Top-class Wellington completes his medal set

Lachlan Wellington, 343, earned a bronze medal for England
Lachlan Wellington, 343, earned a bronze medal for England
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Lachlan Wellington added another medal to his ever-growing collection with a fine performance for England Schools on Saturday in Falkirk.

The 14-year-old produced a strong display to take individual bronze and help the team win a dominant gold at inter boys’ level in the SIAB Schools International.

Wellington set the pace for much of the race before finishing third in a time of 19.15 for the tough 6k course.

He was only denied a win in a quick finish as under-17 athlete Matthew Willis kicked away for gold (19.08) and Southampton’s Zak Mahamed was able to follow to take silver (19.12).

The fourth-placed athlete Ricky Lutakome was nine seconds back from a podium spot.

It was the final cross-country of the season and the bronze medal completed Wellington’s superb winter run of earning a podium place in every championship race he has done.

This includes the English Schools’ Championships as a bottom year, the Hampshire championships when he won gold, the nationals, and the South of England Championships.

City of Portsmouth coach Vince Stamp believes Wellington’s dedication and focus has been key to his excellent results.

He said: ‘It’s a great achievement for Lachlan to be on the podium in every championship race this winter.

‘It is consistent, top-class running.

‘He made the choice to focus on his running and he’s dedicated to what he is doing.

‘For someone so young he is very mature.

‘His form is inspiring the others in my group who are really stepping up to the plate.’

With a June birthday Wellington was second youngest in the international and he will hope to be back next year as a top year when he may adapt his tactics.

Stamp added: ‘Lachlan felt he did too much at the front of the race on Saturday.

‘He was in front and the other two were following him for two and a half laps before they kicked away in the last half a mile.

‘Lachlan felt he should have eased back a bit and let them go through.

‘But he really enjoyed the race, he was buzzing.

‘He’s a very smart cookie and he can digest what happens in races.

‘It is a pleasure to coach him.’

A large contingent from Stamp’s training group will be in action in the Chichester Corporate Challenge tonight as they transition from cross-country to road and track.