For youngsters the peak of cross country running is the English Schools Championships, this year at Castle Donington. Liverpool Pembroke Sefton ace, Rosie Johnson(Merseyside), was expected to do well after a strong performance in the Inter-county event previously but she exceeded expectation by running brilliantly and taking the bronze medal in the Intermediate Girls event. She grows in maturity and will again collect another England international vest in two weeks time as she represents her country in the Schools Home International.
There was no such expectation from Daniel Slater, the Crosby Sacred Heart pupil, also representing Merseyside. A good result was anticipated following a victory in the county championship and a first place in a Northern Schools event but the class of the Junior Boys race was evident. Daniel was not fazed by this and ran out a magnificent fifth. Like Rosie Johnson this ensured an immediate call-up to the England squad. A triathlete by inclination he now has the choice of specialising in running. His coach, John McCarten says, `Daniel only joined us nine months ago and his progress has been outstanding. He is a very serious trainer and with more concentration on running his reputation as one of the best in the country is assured’.
Also at the Leicestershire venue and in the same event Matty Richardson ran out a respectable 70th. In the Junior Girls race Morag Molyneux (Merseyside)was 130th and the Intermediate Girls had Charlotte Mawdsley (Merseyside) on 271 and Anna Hulme (Lancs) 286th. Three Senior Boys competed, Ryan Blackwell(Lancs 86th), James Loftus(Gt Manchester 137th) and Jonathan Bride (Lancs 275th).
Report on Rosie`s run from Bob Johnson: `Rosie really got stuck in. She lost ground on the early part of the second lap dropping to fourth. However, she picked up the pace over the last 750m, closed on the leaders and looked strongest down the finishing straight. Second placed girl is Sabrina Sina who is U15 National and Inter-counties champion as well as an English Schools Junior Girls 1500m winner. A class act and will come up against Rosie again in the summer.