Posted by: jumpinggill | August 1, 2008

International Test for Scotland’s Juniors – Celtic Games

Scotland’s young athletes take on teams from Ireland, Wales and Ulster in the Celtic games at Grangemouth Stadium this weekend. The team included several athletes with aspirations for selection to the Commonwealth Youth Games team later this year along with many young athletes making their debut in a Scotland vest. Ireland and Wales bring strong teams, the Irish team including two athletes who represented Ireland at the World Junior championships. Full teams are listed below:

Scotland Team:

Under-16s

100m: Murray Beckwith/Helen Rennardson

200m: Lewis Gibb/Caroline George

800m: Craig Wellcoat/Emily Dudgeon

1500m: Andrew Dearie/Ellie Buchan

80m/75m H: Cameron Goodall/Emma Brown

High Jump: Andrew McFarlane/Charis Mair

Long Jump: Corey Hastings/Faye Nicholson

Shot Putt: David Colthart/Kirsty Yates

Discus: Andrew Cunningham/Nicky McMurtrie

Javelin: Chris Thomson/Nicky McMurtrie

4 x 100m relay squad

Boys: M Beckwith; Matthew Cumming; L Gibb; David Kerr; A McFarlane; Tom Holligan

Girls: C George; H Rennardson; Rachel Whittle; E Brown; Hazel Ross; Laura Livesy

Under-18s

100m: David Clark/Hope Robertson

200m: David Clark/Suzanne Begg

400m/300m: Greg Louden/Jennifer Hannah

800m: Stuart Ross/Jenny Tan

1500m: Gary McBride/Sarah Kelly

3000m: Calum Hawkins/Sarah Inglis

100m/80m H: Toby Harris/Erin Froude

400m/300m H: Connor Henderson/Jennifer Hutchison

2000m/1500m SC: Matthew Graham

1km walk (non-scoring): No nominations

High Jump: John McCafferty/Eleanor Workman

Long Jump: Kyle Henderson/Sarah Warnock

Triple Jump: James McLachlan/Iona McKay

Hammer: Kyle Randalls/Myra Perkins

Pole Vault: Gregor MacLean/Amy Grant

Shot Putt: Andrew McLaughlin/Claire Wilson

Discus: John McCafferty/Katie Wickman

Javelin: Ross Norton/Anna Seago

4 x 100m relay squad

Boys: D Clark; C Woods; Allan Hamilton; Mark Chisholm; Andrew Raeburn; Gordon Mowat

Girls: S Begg; H Robertson; E Froude; Lesley Campbell; Amy Rodgers; Sarah Smith

4 x 300m relay squad

Girls: J Hannah; Helen Coleman; J Tan; Beth Duff; Fiona Trew; Emma Dowd

4 x 400m relay squad

Boys: G Louden; S Ross; J Crawford; Anthony Young; Donald Ferguson; Sean Dimeo

Irish Team:

Celtic

Ulster Team:

