The Bury AC senior team have been promoted as division champions in the North of England Track and Field League. Promotion was assured before the final fixture at Macclesfield on 6th August, but to win the divisional champions trophy Bury had to defeat nearest rivals Pendle. Due to a brilliant turn out and a commitment to competition Bury dominated the fixture securing a victory of over 100 points over Pendle.
The opening track event, the 400m hurdles, set the tone for the day and saw four Bury victories. Ben Coop won the men’s A race (66.1), Jack Griffiths the B race (76.7), Lizzie Cheshire triumphed in the women’s A race (74.3) and Mariella Digioia won the B (76.0). The field events commenced with the Pole Vault, won by Bury’s Paul Stocks with a 2.10 effort.
Ben and Jack also competed in the next track event, the 800m. Ben winning the A race (2.01.5) and Jack taking 2nd in the B (2.09.8). Lauren Booth won the women’s A race (2.33.3) and Nicola Harland also won the B (2.34.3).
Ben completed his afternoon with a 5th place in the long jump (5.00) with team-mate James Coghlan taking 3rd in the B (4.29). Jack took 2nd in the A triple jump (10.48) whilst evergreen Roger Morley took 2nd in the B (9.10). In the high jump Oliver Kirkby and Lizzie were the only Bury competitors; Oliver taking 4th in the men’s A (1.40) and Lizzie winning the women’s A (1.35).
In the men’s sprints Hashim Shah and Emmanuel Mufakazi took four 2nd places; Hashim in the A 100m (11.7) and B 200m (23.9) and Emmanuel in the B 100m (11.7) and A 200m (23.3). For the women, Mariella was 4th in the A 100m (13.5) and 2nd in the B 200m (27.8), whilst Lizzie won the B 100m (13.8) and Teegan Brady won the B 200m (27.7). In the 400m event Mike Hunter took 5th in the men’s A (56.5), Oliver Kirkby 3rd in the B (59.5), Viola Melinghi 3rd in the women’s A (63.5) and Jenna Allen-Cartwright won the B (63.8).
In the longer distance events Jack took 5th in the A 1500m (4.50.1), whilst Triathlete Nigel Brady took 4th in the B (6.03.2). Katie Geelan secured 3rd in the women’s A race (5.31.6) and Lauren won the B (5.32.1). Sophie Whittaker had to settle for 3rd in the A 3000m (11.20.5) whilst Katie took 2nd in the B (11.52.6). Jim Ardin ran strongly in the 5000m to take 2nd in the A race (16.27.3) and Mark Johnson also finished as runner up in the B (20.03.7). Team Manager Giles Bennett lead by example taking on the gruelling 3000m steeplechase and taking 2nd in the A (12.42.6) whilst Andrew Worthington also finished as runner up in the B (14.29.5). Andrew also scored valuable points in winning the B 110m hurdles (28.0). Mike Hunter took 2nd in the A (22.3). In the women’s 100m hurdles event Lizzie Cheshire won the A (20.8) and Nicola Harland the B (25.2).
In the men’s throwing events Paul Stocks, Paul Horrocks and Nigel Brady kept the points rolling in. Paul Stocks won the A javelin (39.90) and took 3rd in the A hammer (23.70). Paul Horrocks won the B javelin (31.31), took 2nd in the B hammer (21.80), 4th in the A shot (8.42) and 5th in the A discus (26.22). Nigel took 3rd in the B shot (5.27) and 5th in the B discus (13.38). For the women Ruth Worthington and Pam Hitchin had busy afternoons scoring vital points for the team. Ruth took 3rd in the A hammer (17.36), 2nd in the B discus (16.42), 4th in the A javelin (16.79) and 3rd in the A shot (5.98). Pam won the B hammer (15.15), took 4th in the B discus (16.96), 3rd in the B javelin (13.15) and 2nd in the B shot (5.78).
In the sprint relays the men’s team of Hashim, Emmanuel, Mike and Giles took 2nd (48.5) whilst the women’s team of Mariella, Teegan, Jenna and Viola won their race (54.3). In the 4 x 400m relay the men’s quartet of Jack, Mike, Oliver and Emmanuel took 3rd (3.52.3) and Teegan, Jenna, Lizzie and Viola won the women’s race (4.28.5).
Given that the team was missing several athletes due to holidays, the manner of the victory reflects marvellously on the team spirit and willingness of athletes to go the extra mile for the club. Credit should also be given to the volunteer officials, Jean and John Simpson, Pete Bates, Ken Smith, Roger Morley and Nigel Brady who scored valuable points. Next year Bury will compete in the 2nd division (West Central) against neighbours Bolton, Blackpool, Holmfirth, Seaton and Pendle who are also promoted as runners up.