ATHLETICS: ENGLISH athletics is celebrating the news that its governing body looks set to clinch sponsorship deals which will keep its annual track and field championships in business.
Before last weekend's event in Sheffield, there had been warnings that the championships nicknamed 'the kids' Olympics' could die within three years unless substantial cash was raised.
The National Association of Schoolteachers and the Union of Women Teachers have jointly donated £50,000 for the ESAA's Awards Scheme which will free up money for the championships, which costs around £250,000 to stage.
And last weekend's chief guest, the Minister for Sport Richard Caborn, revealed he was in talks with three potential sponsors.
Cheshire sent a team to the championships and returned with a gold medal from Whitby High School's Craig France (see back page), a silver for William Lowndes, of Tarporley High School and a bronze for Nantwich hurdler Katey Read.
And there were also medal successes for Wirral athletes representing Merseyside, Helen Asher (hurdles gold) and Christopher Smith (800m silver).
* While some of their clubmates were recovering from their efforts at the English Schools' Championships over the previous two days, members of West Cheshire AC grabbed a fistful of medals at Warrington on Sunday.
The purple-vested squad produced a string of memorable performances at the Cheshire County AA Track Relay Championships.
West Cheshire's senior men's quartet of Lee Hearn, Chris Rushton, Keir Ferguson and Tim Wilderspin combined to clock 47.4 seconds and clinch the county 4x100m title.
Kristy Bell, Danielle Erskine, Danielle Bentley, and Gemma Mayled represented West Cheshire AC in the U11 girls 4x100m and finished runners-up in 63.3secs.
Sian Felman, Daisy Flynn-Piercy, Ruth Pritchard and Shona Valentine clocked 55.4 seconds for second spot in the U13 girls' 4x100m final.
Ruth Pritchard, Rebecca Grimes, and Kerry Riley, finished runners-up in the U13 girls' 3x800m final in 8 minutes 3.2 seconds.
Jason McGonigle, Matthew Smith, Carl Van Schie and Tom Price dug deep for second spot in the U15 boys' 4x400m for 4mins 13.5secs.
Louise Woodward, Rachel Stoakley, Fawn Beddows and Hayley Daltrey finished second in the U15 girls' 4x100m in 52.1 seconds.
* Records were broken at the Chester Schools' Championships at Wrexham's Queensway Stadium.
In the Year Eight competitions, Fawn Beddows (Upton High) set a record for the 100m of 13.5secs and Rachel Stoakley, also of Upton, clocked 27.4 in the 200m.
Louise Woodward, of Tarporley High, set new marks in Year Nine for the 75m hurdles of 11.9secs and 4.91m in the long jump, while Blacon's Nicola Cunningham set a shot record of 10.15 metres.
In the boys' competitions, Will Lowndes, of Tarporley, set a shot record of 15.04m, M Fisher of Christleton set a Year Nine 1,500m record of 4.34.4 and in Year Eight there were records for B White (Heber) 100m (12.4), J Bromley (Christleton) long jump (5.88m) and Andrew Coates (Upton) triple jump (11.58m).
* A bit of a break in the recent hot weather resulted in excellent conditions on Friday evening for the Chester 5k road race, won by Nick Jones of Tipton Harriers in 15mins 15secs. The leading woman was Wirral's Helen Lawrence who clocked 16.39.
Helsby Running Club's Graham MacNeil came in seventh in a time of 16.20, followed by club-mates Graham McAra, 52nd in 18.35, Andy Smith (19.33), John Daniels (19.35) and Kathryn Roberts (19.39) in 79th, 80th and 81st places respectively, Max Taylor 110th in 20.47, Carol Shaw 141st in 22:56, Henri Grice 167th in 24.29, Joe Beswick 168th in 24.44 and mother and daughter Steph and Sam Charman in joint 171st position in 25.00.
* Leading Tattenhall runner home was Justin Realff in 46th place in 18.24, followed by Dave Ratcliffe 65th and first veteran in 19.09, Mark Smith, 73rd, and Nick Holmes 74th in the same time of 19.27, Dave Clarke 101st in 20.26, Sandra Owen 121st in 21.28, Alison Smith 129th in 22.15 (pb), Sue Ellis 152nd in 23.50 and Tess Swaine 173rd in 25.08.
Dave Ratcliffe was first for Tattenhall in the Ellesmere 10k race in 43rd place in 40.23 (second male veteran 55) from Lawrie Woodley 91st in 44.28 (second vet 65), Dave Clarke 95th in 44.41, Jane Woodley 160th in 51.04 (first lady vet) and Tessa Swaine 192nd in 54.45.
The third race in the Pentarathon Series takes place tonight at 7.15pm at Packwood Haugh School, Ruyton XI Towns. Entries are accepted on the night.