Lachlan wins South of England title and sets new United Kingdom lead time in process

Lachlan Wellington won the South of England 3,000m title
Lachlan Wellington won the South of England 3,000m title
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Lachlan Wellington produced a golden display in the South of England 3,000m Championships at Bedford.

The City of Portsmouth athlete beat his own 2015 under-15 United Kingdom ranking lead time, finishing first in 9min 11.56sec.

Sammy Hart, from Team Kennet, finished second in 9.19.56, with Maxwell Cooper, from Bracknell AC, third (9.32.13).

They were left trailing, along with the rest of the field, as Wellington, 14, executed a perfect race.

He now has his first South of England gold medal around his neck.

City coach Vince Stamp said: ‘Lachlan sat in for three laps and on the fourth lap he went into turbo drive.

‘Within 200m he had opened up a 20m to 30m gap. The race was over then really.

‘He went hard and then settled into a pace until he reached the bell.

‘In the final 200m he kicked again and took a second off his personal best with a strong finish.

‘It was his first South of England individual title, he got a UK number one ranked time and a personal best – you can’t ask for anymore than that.’

The youngster who attends Cams Hill School, in Fareham, is a very intelligent racer.

He knows when to sit in and when to make his move – something crucial for athletes in championship racing.

As well as being able to carry out his pre-race plans, he can also adapt to the situation as it develops during the race.

Stamp added: ‘Lachlan has a very smart racing brain and ran the race textbook in Bedford.

‘You can give him advice and he takes it on board. He applies it in the races and he is also mature enough to make his own decisions based on how it is going.

‘It was a championship race so the important thing was for him not to go out hard and then find he was giving everyone else a free ride.’

Wellington’s time was beaten on Wednesday in Basingstoke but coach Stamp is confident he can get it back.

He said: ‘He ran his personal best solo, on his own, with nobody to pace him,’ added Stamp.

‘If he was in a paced race he could possibly get close to nine minutes flat.’

Wellington will return to Bedford for the 3,000m at the England Athletics Under-17 and Under-15 Championships, taking place over two days on August 29 and August 30.

Meanwhile, Josie Czura sped to a personal best time of 9.50.22 in the 3,000m at Basingstoke on Wednesday night.

It was a 2015 UK number one ranked time for the City of Portsmouth under-15 talent – seven seconds clear of her nearest rival over the distance this summer.

In the under-13 girls’ 800m Saffron Moore finished in first place (2.28.71) and her City club-mate Nicole Ainsworth finished second (2.30.05).