Sarah Mercier ran a superb 10,000m track debut and finished 55 seconds inside the previous island record to finish 7th in the England Championships in 35:15.50 but was upstaged by the holder of that record. Louise Perrio ran nearly a minute quicker than her previous track best to finish a superb 6th in and set a new island mark of 35:12.68 – over a minute faster than her Gotland Island games winning time.
With non-qualifying runners segregated into a separate ‘B’ race a small field of only 8 runners took the line in the championship race but the field was not short of quality and the top three places were secured by internationals Charlotte Arter(Cardiff), Gemma Steele(Charnwood) and Swansea’s Verity Ockenden. Mercier & Perrio set about their own race and running together soon locked into a consistent 5:40/Mile pace with a series of laps at or just below 85 seconds. Much of the early work was done by Perrio but after passing Cardiff Athlete Clara Evans at 3000m and going through 5000m in 17:40 it was clear a fast time was on the cards. The pace drifted slightly in the 4th mile but Mercier took the initiative and they were both soon back on schedule for a sub 35:30 time. With just over 1200m to go Perrio injected a few laps of nearer 82/83 second pace and drew slightly clear, she finished with a 77 second lap but Mercier also rallied and stemmed the gap to a mere 15m at the finish.
Elsewhere at the same Trafford BMC meeting Dan Galpin ran a seasons best of 4:14.09 to finish 8th in the 1500m F race. After a fast 64 second opening lap Galpin let the pace drift out to 70 seconds on the third lap but finished strongly and was just beginning to pick off places in the final 150m. Joe Yeaman was 8th in the 800m G event in 2:02.74 seconds.
Meanwhile, over in mainland Europe, Sam Wallbridge was the pick of the three-strong Guernsey contingent in Leuven, Belgium. Competing at the Meeting Voor Mon event, Wallbridge placed 5th in the strong 400m hurdles event and in chasing some classy foreign athletes home claimed a satisfying time of 52.84sec. The time represented a second time inside 53 seconds for the 20 year old in what actually was a less than perfect technical performance. He will have hopes of improving again come the Intertrust Athletics Games on 2nd September at which the 400m hurdles will be a premium event.
Josh Allaway has endured a stop-start sort of season but again showed lightning reactions at the start in both his heat and final to clock 11.08 into a headwind of 1.1m/s in the heat and 10.96 with a following 0.9m/s in the final. He placed fourth in the final in a highly competitive race.
Tom Druce was unable to kick on from his seasons best performance in Norway on Wednesday (47.82) and was 3rd in the B race of the 400m with 48.12 – in the process he was defeated by Island Games silver-medallist Sam Dawkins who achieved a Commonwealth Games qualifying mark for Jersey.