Matty Shirling earns England vest after winning English Scools cross-country championships (From St Helens Star)
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Matty Shirling earns England vest after winning English Scools cross-country championships
SEVENTEEN-year-old middle distance runner Matty Shirling produced a phenomenal performance to win the Senior boys race at the English schools cross country championships in Derbyshire on Saturday.
That, coupled with a second place in the under 17s Men’s at the previous week’s Inter-Counties Cross Country Championship in Birmingham, has earned him an England under 20s vest.
Those fine winter performances augur well for the summer switch to the track where the highly promising athlete from Newton-le-Willows will be looking to beat his PB of 3.44.11 – which is A Great Britain under 17s record, significantly two and a half seconds faster than former World Champion Steve Cram at the same age.
Coach Adrian Webb, who trains him at Liverpool Harriers, said: “I am very pleased and he just got himself an England vest next weekend off the back of what he has done in the last couple of races.
“He struggled a bit early season due to niggling injuries and has just started improve this last month and his last race phenomenal.
“Senior boys included lads a year older than him so to win it as a first year is quite an achievement.
“It was an incredibly muddy and wet and a very demanding course with the pack staying together for pretty much the first 15 minutes until Charlie Joslin-Allen, the lad who came second, decided to take it on, but Matty chased him down and hit the lead with about 600 metres to go.
“Although the winning margin was six seconds, it actually looked a bigger gap when you saw it happening.
“He came second in the inter counties and then has improved again with a phenomenal race.”