Girls U16

100m: Cloe Boomer Lagan Valley

200m: Cloe Boomer Lagan Valley

800m: Katie Kirk Lagan Valley

1500m: Sophie Magee Lagan Valley

75m H: Joanna Mills Ballymena & Antrim

Long Jump: Joanna Mills Ballymena & Antrim

High Jump: Eimear Hone City Of Derry

Shot: Jenna Holmes Ballymena & Antrim

Discus: Jenna Holmes Ballymena & Antrim

Javelin: Sarah Newell North Down

Walk: Barbara Ward Shercock

4 x 100m Relay: Cloe Boomer Lagan Valley

Joanna Mills Ballymena & Antrim

Amy Alexander Ballymena & Antrim

Cliodhna Tiomney Letterkenny

Boys U16

100m: Stuart Connor St Michaels Enniskillen

200m: Stuart Connor St Michaels Enniskillen

800m: Adam Ingram Lagan Valley

1500m: Andrew Monaghan Lagan Valley

80m H: Callum Graham Regent House

Long Jump: Ben Mc Gillan Strabane

High Jump Ryan Byrne Sliabh Liag

Shot: Stuart Connor St Michaels Enniskillen Discus: Jordan Millar Regent House

Javelin: Conor Mc Grattan North Down

Walk: James Treanor Monaghan Phoenix

4 x 100m Relay: Stuart Connor St Michaels Enniskillen

Ben Mc Gillan Strabane

Jonathan Browning Ballymena & Antrim

Peter Storey Ballymena & Antrim

Girls U18

100m: Hannah Todd Ballymena & Antrim

200m: Lisa Shiels Letterkenny

300m: Natasha Paxton Lagan Valley

800m: Sasha Hooks BRA

1500m: Ciara Mageean City of Lisburn

3000m: Eimear Black Ballymena & Antrim

80m H: Aimee Mc Neilly Regent House

300m H Christine Mc Mahon Ballymena & Antrim

Long Jump: Aoife O Connor Tir Chonaill

High Jump: Jamie Herron City O Derry

Triple Jump: Hannah Todd Ballymena & Antrim

Pole Vault: Kirsty Kee Lagan Valley

Shot: Laura Feely Finn Valey

Discus: Kathy Hetherington North Down

Javelin: Andrea Long Regent House

Hammer: Rachel Keys Regent House

Walk: Emma Doherty North Belfast

4 x100 Relay: Natasha Paxton Lagan Valley

Lisa Shiels Letterkenny

Hannah Todd Ballymena & Antrim

Kiki Malmo Paris North Down

4 x 300 Relay: Natasha Paxton Lagan Valley

Jodie Robinson Lagan Valley

Christine Mc Mahon Ballymena & Antrim

Aimee Mc Neilly Regent House

Boys U18:

100m: Scott Hamilton Regent House

200m: Curtis Woods Lagan Valley

400m: Jason Harvey Lagan Valley

800m: Mark Patterson North Down

1500m: Darren Mc Brearty Letterkenny

3000m: Niall Cullen St Michael’s Enniskillen

2000m S/C: Pauric Mc Laughlin Finn Valley

100m H: Damien Mc Ilroy Lagan Valley

400H: Rory Garnham Regent House

Long Jump: Paul Smith Shercock

High Jump: Paul Donovan Sliabh Liag

Triple Jump: Ciaran Dolan St Michaels Enniskillen

Pole Vault: Ciaran Doherty Strabane

Shot: Andrew Doyle Mid Ulster

Discus: Gareth Irvine North Down

Javelin: David Atkinson Cookstown HS

Hammer: Andrew Doyle Mid Ulster

Walk: Owen Mc Cabe North Belfast

4 x 100m Relay: Scott Hamilton Regent House

Gerard Maguire Erne Intergrated

James O Connor St Michael’s Enniskillen

Paul Smith Shercock

4 x 400m Relay: James O Connor St Michaels Enniskillen

Curtis Woods Lagan Valley

Jason Harvey Lagan Valley

Mark Patterson North Down

Welsh Team:

U18W

U16G

Event

U18M

U16B

Mica Moore

Hannah Thomas

100M

Tomas Coleman

Joe McLean

Hannah Pendlebury

Rachel Johncock

200M

Gareth Hopkins

Gerwyn Morgan

Brigid Eades

XXXXX

3 / 400M

Gareth Hopkins

XXXXX

Benytta Doman

Lauren Bell

800M

Rhys Glastonbury

Daniel Chesworth

Natasha Cockram

Hywelis Thomas-Howells

1500M

Adam Bitchell

Elliott Hardee

Leah Dixon

XXXXX

3000m

Dewi Griffiths

XXXXX

XXXXX

XXXXX

Steeple Chase

Michael Kallenberg

XXXXX

Amelia Richards

Sara Otung

Sp. hurdles

Dafydd Walters

Rhys Williams

Sarah Dacey

XXXXX

3 / 400mh

Luke Morgan

XXXXX

Mica Moore

Hannah Pendlebury

Claire Williams

Amelia Richards

Sarah Evans

Hannah Thomas

Rachel Johncock

Sara Otung

Jamie Leigh-Bowen

Rhiannon Jeffreys

4 x 100m relay squad from

Gareth Hopkins

Tomas Coleman

James Gardner

Thomas Cusworth

David Guest

Manan Saleemi

Joe McLean

Jake Randall

Jamie Sexton

Gerwyn Morgan

Evan Jenkins

Brigid Eades

Katie Hewitt

Sarah Dacey

Benytta Doman

Lauren Regan

XXXXX

4 x 3 /400m relay squad from

Gareth Hopkins

David Guest

Sam Conway

Antoine Woodman

Callum McCabe

XXXXX

Christina Hughes

XXXXX

PV

Emyr Jones

XXXXX

Leah Grisdale

Sian Swanson

HJ

Danny Evans

Steven Guest

Lauren O’Reilly

Ffion Rees

LJ

James Gardner

Tomas Morgan

Amy Bradley

XXXXX

TJ

James Gardner

XXXXX

Rebecca Chin

Toni Wells

SP

Tomos Edwards

Josh Bussell

Brea Leung

Toni Wells

DT

Jacob Matthews

Jonathon Stowell

Robyn Purchase

Zoe Priestley

JT

Josh Madden

Tomas Morgan

Ayla Phillips

XXXXX

HT

Ashley Andrews

XXXXX

Heather Lewis

WALKS

Antonio Cirillo

Hannah Pendlebury

Hannah Thomas

CAPTAIN

Jacob Matthews

Tomas Morgan

Posted by: jumpinggill | August 1, 2008

Leagues Head for London

While the Scottish stars of the future are in action at the Celtic Games at Grangemouth this weekend, their seniors will take to the track south of the border with the UK Women’s League reaching its finale, while the men compete in match three of four in the British Athletic League. All three matches in which Scottish clubs are involved take place in and around London.

