A GREAT 4TH FINISH
Fechin Mc Cormick
In the days prior to the summer’s first Northern Premier League match in Hull, and SOS went out that not one of our women’s endurance events were filled (800m, 1500m, steeplechase and 5000m) and we also had insufficient officials with every club expected to provide a quota. (These win valuable match points even more than the competing athletes). It was a dire situation so concerning that the club was looking down the barrel of relegation even before the league began!
To the clarion call for officials, immediate thanks must go to Brian Goulden, Fechin Mc Cormick, Stuart Williams and Kirsty Law who spent the day raking the sand-pits, measuring throws, retrieving the shots and hammers and timekeeping the track races, To the call for endurance runners, special mention must go to a young girl Sara Salim who came all the way from Chester to lend support with her only previous experience competing for her school. She immediately joined Sale Harriers and represented us in the 800 metres securing third place! Well done Sara and thanks for being such an inspiring role model that, hopefully, others will follow.
It was a day of thrilling action and, as a field official, I had the privilege to be up close and personal to so much of it. As I raked the sand-pit, two 16 year olds who represented the senior team for the first time and hoped to win valuable points for the club achieved something quite remarkable. Both are triple jumpers coached by Keith Hunter and both went to number one in the under 17's age category and amazingly both youngsters jumped off boards 2 metres behind the seniors. Amy Williams won her event with 11.95 jumping off the 11 metre board (it is thought this is the first time an under 17girl has competed off an 11 metre board) and this after 10 months absence through injury. Our second young jumping protégé was Kevin Metzger who seemed suspended in the air for an eternity before making a P.B leap of 14.43 to break the under 17 Sale record and convincingly win the event. He looks a hot favourite to win his first English schools title. Other jumpers who achieve great P.B.s were Nathan Roach who won the long jump with 6.57 and Tyra Watson who displayed blistering pace on the runway to leap 5.32m and third place.
Last Friday evening, few could have anticipated the team would finish 4th and this was the result of excellent performances from so many talented athletes; others prepared to leave their comfort zones and compete in unfamiliar events with little training and, of course the stalwart officials who were awarded their quota of match points. Through the day, Sale (competing as City of Manchester) won seventeen events, some by ‘a mile’ , and at least seven were PB performances with a further thirteen finishing second or third. Had we filled all the competing places, Sale would have won by a proverbial mile. As a life-long, entrenched endurance athlete, I came away believing my section is the poorer one for its comparable lack of exposure and versatility and we have much to be inspired by from our younger sections.
Well done and thanks to everyone- the very hard-working team managers Mike Delaney and Jack Frost and to those loyal and committed coaches who attended with their athletes. The second of the four Northern League matches is on home territory on June 7th, the same weekend as the Welsh Castles Relays. It must be to the final two matches that we look for a 100% turnout in every discipline regardless of age or ability. I can give witness there’s little to be intimidated by for I was even prepared to represent the club in the 5000m had I been freed from my ‘officials’ role.
Thanks to Peter Warden from Preston Harriers who, most generously, took a number of club photos that will also be posted on the website
Posted 06/05/2014 09:08