Jess takes Northern title

Report: Dave Turnbull -

Bash the Splash

Splashir Hussain finished 4th in the Northern Steeplechase championship, while Greg Watkins also claimed a 4th place in the Junior Discus.

Jess Coulson won the senior women's 1,500 metres at the Northern Championships on Saturday at a wet, windswept Wavertree Stadium in Liverpool in preparation for the under-20 AAA's European Trials 3,000 metres at Bedford next week.

Jess who already has the qualifying time for the 3,000 metres European Championships is hoping to make the team at the Championships and will have to finish in the first two to qualify.

Her main opposition at the Northern's came from Scotland's Freya Murray and Claire Entwistle of Trafford but Jess proved to strong for the pair as she opened up a sizeable lead after the 2nd lap to win by over 4 seconds in 4-24.59, well inside the World Youth qualifying time of 4-30, which Jess is also eligable to run.

Ross Millington also took the oportunity of a sharpener for next weekend's trials with a run in the senior men's 800 metres. Under-20 Ross, who tops the Power-of-10 under-20 rankings, was just edged out of the final in a tactical race to come home in 1-56.

Andy Nxon made sure of making the final in the under-20 men's 1,500 metre by winning his heat in 4 minutes and ran well in the final to come home in 6th place.

Andy makes his debut in the National 5km Road Race at Horwich on Sunday and will be joined by Steve Vernon and Welshman Jamie Loxam.

Weekend round-up

Report: Dave Turnbull

Two more club records fell on a busy weekend for the club's track and field athletes.

British Milers Club Nike Grand Prix - SportCity

Ross Millington broke his own junior 1,500 metre club record at the British Milers Club Nike Grand Prix at SportCity, Manchester on Saturday night with 3-49.47, a time that puts Ross top of the Power-of-10 national under-20 rankings.

Ross was only narrowly beaten into second place by senior Chris Clements of Bournmouth AC in 3-49.13.

Andy Nixon lowered his 1,500 metre time to 3-58 and Mike Thiele improved his 800 metre best to 1-54.03, winning his race in the process.

EAA permit meeting - Lille, France

Jess Coulson won her first international 1,500 metres race in front of a packed enthusiastic French crowd of twenty-thousand in Lille at the European Athletics permit meeting.

Jess won a tactical race in 4-22.65 after the pace maker had gone to sleep on the second lap leaving Jess to take control and front run the remaining 800 metres to win easily.

Greater Manchester County Schools - Trafford

Three Harriers athletes made it through to this year's English Schools' finals which will be held at Sheffield's Don Valley Stadium on the 13/14th of July.

Lucy McLoughlin won the Inter-girls' race in 4-44 and Michael Cooke ran a new personal best of 4-03 in the Inter-boys' 1,500 metres to earn his place in the County team.

Greg Watkins threw a new junior men's club discus record with 43.88 metres.

Derbyshire County Schools - Moorways Stadium, Derby

Two Harriers' athletes have won County titles - Amber Whewell won the Inter-girls' 3000 metre race and Sophie Bowden won the 100 metre race and both will now go on to represent Derbyshire at the Inter Counties competition taking place at Cudworth Stadium, Barnsley on 15th June.

Senior Northern League

The recent Senior Northern League Division 2 match at Woodbank Stadium saw a much improved turn-out from the club, helping the team finish second behind a powerful Bolton squad.

Performance of the day came from Jess Coulson winning the 800 metre A-race, setting a new club junior record in 2-08.3.

Ross Millington came a close second to St. Helens' David Forrester in the men's 800 metres with a personal best of 1-53.3

The Stockport pair are both on international duty later this month, Ross running in Stravanger, Norway with the England junior team while Jess travels to Lille in France for a 1,500 metres with the GB junior squad.

Others wining maximum points were Lucy McLouglin in the 1,500 metres, Charlie Hesketh in the Long Jump and 100 metre Hurdles, Jess Yates in the Triple Jump and 200 metres, plus good wins in both women's relay events.

Windermere Marathon

Report: Isaac

Earlier in the year when plans were being made by the Harriers endurance teams for the London marathon, it seemed like a great idea to run one 'just for fun' four weeks after London.

Windermere was the event chosen for many reasons, it would be cool weather wise, probably flat as it was around Lake Windermere and we would all be rested in the four weeks following FLM.

Weather wise it was very sunny, some would almost consider it to be hot but the excellent facilities and drink stations en route proved to be more than sufficient for everyone The course however was distinctly undulating which can be seen from the men's winning time of 2-47-30 - with over 2,200 feet of climb on the course.

For many of the team it would feel like a race too many, even more so those that had chosen to run the White Peak marathon 24 hours earlier or fell races in Hayfield as a warm-up to Windermere.

Not so for 'Athlete of the Day' Neil Thompson, who must now look at not getting a place in London 2007 as a blessing in disguise, running the race of his life to finish in a best of 3-11-15 and leading the Stockport team to third prize overall - a great accomplishment.

First lady home and also recovering in fine style from injury Sally Keighley assisted in taking the third team prize for Stockport Harriers

Special mentions must go to Lee 'Athlete of the Month' Barratt and his partner in crime Jenny Kinnaird both finishing the district double a fete most wouldn't even think about let alone do.

