The Macclesfield Harriers Track and Field team had a very successful 2019 season. More than 145 athletes, from U11s to Masters, competed across the 3 T&F leagues in 12 fixtures. In addition, significant numbers of athletes competed in the Cheshire, Northern and National Championships.
In the Youth Development League (YDL), for U13 and U15 athletes, Macclesfield gained well deserved promotion to North West Division One for the first time in around 10 years. At the first match in April in an extremely cold Blackpool they turned in a creditable mid-table performance, but it was in the remaining 3 matches they came into their own with some excellent individual performances, holding off Bury to secure second in the league behind the Blackpool team and gain promotion by the smallest of margins.
In the Northern League, in the early season matches, the U17 and seniors looked like they would be hard pushed to retain their position in Division 3W, but a great turnout and excellent performances in the home fixture (1st placed team) and the final match (3rd place) was enough for the team to finish a creditable 4th place overall to remain in this division for next season. This was a real family affair with parents and children making up the strong team together with coaches turning the tables on athletes by competing, like coach and mum Anna Carey who together with daughter Liliana gained maximum points in the hammer throw event. Invictus athlete Sacha Sloane and husband Simon, who met through Macclesfield Athletics Track, were another couple who contributed valuable points to the team score.
In the Cheshire league which covers all age groups from U11 to Seniors, Macclesfield finished in second place overall, thanks in no small part to at least 5 families who had both parents and children competing in this league. Again there were excellent performances across the events with a number of Macclesfield Harriers, including Charlie Orphanides, Rebecca Dilworth, Fin Proffitt and Sophie Fletcher gaining the ‘performance of the match’ accolade. The U11s are scored separately in the Cheshire League and finished a very creditable 4th place overall.
In addition to the team events, a number of individuals have excelled at Regional Championship level, including Sam Danson who, in addition to representing Cheshire in the prestigious English Schools event, gained an excellent silver in the Long Jump at the North of England Championships with a leap of 6m 45cm. Fin Proffitt, also selected for English Schools, was a NoE medallist winning bronze in the 3000m in 9 min 19.66secs. Charlie Orphanides was another who performed excellently during the season ranking 5th in the UK in the U13 boys javelin with a throw of 38.06m to win the Cheshire Championships in a championship best performance. Hilary West, in spite of injury, returned from the European Masters Championships with a gold medal in the 4 x 400m relay. This year we had 5 athletes gain a AAA Grade 1 standard: Sam Danson, Fin Proffitt, Charlie Orphanides, Claudia Rodriguez and Will Roberts.
These fine performances by the athletes have been supported by our large team of volunteers including coaches, team managers, officials and many helpers – we thank you ALL! The challenge now of course is to build on this success and to do even better in 2020. We can only do this with your help and support, so if you are interested in coaching, officiating or competing in T&F athletics please contact Barbara Murray. In the meantime, good luck to all for the cross country, indoor sportshall and indoor T&F season.
Track and Field Manager