Buxton’s young mountain-runners wear England vests with pride

The Buxton quintet in their England vests, from left, Sam Soles, Lucas Parker, William Tighe, Lucy Bednall and William Longden.
The Buxton quintet in their England vests, from left, Sam Soles, Lucas Parker, William Tighe, Lucy Bednall and William Longden.

Proud Buxton Athletic Club were responsibile for no fewer than five young athletes in a 30-strong England team at a prestigious mountain-running event.

Lucy Bednall, William Tighe, Lucas Parker, Sam Soles and William Longden flew the flag for the club at the British Athletics Mountain Running Championships at Llanberis in North Wales.

What’s more, the event doubled up as senior and junior trials for the World Mountain Running Championships, to be held in Argentina, and the senior and junior Homes Countries International match.

The England teams gained two gold medals and two silvers at U17 and U20 levels. and the Buxton quintet won rich praise from a spokesperson for the club.

She said: “This was an amazing experience for our young athletes. They wore the England vests with pride and put everything into their performances on what was a very taxing route against a top-quality field.

“For Buxton to produce five out of 30 youngsters selected to represent England is truly outstanding. They have done themselves, their club and their country proud.”

The course was a gruelling 7K ascent and descent of the 726-metre high Moel Eilos, the final summit of the very long north-west ridge of Mount Snowdon. Adding to the challenge was very warm weather, which resulted in heat exhaustion and some nasty blisters!

Bednall marked her England debut by finishing tenth overall and helping the England U17 girls’ A team to a silver medal.

Tighe, Parker and Soles were picked for the England U20 B team, with the former finishing an impressive tenth.

Parker, on his mountain-running debut for England, was 11th overall and fifth in the trial race, while Soles put in a solid performance to come home 14th.

Longden was another making his international debut in the U17 boys’ race, and acquitted himself really well to cross the line in 12th position.