Edinburgh AC’s women compete at the Division One match at Copthall, a joint fixture with the BAL Premiership which sees a large number of Scottish men turning out for their English clubs. VPCoG women travel to Sutton, South London for the final Division Two match of the season and Edinburgh AC’s men compete in the BAL National Three Division at Bedford.

Following a strong start to their 2008 campaign, Edinburgh AC’s women currently sit 2nd in Division One behind the unstoppable City of Manchester. Barring accidents or disaster, the Manchester club look set to take the League title for the 21st time in their history, their eighth title in nine years. A strong showing from Edinburgh could see them continue their run of top three finishes, a major achievement in a UK competition. A top three finish will take a strong team effort however in a team depleted by injury. Several field events and relay teams may have an unusual line up! Outside the Edinburgh team, several leading Scottish athletes will be in action for English clubs. Current league standings are;

UK LEAGUE DIV 1 STANDINGS
                            Event  Lge
1 City of Manchester        395.5  16
2 Edinburgh AC              353.5  13
3 Trafford AC               326    10
4 Shaftsbury Barnet H.      309    10
5 Birchfield Harriers       307.5  9
6 Windsor,Slough,Eton,H'low 299    7
7 Woodford Grn & Essex Lds  262.5  5
8 Rugby & Northampton AC    200    2

As the Division One match is a joint fixture with the men’s Premiership, many Scottish male athletes will also be in action at the the Copthall track. Newham and Essex Beagles currently lead the top flight division with Woodford Green & Essesx Ladies and City of Manchester chasing hard. Scottish athletes will compete for no fewer than six of the eight clubs in the Premiership, proof positive of the lure the quality competition the top division of this league provides. Current League standings are:

1. Newham & Essex Beagles 16 (675.5)

2. Woodford Green & Essex Ladies 13 (636.0)

3. City of Manchester 13 (621.0)

4. Belgrave 8 (544.5)

5. Birchfield Harriers 8 (524.5)

6.Enfield & Haringey 6 (510.0)

7. Shaftsbury Barnet Harriers 6 (484.5)

8. Windsor, Slough, Eton & Houslow 2 (360.0)

VPCoG meanwhile head south after a mixed start to their season. Finishing 7th in the opening match at Swansea, things did not look good for the Glasgow club but a return to form when taking 2nd place in the second match rocketed them up the table and sets them up for another strong performance this weekend. Current League standings seem to be a state secret, still absent from the UK League website almost a month after Match 2!

Edinburgh AC’s men go to Bedford in a bid to pull themselves up out of the relegation zone. Currently in 8th place on 4 league points, a good performance could pull them clear of the bottom two positions as the two clubs above them (Bedford and Channel Islands) also have 4 league points, only their superior match points moving them ahead of Edinburgh. With the league at the halfway stage, two matches completed and two to go, the key to the Edinburgh team retaining their National Three status could be the performance of their junior athletes. Current League standings:

LEAGUE STANDINGS

Event Lge

1 Leeds City AC 766 16

2 Kingston & Polytechnic 626 13

3 Crawley AC 607 12.5

4 Team Southampton 548 9.5

5 Medway & Maidstone AC 507.5 9

6 Bedford & County AC 454 4

7 Channel Islands AC 422 4

8 Edinburgh AC 421.5 4

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 28, 2008

Edinburgh Take Northern Title in Manchester Sun

At the final match of the Northern Premier Division of the National Junior League, Edinburgh AC took 2nd place behind Sale Harriers on the day to clinch the League title, becoming the first Scottish club to do so.

Edinburgh can now prepare to take part in the UK Final in Derby on 14th September where they will meet the top two clubs from the Southern and Midland Premier divisions, the second placed team from the Northern Division, Sale Harriers, and the two best 3rd or 4th place teams from across the three Premier Divisions.

