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Lucy clinches English Schools title

11th Jul 2005
Lucy McLoughlin

Lucy McLoughlin beats Jessica Hicks for the English Schools 1,500m title

Stockport Harriers' athletes produced some outstanding performances at the weekend at home and abroad.

At the 75th English Schools' Track and Field finals at the Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham, Harriers' middle distance runner Lucy McLoughlin won her first English Schools' 1,500 metre title joining a list of famous past winners that have included Olympians Kelly Holmes and Seb Coe.

Lucy won the race after qualifying by winning her heat on the Friday and won the final in a sprint finish against Cornwall's Jessica Hicks.

The championships are the culmination of qualifiying rounds that started back in April and is the largest participant sporting event in the world outside of the Olympics.

There were other great performances by the Harriers at the championships where standards were high in the boys' and girls' inter 1,500 metres finals. England cross country runner Jess Coulson finished fourth in the inter girls' 1,500 metre final in a new personal best and national standard time of 4.35, seven of the finalists in her race also achieved the national standard.

Ross Millington can be pleased with his first ever sub-4 minute clocking of 3.58, which is the benchmark for any aspiring 1,500 metre runner.

Amazingly six sub-4 minute times were recorded in the high quality race where Ross was only narrowly beaten across the finishing line in the closest of races as second, third and fourth all came across the tape on 3.58, only hundredths of a second separating them.

European Mountain Championships

Steve Vernon

In the Austrian Alps Harrier Steve Vernon (right) was making his debut for the UK team in the European Mountain Running Championships where the arduous 12 mile climb up the Pasterze Glacier finished at 8,000 feet.

The UK team finished second to Italy, beating France into third place. Steve was 9th in a time of 74 minuntes 7 seconds, one position behind highest placed UK runner Martin Cox.

Offerton 10km

Full results are now available. Click here

Steve climbs to a third place in the Swiss Alps

Steve Vernon

Steve Vernon in last weekend's European Mountain Champs.

Steve Vernon was back in the Alps at the weekend after securing the silver team medal for the UK team at the European Mountain Championships last week

Steve was invited to run at the International Tor Des Alpages high above Lake Geneva in Switzerland on Saturday over a course of 17 kilometres.

He faced tough opposition this time from fellow Brit Billy Burns who is based in Switzerland and Ethiopian Marathon runner Tolossa Chengere

The early part of the race up the Alpine pass was taken up by Chengere with Burns and Steve matching him all the way up the climb along the Alpine forest paths up to the six thousand feet of climb where the race turned back for the final steep descent into the finish.

Chengere managed to run away from the two to win in a new record time on the course of 1 hour, 2 minutes and 35 seconds from Burns who was 7 seconds adrift of the Ethiopian with Steve just 5 seconds down on Burns.

Steve said after the race that he was fine until the steep drop to the finish where Billy and Chengere were better on the only downhill section of the race.

Next up for Steve could possibly be the World Mountain Challenge in New Zealand to run for the UK team but he may miss this to prepare for the European Cross Country Championships in Tilburg, Holland in December.

Young Athletes League

Back at Woodbank Stadium on Sunday the Harriers' Boys and Girls teams contested the penultimate Young Athletes match in the Northern League 1.

The Harriers' teams won the match from Blackburn AC, Team North Cumbria and Pendle AC and are looking to win the final match in two weeks time with the advantage of another home fixture.

The 'Man of the Match' was won by Harrier Harry Long for his grade two performance in the Boys' under-13 1,500m race with a fine run of 4.57, Jack Nixon also achieved the standard with a 5.01.

Jess Yates won the 'Field Athlete of the Match' with a 7 metre plus triple jump in the under-17 Girls' competition.

Sprinter Kelly Blackman won both 100 and 200 metres in the girls under-15 competition. Michelle Wiblin won her two events in the girls' under-15 300 and 800 metres.

Gareth Lamb won the boys' under-17 100 metres and 200 metres.

Newcomer Richard Mullen won the boys' under-15 200m in 25.4 and Steve Pearson took the boys' under-17 400m in 54.0.

British Masters Championships

The Harriers had a double success at the British Masters Track and Field Championships held in Birmingham over the weekend.

Martin Blackman successfully retained his 400 metre title in the over-40 category, winning the final in 52 seconds.

In the over-65 age group Barry Swindles not only won the 1,500 title in 5.20 but also claimed an 800 metre silver medal in 2.34.

