Norwich Union London Grand Prix

Becky Lyne

Report: Dave Turnbull -

Two of the clubs athletes competed at the London Grand Prix and were both in scintillating form, AAA's 800 metre Champion Becky Lyne who coaches in the middle distance squad was back in action after her win at Sportcity in the AAA's Senior 800 metres European Trials and also 16-year-old Jess Coulson who stepped up an age group in the under-20 Women's 3,000 metre event.

Becky lined up against European Champion Yolanda Ceplak and 800 metre world leader Janet Kipkosgei plus a very strong domestic field.

The pace was taken out fast taking Becky through halfway in 56.17, along the back straight Kipkosgei and Becky made it to 600 metres in 1-28, the final last 200 was a battle for Becky who was boxed in as Sinclair of the USA came alongside her at the crucial moment leaving Becky the only option of holding the inside lane to finish 2nd to Janet Kikosgei of Kenya 1-58.52, Becky Lyne 1-58.60 and Janet Sinclair USA 1-58.92.

Jess Coulson was invited to run in the AAA's under-20 3,000 metres and came away with a new personal best and club record with 9-24.61, Jess had previously run 9.30.1 for the event.

The winner was Sian Edwards in 9.16.38, Jess second with 9-24.61 and Ruth Senior third 9-36.1.

Next stop is the AAA's under-17 championships where Jess Coulson, Ross Millington, and Lucy McLoughlin all contest the 1,500 metres at Alexandra Stadium, Birmingham.

Juniors selected for Youth Games

Report: Dave Turnbull

Ross Millington, Jess Coulson and Lucy McLoughlin have all been selected to run at the inaugural UK Youth Games at Scotstoun, Glasgow on September 9-10th. The event will be held every year in the run up to the 2012 Olympics for up-and-coming athletes who may be future Olympians.

Last weekend Jess moved up an age group to compete in the AAA's under-20s Championships at Bedford in the 1,500 metres, easing through her heat winning in 4-30 on the Saturday.

The final on the Sunday was also the trial for the under-20s World Championships in Beijing, only the first two guaranteed places as well as having to run under 4-20.

Jess placed 4th in 4-25, won by Hannah England in 4-19, Jess Sprake 2nd and Emma Pallant third.

Jess will be competing this Friday in the London Grand Prix at Crystal Palace in an invitation 3km involving the UK's leading under-20 runners who have broken 10 minutes for the distance.

Andy Nixon ran in the British Uphill Junior Championships at Rossendale, his first hill race since last summer, finishing an excellent 4th.

Young Athletes' League

Report: Pete Torrence

James Corbishley claims maximum points in the 800 metres

James Corbishley claims maximum points in the 800 metres

Stockport Harriers had a great result in the last match of the Young Athletes' League on Sunday at Woodbank Park against St Helens & Sutton, Leigh and Seaton, winning the match with a good margin over St. Helens, taking Stockport to the top half of the North West division table.

Again two of the Harriers came out as the 'Track Athletes of the Match', under-17 sprinter Rory Evans took the honours with two great runs in the 100 and 200 metres with times of 11.4 and 23.1 seconds, not to be out done the improving under-17 sprinter Kelly Blackman won both 100 and 200 metres with 13.4 and 26.8 seconds.

Over the five matches the team spirit has been great and a number of athletes have improved with a good number of personal bests.

The last match was just the same, under-13s sprinter Olivia Yates turned in a great display again taking maximum points in the 75 metres, 150 metres and long jump.

Middle distance athletes Hannah Coulson and Samantha Wilson took maximum points in the 800 metres.

Ben Lawton and Jonathan Regan took the points in the boys' 100 and 200 metres sprints and long jump with a great 1-2 in each event, then Richard Hindley and James Corbishley claimed maximum points in the 800 metres.

Under-15s sprinter Lewis Clarke had the same time as the St. Helens' athlete but just had the edge on the line to win then followed up with 2nd places in both the 200 and 400 metres.

Dan Johnson and David Thomson both took 1st places with David taking 1st in the 800 metres B-race with Nathan Ludlain taking the 1st in the A-race.

