Mel Schless, of Wallasey, who came second in the Cheshire Championship last month, excelled himself in last Saturday's English Schools' Cross-Country Championships, taking eighth place in the intermediate event. This made him the first counter for the Cheshire team, which came eighth overall.
Over a thousand athletes took part in the championships, at Graves Park, Sheffield, where the weather was fine but there were many complaints about the organisation, the amenities, the meals provided, and some hazards of the course, which also included gruelling hills and was a test for the most experienced runner.
Runners were constantly falling over and quite a few were taken to hospital. These included one Cheshire runner, Tim Greggory of Lymm Grammar School, who was treated for shock.
In the junior race, Phil Keating, who only just scraped into the Cheshire team by the skin of his teeth, ran very well to finish in 109th place, fifth counter for his team. Bob Brimage, who should have been somewhat higher, finished 226th. Cheshire was seventh in this event.
The senior team, weakened by the absence of three runners from Birkenhead School who were told at the last minute by their headmaster to back out, ran a very poor race and came 24th.
Tommy Jones from Wallasey G.S. (who won in the Cheshire Schools' championships) came 95th. Steve Walker, who had not been able to train for the two and a half weeks before the race and did not intend to run, finished 202nd.
Members of Wallasey A.C. were also running at St. Helens last week. The senior 'A' team did exceptionally well in the seven-mile road race by coming third with 79 points. Brian Woolford, reliable as usual, was placed 12th with a time of 36 mins. 16 secs. Ron Barlow, using the race to test his injured leg after almost a year's absence from running, finished 15th, while John Wright ran exceptionally well, holding onto Ron Barlow, to the bitter end and finishing 16th, only 10 seconds behind him. Barrie Smith completed the team and finished in 36th position.
There were 114 runners who finished, and this was a very good day for Wallasey.
Wallasey Athletic Club have entered teams in today's Sale Road Relays for youths, boys and colts.