After some weeks in the doldrums, Geoff Nuttall, has recently 'broken through' and is competing better now than ever before. He was one of the team of athletes who attend Mosslands School who competed on Sunday in a 3 x 13/4 mile relay cross-country. The team was led off by Paul Backhouse. It was always a difficult leg to ma with so many together each challenging and endeavouring to obtain the correct place before a narrow opening or tight bend. Paul did well to hand over in eighth place. Geoff Nuttall ran second and, by the time he handed ever to Nigel Thompson, he was in fourth place. Nigel held on to this place which gave the team an extremely creditable and encouraging performance.
The day before at Pensby School, these boys, and others represented their school in the Wirral Schools Cross-Country Championships. This championship was the first step towards representing Merseyside in the All England Schools Championships and decided those athletes who would be selected to represent Wirral in the Merseyside Championships.
Once again athletes from the Hanna squad performed well, with most of them expected to go forward into the next round. A deserving victory was gained by Mike King in his age group with other top performances coming from Andrew Pennington, second, Nigel Thompson, third; Geoffrey Nuttall, seventh Paul Backhouse, ninth; Mark Yates, 11th and Hugh Samuel, 16th.
By contrast, the indoor track competition at R.A.F. Cosford saw its second open meeting staged at the huge hangar, which is the only one of its kind in the country boasting such a track. Finishing third in the 800m race, the first of three youth races, Mark Cooper showed that he was on course for next year's outdoor track season. His time of 2 min 7 sec was the sixth fastest of the day and was satisfactory when set against the training currently being undertaken. Neil Henfrey, a 400m specialist, ran the second race of the junior 800m and finished in fourth place, recording another satisfactory time of 2min 1.5sec. Both these track performances show great promise for the future and when combined with cross-country performances, display a good future for athletes based on the Wirral.
Except for the usual club championships or Christmas Handicap races or even a race on Boxing Day at the Roodee in Chester, the athletes can expect to take a rest from competition in preparation for the all important championships which start immediately after Christmas.