LACHLAN WELLINGTON has been called up to the Great Britain squad for the European Cross Country Championships.
It’s a remarkable achievement for the 16 year old who stepped up to the under-20 age group in the trials to gain experience.
As an under-17 athlete he finished sixth in the race with a sensational performance.
With five automatic selection spots it was then over to the selectors to decide about who to pick for the final place.
They chose the City of Portsmouth talent and he can now look forward to wearing his first Great Britain vest with pride.
Going up against older athletes in Liverpool did not faze the City talent, from Fareham, and he ran a calm, composed and intelligent race.
Even City coach Vince Stamp wasn’t expecting the GB call to come this soon with the target to place in the top 15 at Liverpool.
He said: ‘Lachie goes about his work quietly and lets his legs do the talking so to speak.
‘We got the message Lachie had to contact the selectors and after he spoke to them he said “It was a yes, I’m in the team.”
‘The idea with the race was to give him an insight for next year.
‘He was running it with no fear. He could have taken the easy option of the under-17 race but we thought, why not have a go at it?
‘We knew what he was aiming for in Liverpool, the target was top 10 to top 15.
‘As it turned out he was only three seconds off fifth and an automatic place in the team. He was only six seconds off a bronze medal and 21 seconds behind the winner who is top, top class.
‘It’s exceptional for someone so young.’
Stamps’ group of athletes will be inspired by their training partner’s success.
The progress reflects his talent but also, crucially, his hard work in training, including doing group core sessions with Paul Smith which are really paying off.
‘Lachie is keeping his feet firmly on the ground,’ added Stamp.
‘The group all work as one and Lachie’s success lifts all of them up. I’m so pleased for him.
‘He’s got a great racing brain and he takes things on board.
‘Lachie doesn’t do silly things. Everything seems to be calculated, even for such a young mind.’
British Athletics will take 40 athletes to race across three age groups – senior, under-23 and juniors – at the championships in Slovakia on Sunday, December 10.