Even though his school shows an apparent lack of interest in his chosen sport, Kevin McGee of St. Mary's College has brought them and Wallasey Athletic Club, to the fore in cross-country running this year. His undeniable enthusiasm has seen him progress from an interested schoolboy to a talented athlete and has given encouragement to other members of the athletic club and his school.
He has led Wallasey Athletic Club's youth team, of which he is captain, to higher team placings than have been known for some few years with some fine individual performances. It is therefore more than pleasing to report his third place in the Merseyside schools held at Sherdley Park, St. Helens, last Saturday which earned for him the honour of representing Merseyside in the All-England Schools cross-country championships to be held on March 26 at Redditch. It is hoped that the usual red tape surrounding the arrangements will allow him to travel the previous day.
How any athlete can be expected to compete to his best ability after an arduous journey starting at 7.30 in the morning is beyond understanding, but red tape is usually for the benefit of the organiser, not the organised. Many other members of Wallasey Athletic Club were representing their various schools at the same championship. All ran extremely well even if not up to their expected standard.
Those finishing in the first eight go forward to the National Schools and those in the first 18 possibly go forward to a specially organised triangular match between Merseyside, Cheshire and Cumbria on March 12.
Oona Norris ran below form to finish 11th in her inter-girls race, Lynn Jenkinson finished a creditable 15th in the same race. Joanne Macdonald and Carole Jenkinson ran 10th and 24th in the junior girls race.
Peter Landrum and Stuart Moran both 'took a battering' in their race, finishing only 54th and 79th respectively. Mike Bratherion managed to get as high as 38th in the same race. Kevin's race saw two other members of Wallasey's youth squad competing also: Rick Hemmings finishing 12th and Dave Southern having to retire through sickness after only
half the race.
The last race of the day, the senior boys brought even
Naturally, most of these athletes were disappointed with their performances on the day, but that is one of the things about running which makes it so attractive. So often and without any logical explanation, you just cannot respond to the challenge, yet so easily the reverse can happen and you are there in the lead.
These athletes are at the beginning of their athletic careers and with constant hard work, will surely get the placings they deserve in the years to come.
This Saturday, Kevin and the rest of his youth team accompanied by a boys' team and a couple of individual senior members, travel to contest for the North of England title in Leeds. For most, this will be the first of the big time competitions and the sheer numbers are bound to impress. We wish them luck and success.