Wallasey Athletic Club's ladies' captain, Barbara Banks, defeated all but one of her rivals in the ladies' Northern three miles cross-country championships held at Cleckheaton, Yorkshire, last Saturday.
An ankle injury plus, a heavy cold had kept Barbara from training all week and so it was hardly surprising that her 'National' victor, Phyllis Lowis, of Bury, proved too strong for her. But the Wallasey girl stuck to her task gamely and was only 300 yards behind at the finish. In defeating A. Noble, an international from Sheffield, who was third, Barbara has firmly established herself as the number two runner the North of England and must be chosen for the area competition next month. A good run in the 'English' at Coventry on February 24th could put her into the English team for the international race soon afterwards.
Twenty-seven runners contested the club sealed handicap over a 31/4-mile course last Saturday and although pride of place must go to Dave Lockley, who reduced his best time for the course to 17 minutes 14 seconds and was in fact the first man home, a fine run by Colin Reiners (7th) gave him first prize, on handicap, with a time of 19-09, on his first run.
Seven runners from the Girling Club ran as visitors, but as little was known of their form over this kind of distance, their first man home was in 15th place.
The full results of the race with actual times and placings was; 1, D. Lockley (17.14), 2, J. Jones (17:25), 3, B. Smith (18:21), 4, S. Walker (18.22), 5, P. Wealthy; (18:51), 6, J. Horobin (19:02), 7, C. Reiners (19 :09), 8, D. Hanna (19:36), 9, M. Weatherilt (19:52), 10, M. Teahan (20:03), 11, R. Brimage (20:05), 12, P. Lewis (20:23), 13, G. Fair (20:25), 14, C. Gee (20:31), 15, A. McKendry (20:31), 16, P. Samson (20:48), 17, P. Hughes (21:02), 18, A. Smith (21:12), 19, J. Rogers (21:30) 20, G. McGregor (21:30), 21, B. Roberts (21:53), 22, P. Jones (21:53), 23, E. Ratajczak (21:53); 24, P. Martin (22:50), 25, S. Daniels (23:25), 26, S. Ball (24:15), 27, N. Hughes (27:10).
A strong head wind restricted most runners to a slow pace on the outgoing half of the course and this resulted in slower overall times than would normally be expected all the more credit to Dave Lockley's excellent run.
Despite a fall half-a-mile from home, Brian Knox a member of Wallasey's current youths team managed to come second in the Christian Brothers' North Western area cross-country' championships over a four-mile course last Saturday.
Brian had beaten the eventual winner the previous week at St. Helens and so was naturally disappointed at this reversal which put him down by 40 yards at the finish.