1 PHIL WYLIE – Duathlon maybe his first call, but Phil once again underlined that he is very close to international class at cross-country running when he no doubt surprised more than a few of our leading exponents of the sport by finishing an outstanding 11th in the annual Gateshead international, the first leg of this season’s McCains Cross Challenge. He finished right on the heels of internationals Ryan Macleod and James Walsh and just ahead of Matt O’Dowd and Johnny Taylor, while he was only a minute off winner Mick Skinner. Admittedly he revelled in the tough hilly conditions, but on this sort of form, he should be more than competitive in next week’s European trial at Liverpool.
2= JON WILLS and CHARLIE COFFEY – Fence-sitting again, but how can you split this pair! Partners in all but name – and they will rectify that next month – they conspired to all but match performance in the Inter-Area 10K at Brighton. Both finished 5th in their respective races, and while Jon led the Welsh team home in a good time for the windy conditions of 30:36, Charlie was only second best for the Midland team, but not to be outdone her time of 36:05 was an impressive new personal best. Honours even!
3 TOM MERSON – Tom got his cross-country season off to a storming start with a runaway victory in the second Westward league race at St Austell, so underlining his rapid climb towards the top of the South West ladder.
1 ANNABEL GUMMOW – She may be only 16 and strictly too young for consideration in the U20 age group. But just tell that to any of her rivals in the South West. Unable to find any worthwhile opposition in her own age group, she opted to tackle the seniors in the Westward League event, but it made no difference as she left her nearest rival some three-quarters of a minute in arrears! In her present form, even though she will be giving away up to three years to some of her fellow contenders, she must surely be in with a shout of making the UK U20 team for next month’s European championships in Dublin.
2 NATHAN YOUNG – Nathan is rarely out of consideration for the weekly junior honours list, and he once again reserved a place this week by scoring a convincing victory in the South West Colleges cross-country championship.
3 KIERAN YOUNG – How does young Kieran, who is a first year U17, qualify you may well ask? Well he surprised himself by taking on all-comers and finishing a very creditable 4th in the latest Street 5K. His time of 17:53 took more than a minute off his previous best for the distance. Could he be set to follow in his elder brothers’ footsteps!
1 HELEN FINES – With the evergreen Phil Parry forced to withdraw from the England team for the annual Home Countries Masters cross-county international, it was left to Helen Fines to fly the B&W flag in the women’s race. Nor did she let the side down, finishing 5th overall in the women’s race less than 20 seconds behind the U35 winner and an agonising few seconds away from the individual bronze medal. At least she had the consolation of helping the England team to an overwhelming victory in the match race.
2 CAROLINE HEWITT – Although Caroline is only a second claim member, she deserves a mention for finishing 44th overall in the Masters championship for the England V40 team.
3 AN OTHER – Where are you all??