OK all, there has been a LOT of athletics going on this weekend so, as usual, I’ll apologise up front but I am going to have to distill it down a bit from my usual weighty tome. Generally I will try to mention everyone but there really are just too many this time; but I will try to do better next time.
The weekends festivities kicked off with a Mid Lancs league gig at Litherland for one of our more local fixtures. In our senior ranks we had no fewer than seven outright winners. Jared Nicholls was close to his best in the quarter mile and Alex Procter went a bit better than his previous best in the 3,000m.
Will Hynd came out on top in the senior javelin, and Becky Mitchell popped a whopping 5m on her javelin best in the ladies event; that will move her into the UK top 20. Katelyn Sift put one over on Anna Peers in the hammer but the latter was imperious as ever in the discus (more on their developing rivalry later).
As safe a bet as any for victory was Millie O’Hanlon from the McComb kangeroo club; one is definitely her lucky number.
Moving down to the under 17 age group; before getting to our two winners we had a classy debutant Handro Hattingh who was runner up in both the discus and shot, the latter a particularly good performance. Charlie Climpson went one better winning the discus. Sarah Yates was a winner on the track with her 1500m victory.
We had two winners in the under 15’s both in the field. Mar-Bel Casey took the discus and hammer (missing 40m in the latter by half an inch) and Dakota Backhouse kept the McComb medal machine rolling with a huge 11cm improvement to 1.51m PB in the high jump.
Moving to the youngest under 13 age group things start to look really very promising. William Roberts won both the 200m and, like just about everyone else in LPS, the high jump. Moving to the ladies we had a 1-2-3 with Gaby Taylor, Millie Oliver and Poppy Abraham in … yes you guessed it … the high jump !
But, for me, the performance of the day, was Gaby Taylor coming first out of 30+ 100m girls with a very classy 13.4s, a performance that keeps her in the UK top 15.
The club acquits itself well in this league, but not on the basis of packing vast numbers in, but by the quality of our performances which, for me, is a far better way to go about things. This reflects very well indeed on the coaches mentioned and Tracy, Sharon, Chris, Kit and Mark. They lay good foundations for all these youngsters, you can’t build anything without them.
Moving on to Sunday and it’s time for the older ones to take centre stage this time at Wavertree for the second round of the Northern League. We were a little thin on the ground but two things worked well for us :
(i) the athletes we had out were good quality performers
(ii) several of the gang pitched in covering a lot of events; there was a real sense of team spirit.
Despite being without coaches (who, we hope, will be back to 100% soon) the sprints gang have really come good. There’s something about adversity bringing out the best in people.
Ciaran Scroggie scored two PB’s finishing runner up in both the A string 100m & 200m. Not to be outdone, and clearly not too worn out from the day before, James read also PB’s in the 200m & 400m winning the latter B string.
Close to his best Matthew Hughes won the A 400m on a day that wasn’t ideal for one lap running.
Ollie Sutcliffe was a good runner up in the A 1500m.
Mark Wynne and Mark Hudson showed themselves as golden oldies with third in the A & B 5000m on a mercilessly humid day, the latter setting a club V60 records for the event.
Even though we were short in the jumps you can always count on the high jump crew to deliver and Sandy Clarkson duly took the mens event honours with 1.90m.
Not to be outshone the ladies also came up trumps with second in the A & B high jump, Debbie Dasse also setting a club V35 age record of 1.55m (I know, we didn’t think she was old enough either). Georgia Barrett, a relative newcomer, competed in all the jumps picking up 15 points.
Now Suzy Owens would usually own the high jump herself but she showed her versatility with a triple jump and 800m double !
Time for a bit of parent-power; Sharon & Neil Roberts and Rachel Yates collected 13 points and that excludes their relay efforts. More importantly these efforts help to fill out our teamsheet which has a great effect on morale and becomes infectious. This is worth more than just a few points.
On the subject of family hauls the Swifts were one kitty short of a full litter but mama & Katelyn contributed 34 to our total. Katelyns hammer PB saw her second win over teammate Anna Peers in as many days, not that Glamazanna threw badly but Swift-minor is on a roll. On the subject of Miss Peers she had another excellent day with three A string wins and a B win for 38 points. Perhaps not her favourite event, nevertheless, her shot 11.16m was her finest on the day (though I was impressed with everyone who hung around till the end of the “throwing the lightening conductor in a thunderstorm” event).
And so, with all the dust settled, we ended up 4th on the day but, after 2 rounds, we’re a couple of points clear in third place.
Liverpool Harriers 7 450 7 405 14 855
SWAC 6 429 5 317 11 746
LP&SHAC 4 346 6 346 10 692
Wrexham 5 355 3 254 8 609
Crewe & Nantwich 2 179 4 290 6 469
Wigan 3 211 1 145 4 356
Macclesfield 1 143 2 221 3 364
Many, many thanks to everyone who chipped in, especially our officials and super-especially for those who covered both Saturday and Sunday. It’s worth remembering we simply don’t have a sport without them.
And finally, new member Hendro Hattingh was busy winning the ISA schools shot with 11.40m taking (I believe) his first national title. One to buy shares in for the future.
Sorry you’ve had to wait for this but it’s been a really busy weekend for this reporter.
Now I’ve got a date with Ms. Radox.