Glenn Savage

Saturday 27/10/2018, Long Eaton

West Park Leisure Centre, Long Eaton was again the venue for the British Masters Cross Country Relays, with a flat and fast 3k circuit for the runners to whizz round.

The recent unseasonal mild temperatures gave way to a bitingly cold wind as winter announced its arrival, but the races were as hot as ever.

First up were the ladies races.  Our W35 team got off to a fine start, with Harriet Hamilton coming home in 3rd place with an excellent 11:53 leg (7th fastest V35 of the day).  It was never going to be easy to remain in medal contention against the cream of the country’s veterans despite the fine efforts of Sinead Roche (13:24) and Tracey Taylor (14:07), but the final placing of 12th was a very creditable result with such a high standard field on show.

We managed to field 2 teams in the W45 race, and there were high hopes for our A team, led off by team manager Anne Chinoy, fresh from her selection to represent England Masters over 10k in Birmingham next year.  Improving on last year's time, Anne's 12:17 was good enough for 4th place (8th fastest V45 of the day). Further excellent runs from the evergreen Jackie Cordingley (13:22 for 5th fastest on her leg even though a W55!) and Helen Reagan (13:53) resulted in a great 8th place! 

The B team consisted of Carla Ousey (13:52), Lynda Rowlinson (14:13) and Marinda Breddy (16:24); all three girls putting in a great performance to finish 13th

It was a great turnout by the ladies, but they again were left to lament the lack of a 3rd W55 runner to complement Jackie and Lynda, which would almost certainly have ensured medals for a complete trio. However, this would have left the W45 teams short, which does highlight the difficulty in selecting Masters’ relay teams and the need to juggle with athletes from different age categories to put out the strongest teams possible.

At the same time as our ladies were running, our M65 team were trying to improve on their fine 6th place from last year, and it was a determined effort from the same trio.

Mike Curley has proved himself to be one of the quickest M65 runners in the country, but found himself in an incredibly competitive first leg, with Salford’s Stanley Owen setting a blistering pace.  Mike’s 12:38 was nevertheless a superb effort.  Further great runs from Mike Dunne (14:35) and Geoff Beattie (14:38) helped secure the team a fine 5th place.

Our M35 team were next up.  Matt Oldham had the misfortune of falling at the start of the first leg, but recovered well enough to run an excellent 10:40 in 17th place.  Rob Fairbanks, who along with Matt was using this as a warm-up for the following day’s Oldham Half Marathon, also had a great run with 11:05, continuing his great form.  Rob Marsden, hindered by a recent glute injury, ran gamely to record 13:28.  Another recent recruit, Richard Clancy, showed he is recovering well from recent illness problems with a brilliant 10:44.  The team was completed by M55 runner, Glenn Savage, running a solid 11:42 following an injury hit few months as he brought the team home in 14th place.

Our M55 team was decimated by withdrawals and Glenn having to make up the M35 team, so it was left to club stalwart Frank Cordingley to run as our sole runner in an incomplete team.  Another one blighted by recent injury/illness problems, Frank’s 13:11 was a fine effort indeed.  It is worth mentioning that Frank made himself available to run in younger age group teams if needed, typifying the kind of spirit we need.  So take a bow Frank!

In summary; no medals, but good solid team performances all round, and certainly something to build on for next year.  Maybe we will acquire the medals our veteran runners are capable of in the spring road relays.

Regardless of results, a great time was had by all who made the journey to Long Eaton; and the team spirit and camaraderie was there for all to see.  Roll on next year!

15th August 2018

Ernie Greenwood

The third Manchester International took place at Sport City and Sale had representation as we have had for the last three years of this relatively new offering. The format is some relay events for young athletes in the afternoon before the main event which is a chance for representative honours for up and coming elite athletes and some who wouldn't get a chance at the main championship events. Each of the home nations provide a team to compete with GB Under 23,a combined BAL/UKWAL team, A foreign team - this year Iceland and a team of various guests. A team of 'celebrities' race with the winners of the afternoon junior relay winners- a great experience for the kids.

Once again Sale girls U13 relay team won their event but the Boys had to be content with fifth place .The 'celebrities' were a bit of an anti-climax after Darren Campbell's medal winning relay team last year as they were not from the Athletics world but were worthy people representing sponsors- not really pitched at kids though. The event itself is good for kids to experience as they see elite athletes wearing their home countries kit competing in a good stadium and they get an idea of top class athletics. Local kids get the chance to be kit carriers too which they enjoy doing. The talented young Dancers from St Francis Primary in Gorton got to entertain the crowd.(Jonah Efolokus Primary School- a source of talent for us.) On the whole it's a good idea and brings more people into Athletics without having to travel to London or Birmingham and having to pay a lot for the experience. It also provides welcome revenue to keep Sport City open and not go the way of Sheffield Don Valley. The legacy of the Commonwealth Games continues a little longer and keeps the Arab Empire across the road at bay for now at least.

Experienced Sale sprinter Andy Robertson raced twice in the 100m ;once in the non point scoring race and again later in the rain battered race that mattered. Incredibly he recorded the same time 10.28.Andy joined Sale in his first year at West Hill School and has remained a member ever since. He was second in his race.

