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Great success at the English Schools

- 1st Jul 2017
Great success at the English Schools

English Schools under 15’s pentathlon winners

Great success came the way of several local Stockport Harriers at the English Schools combined events championships at Telford with the the under 15’s girls making a clean sweep of podium finishes with star billing going once more to Emily Misantoni who rounded off her gruelling day of five events in the pentathlon with a scintillating 2:17 posting in the 800 metres event.

Coaching coordinator Joe Frost was justifiably proud of his young charges and gushed with enthusiasm: “For the second year in a row, Stockport coaches produced more county athletes for Greater Manchester than all the other local clubs added together and it is an excellent sign of the strength of the multi – events coaching and development from within the Harriers at Woodbank park”.

The remaining podium finishes in the girls’ under 15’s pentathlon along with Misantoni in first spot, were taken by Abigail Pawlett (2nd) and a highly deserved bronze medal by Daisy Worthington in 3rd whilst Amy Battle who went in the high jump competition, produced a great leap of faith to finish with a clearance and new personal best of 1.43 metres and will continue to do well next season and remains in the under 15’s age group for 2018 which will help to increase her medalling prospects in the future.

Too many athletic events and not enough to cram them all in was the result as Team Stockport spread it’s resources between the Schools events in Telford and the Youth development league upper age group at Victoria park, Warrington which resulted in several events for all the competing clubs not being contested.

However both the boys and girls rallied to the cause and particularly for the boys with several doubling and trebling up in events and more so and so it was for Euan Benson in the under 20’s event who went in no less than four different field events and came second in the “A” string in all of them being the shot, discus, hammer and javelin.

Over on the track in the under 17’s department, Stockport’s Emilio Ramirez made it a double win in the 100 and 200 metre “A” sprint events with times of 11.5 and 23.6 respectively and he then went on to help his colleagues by adding valuable points in the shot put arena with a best put of 10:81 to record a win for the “A” string competition with all the three aforementioned activities registering an AAA standard for his efforts.

For the girls, Katy Whiteoak and Hannah Richardson showed who’s boss in the under 20’s middle distance events with wins in the 1500 metres (4.53.6) and 3000 metres (10.55.6) respectively and at the shorter distances of both 200 and 300 metres, Stockport’s Natasha Harrison made it a double first in the “A” string and there was also a double first in the under 17’s long jump with Bethan Murray taking the “A” event with ease (5.17) and in the “B” event Catherine Giller made easy work of her discipline to finish in a distance of 5.11 metres before providing support to her 4 x 100 metre team mates to finish the one lap circuit with a win for the team in a total time of 53.4 seconds.

Team Stockport eventually finished in 3rd spot out of 8 teams and will go into the last match at Blackpool on 23rd July with a three point margin with 22 accumulated match points to currently top the leader board but there will be no safety until all is completed at Stanley park with next placed Lancaster and Morecambe and also Leigh Harriers jointly on 19 match points after three events.

The annual Offerton 10 kilometre road race marked the turning point in the weather with sweltering conditions half an hour or so before the event but the heavens opened in time for the race start but this did not dent the splendid run of Mat Stephenson from Marple runners who accomplished the three lap circuit with ease to finish in 37 minutes and 25 seconds opening up a massive gap on second placed Stephen Crook of Stockport who finished in 38:12 and third finisher Paul Brooks (38:38) also from the host club.

Some would have noticed that times were slower this year probably on account of the slippery conditions going down Vernon park hill but life certainly began at 40 with no less than eight of the first nine positions being filled by veteran athletes and this was followed on by the Junior one mile race which produced a double win for family Murdoch with Cameron coming home first in 6:12 and his sister Freya first in the girls race and 5th overall in 6:31, further Stockport high end results came the way of 2nd, 3rd and 4th positions filled by Harry Ahearn, Henry Pickard and Josh Garrone.

Stockport’s Steve Vernon led his fellow competitors in a “merry song and a dance” at the annual Whaley waltz fell race in conjunction with the Whaley bridge rose queen carnival in beating his nearest rival Chris Donnelly of Sale by the best part of three minutes and brought the course record down by a full minute to 35 minutes and 21 seconds and that included time to spare to entertain the crowd with a cartwheel into the river Goyt prior to completing the just shy of 6 miles course with a total elevation of 899 feet.

Woodbank Park lighting from car park to stadium

- 9th Jun 2017

As many people are aware Stockport Harriers & AC alongside members of the public and users of Woodbank Park Athletics Facility have been forced to settle with the fact there is no lighting in the darkest parts of Woodbank Memorial Park which forms the route for thousands of users per year between the Car Park and the Track Facilities.

In November 2016 the facility was extremely fortunate to re-open following a period of closure during which time a brand new club house and changing rooms were built for users of the stadium. This period also coincided with the club taking full responsibility for the management and maintenance of the track and its infrastructure. In essence the club is responsible for ALL costs within the fence of the Athletics facility including all management and maintenance costs.

In 2015 the committee approved that planning permission for lighting columns and the required work for lighting be sought from Stockport Council. Approval for this work was granted however if the work doesn’t commence within the next year then planning will expire. Permission was granted on 11/06/2015 and work must start on or before 11/06/2018.

It is now proposed that we, as a club group together and raise the necessary funds so we don’t have to go through another winter where parents and athletes are quite frankly scared to walk to the track. We have a great facility now that is useable by members of our club, other clubs and members of the public alongside disabled users. Let’s work together to ensure the route in and out of the park is safe and accessible for all to come and go from the facility.

