PHIL Mowbray, a 21-year-old Edinburgh University student, made history

yesterday when he became the first member of Hunters Bog Trotters to

gain full selection for Britain.

But the honour could prompt the club to ask him to resign. For, in

being one of four Scots named to compete against Russia, in the 3000

metres at Birmingham's National Arena a week on Saturday, Mowbray has

broken an unwritten HBT club rule.

Trotters frown on egotism, those who take themselves too seriously,

and particularly on the too-intense pursuit of excellence. Winning races

is discouraged, even ensured, by the most bizarre means. Some of their

number, for example, even stop during road and cross-country races, when

the location of hostelries permits, to partake of a pint, ideally of

real ale, before continuing.

Tom McKean, Brian Whittle, and Mel Neef, from mainstream Scottish

clubs, may find it hard to adjust to Fifer Mowbray.

They are a non-elitist bunch, the chocolate-vested Trotters. They take

their name from an area in Edinburgh's Holyrood Park, and not, as the

Scottish Amateur Athletic Association believed when initially denying

them the right to the name, from anything with lavatorial connotations.

The most coveted club honour is the Golden Trotter vest, awarded to

the last person after each race, and passed, unwashed, week by week, to

the successive last man. The holder at the season's end wins the Golden

Trotter -- a freshly severed pig's foot from the local butcher, which is

then carefully spray-painted gold.

Mowbray, however, while showing hedonistic tendencies to compare with

the best of his colleagues, is repeatedly showing what his club will

view as a disconcerting ability, and a British vest will rank as the

ultimate heresy.

Last year, he was Britain's fastest under-23 metric miler, ranked

fourth senior in Scotland at 1500m with 3-41.63. On Hogmanay he stunned

English pundits when he scored a runaway victory in a 3000m

cross-country event at Durham -- a special race for track runners, in

which his victims included former world 1500m champion Steve Cram, and

major championship medallists Mark Rowland, John Mayock, and Matthew


McKean, who took the Scottish West District 800m title last weekend at

the Kelvin Hall, is a predictable choice for the McDonald's

International, teaming up with Craig Winrow for the distance at which he

is still reigning world indoor champion.

Whittle, twice European Indoor Championship silver medallist at 400m,

returns to indoor racing for the first time in almost two years, chosen

for that distance and the relay. Neef, who broke Linsey Macdonald's

12-year-old national 200m record last weekend, has declined individual

selection, and goes only in the 4X400m relay.

Britain lost last year's match by 28 points, and though Colin Jackson

goes in both the 60m hurdles and flat 60m, and John Regis in the 200m,

several leading performers, including Linford Christie, are unavailable.

Great Britain team:

Men. 60m: C Jackson, M Rosswess. 200m: J Regis, D Braithwaite. 400m: B

Whittle, G Bullock. 800m: C Winrow, T McKean. 1500m: B Treacy, I Grime.

3000m: P Mowbray, S White. 60m hurdles: Jackson, T Jarrett. High jump: D

Grant, B Reilly. Long jump: F Salle, B Williams. Triple jump: J Golley,

F Agyepong. Pole vault: K Hughes, A Ashcroft. Shot: M Proctor, L Newman.

4 x 400m relay from: Whittle, Bullock, M Hylton, K Ulyatt, J Baulch, A


Women. 60m: S Douglas, P Thomas. 200m: Thomas, S Williams. 400m: S

Earnshaw, T Joseph. 800m: S Bowyer, C Dawson. 1500m: A Griffiths, L

Gibson. 3000m: A Wyeth, D Gunning. 60m hurdles: J Agyepong, S

Farquharson. High jump: D Marti, L Haggett. Long jump: Y Idowu, D Lewis.

Triple jump: A Hansen, M Griffith. Pole vault: K Staples, P Wilson.

Shot: J Oakes, M Lynes. 4 x 400m relay from: Earnshaw, Joseph, M Neef, E

Sutcliffe, M Thomas, N Crowther.

* PETER Fleming, who withdrew from the Scotland team for last year's

Commonwealth Games for personal reasons, finished leading Briton in the

Houston marathon in the USA. Fleming, recently based in Colorado, but

from the Leslie Deans club in Edinburgh, recorded 2hr 13min 35sec,

placing fifth in a race won by Peter Fonseca (Canada, 2-11-52).