YDL champs

Dave Greenwood

After a week of poor weather affecting the test match at Old Trafford and home fixtures this year, plus the England International all experiencing torrential rain, it stayed dry! The North West Premiership had shown its strength in gaining the top three spots in the Northern Final in July. West Cheshire has some very good athletes who could compete well nationally but they missed out. Big clubs Gateshead and Leeds were not a match for the North West.
The last YDL Final at Bedford resulted in a very close match with Sale in fourth only twenty points behind the winners, Reading. A strong Southampton team of 2017 got relegated last year; such is the strength of this age group across the regions. Blackheath and Bromley, having produced stars like Dina Asher Smith are clearly the best London club for school aged athletes and were looking to contend once more.

The announcements regarding team standings over the day revealed how close it was, the lead changing and often the top two were separated by only a point. The declaration that a relay event which Sale won was to be declared void because athletes were placed in a wrong lane at a changeover could have altered the destiny. The totting up and checking of scores seemed to take an eternity. The positions of the seven teams were revealed in reverse order built the tension so when it was announced Blackheath were second the Sale athletes erupted into joyous celebration which rivalled any top class sport. Congratulations to all Sale athletes, their coaches and parents. That important triad of co-operation is essential to success. Nobody can imagine unless they've been involved, what team managers go through. Carl Worthington and Sinead Ferguson have worked really hard all year to bring about this result, Congratulations.
In our area we have some very good athletics clubs, all within a close area; Sale, Trafford, Salford, Stockport, have all produced quality athletes who have won National titles. Even the smaller clubs such as ECH (Georgia-T-B) and Leigh produce diamonds but not quite as many.
Replacing the sad loss of the City Games will be the National Championships, English Schools and other events all coming to Manchester in the next two years as Birmingham is re developed.
Whilst this event was going on 30,000 were watching Women’s Football (City v Utd) in the Etihad.
Manchester - capital of the North for Sport and culture! Be Proud.

And girl’s team manager Sinead Roche wrote;

I am so so tired but so so proud. This season I have been the boy’s team manager for the YDL (youth development league) for my club Sale Harriers. It's a series of track meetings and takes a lot of work and organisation... Well, we won all our matches in the North West league, so today; we were competing in the NATIONAL finals, against the winners of the other leagues in the UK, so a big deal really!! To be the best club in the country for this age... Today was just brilliant... the children were just unbelievable... and we only went and won so we are NATIONAL CHAMPIONS!!!!! When it was announced, there was a tear in my eye and it was pandemonium... the kids were so excited, screaming, shouting, throwing each other in the air.... there's something about sport which just brings this pure joy that you can't get from anything else... Kids nowadays sometimes get a raw deal, but today, seeing so many children, so talented and dedicated, working so hard and then their delight on achieving their goals... not sure anything beats that!!

Peter Shaw said:

Sale Harriers U13 and U15 boys and girls are the 2019 National YDL Champions, a title they’ve now won three times in the last five years. This is the Golden era for the club’s young athletes. The cauldron for a very tense final was on home turf of Sportcity. We went as eleven times Northern champions to compete against Britain’s top clubs. The final was as exciting a day of athletics that anyone could hope for with Sale scoring 601 points to win by just six.  We set four YDL records, three club records and won 70 medals including 28 gold.

Our inspirational captains led from the front with both setting new YDL records. Girl’s captain SUCCESS EDUAN won both sprints in new YDL record times and won the award for the best performance of the day. She also teamed up with NATACHI NWOSU, FAVOUR JOSEPH and JASMINE RICHARDSON to win the sprint relay. Jasmine is to be congratulated on setting a club record in the hammer whilst Favour not only won the 300m but collected a 3rd gold medal when she teamed up with HERMIONE MASON, IZZY BURKE and OLIVIA BROWN to win the 4 x 300m relay.

Boys captain BASIL ZOLA high jumped a massive PB of 1.93m to set a new club and YDL record. Basil was a real action hero as he also won the long jump and competed in four events. THEA BROWN also competed in four events and cleared 1.61m in the U13 girl’s high jump to also set a new YDL record broke club records for both the U13 and U15 age-groups. ...a super girl who can really fly!

EVAN SAVAGE was a clear winner in the 1500m and won the Frank Starkie Memorial Trophy (Frank was a Sale Harrier chairman who made a massive contribution to youth athletic development before his sudden death in 2006).

