Tonbridge’s Taylor and West are hot on the heels of success

Tonbridge's Taylor and West are hot on the heels of success
ON THE RIGHT TRACK: Nicole Taylor (centre) runs in the England 10,000 metres

In a stiff wind on a rainy Friday event, Taylor set the early pace alongside Team GB marathon runner Tracy Barlow of Thames Valley.

The pair slowly pulled away from the chasing racers as they passed two miles, a third of the way through the race, in 10min 45sec.

But when they reached the halfway point of the 25 laps, Taylor went to the front and she would never surrender the lead.

By the time she reached four miles in 21:40, her lead had built to 30 metres. The gap grew to 200m and she stopped the clock at 33:31.35, a personal best and beating the Tonbridge club record by 22 seconds.

“It’s such a surprise,” she said. “I was aiming to go for something around 34 minutes, so I was planning to just go with the pacer and see what happens. I’m so happy.”

SHOW YOUR METTLE: Nicole Taylor with her gold medal

Tonbridge’s cross country manager Mark Hookway said: “Nicole has been running with the club for 10 years now and has made steady progress into the senior ranks.

“She is probably in the best form of her life now, having run 15min 57sec for 5km on the road recently and then 33:31 for 10km on the track to win the England Championship.

“She is very dedicated and has a strong relationship with her coach Richard Owen. That has helped ensure consistency in her training.”

James West set a new Tonbridge Athletic Club 1500 metres record competing in the United States at the Brooks PR Invitational meeting.

His time of 3min 35.74sec improved on Olympian Andy Graffin’s previous best, set in 2001, and was inside the World Championships qualifying time.

IN THE RUNNING: James West is vying for a place at the World Championships

The race in Seattle was won by Scotland’s Josh Kerr, who recorded 3:33.60 to break Steve Cram’s British under-23 age group record. The times put both Kerr and West at the top of the UK rankings and inside the world top 15.

Hookway said: “James has bounced back to top form after a difficult few months. Having suffered an Achilles injury, he struggled at the end of the indoor season and was disqualified for a false start at the outdoor Regional Championships.

“However, getting the qualifying time for the World Championships in Doha in September, might be the easiest part of the selection process, as Great Britain is currently blessed with 1500m runners who challenge on the world stage.”

The British trials will be held at the end of August. The team can include three competitors for any event, with the first two at the trials gaining automatic selection provided they have achieved the necessary standard.

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