Members of Wallasey Athletic Club's youths' cross-country team are, in modern terminology, among the 'in crowd', for this group of runners are all set to take today's county championships, plus next week's Liverpool and District, and the coveted West Lancs. title a fortnight later.
Today's event should be the start of a 'magical tour' of the championships which culminate in the 'Northern' at Hartlepool on February, 10th, and the National at Sutton Coldfields on March 2nd.
The seven principal athletes involved in today's event at Sale will be John Horobin, Johnny Jones, Brian Knox, Dave Lockley, Melvin Schless, Steve Walker and Phil Wealthy. Barring accidents, they should be able to brush aside any opposition presented on the day.
In the Colts (under 14) and boys (under 16) events, run over a two-mile course, the club should return with at least one set of medals, but as the strength of the opposing clubs is usually unknown at this time of the season, one hesitates to predict on the outcome.
The under-16s led by Colin Reiners, are a well-knit group and any success they come by will have been hard earned, as they have trained consistently for the past few weeks.
Whoever wins the senior race, over a 7-mile course, will have Ron Barlow to beat first, for Ron has literally run into form recently. On his showing in the last league race which he won with ease and his record breaking run in the Christmas handicap, even the fleet footed Blinstone of Altrincham, who is freely tipped for an international best, will have to be at his best to hold Ron off.
Club captain Barrie Smith and John Wright are capable of placing in the first dozen runners, but with six counters needed for a team, nothing short of a miracle will give Wallasey a place in the first three teams.
Whilst nothing startling is expected of the seniors, boys and colts, it is to be hoped that the youths' 'magical tour' starts today with a little more success than the more publicised version by a well-known pop group.