Teenager Olivia Montez-Brown has set her sights on an Olympic appearance after accepting a coveted scholarship from an American university.
West Cheshire AC member Montez-Brown, 19, has committed to South Dakota University and will head to the States in January where the multi-eventer will benefit from top-class coaching with the NCAA Division Two school while she studies for a degree.
The talents of the former Ellesmere Port Catholic High School pupil caught the eye of scouts from across the pond and she was notified of South Dakota’s interest via a Facebook message out of the blue.
“I was inboxed by someone from South Dakota and they asked me if I would be interested in coming over and taking up a scholarship and I jumped at the chance,” said Great Sutton resident Montez-Brown, whose father David hails from America.
“I have always wanted to go and study and train in America as it is the best place in the world to get world-class training and to compete at a high level.
“The competition over there is fierce and I really want to get out there and challenge myself against some of the best.”
A hugely talented all-rounder, Montez-Brown represented England at the World Schools Championships in 2013 and is currently ranked third in the UK for the under 20s 80m hurdles.
She also won a gold medal at the North West Schools Heptathlon final with 4,322 points last year after achieving a silver medal at Bedford in the England Athletics U20 heptathon.
Montez-Brown, who thanked the coaches at West Cheshire AC for their contribution to her development, isn’t fazed about making the move to America and has set her sights on achieving a career in the sport.
And with scholarships hard to come by, especially for overseas students, Montez-Brown is aiming to seize her chance.
“I can’t wait to get out there,” said Montez-Brown, who hopes to study physical education and teaching.
“It’s a big move for me but it will be a tremendous experience. It’s for a year initially but it could be for as many as four years.
“I am just going to be training hard until then and making sure I’m ready. I’d love to make it professionally and make an Olympic squad in the future.
“That’s my ambition.”
Harvey strides out at cross country event
Harvey Tegg helped steer West Cheshire AC to success at the first cross country fixture of the season.
Harvey was third in the under 13 boys race at the opening round of the North Staffs League held at Winsford, posting a time of 13 minutes 21 seconds.
He was backed up by teammates Isaac Tait (ninth in 13:42) and Ethan Butler (16th in 14:14) to earn their club top spot in the team competition.
Other West Cheshire under 13 finishers included Charlie Potts (20th in 14:29), Matthew Douglass (25th in 14:34), Dylan Bugg (32nd in 15:12) and Ivor Smith (58th in 21:07).
Tamsin O’Keefe secured third spot with a time of 8:21 in the under 13 girls race, ahead of Lucia Pyne (ninth in 8:41), Molly Jones (16th in 9:08), Hollie Jones (22nd in 9:14) and Abigail Cartwright (31st in 9:31), to earn West Cheshire second team position.
Jac Goodall (ninth in 15:12) headed West Cheshire’s charge in the under 15 boys race, ahead of Sion Roberts (12th in 15:34), Alex Mason (21st in 16:16), Rory Willson (27th in 16:44), Patrick Tait (32nd in 17:21) and Oliver Dandy (41st in 18:49), while Adam Carlile finished the under 17 men’s race in a time of 23:38 for 20th position.
Imogen Pughe (12th in 6:53), Carys Roberts (18th in 7:03) and Nina Willson (59th in 9:00) combined for West Cheshire in the under 11 girls race, while Henry Robinson (10th in 8:41), Charlie McMullan (13th in 8:53) and Fergus Garland (24th in 9:12) represented West Cheshire in the under 11 boys race.
Beth McMahon (27th in 16:13), Lily Moorhouse (33rd in 17:02) and Lauren Moore (37th in 17:53) completed the under 15 girls event, and Katie Clarke (seventh in 17:16) finished the under 17 women’s race.
Ellie Robinson (34th in 24:22) and Anne-Marie Tait (100th in 27:38) completed the women’s race, while Dave Alexander headed the West Cheshire men’s charge, finishing 23rd in 38:55, supported by Andrew Clague (73rd in 42:04), Bob Benson (167th in 47:08), who was second in his over 60 age group in his first-ever North Staffs League appearance and second season doing cross-country at all, and Peter Smith (255th in 54:35).
Emily Ball, George Hyde and Isobel Griffin Morris made it a hat-trick of victories for West Cheshire AC at the Final Flings Meeting staged at Wrexham.
Ball produced a new personal best of 12.56m to win the under 20 women’s shot put competition and finished second in the discus with 37.67m, while Hyde powered his way to success in the under 15 boys shot with a put of 14.69 and Griffin Morris spun the under 17 women’s discus to a winning mark of 38.88m.
Evie Tipping hit 8.30m for third spot in the under 13 girls shot, and hit new personal bests in the discus (22.59m) and hammer (21.12m), and Will Scott hit a new personal best in the under 15 boys hammer with 19.51m.
Andrew's Sandstone success
Andrew Clague of West Cheshire completed the Sandstone Trail A Race in two hours, 12 minutes and 20 seconds.
It was enough to secure him a 10th-placed finish.
He finished ahead of clubmates Ian Gloyne-Phillips (13th in 2:15:58), Andrew Carter (73rd in 2:36:48) and Mark Davies (79th in 2:38:12), while Lisa Davies (58th in 1:36:54) completed the B race.
Meanwhile, Bob Benson won the overall over 60 men’s title after the final round of the Wirral Multi Terrain League Series.
Bob finished the final round at Arrowe Park, Birkenhead, in 97th position with a time of 31:07 to clinch his age group title.
He was joined at the fixture by Mark Davies (18th in 27:05), Jeff McQueen (31st in 27:45), Andrew Clague (40th in 28:17), Andrew Carter (52nd in 29:09), Ian Gloyne-Phillips (57th in 29:20), George Dewhurst (138th in 33:35), Mark Povey (186th in 37:22) and Dave Brierley (204th in 44:45), while Anest Muller finished 36th with 35:22 in the women’s race, and Anna Crayston (third in 16:59) and Hollie Jones (fifth in 18:31) completed the junior girls race.
Rob Freeman (sixth in 20:15), Rosemary Rogers (17th in 23:53) and Clive Sykes (72nd in 37:18) represented West Cheshire at the Ellesmere Port Park Run.
In the Delamere Park Run, finishers included Graham Wells (fourth in a new pb of 18:35), Charlie Clarke (36th in a new pb of 23:13), Mike Perchard (76th in 25:26) and Luke Parker (100th in a pb of 26:22).
Tickets are on sale at West Cheshire AC training sessions for the club’s Celebration Party on Friday (October 2), at Cheshire View, Plough Lane, Christleton (7.30pm start).
Fixtures this weekend include the first round of the North Wales Cross Country League at Bangor, on Saturday.