Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hit and Miss for Unlucky Stacey

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

Hit and Miss for Unlucky Stacey

Article excerpt

Byline: BILL McGUIRK

STACEY SMITH is a disappointed athlete after missing out on a place in this weekend's Indoor International at Glasgow's Kelvin Hall.

Despite heading the UK rankings over 3,000 metres for the indoor season, the spot has gone to seasoned international Helen Clitheroe.

She will represent the Aviva GB&NI team which takes on visiting sides Germany, Sweden, USA and a Commonwealth Select.

Smith showed she is in superb form by posting the fastest time by a comfortable margin in last weekend's Durham Cathedral Relays.

And she was hoping to get a call for the Scotland fixture to gain experience prior to running in the Trials for the European Championships.

"I had my fingers crossed that I would make the team, but it wasn't to be," said 20-yearold Smith.

"I haven't got much experience racing indoors, but if I had been selected it would have given me the chance to race against top-class athletes before the trials for the European Championships."

Whether racing on the boards or over the country, Smith has shown in recent weeks she can adapt to all surfaces.

Just before Christmas in Sheffield she recorded 9min 17.71secs over 3,000 metres indoors. Then, after struggling to get in some decent training sessions due to the freezing conditions, she came out at Durham and showed that she hadn't lost any fitness.

With two excellent performances behind her the Gateshead Harrier can't wait to get going again in what will be a huge year for her, especially with the Olympics just over 18 months away.

Smith is advised by Mick Woods, arguably one of the country's leading endurance coaches at the moment - he currently has Steph Twell and Charlotte Purdue among numerous others under his wing. It's a partnership which seems to work well despite the pair being separated by 300 miles.

"Mick and I speak to each other at least every other day and he sets my sessions and suggests which races to go for," she said.

"He's been with a group in Kenya recently, so that has been a bit of a problem, but he returns today so we'll soon get back in to the swing of things. …

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