National crown for Olympic hopeful

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A BUXTON athlete has a spring in her step after being crowned National Cross-Country champion at the British Colleges (BCS) National Championships, held recently at the University of Bath.

For Amy Mellor, 17, from Harpur Hill, a student at Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College, this is the first title that she has won in an athletics career studded with success, and her sights are firmly focused on the 2016 Olympics.

The BCS National Championships involved more than 2,000 students and staff from colleges across 11 regions of England, Scotland and Wales competing in 14 different sports.

Amy represented the North West, having won her heat at Bolton in February. At Bath she not only competed at national level in a field of 80 other regional finalists but she beat them by a considerable margin to win the 5K race.

Karen Wrights, sport tutor at Cheadle & Marple Sixth Form College, said: “Amy prepared and performed like a professional athlete and she takes her sport extremely seriously. She has a long-term plan for 2016 Olympics and is totally dedicated to her running.”

Amy’s mum encouraged her to take up running at an early age, and she went on to compete in English Schools events as well as track events such as the 1,500m.

“Norman Taylor, the founder of Buxton Running Club became my first coach and he inspired and encouraged me to do well in my running,” Amy explained.

Now a member of Stoke Athletic Club, which is affiliated for track events, she recently competed in a 3,000m race and achieved the national standard by 21 seconds.

Amy added: “It’s been a real highlight for me to win my first title at the British Colleges National Championships and the most prestigious one I’ve achieved to date. My next big target is the new track season and I’m hoping to get a GB best when I run in the Diamond League event at Crystal Palace in July.

“The events this year are going to be extremely interesting given that it is Olympic year so there’ll be a lot of high-profile athletes present.”

Amy successfully juggles her A Level studies at the college in Law, Physical Education, Psychology and Religious Studies with her training and competitive programme.