A special mention to primary age athletes EVA KARALIUS and LILY OLDALE who both won bronze medals . Our other medallists were




It is impossible to acknowledge everyone but every boy and girl can be proud of what they achieved and the honour they’ve brought the club. Many thanks to club officials who scored a maximum of 56 points which contributed to our team victory. It would, of course, all be impossible without team managers CARL WORTHINGTON and SINEAD FERGUSON.

Gallery photos kindly supplied by Carl Worthington

See also Photos from Dave Greenwood at Darkstar Photos

Andy Carlin 100miles

Andy Carlin NDW

Life in a day

By Andy Carlin

‘Life in a day’ is the phrase that got stuck in my head to make me first consider entering a 100 mile race.  We all know how it goes, once the thought is there it won’t go away and sooner or later needs to be acted upon.  The act became a 103 mile, 10000ft of ascent, point to point trail race between Farnham and Ashford along the North Downs Way.

‘Life in a day’.  The ups, the downs, the challenges, the problem solving, this is what I was looking for and this is what I found.  From having to duct tape the top of my water bottles on at the first checkpoint, to learning that pineapple is delivered from the gods (closely followed by minestrone soup) it was a journey of discovery and camaraderie.

The race started from the mouth of the North Downs Way at 6am, the start line marked with a couple of flags, an abandoned trolley and a double mattress.  The early morning light glinting through the trees as the starting crowd began to stretch out across the countryside aiming for some distant horizon.

You can spend a lot of time on your own throughout these events which makes support, wherever it is found along the course, even more enjoyable than at many other events.  To have an Austrian man shouting ‘IT’S A ROCK STAR!’ at you while on his own in the middle of a field 52 miles into a race is enough to keep anyone moving.

A defining part of the day is running through the transition between day and night.  The sun takes hours to set but darkness comes down in an instant.  With head torches on, the hills become bigger, the forests become thicker and skittering sounds boom in the undergrowth.  This was a part of the day that I had thought a lot about beforehand, not wanting my energy to drop with the failing light.  So the journey became only ever to the next checkpoint, pattern emerging of eating and moving, never counting the seconds.  Just forever following the shimmering scraps of tape through corn fields, forests and along the ridge lines of the trail.  So it was that 20 hours and 28 minutes after starting, I crossed the finish line in 19th place, picking up a ‘finisher in a day’ belt buckle and immediately falling asleep!

Finally, these adventures could not be done without the support of others.  Everyone cheering on the day, supporting during training, and assisting in the build-up; the camaraderie of these events encompasses a huge number of people beyond those that place themselves between the start and finish lines.  This journey was no different. Thanks to everyone who helped to make this possible and allowed us to raise over £900 for charity as well as getting me a new belt buckle.

In 2014, British Athletics launched the Club: Connect initiative, with the objective of recognising and rewarding significant contributions made by clubs in supporting athletes through all levels of their athletics journey.

In recognition of our relay teams success this season, Club: Connect invited seven Sale Harriers relay teams to the Muller International Diamond League competition in Birmingham on Sunday 18th August 2019. Unfortunately, it conflicted with the Northern Championship and resulted in the club only being able to enter four teams. Competing against some of the fastest junior relay teams in the country, there was a lot of pressure on our young athletes; especially as the winning teams would each receive £250 for their club.

Diamond League

The U13 girls were first up and included Setira Reed, Thea Brown, Tia Grover and Holly Garner. Our first runner was Setira, who despite being given lane six stormed round the bend and handed over to Thea in first place, Thea then powered down the back straight to handover to Tia with a 10m lead. Tia maintained the lead around the bend and handed to fourth runner, Holly, who sprinted through the finish line in a time of 51.80 seconds, which was 1.44 seconds ahead of the other teams. Not only did the U13 girls convincingly win the race, they smashed their own club record for the second time this season and won £250 for the club.

Next up were the U13 boys who consisted of Joshua Eme, Theo May, Tolu Adeyemi and Prince Mendes. It was a great start with Joshua and Theo powering the team to second place. Despite Tolu gaining on the team in the lead, it all went wrong on the final handover and resulted in Sale Harriers sadly finishing last.

Our U17 boys were next up to race and included Sam Worthington, Lazarus Benjamin, Joseph Herbert and Ben Basten. Despite Lazarus and Joseph being first years, the lads ran a season best of 44.46 seconds, which is faster than any other Sale Harriers U17 boys squad since 2014.

Finally, it was the turn of the U20 women’s team, consisting of Bria Bullard, Ruka Shonibare, Amy Mollard and Charlotte Mairs. Despite a valiant effort from all four ladies, they finished a respectable third, in a time of 50.31 seconds.