In scorching conditions, more usual in Madrid than in Manchester, Edinburgh athletes recorded several personal bests: Malcolm Mackenzie (200m 22.37w), Greg Louden (400m 49.27), Peter Louden (800m 2.04.08), Toby Harris (110m H 15.9), Andrew Robertson (Discus 26.60), Duncan McLelland (Javelin 37.26), Louise McLelland (400m 57.34), Fiona Sinclair (1500m 6.18.69), Megan Gaffney (400m H 67.88), Beth Cropley (3000m 13.57.98) Garry McKay (LJ 6.84& 100m11.41) and Emma Lowry (Discus 19.07).

Winners for the Edinburgh team were: Sean Hood (200m B), Toby Harris (TJ B), Men’s 4x400m, Steph McKenzie (PV A), Sylvia Kamya (400H A), Megan Gaffney (400H B) and Anna Seago (LJ B).

Full results available in due course on www.nationaljuniorathleticleague.co.uk

Match Result Place Points Final League Positions Points
Sale Harriers 1 447.5 1 Edinburgh 30
Edinburgh 2 427.5 2 Sale Harriers 27
Liverpool 3 408.5 3 Liverpool 19
Leeds 4 389.5 4 Kingdom Athletics 18
City of York 5 363.5 5 City of York 16
Gateshead 6 347.5 6 Gateshead 15
Kingdom Athletics 7 338.5 7 Leeds 15
Trafford 8 252.5 8 Trafford 4
Posted by: jumpinggill | July 28, 2008

Lennox Records New Best

Alice Lennox finished 8th with a new personal best score of 4871 while competing for the Great Britain team which triumphed over Switzerland, The Netherlands and France in this weekend’s Combined Events International at Ashford. Lennox’s previous best of 4852 had come earlier this year when taking the bronze medal at the England Athletics U20 Championships.

Lennox started the weekend in style, running a PB of 15.05 in the opening event, the 100m hurdles. She finished the first day in 11th place overall after a PB equaling 1.66 high jump and marks in the shot put (9.97) and 200m (26.22) not far away from her bests.

On the second day of competition she opened the day with a 5.57 long jump, well down on her best of 5.83, but recovered by adding almost 4 metres to her javelin best with 32.35. A solid run of 2.30.71 in the 800m took her to 8th place overall and her new points score confirms her place at the top of the U20 UK rankings.

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 27, 2008

Four PBs for Scots as World’s Best Light Up the Palace

A star studded line up at the Crystal Palace Grad Prix this weekend inspired Scottish athletes to no fewer than four personal bests across the two days of competition. The event saw GB 400m star Martyn Rooney break through the 45 second barrier for the first time, winning in 44.83 and Marylin Okoro take the 800m in a huge personal best of 1.58.45, surely giving her great confidence before heading out to Beijing, just reward for gambling to go with the hot early pace set by the pacemaker. Jamaican sprinters Asafa Powell and Usain Bolt romped to victory in the 100m and 200m respectively, Bolt looking particularly impressive as he crossed the line in a relaxed 19.76, while on the field Russian Andrey Silnov soared to a world leading 2.38 to take the high jump from Britain’s Germaine Mason. The irony of Silnov’s clearance is that he will not feature in Beijing, a victim of the astounding strength in depth of Russian jumps. He could only finish fourth at their trials, losing out on an Olympic place on countbackin a competiton where competitors placed 2nd to 8th all cleared 2.30.

Of the four Scots selected for Beijing, two were in action at Crystal Palace, with mixed results. Lee McConnell put in a strong performance over 400m to finish third behind World medalists Christine Ohuruogu, 1st in 50.80 and Nicola Sanders 2nd in 51.27. McConnell’s time of 51.53 was only four hundredths outside her season’s best and continues her good run of form going into the Olympics.

Having set new figures of 13.41 wind-assisted and 13.53 legal at Loughborough last week, Allan Scott struggled to recapture that form as he finished seventh in the 110m hurdles, recording 13.96 into a one metre per second headwind. Once in Beijing Scott will look to build on his times set a Loughborough and must surely have Chris Baillie’s Scottish Record of 13.44, set when winning Commonwealth silver in 2006, in his sights.

In outstanding form in the women’s 3000m, 23 year old Laura Kenney smashed through the 9 minute barrier for the first time to finish third in 8.57.39. The time placed Kenney ahead of Olympic 1500m pick Stephanie Twell, who finished 5th on the day, and takes her to 4th on the UK Power of 10 rankings for the year. In the same race Nicola Gauld finished 9th, not far outside her best in 9.09.03.

