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Hereford student Clara Evans out to claim Great Britain spot
CLARA Evans has hit the ground running in her new discipline — and hopes to secure a Great Britain spot this summer.
The 18-year-old athlete from Hereford has already helped England’s junior team to victory at Keswick in her maiden fell running season.
August promises to be an important month for Clara — she has GB trials for the World Mountain Running Championships and will pick up her A-level results.
Clara is no stranger to success — she’s won the female section of the Herefordshire Cross-Country League for the past two years.
She is also a regular runner on the road and on the track last season, she was ranked second in the UK for 10km, 6km and 5km.
“I have just finished my A-levels and I am going to start going to the Malvern Hills,” said Clara, who hopes to study geography at the University of Glamorgan.
“I have been a member of Hereford and County Athletics Club since I was eight years old because my friends wanted to go.
“I think all of the top athletes in the country are good role models to follow and I am very much enjoying the fell running.”
Clara is coached in Hereford by Vic Tarrant and Bill Berry and decided to start fell running this year to help make her running stronger.
“She seems to enjoy it more than the track running and this is what she wants to concentrate on,” said mum Sheryl.
“She has always enjoyed the cross-country a bit more than the track.”
The teenager has made an instant impact in the fell running world.
She was called up for the England set-up after catching the selectors’ eyes with a sixth-placed finish at the UK European Trails in Sedburgh.
Clara was then part of the winning England team, finishing eighth in the junior section, at the Karrimor Great Trail Challenge Home Nations International Race.
The Hereford Sixth Form College student performed creditably over the 550-metre mountain climb and descent over the fast 5.5km course.
“Now I have been selected for England it has made me more hungry to keep my place in the England team and push harder to get into the Great Britain squad,” she said.
“I am hoping to impress the selectors at the World Championship trials in the Lake District on August 5.”
She added: “Since I started running for Hereford and County Athletics Club, I have always dreamt of running for England and Great Britain.”
Clara’s mum Sheryl said her daughter would need to finish in the top four at the World Mountain Running Championships trial to secure a GB place.
“It’s going to be an exciting time for Clara — we will also be waiting to hear her exam results.”
Clara is part of Dave Walker’s track athletes training group in Worcester and a member of the Halo’s Elite scheme.