U20 relay squad

For the rest of the day, the athletes were able to relax and get inspired watching international athletes break world records. It will be a day they will all remember for the rest of their lives.

Congratulations to all athletes who competed.

Carl Worthington (Team Manager)

By Dave Greenwood

The fourth staging of the England International took place on Wednesday at Sport City. Although there is a big event at Birmingham that the top of the elite echelon will aspire to ,it gave an opportunity to some athletes to experience an International event. Teams representing the home nations, GB Juniors, an All stars team and a BAL/UKWAL team were in action. Amongst the All Stars were athletes from Canada, Botswana and France.

Prior to the Adult event there was a 'Community team Relay' event with teams from Sale, Trafford, West Cheshire, Manchester Harriers, Crewe and Nantwich, etc. Sale were the most represented and most successful club with Dave Marsh and Anita Richardson looking after the teams. Winners of the Under 15 events were invited to run again later during the Adult programme against some adult teams of celebs and Fitness First who were a major sponsor. Sale athletes displayed some outstanding running to win most of the events. Sale U15 Girls (Carl Worthington) recorded a time of 49.36

Sale have some high standard athletes, some of whom competed for various of the teams. Congratulations to all those who made the podium. Andy Robertson ran in the guest 100m 10.47and the 100m Final 10.50 as well as running a relay leg. In the Final he was second to the Scottish Sprinter Adam Thomas. Choosing to run the Women's Mile event was a bit of a surprise from Aimee Pratt (Vicente Modahl), which ultimately worked out to be a great choice as her normal steeplechase was completed in the most torrential rain I have ever seen in this country; it rivalled a tropical storm and resulted in the suspension of the event whilst the track and throwing circles were swept of the flood. Aimee took on her race from the start and soon established a healthy lead which she maintained until the finish in a time of 4.38.The announcer introduced Euan Gilchrist (Paul Roden) as only having ever done four 3000m runs. It didn't show as Euan bided his time in a tactical race, until coming off the final bend he made sure of victory with a fine finish to win in 8.32. Jessica Taylor - Jemmet , our top class Pentathlete, won Silver in 200mSprints in 24.37 and ran the third leg of the relay for England. Sean Okome (Keith Hunter) in poor conditions, made the Podium in the Triple Jump coming 3rd with 15.47.Whilst Raymond Being went one better in second in the Long Jump. Returning from a long absence having been outstanding as a junior, Clovis Asong (Keith Hunter) ran a 400m and demonstrated starting out of blocks; an advance on when he was 18 and won English Schools convincingly off a standing start!  His time away revealed he has work still to do to be at his best but it's great to see him back competing this year. His time of 48.59 is a good start to getting back to his 2011 pb of 46.74.

We had three representatives in the Javelin. Winning for England was Laura Whittingham with a throw of 52.89 whilst in the same competition Rosie Semenytysh threw 45.79 for fifth. To throw over 60m at U23 is impressive Sam Dean (Neil Donbavand) was fifth with 62.11, only two metres off victory.

Don't forget the people in the background who make these things possible. Dean Hardman of England Athletics (our vice chair and for many years our BAL manager) Carol Brown, Marion O'Donnell, Debbie Beresford, Joe Frost and all the other track and field officials - I personally don't care which club they belong too , it wouldn't happen without them.

Sale are fortunate to have many coaches and managers who unselfishly give their time to nurture athletes and if they have done well enough to encourage athletes to this level they have done a great job. A thanks to you all from the community.

Whilst in terms of Internationals this event is overshadowed by the Diamond League, Anniversary Games and the World Championships it is important that it is staged in the North and gives local athletes and spectators some local interest, whilst more importantly giving those excellent youngsters who are still at school a glimpse of what is possible. A big well done to England Athletics for bringing this event to Manchester, cultural and sporting capital of the North !

Photos courtesy of Dark Star Photos check out the website by clicking here.



It is with great sadness that we report the recent death of Tony Simmons. Tony was a member of our executive committee and UKWAL team manager for many years. He was the key member instrumental in organising our celebratory dinner dance earlier this year which raised a huge amount of money for the club.

He started as a proud supporter of his daughter Jenny at Sale Harriers and ended up giving so much of his valuable time and effort to our club for which we will be eternally grateful.

Our heartfelt condolences go out to his family, friends and many athletes who have benefitted from his prescience. He will be sadly missed.

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