Windermere Marathon
Position Name Time Cat/Pos
29 Neil Thompson 3:11:08 M 11
43 Daniel Oliver 3:13:29 M 15
137 Sally Keigher 3:33:20 F35 5
164 John Harvey 3:36:03 M 58
232 Simon Knighton 3:45:26 M 80
233 Stephen Jones 3:45:27 M40 62
245 Lindsay Harrod 3:46:51 F40 10
258 Sean Whewell 3:47:54 M40 69
588 Kath Ward 4:24:46 F40 38
646 Anthony Ward 4:32:42 M45 84
681 Lee Barratt 4:38:24 M 213

Great Manchester Run

Report: Phil McCann

Once again the Harriers were out at the Great Manchester Run, our numbers were down on last year mainly due to the high entry fee and that it filled up within a week.

We had six ladies given elite places and three eventually made it to the start line. For those who were sidelined, the two Jennies and Rachel will be there next time.

However Toni McIntosh, Kerrie Wood and Sarah Lomas on who on her first elite outing found it hard. Other ladies within the elite were either down on their times or dropped out, such was the pace.

Toni was first Stockport lady home in 39-45 followed by Kerrie Wood 40-32 and Sarah Lomas 41-25. Afterwards they all said it was hard with everybody being strung out and no groups as such to focus on.

However in the mass field Tony Audenshaw was his impressive self, first promoting Street Activities and he then ran a time of 41-36. First Stockport male home was Gavin Astin in 36-09.

We had an excellent performance from Alison Coulson who was not letting her daughter Jessica have all the limelight, lowering the her own club V45 10k record by 36 seconds with 44-12.

Others were enjoying the event but as you would expect unless you get a good start you can lose minutes. Jenny Hopes was next with 47-50 followed by Jayne Lawton 48-05. Viki Robinson managed to dip under 50 minutes with 49-12.

Maureen Wilkins chased me all the way and due to a pulled a calf muscle at 5k I had to let her go for her to record 53-20 with me 56-33. Julie Akin was working hard to finish just under the hour in 59-58 and Gloria Norton 1-30-21.

Loughborough International

Report: Dave Turnbull

Under-20 athletes Jess Coulson and Ross Millington ran the UK's fastest times this year in their events at the Loughborough International on Sunday.

Jess made a four second improvement to run 9 minutes 20.44 seconds and a new personal best to finish fifth in the race headed by Commonwealth Games 1,500 metre champion Lisa Dobrisky.

Jess also ran 15 seconds inside the European under-20 mark of 9-35 and set a new club junior record.

Ross Millington justified his first outing for the GB junior team, racing against a quality senior international field he ran a season's best, club record and the UK's fastest junior 1,500 metre time of the season with 3-52.99

The pair will be on club duty at the next Northern league meeting at Stockport on Saturday 2nd June where both will run the 800 metres.

Ross selected for Loughborough International

Report: Dave Turnbull

Ross and Jess opened the new season with a GB place and a new club record on a night of personal bests for the Harriers at the third of the Trafford Athletic Club's superb grand prix series on Tuesday night.

Ross Millington in his opening track race of the season gained his first GB track representation after finishing second in a UK season's best of 3-54.23 in the British Milers Club 1,500 metre A-race at the meeting.

Ross claimed his place in the GB junior team for the Loughborough International on Sunday where he will compete against senior teams from England, Scotland, Wales and Loughborough University past and present teams.

At the same meeting Jess Coulson stormed to a new club record in the 1,500 metre, her first track race this season, taking a full second of her previous record to win in 4-21.82. Jess will also be racing at Loughborough in the women's 3k event.

In the 800 metre races four Stockport athletes recorded new best times.

Mike Thiele in his first 800 metres in seven years finished second in the BMC men's A-race in a best of 1-56.

Jon Walch recorded his best time in 1-58 in the open 800 metre race.

Under-17 Mike Cooke recorded another best in his first 800 metres stopping the clock in 2-0.67 just behind under-20 team mate Stuart Cameron who just edged Mike in a closely fought contest with 2-0.4.

Emma Hampson followed this with her best ever 800 metre time of 2-19.

Ladies weekend round-up

Report: Phil McCann

Stockport Harriers' ladies took part in three events over the weekend that saw many running personal bests.

Some were taking part in their first track & field championship while others were at 10k races.

The ladies started off on Saturday at the Greater Manchester Track & Field Championships where in the Women's 5,000m we had Lois Brookes and Maryte Moore trying improve their speed endurance and also Leah Kaye entering on the day.

As the race got underway the rain started to pour down making the going heavy. Leah was 1st home in 18-19.57 to claim the club's first junior 5,000 metre record, Lois 2nd in 21-31.95 and Martye 3rd with 22-12.49 to give Stockport Harriers a 1-2-3.

In the 3,000m Liz Bowden was hoping to better her recent best of 12-51.0 and did so with 12-12.0.

The following day at the Liverpool Women's 10k with a field of 2,300 runners more personal bests were achieved.

