World cross country runner Steve Vernon showed a clean pair of heals to the rest of the field at the Garburn trail race in the Lake district.
The Stockport Harrier, who is gearing himself up for the European Mountain Championships in Austria in July, impressed the selectors with a convincing win on his first outing over the 13 mile trail race in the fells above Lake Windermere.
Steve put 4 minutes between himself England fell runner Andy Peace of Bingley Harriers.
The biggest climb was 1,200 feet at half way but Steve was well clear by then and even broke the course record by over a minute.
The Stockport runner will take on the top mountain runners in two weeks time in a race up Mount Snowdon with the first four guaranteed places in the GB team for the European Mountain Championships.
Steve has been on Snowdon training for a week for the event with local Welsh runners and club mates Jamie Loxam and Andy Oldham who live in Llanberis. Steve said “The climb up Snowdon is relentless, but I am confident after today's run”.
Track and Field round-up
Young Athletes League
Becky Hetherington strode home to win the girls under-13 1200 metres in 4.08
On flatter terrain at Macclesfield the Stockport Harriers' junior team finished 3rd in their second Young athletes league match behind winners Macclesfield and the Isle of Man.
Lucy McLoughlin of the Harriers won the ‘Woman of the Match’ for her grade 1 performance in the 800 metres winning in 2.15, over 6 seconds inside the standard and also 2nd in the 300 metres sprint in 43.5.
Sprinters Kelly Blackman and Katie Deutsch both won their 200 metres races, Kelly the girls under-15s race in 26.9 and Katie the girls' under-17s in 26.8. Jessica Yates won the under-17s girls' 300 metres in 43.5.
Becky Hetherington strode home to win the girls under-13 1200 metres in 4.08.
The boys' team had wins in the boys' under-17s 100 metres for Gareth Lamb, Ross Millington won the boys' under-17s 800 metre race with a fine solo performance in 1.59.6, Steve Barber took maximum points in the boys' under-15s 3km in a new personal best of 9.51 and Stuart won the boys' under-17s race in 4.32.
Jack Nixon won the boys' under-13s 800 metre in 2.30 after finishing 4th the previous day in the Wincle Trout Junior Run for under-16 year olds
Stockport schools' athletes hoping to go to the English Schools Track and Field Championships are on duty this coming Saturday at the Greater Manchester Schools' Track and Field Championships at Longford Park Stadium. Stockport schools have a strong team hoping to do well.
The qualifiers go through to the English Schools finals on July 8th and 9th at Alexandra Stadium Birmingham.
Senior Northern League
The Senior team were over at Bebbington for the 2nd round of the North of England League. This match proved to be a little more successful than the previous one, a lack of athletes on the ladies side was made up for by a stronger men’s team this time.
Hannah Raines and Nicola Barratt got things off to a good start taking maximum points in the 400 hurdles, this was to be Nicola’s first of 3 wins. Prior to the hurdles she won the long jump with 4.49 metres, and later stormed to victory once again in the 100m hurdles, equaling her 16.9 secs from the 1st match.
Vicki Robinson and Scott Caine took advantage of a following wind scoring maximum points in their 100m races in times of 12.9 and 10.9 secs respectively, after a short rest they then went on to win their 400m races, this time having to battle into the wind on the back straight.
The 800m saw a welcome return to Helen Walch, who ran well to take 2nd place in the B event, despite only recently returning to training. In the men's event Ben Styles took maximum points just sneaking under 2 minutes in 1.59.9.
The 1,500m was once again a walk in the park for Carley Davies who won by over half a minute from her nearest competitor in 5.07.
In the men's 5000m Mike Shaw ran well to place 2nd in 16.25, and was backed up well in the B event by Steve Haylock who was also 2nd.
The relays proved to be an exciting affair, especially the men’s 4 x 400m, with Steve Callister just passing the Liverpool last leg runner in the final 10 metres to take victory.
Once again the Hesketh family had a busy day with Chris senior being the highest point scorer in the family this time with 18 points. Nobody’s day was quite as busy though as club newcomer Adrian Airey who competed in 6 events for the club as well as the open 100m race!
At the end of the day Stockport finished in 3rd place, behind Liverpool and West Cheshire, but with only 6 points separating the teams in 2nd to 5th place it was a very close competition.
The next meeting is at Wavertree Stadium, Liverpool on Saturday, 2nd July.