Locals hit the heights at trials

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Seven local athletes were in action at the Aviva UK World Trials and Championships last weekend at Birmingham’s Alexander Stadium.

Luke Cragg, in his first major race since returning from studying in the USA, produced a strong run to return with a bronze medal in the 10,000 metres.

The championship race was run as part of an open event attracting several overseas athletes and this spurred Cragg on to a season’s best of 29:20.63.

Charlotte Gair, competing in her first major senior championships, produced another lifetime best in the discus, taking seventh position with a new best mark of 44.06m.

This takes her into second spot on the UK U20 rankings.

Charlotte’s older sister Rachel, competing in the colours of Trafford AC, produced another throw over 60 metres to take sixth spot in the hammer, her best on the day landing at 60.82 metres.

Both girls are coached locally by their dad, Paul Gair.

Danny Barkes ran a season’s best over 800m, qualifying as the fourth fastest in the heats stage, having run 1:50.65 to take third place in his heat.

Barkes went on to clock 1:53.38 in the semi-final.

Chris Brown went out at the heats stage and was disappointed with a time of 1:55.01.

David Lagerberg was the youngest local athlete in action, gaining entry into his first senior championships over 400m.

Having returned from his international debut last weekend in Estonia at the European Junior Championships, the 17-year-old was still carrying signs of tiredness as he ran to a time of 49.11 in his heat.

Steve Lisgo who, like Cragg, has recently returned from studying in the USA, finished ninth in the 3K steeplechase in a time of 9:05.17.

l Alan Smith took himself top of the UK V45 rankings when he ran an impressive 8:45.53 over 3000m at Watford.

Smith took over 20 seconds off his previous best and was also rewarded with the accolade of becoming the third fastest UK male ever over the age of 45 over this distance.

Stuart King couldn’t keep pace with Smith, however, should be pleased with his time of 8:51.93, his form beginning to return after a series of injuries.

Molly Johnson made her 3000m debut at the same meeting, her time of 10:31.32 taking her into seventh spot in the UK U15 rankings.

Cameron Smith, also running at U15 level, showed signs of following in his dad’s footsteps, taking over 30 seconds off his previous best to set a new mark of 10:19.48.

l Ricky Soos had his second track race of the season and showed he is still a force to reckon with.

The semi-finalist over 800m at the 2004 Athens Olympics raced at the BMC Grand Prix event at Stretford winning the B race in 1:52.61.