In­sep­a­ra­ble duo mak­ing great strides

Macclesfield Express - - TRAVEL - ATH­LET­ICS SI­MON CARTER

BEST friends can be hard to sep­a­rate, but over a 1500 me­tres race to qual­ify for the English Na­tional School’s Cham­pi­onships one might ex­pect a hair’s breadth at least.

Loreto Gram­mar School’s bril­liant mid­dle dis­tance run­ners Clau­dia Cowan and Beth Bar­low fin­ished in a dead heat to qual­ify for the English Na­tional School’s Cham­pi­onships in Birm­ing­ham this week­end, both record­ing 4 min­utes 35.5 sec­onds ex­actly.

Clau­dia, 17, from Chea­dle Hulme, who runs for Sale Har­ri­ers was quick to say: “We weren’t hold­ing hands over the line or any­thing like that, both of us wanted to win.

“We’re great friends and have been in the same classes for last six years.”

Beth, 17, from Gat­ley, who runs for Sal­ford Har­ri­ers and is a for­mer un­der-14 na­tional 1500 me­tre cham­pion, agreed: “I wouldn’t say it was a fierce ri­valry more of a friendly ri­valry and cer­tainly Loreto’s sports days are al­ways re­ally com­pet­i­tive, but put it this way nei­ther of us would have wanted to lose.”

The girls will have another op­por­tu­nity to com­pete not just against each other but the cream of young English tal­ent in Birm­ing­ham this week­end in what is re­mark­ably the fourth largest ath­let­ics meet­ing any­where in the word.

Their sim­i­lar­i­ties don’t stop with their su­perb run­ning, with both girls each get­ting a mag­nif­i­cent nine A*s and one A in the GCSEs though Clau­dia wants to read Law at uni­ver­sity and Beth Medicine.

Both the girls chimed: “We’d like to pur­sue our ath­let­ics as far as pos­si­ble, but we both want to go to uni­ver­sity”

Loreto Gram­mar School’s Head of Phys­i­cal Ed­u­ca­tion Cather­ine Ball said: “To have one run­ner qual­ify for the English Schools’ Cham­pi­onships is re­mark­able, two is sim­ply as­ton­ish­ing and owes much to their ded­i­ca­tion, hard-work and yes friendly ri­valry over the years.”

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