A small group of runners from Wallasey Athletic Club travelled to Warrington last Saturday for one of the periodic standard meetings held there and despite some stiff competition, acquitted themselves with distinction.
In preparation for the A.A.A.'s youths' 880, to be held at Kirkby today, 2 p.m., Ian Wilson and Peter Lewis entered for this event at Warrington and both were concerned in close decisions at the tape.
From the gun, Ian settled into second place, whilst Peter slotted into the middle of a field of 11 runners and stayed there until the bell was reached in 61 seconds later.
Ian went into a lead at the beginning of the back straight, but made the cardinal error of 'taking' the lead without a reason and paid the price at the tape when he was pipped, but given the same time as the winner, 2 minutes 2.8 seconds. Peter suffered a similar fate, being edged out of third place in 2 minutes 5.2 seconds, the same as time as the third man.
As if these reverses were not enough, Barrie Smith duplicated Ian's mistake when he passed two runners in the back straight of the last lap in the senior two miles. Had he waited for another 50 yards and sprung his surprise at the start of the final bend, he would never have been caught. As it was, he was given the same time as the second man, 9 minutes 42.3 seconds with mile splits of 4:44 and 4:57.3, a creditable performance on the rain-softened track.
Dave Lockley showed a further improvement in form, when he led from start to finish in the junior 2,000 metres steeplechase.
After a hesitant opening lap in which he took the hurdles 'standing up', he settled down to give a good performance of strong running, which left his victor in the Northern Championships, R. Towler, of Grimsby, 50 yards behind in 6 minutes 19.8 seconds.
Johnny Jones and Phil Wealthy were placed fourth and ninth, respectively, in the junior mile, and both, obviously felt the effects of having to 'hang around' until 5:30 p.m. before their event started. John returned 4 minutes 36 seconds with Phil on 4:59.3, and neither time is indicative of their current form.