The junior 3000m races held alongside the main Grad Prix saw four young Scottish athletes in action. Eilish McColgan and Sarah Inglis ran superbly, both setting personal best times, McColgan 7th in 9.42.72 and Inglis 15th in 9.52.85. In the boys’ event Scott McDonald also set a personal best running 8.40.22 for 17th but was beaten across the line by fellow Scot Chris O’Hare who took 12th in 8.36.59.

Elsewhere, after day one on the Combined Events International at Ashford, which sees GB U20 and U23 teams take on Switzerland, the Netherlands and France, Alice Lennox is lying in 11th place overall in the U20 event. Her first day performances were:

100mH 15.05, HJ 1.66, SP 9.97 and 200m 26.22.

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 14, 2008

McConnell Named in Olympic Team

Lee McConnell was today included in UK Athletics’ first wave of selections for the Olympic Games in Beijing. Having secured the qualifying standard at a meeting in Lugano, Switzerland earlier this month, her winning run at this weekend’s Aviva Trials has secured her place in both the individual 400m and the relay squad.

McConnell is named alongside World gold and silver medalists Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders, neither of whom took to the track for the trials 400m, Ohuruogu opting to test her speed over 200m where she took silver behind Emily Freeman in 22.99. Nicola Sanders opted out of the event due to illness.

Scotland’s other Olympic hopefuls will have to wait until the final selections on the 19th of July to find out if they will be joining McConnell on the plane to Beijing. Susan Scott has the 1500m qualifying standard and finished second behind Lisa Dobriskey at the trials. If she can dip under the qualifying time for a second time before the final selections are made, her selection will be guaranteed. Dobriskey is named in the team but, with four women having run under the qualifying standard the selectors will leave the selection of the final two places until Saturday.

Andrew Lemoncello is the only other Scott to possess an Olympic ‘A’ standard with his 8.23.74 run over the 3k steeplechase last year. Just out-dipped on the line for the silver medal this weekend Lemoncello may need to post another quick time to convince the selectors to include him. However, the only other British athlete with the steeplechase ‘A’ standard, Stuart Stokes, finished fourth at the trials on Sunday so barring the athletes who took the top two spots posting an qualifying time both men may be given the nod.

Other Scots who will be looking to impress the selectors over the next week include Allan Scott who has run the 110m hurdles ‘B’ qualifying multiple times this year. At the trials he equaled his season’s best of 13.67 to take the silver medal with the ‘A’ qualifying set at 13.55. Carey Easton will need a strong run to convince selectors to name her in the 4x400m relay pool alongside Lee McConnell after a disappointing 5th place finish on Saturday.

The athletes selected in the first wave are:

MEN

100m

Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers)

200m

Marlon Devonish (Coventry Godiva); Christian Malcolm (Cardiff AAC); Alex Nelson (Sale Harriers Manchester);

400m

Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers); Andrew Steele (Trafford AC)*

800m

Michael Rimmer (Liverpool Pembroke & Sefton Harriers)

1500m

Andy Baddeley (Harrow AC); Tom Lancashire (Bolton Harriers)

5000m

Mo Farah (Newham & Essex)

110m hurdles

Andrew Turner (Sale Harriers Manchester)

High Jump

Germaine Mason (unattached); Tom Parsons (Birchfield Harriers)

Pole Vault

Steve Lewis (Newham & Essex)

Long Jump

Greg Rutherford (Marshall Milton Keynes); Chris Tomlinson (Newham & Essex)

Triple Jump

Larry Achike (Shaftesbury Barnet); Nathan Douglas (Oxford City); Phillips Idowu (Belgrave Harriers);

Decathlon

Daniel Awde (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies)

4x100m

Harry Aikines-Aryeety (Belgrave Harriers); Tyrone Edgar (Newham & Essex); Craig Pickering (Marshall Milton Keynes); Simeon Williamson (Highgate Harriers)

4x400m

Michael Bingham (unattached); Richard Buck (City of York)*; Martyn Rooney (Croydon Harriers); Andrew Steele (Trafford AC)*; Rob Tobin (Basingstoke & Mid Hants)

WOMEN

100m

Jeanette Kwayke (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies)

200m

Emily Freeman (Wakefield Harriers)

400m

Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet); Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex); Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow)

800m

Marilyn Okoro (Shaftesbury Barnet)

1500m

Lisa Dobriskey (Ashford AC)

5000m

Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers)

10,000m

Jo Pavey (Exeter Harriers)

3000m steeple chase

Helen Clitheroe (Preston Harriers); Barbara Parker (City of Norwich AC)

400m hurdles

Tasha Danvers (Shaftesbury Barnet)

Pole Vault

Kate Dennison (Sale Harriers Manchester)

Long Jump

Jade Johnson (Herne Hill)

