Silver for Lucy at the AAA's

Lucy McLoughlin in the 800m

Lucy McLoughlin (far right) in the 800 metre heats of the AAA's Championships

Lucy McLoughlin won the 800 metre silver medal after three hard races over two days at the AAA's under-15/17 Championships at the weekend at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham.

Fresh from her outstanding run at Crystal Palace in the 800 metres the week before at the British Milers Club final where she had recorded a new personal best of 2.12.9, to come third in the open age category only being beaten by two sixteen year olds.

Lucy, who is the reigning English schools 1,500 metre champion, had two tough qualifying rounds where each time she faced rival Jess Hicks the number one ranked 800 metre runner.

In the first round Lucy and Hicks went neck and neck to the finish, neither athlete wanting to give each the physiological edge, both qualified easy.

Both were surprised to find that they had both been put into the same semi final which was a repeat run of the heat as both athletes crossed the line together.

In the final which went through the first 200 metres in 28 seconds, Lucy was back in 6th at the bell as Hicks and the Irish 800 metre champion Corrin Cronin battled it out at the front.

At this stage it looked as though Lucy's medal hopes had gone, until 300 metres to go went Lucy began her move up, right until the final few strides to the line passing the fading Hicks and Leah Lennon to snatch silver.

Ireland's Cronin had kept up the pace to win easily in 2.11 with Lucy 2nd in 2.14.

Coach David Turnbull said "Everybody thought Lucy had blown her chance of a medal but the 800 metres can do devastating things to your body in the last 200 metres if you go off to fast.

Lucy capatilised on that and didn't give up her last 300 metres was around 47 seconds she took the race right to the line.

After the race Lucy had said her legs felt dead at the first 200 metres and wasn't able to respond to the initial fast pace, that is something for us both to think about over the winter."

Ross Millington was another finalist in a tactical 1,500 metre final the racing got underway with about 500 metres to go after an initial slow start.

Ross was off the pace at the bell when Jordan West Patrick Hambley and English schools winner Gary Bradbury forged ahead.

Ross got back into the race with a fast finish out-kicking David Forester of St Helens for the first time this year to finish 5th. The race went to 800 metre specialist Jordon West who must have been pleased with the slow early pace allowing him to use his fast finish to just pip Bradbury.

Jess Coulson found herself in the best domestic field assembled for some years in this age group all the top three girls Emily Pidgeon, Sian Edwards, Non Stanford and Scottish champion Siobahn Coleman plus English schools runner up in the 1,500 metres Stevie Stockton started.

Right from the start the race of 16 athletes broke down into two races the internationals of 6 including Jess and the domestic field who were not even thinking of going with the pace.

Jess was hanging on the back of the first 5 runners with the gap staying the same until World Cross representative Emily Pidgeon, who is the fastest 3k runner in Europe this year at under-17 level, put her foot down with 600 metres to go and only Sian Edwards managed to stay with Pidgeon who won in 9.38 from Edwards and Stanford third, Jess was clear in 6th at the finish.

Personal bests at Bebington in the Cheshire League

Gorgina Wilkins wins the High Jump

Gorgina Wilkins wins the High Jump with 1.42 metres in her first try at the event

A small number of Stockport Harriers made the trip to Bebington for the Cheshire Track and Field League but again there was a good number of personal bests from all the age groups.

In the under-15 girls two athletes out did themselves, Michele Wiblin in the 1,500 metres made a strong break with two laps left and came away with a good win in a time of 5.03, while in the High Jump Gorgina Wilkins, in her first try at the event, out jumped everyone to win the event with a height of 1.42 metres.

In the under-11 boys', Richard Hindley again took the honors in the 600 metres with a time of 1.50 and also won the Long Jump with 3.24 metres.

The relays turned out to be close affair, in the under-11 girls' 4 x 100 metres, on the last leg a great run by Hannah Wilkins brought the team back and just missed out in a close finish with the East Cheshire team and in the under-15 girls' relay the team stormed around to take the win just on the line from West Cheshire AC.

In the senior men's shot-putt dad Neil Wilkins not to be out done, came though to take 2nd place with a putt of 7.67 metres.

The women finished second behind East Cheshire Harriers, while the men's team finished third and in the under-11s had to settle for second place just behind East Cheshire.

Club Track and Field Championships

The Club Track and Field Championships are being held on Wednesday and Thursday, 7-8th September starting at 6.30pm.

We are looking to cover all age groups from under-9 boys' and girls to senior men and ladies and add a few races for the parents, we are going to cover sprints/middle distance and field so support from as many club members as possible will be welcomed.

Final match of the Northern League

bash in the 1500

Bashir (left) had a busy afternoon, running the 1,500 and 5,000 metres

In the final match of the Northern League, Stockport's senior team were competing at Woodbank Stadium on Sunday, but despite being on home soil they were unable to finish higher than 4th, finishing the season 3rd in the Northern League Division 3. On the positive side there were still many good performances from the Harriers.

There was a welcome return to the track for Nicola Pickford who won the first event of the day, the 400 metres hurdles in 72 seconds, and in doing so pulled team mate Nicola Barratt to a personal best of 73.5, giving her maximum points in the 'B' string.

Carla Stansfield had to settle for 2nd place in the 800 metres, but recorded a big personal best of 2.27.

Jenny Knass made an impressive debut over 3,000 metres, winning the 'A' race in 11.05, while Vicky Barratt recorded a personal best of 11.35 to finish 2nd in the 'B' event.

Jess Yates

200 metre winner Jess Yates

Ladies' team manager Vicki Robinson scorched to victory in the 400 metres with a personal best of 58.8. Jess Yates was also impressive winning the 200 metres in 26.9.

