York athletes bid for glory at Sainsbury's British Championships

York Press: Great Britain's Richard Buck runs in the semi finals of the Men's 400m during day two of the 21st European Athletics Championships at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium Great Britain's Richard Buck runs in the semi finals of the Men's 400m during day two of the 21st European Athletics Championships at the Helsinki Olympic Stadium

CITY of York Athletic Club have an unprecedented fab four taking part in the British Championships.

Chairman Neil Hunter has hailed the "amazing weekend" for the Huntington Stadium-based outfit as Richard Buck, Scott Lincoln, Rebecca Campsall and Dan Cheeseman prepare to face the best in the country at the three-day games, which start this evening, at the Alexander Stadium in Birmingham.

In the decade he has been at the helm of the club, Hunter said he "could not remember a time" when so many COYAC athletes were representing the organisation on the highest stage.

"These are amazing days," Hunter enthused. "It is really good to see that we have got real life young role models and that others can see what hard work and ability can do.

"It is fantastic. I can't remember anything like this happening before in my time as chairman. This is an invitational event, based on times and distance, so you can't just turn up.

"From the club's point of view, it is fantastic that the hard work of both the coaches and the athletes are paying off by appearances in these high quality games."

Buck begins his bid for 400 metres glory today, competing in heats that include the likes of Olympic athletes Luke Lennon-Ford, Nigel Levine and Michael Bingham, while Campsall - fresh from running a personal best 12.13 seconds earlier this month - lines up in 100 metre heats the following day.

Cheeseman will be bidding to reach the final of the 1500 metres with heats staged tomorrow, while Lincoln - ranked fourth in the nation - will have high hopes of medalling in the shot put on Sunday.

A fifth York member, young sprinting sensation Tom Somers, was also invited to the championships but has opted to run at a junior event in Mannheim, in Germany, as he prepares for the World Junior Championships in Eugene, Oregon, later this year.

The quartet are also joined by former club junior Jessica Taylor, who is running the 100 metres hurdles in preparation for the Commonwealth Games next month - where she has been selected for England in the heptathlon.

While Buck and Campsall are now coached away from the club, they still run in City of York colours and were given their foundations in their respective disciplines at Huntington Stadium.

And Hunter hopes their success, and that of Lincoln and Cheeseman, can serve to motivate the next generation of youngsters bidding for stardom.

"This is big for us," he added. "Over the last few years we have increasingly done well in different competitions - in cross country and other running events - but this is the first time we have had so many athletes representing us at such a major championships and across the disciplines.

"It is fantastic to be able to compete against that level of athlete and measure yourself against the best. We are hoping for all four to come back with personal bests and a great deal more experience."

"We would be absolutely delighted if they could get a medal. It would mean a ready made speaker for the club's annual dinner."

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