Discus

Philippa Roles (Swansea Harriers)

Javelin

Goldie Sayers (Belgrave Harriers)

Heptathlon

Kelly Sotherton (Birchfield Harriers); Julie Hollman (Birchfield Harriers)

4x100m

Emma Ania (Shaftesbury Barnet); Montell Douglas (Blackheath & Bromley); Jeanette Kwayke (Woodford Green & Essex Ladies); Anyika Onuora (Liverpool Harriers); Laura Turner (Harrow AC)

4x400m

Lee McConnell (Shaftesbury Barnet); Christine Ohuruogu (Newham & Essex); Nicola Sanders (Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow)

* Subject to confirmation of medical fitness by 10:00 on 19th July

Already announced on 19 May:

Marathon

Dan Robinson (Stroud & District)

20k walk

Johanna Jackson (Redcar)

Marathon

Paula Radcliffe (Bedford & County); Mara Yamauchi (Harrow AC); Liz Yelling (Bedford & County)

The highlight of the domestic calender, the Aviva Olympic Trials and National Championships, begins today, Friday 11th July, at the Alexander Stadium, Birmingham. As Britain’s top athletes stake their claim for a place in Team GB for August’s Beijing Olympics, we take a look at the Scottish athletes looking to make their mark.

In the form of her life this season, having already secured the Olympic ‘A’ qualifying time of 4.07.00, Susan Scott goes in the women’s 1500m, widely billed as the race of the weekend. Hannah England leads the UK rankings with her superb 4.06.19 run in the USA, with Commonwealth Champion Lisa Dobriskey’s best time less than a tenth slower. Stephanie Twell also possesses the ‘A’ standard from last year but will not race the Trials as she competes at the World Juniors. Although the third ranked Briton going into these Trials, Scott is unbeaten by a British athlete this year having beaten Dobriskey on both occasions the pair have met this summer. Given her reputation of always rising to the big occasion, Scott could cross the line in front again.

Scott is not the only Scottish athlete looking to secure an Olympic berth. Lee McConnell, having put a hamstring injury sustained at June’s UK League behind her, dipped under the Olympic ‘A’ time, running 51.49 in Lugano, Switzerland last weekend. Ranked 3rd in the UK this year behind World Gold and Silver medalists Christine Ohuruogu and Nicola Sanders, McConnell will be gunning for an individual spot as well as a place in the relay team. Also looking to be included in the relay selections is Carey Easton, currently 8th ranked this year with a time of 53.00. A strong performance this weekend could see her on the plane to Beijing.

On the men’s side the only Scot to have the Olympic ‘A’ time is steeplechaser Andrew Lemoncello, his 8.23.74 time achieved last year. Four seconds outside the standard at the recent BMC meeting in Solihul, Lemoncello will look to dip under the required 8.24.60 once again in a highly competitive field on Sunday.

Hurdler Allan Scott will be hoping to pull out a big performance in the 110m hurdles on Saturday as he goes for the Olympic standard of 13.55. In an up and down season that has seen him clock 13.67, 13.69 and 13.70 but has also included disqualification for false starts, Scott will hope to push Andy Turner at the Trials, the only British athlete to so far have attained the Olympic qualifying, with a time of 13.41. Commonwealth silver medalist Chris Baillie also lines up for the hurdles with a season’s best of 13.86.

Although not in the running for Olympic selection, several Scottish athletes will be in the medal hunt this weekend. Triple jumper Nony Mordi leads the way having set her sixth Scottish record this year, with 13.62, at last weekend’s UK League match in Manchester. Ranked 2nd in the UK behind England’s Yasmine Regis, Mordi willl be right in the mix and the Olympic ‘B’ standard of 14 metres is not out of the question if she hits one right. Jayne Nisbet also goes in the triple jump but it is in the high jump that her best medal chance may lie. Having set a new lifetime best of 1.82 to win the England Athletics U23 title, Nisbet looks to be in fantastic shape and a good performance could well see her on the podium.

Another U23 title winner, 400m hurdler Eilidh Child will also be looking to finish in a podium position. Her season’s best of 57.27 ranks her 4th on the Power of 10 lists but U20 athlete Meghan Beesley will not run at the Trials as she is currently at the World Junior Championships in Poland where she set the time that took her above Child in the rankings. Child’s main opposition will come from Tasha Danvers and European Junior silver medalist Perri Shakes-Drayton.

Other Scottish athletes to look out for who have a chance of making it onto the podium are: Gemma Werrett 100mH, Alison Rodger shot putt, Freya Murray 5000m, Scot Thompson discus, Kirsty Maguire pole vault, Nick Smith 100m, Joanna Ross 800m, Nicola Gauld 1500m and Gillian Cooke long jump.