Fresh from Berlin, Kirsty Law represented Scotland in the Discus with a throw of 54.90 giving her country second place. Talented Jumper Abigail Irozuru heads a group of three Sale women athletes in the top six in the North. Her jump of 6.39 was enough for victory.In the Mens event Reynold Banigo went a metre further with 7.76 giving him a win.

We had three Triple Jumpers, two coached by Keith Hunter, all in the top six. Julian Reid won the event from Sean Okome in 5th and Kevin Metzger in 6th.

The event featured the England 10,000m Championships during which the rain we have missed for weeks arrived to keep them cool for half an hour. A very wet Nigel Martin battled the elements to stay with the race leaders for a Bronze medal and a p.b. in 30.07.Nigel has made great improvements under coach Norman Poole at Wythenshawe. 

Appearances by Sale athletes at this level are not unusual but do not happen overnight. It begins when they are children and those fortunate enough to be talented are lucky enough to be able to access good quality coaching but none of this assures success without regular very hard work. All these athletes and their coaches deserve their success because of this.   

Peter Shaw

Many of our young athletes started their cross-country season by competing in the North-West road relays (incorporating various county-championships) at Delamere Forest. This was the first opportunity for our primary aged athletes to represent the club at championship level and they responded with all six teams winning medals.

Our most successful team were CHARLOTTE BISCOF, AVA BYGRAVE and EVA KARALIUS who won the Cheshire U11 title and finished runners-up in the NW championship. Our team of BETH TITTENSOR, LALI BROWN and STEFFI BERNDT de LAO finished 3rd team in the Cheshire Championship whilst in the Gtr. Manchester Championship, we finished three U11 teams with IMOGEN HILL, ORPHELIA JONES and LILY OLDALE finishing in 3rd place. TARA FERGUSON, MADDY HOLT and SCARLETT WRIGHT finished 4th (1st B team) whilst MOLLY IRWIN, HANNAH SQUIBBS and AMELIE OLDALE finished 1st C team.

Our U11 boy’s team of MATTHEW CULLEN-BROWN, TOM HOBSON and ED SPARK had a great day finishing runners-up in the Gtr. Manchester Boy’s Championships.  The next opportunity for our U11 athletes to represent the club will be in the Northern Cross-Country Relays in Sheffield on Saturday October 20th.

A clash with the National YDL Final in Bedford deprived us of many U13 and U15 athletes but we managed to finish teams in these age-groups. Many of their performances will have impressed team managers in anticipation of selection for the Northern Road Relay Championships at Sportcity on Sunday September 23rd.

Peter Shaw

Sale Harriers U13 & U15 boys and girls came within 20 points of retaining the YDL (Lower) National title finishing 4th at Bedford. This follows on from two National titles and two 3rd places in the past four years.

LAZARUS BENJAMIN won the U15 boy’s pole vault to end the season unbeaten with victories including three national titles. English School’s Silver medallist AIDAN LYNCH won the 800m and 300m, whilst team captain ALEX JAMES won the 1500m and was awarded the FRANK STARKIE MEMORIAL TROPHY. MARCUS McLEAN (100m) and BASIL ZOLA (HJ) had excellent victories in this age-group

Our U15 girls were in dominant form in the sprint events with the English Schools Champion SUCCESS EDUAN and OSA ODEMWENGIE both winning sprint doubles and then teaming up with MELISSA BOOTHand JASMINE RICHARDSON to win the sprint relay. Hurdlers SOFIJA DRAGISIC-WOOD and HERMIONE MASON ran fast times in the hurdles with Hermione then teaming up with LAURE KIDIKULA, OLIVIA ASHDOWN and KIA CLARKSON to finish runners up in the 4 x 300m relay. MELISSA BOOTH won another gold in the long jump whilst ELLISE FRYER-FRANCIS competed in three events including a second place in the high jump.

Our U13 boy’s middle distance runners were in great form with 1500m victories from JACK SPARK and JOSH COLQUHOUN-LYNN whilst Primary aged FREDDIE MEREDITH ran a PB to finish 3rd in the 800m.

The outstanding performance of the day came from JASMINE REED who won the U13 girl’s 1200m in a time of 3:46.09 which puts her top of the National rankings and also unbeaten on the track this season. ANNABEL AMEDIN recently set club records for both the shot and discus (which rank her 2nd & 4th in the UK). At Bedford, ANNABEL won both the shot and the ‘B’ javelin. ELLA GILLESPIE won the ‘A’ javelin event with a performance that ranks her 9th in the UK.  THEA BROWN broke the U13 girl’s club high jump record with 1:48m. THEA has only just left primary school and this performance ranks her 2nd in the UK among girls her own age.  Then sprint relay team of HOLLY GARNER, FAVOUR JOSEPH, TIA GROVER and NATACHI NWOSU were in superb form to finish 3rd in 53.76 seconds.

It’s impossible to acknowledge everyone but every boy and girl can be proud of what they’ve achieved and the honour they’ve brought to the club. Well done to everyone who contributed in any way as coaches, parents and assistant managers and, finally and certainly not least the indispensible team managers SARAH JAMES and CARL WORTHINGTON.

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