A party of four Manx junior walkers travelled to Sheffield along
with team manager Allan Callow, former national walking coach
Julian Hopkins and myself.
Conditions on the day were very warm and muggy.
First to race at 3k were junior girls, Emma Latham and Ciara Kaneen.
Emma started the more positive and was soon up in to third position
after pulling past a couple of other walkers who had gone off too
A couple of cards went in for Emma during the early stages, but after
the initial lap or two she found her customary smooth style and never
looked back, and although she was not able to push too hard in
the closing stages and go for a time, she was in a clear bronze
medal position and did not need to take any risks and so finished
in around 16.34 (my timing) not too far away from her track best.
In front of her was British record holder Rebecca Mersh and the
fast improving Sarah Foster who was not too far behind the winner.
Ciara also was very careful early on, after a DQ at this very track four weeks ago, she looked to be walking well within herself during
the first two or three laps. As the race progressed she gradually
started to gain more confidence and move up the field. In the last half of the
race she caught and passed Coventrys Claire Yeomans and was closing down the fifth and fourth placed walkers.
Running out of track, she finished in sixth position, pleased to
record around 18.10 a p.b, and have a clean sheet with no cards or warnings.
Next to race was Callum Taylor, in his first Schools competition.
Also starting carefully, Callum gave himself time to settle in to his
race rhythm, looking technically very strong for the entire race.
Many of this age group started the race with good technique but
were unable to maintain this throughout. Callum however showed
what good strength he has and if he continues to train well,
could be a medal prospect in the years to come.
Finishing his first year in this group in 7th position.
His time was approx 17.14 also not too far off his best and a great
effort in the very warm racing conditions.
Last away was Robert Moore in the Inter boys event which was at the
5k distance. The talented Nick Ball was typically in charge of affairs at
the front of the field and Robert settled in to his own pace just behind
leading Senior girl Katie Stones of Hull.
A feature of all the Manx walkers was that they maintained good form
throughout the whole distance of their events and Robert proved no
exception, plugging away over 12.5 laps he finished in bronze medal
position in his age group in a time of around 27.27 (again approx
time, Allan has the official ones written down somewhere.)
A pretty good haul for the Merseyside area and I for one was very
proud of the way they all conducted themselves both on and off the
track over the whole weekend. A very good advert for both walking
and the youth involved in Manx athletics.