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 9, 2008

Hansen Announces Retirement

Ashia Hansen has announced her retirement, pulling out of this weekend’s Aviva Olympic Trials and National Championships, due to injury. One of the greats of British athletics, Hansen’s career highlights include breaking the World Indoor record with a jump of 15m16 to win gold at the European Indoor Championships in 1998, winning two World Indoor titles, 1999 and 2003, and Commonwealth Gold in 2002. Hansen was also awarded an MBE in 2003.

After a devastating knee injury at the European Cup in 2004, Hansen made several attempts to make her return to the top level. She had jumped once this season, recording a modest 13m31 at a meeting in Greece in June.

Explaining the reasons behind her decision to retire Hansen said:

“It would have been great to have competed at the Aviva National Championships this weekend, but sadly it’s not to be. I’m just not in a position to compete at the level I would want to. It had just become clear to me that I can no longer train through the pain of injury as I used to do. It’s time to take the pressure of myself. I can have few complaints though given what I have achieved in my career. Looking back I held a world record and I earned an MBE as well as all the pleasure I have taken from being involved in athletics.”

A presentation will be made to Hansen at the Trials on Sunday in recognition of her contribution to British athletics.

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 8, 2008

Lanarkshire Head for Children’s Games

The 42nd International Children’s Games kicks off in San Fransisco, USA, this Thursday 10th July and among the 100 participating cities is a team from Lanarkshire. Since its conception in 1968 by Slovenian professor Metod Klenenc, the Games have aimed to promote peace and friendship through sports and to date more than 27,000 children have participated. Today the International Children’s Games are the largest multi-sport Youth Games in the World with approximately 1500 competitors from 50 countries and six continents expected to compete in San Fransisco.

Run along the same lines as the Olympic and Commonwealth Games with athletes attending opening and closing ceremonies, staying in athlete housing and the inclusion of a ‘Festival Village’, the multi-sport Games give young athletes aged 12 to 15 the chance to experience competing at such an event, excellent preparation if they make it onto a National team in the future. Alongside the track and field events, athletes will also compete in basketball, golf, football, swimming, table tennis, tennis and volleyball.

Lanarkshire have competed in several previous Games, sending teams to Reykjavik (Iceland), Coventry (UK) and Cleveland (USA) and will be joined in San Fransisco by 2005 Games hosts Coventry, the only other UK team making the long trip across the Atlantic. Lanarkshire travel to these Games thinking not only of the competition they face on the sports field. On Friday (11th July), the day of the Opening Ceremony, the delegation will learn if their bid to host the 2011 Games has been successful, bringing the ‘Mini Olympics’ to Scotland.

South Lanarkshire Council Leader Eddie McAvoy is quietly confident that Lanarkshire has what it takes to host the Games:

“We submitted a strong bid and there is no doubt Lanarkshire certainly has the sporting and cultural resources, as well as the necessary infrastructure to stage a successful Children’s Games. But more than that, there is a real enthusiasm building for the Games among the wider community and the almost 2000 athletes, coaches and officials taking part would be ensured of an extremely warm and gracious welcome.”

Should the bid be successful, it will complete a sporting treble for Scotland with the Commonwealth Games coming to Glasgow in 2014 and the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles, also in 2014.

We wish the Lanarkshire team good luck with both their bid and with their endeavours on the track in San Fransisco. The athletics competition takes place at the Kezar Stadium on Saturday 12th and Sunday 13th July.

For more information visit www.sficg2008.com

For a trailer for the 2008 Games: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NDFlwJ_f3B8

Posted by: jumpinggill | July 7, 2008

Mordi Marches on in Manchester

Nony Mordi (Shaftesbury Barnet Harriers) made it record number six at the UK Women’s League Division One match at Sportcity, Manchester on Saturday. In a quality triple jump competition that included 2005 World Champion Trecia Smith, who was competing as a guest, Mordi soared out to 13.62 (+1.5) in the fifth round to add 7cm to her National best set at Loughborough in May, finishing only 6cm behind Smith. The jump, which took 1st place in the match ahead of Woodford’s Zainab Ceesay (13.27), bodes well for this weekend’s Olympic Trials where Mordi will expect to medal.

Mordi’s record jump came only two hours after recording a disastrous 4m31 in the long jump. Following two marginal fouls that looked to be in the region of 6 metres, Mordi stuttered into the board and stepped in, determined to secure her club at least one point. In the end she scored two, her ‘step’ placing her 7th in the B event, ahead of Trafford’s athlete. At least she could joke about it, ” I don’t think I’ve ever jumped that before, the lowest PB I can remember is 4m44 when I was about 13!”

