Coach praises teenage talent for competing with the best

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Mari Smith has been praised by her coach, Bill Winters, for the way she has coped with competing at a higher levels this season.

The Frisby teenager won a bronze medal in the junior women’s race at the national championships on Saturday.

She also won a silver as part of the Great Britain team at the European juniors in France in December.

And later this month she is running for GB in the world student games championships.

After her latest triumph at the weekend, Bill said: “It is all a steep learning curve and she is coping with it brilliantly.

“The main thing is to enjoy the experiences and savour the moments.

“Mari has worked hard and been very patient and is now enjoying the rewards of all that endeavour.”

Bill said he had expected Mari to contest for a medal at the nationals at the weekend but he said it was a fine achievement against a top quality runners.

“Her race on Saturday was on a par with all her recent performances,” he added.

“At the World university event she will be with girls who are older and more experienced at this level. However, I still expect her to give a good account of herself and take some notable scalps.”

l Turn to the back page for more on Saturday’s race.