For information the lighting would be operated and managed by the club and appropriate signage would be installed to inform park users that the lighting is not always on after daylight hours.

The initial fundraising target is £20,000 which will cover over 90% of the cost of the lighting that is required. Additional Funding grants can be bid applied for however this will be time intensive to apply for such grants.

If all the members of the club some 600 members were to donate say £20 to this cause we would be over half way to funding this project which cannot be funded by Stockport Council or Sport England.

Alternatively contact Mike Frost who will manage the project and fundraising on behalf of Stockport Harriers & AC.

Team Stockport clear ahead

- 7th Jun 2017
Stockport's Freya (two socks) Murdoch took pride of place with a winning perform

Stockport's Freya (two socks) Murdoch took pride of place with a winning performance in the Simply Health Great Manchester Junior Run.

Team Stockport continues to fire on all cylinders as regards the Youth Development Track and Field League upper age group and played their home advantage at Woodbank Park with much aplomb, putting no less than 135 points between themselves and second placed rivals Lancaster and Morecambe A.C. in accomplishing a score of 609 to Lancaster's 2nd team place of 474 points.

Field athlete Euan Benson gathered points as if he was shucking peas in taking substantial wins in no less than three events in the under 20's section being the hammer (19:76), javelin throw (29:25) and the discus (18:88), only in the shot put did he have to play second fiddle to Jonathan Causer of Sutton St Helens who took the gold in 11:16 metres to Benson's second placed effort of 8:97 but he was by far the most successful male field athlete during the afternoon's proceedings.

In the under 17's department, Matthew Connor showed off his versatility by taking the “A” string javelin with ease in a splendid 34:32 metres effort and then went on to help his team mates in both the 4 x 100 metres relays to finish in the bronze medal position but then went two better to take the gold medal spot in the longer 4 x 400 metres to wrap up the afternoon's proceedings for the boys.

For the girls, Amy Jackson emulated Euan Benson's efforts by going through the field card with three straight “A” wins for the under 20's age group in the long jump (4:73), triple jump (10:66) and javelin throw (22:88) and then went one better than Benson by participating in both the 4 x 100 and 4 x 400 metre relay events and helped to secure winning points in both events for Team Stockport.

There was also much success in the longer distances with under 20's wins for Katy Whiteoak (“A” - 1,500 metres – 4:45:4), Emily Gajda (“B” – 1,500 metres – 5:35:5) and Hannah Richardson completed the set by taking the “A” 3,000 metres event finishing in an impressive time of 10:40:7.

The afternoon wrapped up well with further successes on the field with Emily Jarad and Catherine Giller making it a double first in the “A” and “B” triple jump respectively and Bethan Kelly taking top spot in the “A” Discus and Holly Benson likewise in the “B” event of which all four girls achieved AAA standards for their efforts towards team victory for the host club and the seasonal half way stage of the competition has now been reached with Team Stockport topping both the junior and senior levels of the Youth development league.

To the roads and to the Simply Health Great Manchester run and Stockport's Freya (two socks) Murdoch took pride of place with a winning performance in the Junior run and Ruth Sinclair took some personal coaching tips from endurance international Wilson Kipsang (5th) to finish the main race in 16th ladies' spot (38:54) but ahead of her was one further Harrier in the form of Hannah Griffiths in 10th place to stop the clock in 36:59 for the 10 kilometre circuit.

Stockport's men showed well in the same event with first Harrier home being Jack Martin (14th – 29:34) and followed in by brother Patrick one place behind in 15th (30:49) and with further support from George Cooke (41st – 34:44) and Nicholas Hicketts (48th – 35:01).

British Masters' Road Relays

- 21st May 2017

British Masters' Open Road Relay Championships had four Stockport Harriers' teams travelling to Sutton Park in Birmingham on Saturday. We had one FV35, two FV45 and one MV55 team taking part.

We had a great day out competing and supporting our athletes with excellent individual and team results.

Our FV45 'A' team, comprising Jackie Newton, Lesley Sinclair and Jayne Lawton, finished in an excellent 6th place overall, racing against the best in the country and the FV45 'B' team of Michela Stepto, Helen Todd and Fiona Cooke had great individual results finishing in 18th position overall.

Our FV35 team of Linden Hiscock, Sally Meats, Rachael Blight and Samantha Thomas also had great individual races, finishing in 11th position overall against some of the country's best clubs.

Our MV55 team of Steve Shaughnessy, Tony Parks and Andy Titley also ran a great race, finishing 17th overall in a very competitive field.

The cream of athletes from the best athletic clubs in the country send teams to this prestigious event annually and we look forward to returning next year with strong contingents of both male and female Stockport Harriers.

Press secretary vacancy

- 8th Apr 2017

Press reporting: I wish to retire / stand down from this Harriers' job after 3+ years (target was 2 years), are there any volunteers out there who could write a weekly column for the Stockport Express?

It's not particularly onerous but it is every week and we are getting good coverage from the local media at the moment including some cracking photos.

Might suit a retiree or someone going into media studies, useful for a portfolio. Us “oldies” can't go on doing the Harriers' jobs for ever and it would be a pity if this valuable publicity ceased.

Contact Peter Powell at peter [dot] powell [at] mypostoffice [dot] co [dot] uk or phone 0161 477 8922.