Greater Manchester Schools Championships

GMS 1500m final

Ross Millington and David Forrester make the break in the Inter Boys' 1,500 metre final

Stockport Harriers had a number of juniors representing the Stockport Schools' Athletics Team at the Greater Manchester Schools' Championships at Longford Park Stadium, Trafford last Saturday.

They were chasing the qualification entry standards into this years English Schools Track and Field Finals at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham on July 8/9th.

Four Harriers who achieved the standards and will represent the Greater Manchester Schools' Team at the Championships were Claire McMurdock winning the senior girls' 800 metres with a powerfull display of controlled running to qualify under the mark of 2 minutes and 15 seconds in 2.13.

In the Inter Girls' 1,500 metres race reigning Northern and Greater Manchester 1,500 metre champion Jessica Coulson took the challenge to the rest of the field to win the race from her England cross country team mate Laura Evans. Jess was 7 seconds inside the standard with 4.38.

Last year's English Schools' 1,500 metre silver medalist Lucy McLoughlin ran another well judged race to win the junior girls race and also qualify well inside the standard by 7 seconds in a time of 4.45.

In the eagerly awaited rematch of their Northern 1,500 metre Championship race, Harrier Ross Millington and St. Helens runner David Forrester did not dissapoint the crowd in the last event of the day.

After setting off at fast pace, going through the first lap in 61 seconds, the pair were out on their own with a lap to go and once again it was Forrester who just managed to hold his lead as the pair sprinted for the finishing tape.

Both boys were seven seconds inside the English Schools' qualifying standard of 4.08 and less than half a second seperated them both Forrester 4.01, Ross 4.01.04

The Harriers' 100 metre sprinter Gareth Lamb won the Inter Boys' championship final in 11.4 seconds, just outside the standard of 11.2 and 200 metre runner Kelly Blackman finished second in the Junior Girls' race.

Both will run at next weekends Mason trophy meeting at Birmingham where they will hope to gain the qualifying standard.

Stockport Harriers' other medalists at the championships were Michelle Wiblin who finished third in the Junior Girls' 800 metre race and Rachel Boothby third in the Inter Girls' 80 metre hurdles.

100 inter final

Gareth Lamb (far right) wins the Inter Boys 100 metre final

Cheshire League

The following day over at Deeside Stadium in the Cheshire Track and Field league it was the younger under-11 year old athletes who again did themselves proud by turning out to compete against some strong competition and still came out on top to win by one point from Bury.

In the boys' team Richard Hindley, Thomas Hebdon, Max Cole, Danny Lawton and Thomas Walker all put in strong performances in the sprints and middle distance events and ended with a strong relay, just losing out to finish second to Bury.

Not to be out done, the girls' team of Hannah Wilkins, Hannah Coulson, Danielle Leith, Sally Mcintrye and Emma O’Connell pulled out all the stops with everyone turning out strong runs in the sprints but it was in the 600 metre race that they show how strong they are with Emma and Danielle both winning their heats in personal best times.

For the senior competition the we had a great turn out with the ladies' team again showing that there is nothing that they cannot do, from shot-put to 4 x 400 metre relays and even turn out for a 3,000 metre race to finish second in the ladies' match.

In the men's match we had every age group from under-13s to the over 50s but it was the dad's sprint squad that took the honours in the 200 metres with personal bests from heats 1 and 2.

It was a good day out with everybody pulling together and having a great time.

Ladies 200 metres

Action from the ladies' 200 metre event

Steve gains selection for European Mountain Championships

Steve Vernon climbs through the mist on Mt. Snowdon

Steve Vernon climbs through the mist on Mt. Snowdon

Stockport Harrier Steve Vernon secured his place in the Great Britain team for the European Mountain Championships in Austria next month.

The 24-year-old made selection for the team after finishing second in his first ever mountain race on Sunday at the UK Mountain Championship race up Mount Snowdon, in North Wales.

Steve who ran for Great Britain at this year's World Cross Country Championships was battling for a place in the team against some of the top mountain runners in the country.

Only the first two at the top of the gruelling six mile run were guaranteed a place in the 4 man team that will hope to challenge the strong continental mountain runners in the Austrian Alps in 3 weeks time.

Steve, who is based at the UK Athletics Endurance centre in London, had recently spent a week training in and around Snowdon but had never before raced a mountain event.

He said “training on the mountains and actually racing up them is a different matter”.

The race was won by Salford’s mountain runner Andy Jones who finished fourth in last years World Championship event.

The Salford Harrier’s experience at mountain running eventually told as the pair pushed hard all the way up the top of Snowdon, Jones opened up a gap on the Stockport runner up the final steep rocky climb that was covered in mist by the time they both got to the top.

They had both smashed the previous year's course record by over 2 minutes in the process, Jones winning the race inside 52 minutes and the Stockport runner just over 53.

The pair will be joined by Billy Burns who is based in Switzerland and Martin Cox, who were both pre-selected for the European Championships.

Steve said the team has a great chance of winning medals for the first time in a long while.

Scott takes another bronze

After his 400 metre bronze medal run in the Greater Manchester Championships, Scott Caine put in another medal winning performance to take bronze again, this time at the North of England Senior Championships, held at Sport City, Manchester in a time of 48.44 seconds.

This coming Sunday is the third young athletes track and field league match at Longford Park Stadium, Trafford, the first event gets underway at 12.00pm.

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