ATHLETES from the Vale were among the leading finishers at the Hereford & Worcester Schools’ Cross Country Championships.
Heavy rain had turned parts of the Hereford Racecourse venue into a mudbath and meant Saturday’s event was a true challenge for the young athletes, who were also fighting for places to represent the county at the New Balance English Schools’ Cross Country Championships, which take place at Wollaton Park in Nottingham next month.
The junior girls’ (school years eight and nine) race was won by Christopher Whitehead (Worcester) pupil Rosie Webb, who was followed in by Hereford Cathedral School’s Lucy Austin in second and Anna Nicod from St Augustine’s of Redditch in third.
Representing the South Worcestershire district were Bredon Hill Middle School’s Lottie Roberts and Susannah Hoare who finished fifth and 11th respectively.
In the junior boys’ competition Lady Hawkins’ (near Hereford) Sam Roberts took the county schools’ championship title and he was followed in by Lawrence Hooker from Malvern College and Lachlan MacPhail from King Charles in Kidderminster in second and third respectively.
Sam Morgan of Pershore High School finished seventh representing South Worcestershire.
Two more St Augustine’s athletes made selection to the county team, this time in the intermediate girls’ (years ten and 11) competition, as Ellen Bowen finished second and Alice Battey third in a race won by Bromsgrove School’s Abigail Saker and which saw Prince Henry’s High School’s (South Worcestershire) Eleanor Tarring finish 11th.
There was a Redditch district victory in the intermediate boys’ race which was won by RSA Academy Arrow Vale’s Gareth Richardson.
South Bromsgrove’s Tom Bailey was second and Tom Deykin from Trinity High in Redditch finished third, with Lewis Osborne of Prince Henry’s High School 11th representing South Worcestershire.
Worcester City district schools dominated the senior girls’ competition (years 12 and 13) as Worcester Sixth Form College’s Sophie Tothill took the title, followed in by Royal Grammar School’s Nixie Turner and The King’s School’s Helen Jubb in second and third respectively.
Dan Stock, also from The King’s School in Worcester, won the senior boys’ race, ahead of Waseley Hills’ (Rubery) Conor Smith and Lewis Sternkopf from Royal Grammar School in Worcester who were second and third respectively.
Only the top six places in both the junior and intermediate categories have guaranteed county places for the English Schools’ Cross Country Championships, with the top three places being guaranteed for the senior category. Eight will be selected from each category in total.