the breakthrough his talent and effort deserves and he will be reclaiming yet another international vest. Results
Report Charles Gains 10 February
Another good run from Adam Clansey
Richard Burney(LHAC) comfortably won the Parbold Hill Race in 39.47 from a field of 456 with Adam Clansey continuing to show good form placing 8th in 41.57. Greg Callaghan was also enjoying himself in the fine conditions with an excellent 25th (45.37) and second in his O45 age group. Dave Fairclough was 220th(58.46) and 4th in the O55 age group.
Splendid run from Toby Loveridge
The Liverpool Pembroke Sefton runners were at Alton Towers, not for the entertainment facilities but for the spectacular National Cross Country Championships. The tough course sapped the energies of many but the club`s Toby Loveridge was a in a confident mood finishing 10th in the Under 15 race and with the support of Chris Hatton(77), Ed Rimmer(93) and Sean Kirkbride(136) gave LPS a fine 6th team spot and second Northern club home. John Meakin was 161st. The only other team to finish was the Under 13s with Kyle Nicholls(85), Warren Turner(101), Andrew Hutchinson(201) and David Reece(209) occupying 26th place with Darren McDonald(305) and Ben Haines(326) in reserve. John Bride was ruled out having taken an unfortunate fall at the initial charge requiring medical help. The Under 17s saw David Forrester back in fine form with 30th place but he will be available to contest this again in 2009 where his ambition will be much higher. Chris Hesketh(182) and Tom Hanlon(218) also ran. There were two finishers in the Junior race Danny Gordon(142) and Clark Roberts(162). In spite of being far from well Kirsty Longley was inspired yet again in the Senior Women’s encounter recording 114th out of 495 finishers. Results
At the National Indoor Centre in Birmingham the Under 20`s Championships were held and no fewer than three club members progressed to the semi-finals of the 400m, Harry Doran(49.7), Jack McGinn(50.3) and Danny Higham(50.6). International Wayne Ashall who was unavailable for this meeting could, on form, have figured in the eventual medals.
Report Charles Gains 23 February