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County win earns Davies plum draw
MEGAN Davies added the Greater Manchester Schools cross country title to her growing haul of gold medals on Saturday in what is turning out to be a fantastic year for the Woodhey pupil.
The 15-year-old runner braved the wintry weather conditions to win the intermediate girls race at the regional Schools championships in Longfold Park, Trafford.
She completed the 4km course in 12 minutes 41 seconds, helping the Bury team to a second place finish, one point behind winners Trafford.
The win made it a trio of top victories for Davies this season, following up on titles in the Bury Schools and the Greater Manchester county championships.
“I’ve seen definite improvements in my form this year and I like to think that I could go on to compete at an even higher level,” said Davies, who started running with Rossendale AC before moving to Sale Harriers.
She is definitely in the right company to progress – training in the same group as Olympic hopefuls Tom Lancashire and Michael Rimmer.
“I would definitely like to become a professional athlete when I get older, so running with Tom and Michael is great,” said Davies, who lives in Brandleshome Road in Bury.
“I pick up lots of tips watching how they train and run and get plenty of help from their coach, Norman Poole.
“He has given me advice on how to pace myself during each session and told me not to be disappointed with bad results, just move on and train harder.”
That advice has clearly paid off.
Saturday’s victory means that Davies will now lead the Greater Manchester intermediate team – for girls in years 10 and 11 – at the English Schools Cross Country Finals in Exeter on Saturday, March 17. A top six finish will earn Davies a place in the national Schools team.
The week before that, she will also be representing Greater Manchester in the UK Counties Athletics Union Inter-Counties Cross Country Championships at Cofton Park in Birmingham.
Davies qualified after winning gold in the Greater Manchester under-17s Cross Country Championships in Stockport last month, where she beat Bury AC runner Katie Buckley into second, who will also be running in the county team.
“My first-place finishes in both the county and Schools championships mean that I will start in the first pens at the national and inter-county championships, which will give me a really good chance,” said Davies.
“If I can stay at the head of the field from the start then I have certainly got high hopes for the English Schools Championships as it will be run on a flat course, which really suits me. My definite aim is to make the national team.”