Keeping up with the Jones

Here’s Dave Brown’s update from the Northerns and English schools.

Let us begin with the English Schools Championships at the all new super-duper Alexander Stadium. To be fair it is a grand setting and, much as I dislike the throws being held in the back yard, at least they’ve now tidied it up a little.

First to step up was Inter girl Suzanna Owens who, after setting a PB in the Lancashire Schools’ to qualify, set another on her biggest day at Birmingham. In so doing she moved into the top 5 LP&S high jumpers of all time. Dave McCombs assembly line just keeps on churning them out.

Hot on her heels 13 year old star Mar-Bel Casey was finishing 5th in the Junior girls hammer, the youngest in the field. She’ll be back next year looking for something metallic to bring home.

On to this weekend and our top sprinter Elliot Jones was fighting for a place on the plane to Budapest in the toughest event of them all to qualify from … 100m. After winning his heat, his 10.38s semi run made him the fastest non-qualifier for the final. An excellent performance that brought immense credit to both himself and our club. Ray & Trish have every reason to be as proud of him as he is grateful to them.

Here’s a link to his race

And so we move to the main course; this years home league match and LPS played the role expected of them … by winning it.

As is my way I’ll leave the best till last. This time I’ll begin with the jumpers. For Mark Line it was a case of another day another record moving his V60 long jump entry on another foot. While he was at it he was also our A string pole vaulter, A string discus thrower and B string hammer and javelin flinger. So just the 32 points for him then.

The McComb school of leaping about delivered, as it always does, as Millie O’Hanlon and Georgia Barrett scored a double win in the high jump. Isobel Morgan and Georgia also gathered 21 points in the long and triple jumps between them. It is largely down to this versatility that allowed us to cover enough events to come out on top.

On to the throws and there was an opportunity for the LPS ladies to rub shoulders with some real class as Wrexham wheeled out international hammer thrower Amber Simpson; her 64m was the stand out performance of the day but Jess & Anna held their own well in such esteemed company. As usual Miss Peers covered all the throws, winning the shot just a hairs breath short of 11m. Nicky Saunders climbed out of a car after being driven back from Glasgow, raced to the discus just in time to win the B string in her Northern League debut for LP&S. Jess completed our shot pairing while Miss McG (Shannon) won the B javelin in the midst of a monsoon !

On the track Adam Jones was runner-up in both the 400m H and steeplechase where, due to an unfortunate oversight, his PB won’t be recognised by the power of 10 as the waterjump barrier had been left at the wrong height.

Se Loughlin doubled up over the 800m & 1500m ably back up by Jared Nicholls and Mark Hudson. These along with Mark Wynne and perennial Kevin Usher filled all our male distance places and gathered an impressive 41 points.

Izzy Livesley covered the toughest double 400m/800m coming in as third A string in both. Sharon Roberts weighed in with some “mum-power” coming second in the metric mile.

Hammer coach Paul White took a A-string win in the first event of the day to set us on our winning way (and chipped in with a few points from the shot too). Will Hynd took third in the mens javelin, another event badly impacted by the weather.

In a welcome return Leah Mckenzie snatched the runners-up spot in the ladies sprint hurdles; an event we’ve struggled to cover in recent years.

I said I’d leave the best till the end and the sprinters have been a revelation this year. With Ray and Trish now well enough to be able to watch their charges, they duly rose to the occasion.

Matthew Hughes and James Read did an A&B win double over the 400m on a day that was far from ideal for one lap running.

Ryan Mostyn and Ciaran Scroggie almost scored a perfect haul from the 200m just missing out on the A string win by a tenth of a second.

Ellen Dent, Lucy Le-Marinel and Leah McKenzie covered the ladies short sprints pulling in another 18 points. More significantly these events all helped to give an excellent impression of the club’s ability to put out a strong team across most of the programme.

For the first time in living memory we won all four relays sweeping maximum points. Now I’ll admit that sometimes it’s just a case of getting four runners out; but we did and the others didn’t and the rest, as they say, is history.

And then … there was the mens 100m. Ciaran Scroggie took over a third of a second off his PB in one bite to win the B event. But it was Ryan Mostyn’s 10.7s A string win that was, for me, the LPS performance of the day. This makes him the second fastest LPS sprinter ever (after Elliot Jones – see above). Now I have to say there was a breeze for sure, but it was more from the side than behind and the grass bank provided considerable cover. It would be fair to say it would’ve been wind assisted but not that much. Any way you look at it <11s is moving in very special territory.

That’s where I leave you for another week.

On to Bury for the Mid Lancs on Satuday, a great track that has just been re-furbished.

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