A SELECT group of athletes from Rotherham Harriers will rub shoulders with some of the best young track and field competitors in the country this weekend.
Eight of the club's prospects have won selection for this weekend's English Schools National Athletics Championships in Manchester, representing three different counties.
In South Yorkshire colours will be Melissa Coxon in the senior girls 400m hurdles, Lilia Harris (junior girls 1500m), Henry Parker (junior boys 300m) and Evie Thomson (inter girls 1500m).
Lucy Forrest goes for Nottinghamshire in the senior girls hammer and three of her Harriers clubmates are in the Derbyshire team.
They are Angelique Abberley and Maisy Heggie in the inter girls 300m hurdles and Caitlin McCloy in the junior girls 800m.
As with most things, the event has had to be modified because of the Covid pandemic.
For the championships, each county selects a team of athletes who must meet both the performance standard for their event and age group and be selected by their county.
This year the entry standards apply but each event has a reduced number of competitors to a maximum of 16, based on the national performance table achievements for the top 16.
The format of the event has also changed from a two-day championships with qualifying heats and semi-finals to three separate days for each of the three age groups.
The Senior (Year 12 and 13) events are today, the Intermediate (Years 10 and 11) on Saturday and the Junior (years 8 and 9) on Sunday.
Harriers secretary Steve Gaines said: “In 'normal' years it is difficult to gain selection because the standards are high, but this year's reduced numbers make it harder.
“The club and club coaches are very proud that eight of our athletes have won through.”