Super James leaps into the big time

Blackpool and Wyre Athletics''Tony Croft and Jeff Wright at the Pennine Bridleway.
Blackpool and Wyre Athletics''Tony Croft and Jeff Wright at the Pennine Bridleway.
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BLACKPOOL, Wyre and Fylde Athletic Club long jumper James Davies is celebrating after making a winning international debut in South Wales.

Davies, the former English Schools’ senior champion, was selected by England to compete in the Under-20 indoor international between the home nations contesting the Celtic Cup in Cardiff.

In his first full international outing, Davies displayed the big-match temperament so often lacking in new international athletes by winning the event with a tremendous jump of 7.23m, which was not only a personal best, but a new BWFAC Under-20 men’s club record.

Stuart Robinson brought his winter marathon training with a fine performance in the Heslby Half-Marathon.

Over a tough, undulating course, Robinson’s 69.40 was good enough for seventh place.

Looking ahead to his next goal, the Seville Marathon on February 13, Robinson reports that training over more than 100 miles each week has blunted his speed over the half marathon distance, but he is in fine shape and confident he will be able to go close to John Fewary’s long-standing Blackpool Marathon record, and possibly qualify for big international events in the autumn.

The Northern Cross Country championships is a mainstay of the winter calendar.

This year, Sunderland provided a muddy venue that proved a real test for every age group, but the girls Under-15s team distinguished themselves with a magnificent second place overall.

Molly Betmead was back to her best finishing 11th. Alisha Johnson was 13th while Imogen Pierce and Jodie Ferguson finished 24th and 37th to leave the team just a few points behind winners Lincoln and Wellington.

In the Under-13 girls event ,Molly Scarr was 31st over the 3km course with Demi Impett 68th and Fiona Hockey 82nd.

The senior men’s event attracted an international field of almost 500, and John Wright was 112th. Perry Mann took 207th and Gary Johnston was 295th.

In the Pennine Bridleway relay, the 10-strong A team finished 49th and the B team 83rd. John Wright and John Houghton led out the A team at 8.30am, handing over in 29th.

Stuart Williams and Jeff Lawton took over on the tough 12.5 mile second leg before handing on to Stasia Bligh and Emma Unsworth, who is using these long outings as preparation for her debut London marathon.

Bob Newman and Dave Dyson had something of a torrid time on the short fourth leg before Perry Mann and Mark Johnston completed the relay up the very sharp hill to finish.

The runners for the B team were David Twizell and Peter Gibson; Bev Wright and Mike Golden; Anthony Blight and Kevin Woods; Jeff Wright and Tony Croft and finally Graham Davies and Gary Johnson.