In the field Marie Cosgrove was rewarded with a personal best in the discus of 16.91 metres while Sam Riley achieved a seasons best of 24.83 metres in the Javelin to place 3rd.

The ladies won both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 metre relays by large margins.

On the men's team Scott Caine was an easy victor of the 400 metres in 50.1. Ben Styles had to work much harder for his win in the 800 metres but recorded a very impressive time of 1.55.2.

Bashir Hussain was on form in both the 1,500 metres, where he finished 2nd in 4.07, and in the 5,000 metres with a win in 15.38. Mike Shaw also ran well in this event, winning the 'B' string in 15.56.

The men were not quite so lucky in the relays but brought the baton home in 2nd place in the 4 x 400 metres in 3.28.

The Sale 10 Mile Road Race

Alan Pover continued his dominance of the over-55s category with an excellent 57.11 in the Sale 10 Mile Road Race around Wythenshaw Park on Sunday, finishing in 16th overall and lowering his club record even further.

Also for the club Andrew Whittingham ran 57.54 for 20th place

Peak performances from Steve and Ross

Ross Millington in the 1500m

Ross ran the second fastest 1,500 metre time in the UK this year.

Stockport Harriers' Steve Vernon and Ross Millington both produced peak performances this week to end their season on top form.

Steve was representing Great Britain in the final Grand Prix Mountain Running event which attracts the best Mountain runners from across the world who compete in the series of races at some of Europe's highest peaks.

The final Grand Prix event started in the the Italian mountain town of Susa and climbed over 15,960 metres to the mountain top finish at Costa Rosa.

The field included the world's top three mountain men including last year's World Mountain Running Champion Jonathan Wyatt of New Zealand and athletes from over 20 nations.

The tough challenge did not deter Steve from going with the pace up the climb that eventually cut the field down to size, with Steve running hard in the last quarter overhauling Australian Ben Dubios, Simon Gutierrez of the USA and Ricardo Meja of Mexico, he was only 16 seconds off Italian Gairdo in third at the finish.

Steve led the GB team who finished second team ahead of the USA by only two points, with the Italians winning the event.

Ross Millington also saved his best performance until last in a season that has seen the 15-year-old improve with every race. Ross ran the second fastest 1,500 metre time in the UK this year in the under-17 age group.

Ross, from Woodsmoor, entered the British Milers Club Gold Standard race at Trafford on Tuesday night. He was the youngest in the field and raced against some of the top senior middle distance runners in the region to finish an amazing third in a new personal best of 3 minutes 55 seconds, smashing his under-17 Stockport Harriers' club record in the process by over three seconds.

Both athletes have figured prominently over the last twelve months for Stockport and are now taking a well earned two week rest before they prepare for the cross country season that gets underway in October.

Steve Vernon will be back training at Woodbank with the Harriers' squad now he has left the National Endurance Centre for athletes at St Marys in London. He is aiming to represent Great Britain at the season's big two races; the European Cross Country Championships at Tilburg in Holland in December and the World Cross Country Championships at Foukoka in Japan next March.

Cheshire Track and Field League

Sam Wilson in the shotput

Sam Wilson competes in the under-13 girl's shotput

The third round of the Cheshire Track and Field League at Salford turned out to be a run-off between the top three teams. In the under-11's team event the Harriers put up a great display but had to settle for a very close and tight third spot on the day behind Macclesfield and Salford Mets.

Again the 600 metres was the race to watch with a great run in the boys' race from Thomas Hebden to win the 'A' race with a time of 1.55.5 followed up by Max Cole in a time of 1.58.6.

The open meeting again produced a number of personal bests with sisters Leah and Sarah Kay running in the 3,000 metres both setting good performances with Leah winning in a time of 10.47.0, just outside the top ten best under-15 girls' performances in the country and followed by Sarah in a time of 12.09.

Meanwhile the sprinters were not to be out done, in the under-15 girls' 200 metres Georgina Wilkins set a personal best of 29.9 to finish second, also dad Neil set a personal best in the shotput with 8.86 metres, as in the last match at Wirral.

Again a small number of Harriers had a great day out with everyone giving there all, just a bit disappointing that other groups from the club do not support these type of leagues, other club make the effort to turn-up with a full teams, so why cannot the Harriers do this?

Inter Club Plate final at Cudworth

An under-strength track and field team were competing in the final of the Inter Club Plate competition last Sunday at Cudworth.

Unfortunately we finished in 6th and last place, but had been lucky to make the final!

Still there were some noteworthy performances from the team. The first came from Bashir Hussain who won the 10,000 metres by almost 2 minutes in 32.20. This race was run as a combined Cup and Plate match, and doubled as the North of England 10k championships. Bashir placed 3rd overall in this competition, and was awarded the bronze medal for his efforts.

Scott Boothby made an impressive debut in the 400 metre hurdles, demonstrating both speed and good technique, he placed 3rd in 61.67 seconds. Hannah Raines also performed well in the same event recording a personal best of 76.81 in 3rd place.

Vicki Robinson was agonisingly close to breaking the 60 second barrier again in the 400 metre flat race, but was happy to take victory by almost 3 seconds in 60.09 secs. Katie Deutsch was also victorious in the triple jump, winning by over 60cm in 10.59 metres.

Katie and Vicki then joined up with Charlie Hesketh and Rachel Boothby in the 4 x 100 metre relay to produce the fastest relay time of the season by over a second with 51.64 secs, unfortunately the Barnsley quartet proved too strong for them and they had to be content with 2nd place.

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