The controversial South African born teenager who competed for Britain in last summer's Olympic Games is the hottest favourite in years to win the senior title from the 500 best distance runners in the country.
Winner of the Southern counties' title by a huge margin a fortnight ago, Zola also broke the British indoor 3,000 metres record last weekend, so she looks to be in unbeatable form.
But the defending champion, Jane Shields of Sheffield, will lead a strong Northern challenge and at least two Merseyside runners will be bidding for high places.
Jill Rothwell, of Liverpool Harriers, has the courage and determination to follow any pace which Zola sets, while Sue Crehan from the Sutton Club in St. Helens is another tenacious competitor who won her first Great Britain honours in the indoor international against West Germany last Saturday.
The Championships are being organised by Merseyside Women's A.A.A. under the direction of one of Britain's most experienced officials, Mrs. Pat Green, and will also include girls (under 13), junior (under 15), and intermediate (under 17) title races with up to 2000 athletes taking part altogether.
The younger age group will provide some of the most exerting racing of the day. Mandy Holmes, of Liverpool Harriers, could win the junior title and her club will be very much in the reckoning for team honours.
The two local athletics clubs, Wirral and Wallasey, will both be strongly represented, with Wirral's Joanne Forrester looking for a high placing in the girls' race and both clubs fielding well matched teams in this age group.
Lynn Kennedy of Wallasey, a 17-year-old sixth former at St. Mary's College, and recent winner of the Merseyside Schools' title in highly convincing fashion, takes part in the senior race but faces immensely testing opposition.
These Championships are the most important athletics event on the Wirral since Sebastian Coe won an English Schools' track title at Bebington Oval back in 1973. The first race is at 1 p.m. and with coaches bringing teams and supporters from all over the country spectators are advised to arrive early as parking spaces will be limited.