A BRILLIANT THIRD in UKWAL
Fechin Mc Cormick
One might have expected Sale Harriers senior women to become outright winners of their first match in the lower Division 1 en route back to the Premiership where the club had been since the league’s inception and had won an unprecedented 23 Premier League titles. Deputizing for Cara O’Brien, Fechin Mc Cormick made his T & F managerial debut but took with him to Lee Valley Stadium in London, a team so depleted in numbers that almost 30% of the race ‘slots’ remained empty and we could provide only 50% of the club’s quota of officials with the loss of even further match points. The match is an inspiring story from adversity to (almost) triumph ........ of a Sale Harrier team that faced potential disaster to finishing an impressive 3rd ....and to come within a whisker of even winning.
Rarely, if ever as a Sale Harrier, have I been so inspired by a group of young athletes who were so willing to ensure the club success and displayed such club loyalty that, when I eventually declared the team, almost every empty slot was filled.
The club has got to admire and give whole-hearted thanks to the likes of top sprinter Kelly Massey, aiming for Commonwealth Games selection and in superb shape, who considered doing the triple jump just to get the club’s match points. You’ve got to thank Sarah Mc Keever, prepared to add the high jump to her other committed events (100m hurdles and long jump) and 400m specialist Tyra Watson who also risked injury and embarrassment to do the high jump for only the second time in her life. Both won invaluable points! Kadeena Cox and pole vaulter Abi Haywood were also prepared to be embarrassed as both raced the 400m hurdles and again won invaluable points; 400m specialist Kirsten Mc Aslan raced an unplanned 1500m ‘marathon’ and also won gold-dust; endurance specialist Kathy Wellam and sprint specialist Holy Belch squeezed in the triple jump between their tough events and again heroically added to the score tally; Sarah Barker raced the 1500m shortly after she’d given 110% in a very tough 3000m race in which she’d finished 2nd. Finally, there were Imani Modahl (1500m) who had an important exam the following morning and Laura Douglas (Hammer), weighed down by work and not at her best, who gave-up their weekend, to rally to the club call. Thanks to you all – you were/are an inspiration.
Of course, Sale event-specific athletes also added massively to the team tally and we couldn’t have done without them with almost all of them winning maximum points. Conditions were extremely tough with strong persistent cross-winds putting PB’s out of the question but Kelly Massey (200m), Lucy Evans (100m & 200m), Kirsten Mc Aslan (400m), Kirsty Law (Discus & Shot), Alison Rodger (Shot), Laura Whittingham (Javelin) and Rosie Sementysh (Javelin) were, nevertheless, ‘poetry in motion’ and a class above the rest in winning their events. As the finale, you should have witnessed the 4 x 100m and 4 x 400m relays. Such was our team’s true competitive grit that generated such excitement....... and our girls were just pipped to the post in both events.
Of course, the all-important club officials were also integral to the club’s success. Mike & Lynn Belch’s (Holly’s parents) travelled all the way from Scotland - not for the first time by car, and enthusiastically gave their whole day to being Sale Harrier’s representatives for timekeeper and track judge. Diane Haywood (Abigail’s mum) needed no persuasion to become a field judge and fill a club ‘gap’ for officials and I ‘re-structured’ my managerial day to also become a field judge and so complete the club’s requirement for officials and be awarded maximum points.
We cannot expect such loyal club stalwarts to do it all over again and win promotion for Sale Harriers. It will not happen! This is a tough, competitive league with some very classy competition. For the next two matches, therefore, in Derby (June 8th) and Liverpool (July 6th) we must fill every discipline with event specific athletes. Clear your diaries now and be prepared when team Manger Cara O’Brien contacts you in the near future.
Posted 13/05/2014 07:24