75 metre hurdlers Sophie Bowdon and Georgina Wilkins both had good runs to take 2nd in the A-race and 1st in the B-race, Michelle Wiblin took 2nd in the 1,500 metres A-race and 1st in the high jump while Amber Whewell had another outstanding run to win the B-race.

While the sprinters where taking the honours on the track, in the under-17 field events Hannah Dukes and Jessica Yates had a go at the hammer for the first time and came away with 2nd and 1st while Charlotte Russell came away with 2nd places in the shot, discus and javelin.

Back from injury Steven Pearson took to the track for a 400 metres, 1,500 metre steeple chase and a run in the 4 x 400 relay, while out in the field Greg Watkins was having another fine day with wins in the hammer, discus and a 2nd in the shot.

1-2-3 in the Black Knight Charge

Report: Phil McCann

On a hot and sticky Tuesday night Jenny Knass, Estelle McGuire and Sharon Glendon ran East Cheshire's 6 mile Black Knight Charge trail race.

As this was to be a training run for them all they cruised through to victory to take 1st, 2nd and 3rd place in the ladies' field. Although the race was a little low-key they worked hard and it paid dividends for them. Jenny Knass was pushed all the way by Estelle both running 42 minutes. With Sharon 3rd on 47 minutes the club rivalry is a great asset with them spurring each other on.

As things are at the moment the ladies are building nicely for the Birchwood 10k in August.

Busy week for middle distance stars

Report: Dave Turnbull

Jess Coulson and Ross Millington were both medalists at the home international at Grangemouth, Scotland.

Jess won the women's 3,000 metres event in a sparkling 9 minutes 32 seconds and Ross took silver against Richard Peters, who was only four-hundreths of a second quicker.

Jess and Ross made the long trip up to Scotland after spending a week training at the Adidas endurance initiative training camp held at the UK Endurance Performance centre in Twickenham, London.

The pair were invited to the training week along with 80 of the UK's top junior athletes from the middle distance events.

Lectures were also included on the types of training required to become the complete runner, nutrition for running, lifestyle, health and education issues, heart rate theory. Guest speakers included World 5,000 metre silver medalist Australian Craig Mottram, World Cross Champion Bennita Johnson, also of Australia, and Benjamin Limo of Kenya.

Back in Manchester at Sportcity the pair were also invited with other English Schools' medalists to a Sainsbury's Active training and performance preparation talk from double Olympic champion Daley Thompson, also featured in last Tuesday's Manchester Evening News.

English Schools' Championships

The 75th English Schools' Championships at Gateshead had 7 athletes from the Harriers competing at this year's event. Previous winners of this historic event include Steve Ovett, Steve Cram, Sally Gunnell, Paula Radcliffe and interestingly British boxer Joe Bugner was a former junior champion in the discus and footballer Bobby Charlton competed in the hurdles.

Four qualified through the heats on the Friday for Saturday's finals; Ben Styles senior 800 metres, Claire McMurdock senior 800 metres, Luci McLoughlin intermediate 1,500 metres, Ross Millington intermediate 1,500 metres and Greg Watkins intermediate discus.

Joining them in Saturday's finals were Jess Coulson and Leah Kay competing in the intermediate girls' 3,000 metres straight final involving 20 athletes.

Jess Coulson won the 3,000 metres with six seconds to spare and gained selection for England at this weekend's home international at Grangemouth in Scotland, so did Ross Millington after finishing 3rd in the intermediate boys' 1,500 metres in 3-55.

Elsewhere Steve Vernon was in action at the Gallway Games in Ireland where he ran in the Mile in gale force conditions to win the race in 4-11.

Steve's girlfriend Becky Lyne got over her disappointment at the Europa Cup where she was tripped and fell, with a 4th place in the 1,500 metres in Lucerne at the IAAF meeting in a new personal best of 4-06.85, smashing her previous best by 7 seconds.

Becky competes for a place at this year's European Championships in Gothenburg in August at this weekend's televised AAA's European Trials at Sportcity, Manchester.

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