The had course changed from previous years, now twisting in and out of Sefton Park.

Rachel Shepherd was first Stockport lady home finishing 4th and just missed out beating 40 minutes, recording a personal best of 40-00 exactly. She was followed by Samantha Thomas finishing 10th and improving her best by 1-30 with a time of 41-55.

Sharon Glendon finished 17th in 42-39, only 15 short of her best, followed by Fiona Johnson finishing 87th in her first 10k to record 47-31.

Other Harriers who completed the course were Susan Holland 51-32, Victoria Healy 54-41, Elaine Devine 57-20, Susan Campbell 1-08-41 and Jose Cooper 1-13-33.

Over at Blackpool we had two other ladies making the mark in the Beaverbrooks 10k held on the same day with a record number of over 3,500 runners.

Toni Macintosh

Toni McIntosh (right) was in fine form breaking 38 minutes for the 1st time since 2005. Toni finished in 2nd having ran a controlled race and recorded 37-52. Afterwards said she was really happy with her time over the first 5k and in the second half faded only in the last kilometre.

Liz Turton was also at the event having been out of running for nearly a year due to work commitments. She is quickly coming back to form recording a time of 45-20. Her last 10k a few weeks ago she ran 47 minutes, so this was another step forward.

Finally at the Trafford Open Meeting on Tuesday 15th Toni completed another improvement by running in the 3,000m in a time of 10-51.0.

Greater Manchester County Championships

The Greater Manchester County Championships were held at Stretford's Longford Park over the weekend.

Discus thrower Greg Watkins won the gold medal and broke a 31-year-old club record in the process.

Competing in the men's under-20 age group, Greg's throw of 40.88 smashed the old record by over 2 metres despite this being his first year in the age group using the heavier 1.75kg discus.

Greg has also thrown the senior 2.0kg discus over 38 metres and now has his eyes set on the men's senior record of 39.56m.

Belmont Winter Hill Race

Report: Isaac

Belmont Hill Race

Now that summer is almost upon us (as I look out of the window Kinder Scout is covered in rain clouds and it's been raining for the last three days!) it's time to dust off the Walshes, find your compasses and whistles and head for the hills.

The Belmont Fell races have all the ingredients to make a great fell race - fast road start, hard climbs, wet and marshy underfoot on the top (despite two weeks without rain), very fast down hills and that most important ingredient ... a pub at the end of the race!

Fine performances from the Juniors in very hot conditions, with Leah Kay finishing 2nd and again qualifying for the Junior England team to run in the Marco Germanetto Memorial Race later in the year in Northern Italy - Leah's sister Sarah had a very good race but fell badly injuring her ankle in the last 800m of the race and was unable to finish but did make the inside pages of the Bolton Evening News describing how Mountain Rescue had to bandage her ankle!

Amber Whewell finished 4th in the under-15's 2 mile race knocking 80 seconds from last year's time.

Please take time to check the dates and times of your local fell races, many of which take part mid-week or Friday evenings, you'll be surprised at how many Harriers are taking to the hills!

Belmont Winter Hill Race
Junior Girls - Under-17 2.5 miles
2nd Leah Kay 23:24
Junior Girls - Under-15 2.0 miles
4th Amber Whewell 20:20
Seniors 4.5 miles
48th Sean Whewell 42:16

Jess selected to race in France

Steve Vernon won the Hawkeshead Trail Race with a new course record

Steve Vernon won the Hawkeshead Trail Race with a new course record

Report: Dave Turnbull

Harriers' GB cross country runners Jess Coulson and Ross Millington will have a busy period of racing over the coming 6 weeks as they both aim to achieve the European qualifying time in the 3k and 1500m.

First up will be the Adidas international track night at St Mary's, London in a hotly contested 3k for Jess and a 1,500m for Ross.

Two days later Jess competes in Lille, France in an international 1,500m race representing the 'On Camp with Kelly Holmes' team.

Both will be hoping to achieve the qualifying standards before the trial at Bedford, only the first two past the post are guaranteed places in the GB team at the European under-20 Championships in Hengelo, Holland between July 19th to July 22.

Steve Vernon was back on form again last weekend at the Puma Trailfox Series at Hawkshead.

Steve put over two minutes between himself and his nearest competitor James Walsh of Leeds City, and smashed his own course record by over 45 seconds in the process to win in 55 minutes 34 seconds to Walsh in second with 57-38.

The British Milers Club held its middle distance academy races on a wet bank holiday Monday evening.

The races are run like clockwork the whole meeting completed in just over two hours with pace makers provided so that the nation's up-and-coming young middle distance athletes can achieve fast times.

Stockport had two athletes competing, under-17 Michael Cooke who before the race had a best of 4-23.

Mike smashed that by over 14 seconds to record a national standard time of 4-09.

Michael Logue, under-15 also made good use of the pacemakers provided and recorded a new personal best by over 4 seconds in 4-29.

Also at the meeting Richard Hindley ran 4-45.3, a time that should take him to the top of the UK under-13 1,500 metre rankings.

The next races at Trafford are on Tuesday the 15th May starting at 6.30pm.

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