Alison Rodger, competing for host club City of Manchester, won the shot put with 15.77, only 11cm short of her recent personal best set last weekend at the Throws Fest in Birmingham, Rodger also took 2nd in the discus with 46.16. Meanwhile Mordi’s Shaftesbury team mate Gemma Nicol recorded a season’s best in the 200m, recording a wind-assisted 24.41(+4.3) for 5th in the A event.

The bulk of the Scottish interest however came, of course, from the sole Scottish club in the top division, Edinburgh AC. Having finished 3rd in the opening match of the season at Birmingham, Edinburgh went one better this time around, taking 2nd behind host club City of Manchester thanks to a strong team effort with some outstanding individual performances.

As the teams arrived at the Sportcity stadium few would have predicted PBs or record performances as the rain lashed down, accompanied by a strong headwind in the home straight. What a difference an hour makes in the British summertime! By the time the athletes emerged from the indoor warm up area for the first field events the sun was shining and the wind was very definitely in the sprinters’ favour. Edinburgh’s athletes took full advantage, posting five personal bests and numerous season’s bests over the course of the afternoon.

Freya Murray was Edinburgh’s most convincing winner as she front-ran her way to a season’s best 9.30.28, over 45 seconds clear of the 2nd place finisher in the A 3000m. The margin a victory was astonishing, especially given the gusting winds, which caused most of the distance events’ times to suffer. And it was not just the 3000m where Edinburgh’s track athletes picked up maximum points. Joanna Ross and Lauren Peffers scored a 1500m double, finished 1st in the A and B events respectively, Ross running 4.29.36 to win and Peffers a season’s best 4.43.20 as she continues to strive for a place at the World Deaf Championships to be held in September.

In the 800m Sarah Hood had a fine return to form as she recorded a season’s best of 2.10.75 for 3rd in the A race, less than a second outside her best set in 2006. Keeping with the leading pack for most of the race, she finished strongly to hold off Birchfield’s Anouska McConne and Shaftesbury’s Amy Campbell in the race to the line. Hood, showing great team spirit, gathered valuable team points as she took to the track a second time, not so long after her main event, placing 4th in the B 3000m in a very productive “warm down.”

Carey Easton, a contender for a place in the Olympic 4x400m team, took the 400m in 53.48, well clear of Windsor’s Lesley Owusu, with Kathryn Evans 3rd in the B race in 55.69. Stephanie Walker and Avril Jackson ran well in the 400m hurdles, Walker taking 3rd in the A event in 62.40 and Jackson running a storming race to win the B race in 61.95, less than half a second outside her best despite the strong wind.

In the short sprints Gillian Cooke recorded personal bests over 100m and 200m to make up for a disappointing long jump where she recorded only two valid jumps, placing 3rd in the A string with Sarah Warnock faring better in the B string, only 4cm short of her best with 5.64 for 1st place. Moving directly from the sandpit to the 100m start Cooke shaved one one-hundredth from her best to record 11.95 (+1.7) for 3rd in the A race, returning, rather nervously, later in the day to place 2nd in the B 200m in 24.52 (+3.1), the last 20 metres of the race perhaps best forgotten!

On the field Edinburgh’s best result came in the pole vault which took place indoors due to the inclement weather early in the day. Doctor Kirsty Maguire celebrated her 25th birthday by clearing 3.90 for 3rd in the A event despite a hectic schedule that saw her finish work on the wards on Friday evening, rushing down to compete, before heading straight back up the road to start her shift on the Saturday, while Stephanie McKenzie had a dream UK League debut, clearing a personal best 3.60 for 2nd in the B event, only 10cm short of the Commonwealth Youth Games qualifying mark. Laura Chalmers, having finished 3rd with 51.30 in her main event, the hammer, went on to launch the discus out to a best of 43.49 for 5th.

Edinburgh’s 2nd place finish in Manchester leaves them a strong 2nd overall going into the final match at Eton on the 2nd of August. In the division two match in Liverpool on Sunday Victoria Park City of Glasgow finished 2nd on the day, moving them up the table after their 7th place finish in the opening match of the season.

Full Division One Match Result:

City of Manchester 208

Edinburgh AC 182.5

Trafford AC 173.5

W,S,E&H 163

Birchfield 145

Shaftesbury 133

Woodford Green/Essex Ladies 125

Rugby & Northampton 94

League Standings after 2 Matches:

CoM 16

EDIN 13

TRAF 10

SBH 10

BIR 9

WSEH 7

WG/EL 5

R&N 2

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