BURY Athletics Club enjoyed another successful year in 2017 with membership and coaching numbers increased and improvements to facilities at their Market Street base.

The year began with some excellent individual performances in the Greater Manchester county cross country championships in January.

Oliver Makinson and Marcus Dey took third and fourth place respectively in the under-17s men’s race and Sophie Whittaker was third in the u20s women’s event and all three were selected to represent the county.

February saw more excellent cross country performances at the county schools’ competition.

Francis Woodcock won the junior boy’s race, with newcomer Brandon Quinton taking an excellent third place.

In the intermediate boy’s race, Oliver Makinson took second with Marcus Dey hot on his heels in third.

Sophie Whittaker, in her last appearance in a schools cross country competition, took third in the senior girls’ event and all five were selected for the English Schools competition later in the year.

The club had a great turnout in the Northern Athletics indoor championships for junior athletes.

Grace Goodsell made it a double gold in winning the 60m and long jump u15s girl’s events, while Daisy Worthington won the 800m in the same age group.

There were also excellent performances from Jerel Livingston, Jay Cook, Katherine Townsend, Amy Garroch, Erin Kenyon, Abigail Howard, Charlotte Speakman-Farnworth and Patrick Clarke.

In March, Daisy Worthington took the national indoor title over 800m, setting a new lifetime best of 2mins 16.41secs in the process.

Hatie Vaughan took eighth place in the u17s women’s pole vault competition with a best vault of 3.20m.

For the seniors, there was a double victory in the Terry Nortley Multi-Terrain 10 mile race with Ben Coop winning the men’s race in 1:00.02 and Katie Geelan winning the women’s race in 1:13.28.

At the Inter Counties cross country championships in Loughborough, Sophie Whittaker was part of the silver medal-winning Greater Manchester team in the u20s women’s race.

She also won a team medal in the English Schools cross country championships in Norwich.

Other Bury athletes who competed in the prestigious event were Marcus Dey, Oliver Makinson, Francis Woodcock and Brandon Quinton.

At the end of the month Bury fielded teams in the Northern Road relays in Blackpool.

The women’s race saw the Bury team of Katie Geelan, Jenny Yates, Nicola Harland, Caitlin Cole. Christie Cook and Sophie Hill take 16th place, while the men’s race saw Bury finish in 36th.

The team included Ben Coop, Dave and Tony Cullen, Jim Ardin, Benn Heywood, Byron Edwards, Jack Griffiths, Pierre-Louis Statsenko, Matt Grice, Iestyn Rimmer, Chris Barrow and Andy Worthington.

In April’s London Marathon, Bury’s Jim Ardin and Byron Edwards were both comfortably inside the three-hour mark with times of 2:49.28 and 2:53.06 respectively.

The track and field season got under way in May and at the Greater Manchester championships Bury athletes won plenty of medals.

Grace Goodsell won four golds in the 100m, 200m, long jump and high jump, while Daisy Worthington won the 800m and 75m hurdles, Jerel Livingston won the long jump and Hattie Vaughan the discus.

Christie Cook took a bronze in the senior 800m, while younger brother Jay took bronzes in the high jump and discus.

In June club vice-chairman Roger Morley won the British Master’s triple jump title in Birmingham with a best jump of 9.25m. At the other end of the age spectrum Bury had some great successes in the Greater Manchester Schools Championships at Stretford.

There were gold medals for Jerel Livingston (long jump), Grace Goodsell (long jump), Hattie Vaughan (pole vault), Katherine Townsend (discus) and Jack Olds-Belucci (400m hurdles and javelin). Patrick Clarke took a silver medal in the long jump and bronze medals went to Brandon Quinton (1500m), Amy Garroch (75m hurdles) and Sophie Whittaker (3,000m).

July saw a record number of Bury athletes competing in the English Schools Track and Field Championships in Birmingham.

Hattie Vaughan took sixth place in the intermediate girls' pole vault in her first year in the age group, but Daisy Worthington was disappointed with her seventh in the junior girls' 800m final.

Brandon Quinton did brilliantly to take ninth in the junior boys' 1500m final, while Jerel Livingston took ninth in his junior boys' long jump heat.

In August Daisy Worthington and Amy Garroch competed in the National Combined Events Championships at Sportcity. Daisy excelled and took third place in the hexathlon and the rapidly improving Amy did well to take 20th in a high-quality field.

Leigh Sports Village played host to the North of England Track and Field Championships with silver medals going to Brandon Quinton in the u15s boys' 1500m and Hattie Vaughan in the u17s women’s pole vault.

Other Bury competitors included Grace Goodsell, Gilbert Vaughan, Jay Cook, Grace Gibson, Jerel Livingston, Daisy Worthington, Amy Garroch, Erin Kenyon, Catherine Russell and Michael Thornton.

Bury also had four athletes competing in the National Championships in Bedford.

Hattie Vaughan took fifth place in the pole vault (3.31) and Brandon Quinton and Daisy Worthington both took seventh in their respective 1500m and 800m finals.

Grace Goodsell made the semi-final in the 100m and took 13th in the long jump.

In the various league competitions, Bury performed well over the season.

Brianne Turner, in her first season as Cheshire League team manager, led the club to third place overall – the strongest performance in nearly 20 years.

Meanwhile, Giles Bennett was delighted the Northern League team was able to consolidate its place in the second division. Helen Vaughan, manager of the Youth Development Lower team was pleased with the third place secured by the Bury team in a challenging division.

In the North West Road Relay championships in Blackpool in September, Brandon Quinton set the fastest stage time in the u15s boys' race.

In the Asda Foundation Bury 10k there was a double club victory with Ben Coop winning the men’s race and Sophie Whittaker the women’s. Ben built on his fine form, winning the Rochdale Half Marathon (1:12.12) and the 13 Arches Half Marathon.

In the final track and field competition of the season, The Northern Masters, Bury had two champions with Roger Morley winning the triple jump and Giles Bennett the 400m.

Bury athletes have continued to perform well throughout October, November and December in cross country and indoor athletics events and all is pointing to an exciting 2018 for the club who will host the Greater Manchester Track and Field Championships in May for the first time in the club’s history.