Andy takes 4th in Junior Fell Championships

Andy Nixon on Ilkley Moor

Andy Nixon finished 4th in the under-20s English Uphill Fell Championships on Ilkley Moor.

Andy Nixon finished 4th in the under-20s English Uphill Fell Championships on Sunday at Ilkley Moor. The 17-year-old Offerton man who has been racing on the track all summer for the club found the hills to his liking.

The former AAA's indoor 3,000 metre medallist lives a stones throw away from Vernon Park and lately has been practising hill reps up Vernon Park hill in preparation for the event.

In the short and fast race which had 600 feet of climbing over the 2.5 km, Andy went with the lead runners' fast pace to the top of Ilkley Moor and only narrowly missed out on taking a medal in his first ever uphill race.

The eventual winner James Kevan won in a new record time of 11 minutes and 29 seconds.

Andy completed the race just 11 seconds behind in 11 minutes, 40 seconds.

Burnley Young Athlete's Open Meeting

600 metre winners

The Harriers' growing under-11s squad competed well at the Burnley Open Meeting.

Under-11 Girls Hannah Coulson, Dannielle Young, and Hannah McCabe (pictured) make it a one-two-three for Stockport in the 600 metres event. Hannah also broke the under-11 Girls' long jump record.

Caitlan Wilson had a great day for the Under-10 Girls' taking second spot in both the two sprint events of 50 metres and 150 metres.

10-year-old Richard Hindley broke the track record for the 600 metres under-11 Boys' as did 9 year old Max Cole in the under-10 Boys' 600 metres.

Trafford Open Meeting

The middle distance squad were competing at the Trafford Grand Prix meeting last Tuesday evening.

The best performance of the meeting was the last race in which 15-year-old Jessica Coulson who benefited from her weeks training course at the UK Athletics Endurance Centre at Saint Marys in London where fellow squad member Steve Vernon is based.

With her own pacemaker David Hicketts she ran a fast 4 minutes, 33 seconds and will be challenging for a medal in the AAA’s 3,000 metres race in 3 weeks time at Birmingham.

Jessica’s training partner 14-year-old Lucy McLoughlin has been selected to run at the London IAAF Grand Prix track meeting on August 6th.

Lucy who won the English Schools' 1,500 metre Championships will run in the 800 metres British Miler's Club final.

The senior's squad are in the first round of the Northern Knockout Cup this weekend at Cudworth, first event is at midday.

Seniors overcome troubles to make final

Jon Walsh

800 metre winner in 2.0.7, Jon Walsh

Stockport’s senior team were competing at Cudworth on Saturday in the North of England Inter Club Championship’s Plate competition. The day was filled with disasters for the Harriers, yet ended in joy when it was announced we had finished in 3rd place overall, and thus qualified for the final by just 6 points!

Firstly Hannah Raines sprained her knee whilst attempting a new PB in the high jump, leaving her 3 other events uncovered.

Sprinter Rachel Boothby volunteered to tackle the 400 metre hurdles race, and ran bravely to placed 3rd.

The 1,500 metres was covered by 400 metre runner Sam Riley who recorded a very respectable 5.31, also in 3rd place.

Then club newcomer Katie Deutsch was reluctantly persuaded to run a leg of the 4 x 400 metre relay, despite having never run that distance before.

The team’s problems did not end here. Nicola Barratt got lost en route, and did not arrive in time for the long jump competition, so her place had to be taken by team manager Vicki Robinson who was already competing in 4 other events.

Nicola’s 2 hour journey proved worthwhile though when she arrived just in time for the 100 metre hurdles race, and won by over 3 seconds in a season’s best of 16.5 seconds.

There were similar transport problems for the men’s team. Mike Shaw was stuck in traffic and unable to make it in time for the 5,000 metres, meaning that Andy Wittingham who had already endured a 10,000 metre race, had to run a further 12.5 laps!

It was not all doom and gloom though as there were some impressive performances from athletes competing in their usual events too.

Katrina Maddocks competing for the team for the first time this year placed 2nd in the shot putt with 8.84 metre.

Katie Deutsch won the triple jump by just 6cm in 10.25 metre.

Scott Caine stormed to victory in the 200 metre in 22.4 seconds.

Dave Hicketts was similarly impressive winning the 3,000 metre steeple chase by almost 1 minute in 10.38, and Jon Walch ran a brilliant 800 metres to take victory, and just miss out on going sub 2 mins with 2.00.7.

Both teams are now looking forward to the Plate Final, which takes place at Cudworth on August 28th.