Finn Birnie Selected for England Cross Country Team

Last weekend Finn, Alex, Harris, Elliot and Emily travelled up to Witton Park, Blackburn, to compete for Cornwall at the English Schools National Cross Country Championships. In addition to the usual medals and trophies, for the top eight in each race the prize was selection to run for England in the SIAB Cross-Country International against Wales, Ireland and Scotland in Dublin next weekend.

 

Finn, Alex, Harris and Elliot made up half the Cornwall Junior Boys team and were the second race on the programme. The course (3.5km) was a combination of flat ground and the eye-catching ‘saucer’; a long steep climb followed by an equally long fast downhill section. Despite the rain over the previous couple of days the ground was fairly dry, with some short very muddy sections.

 

Competing against the best runners in the country, Finn had a great start which got him into a good position with the leading pack. He stayed with this group throughout the race to finally come in 8th overall. After a lot of hard training, Finn now has his international selection to add to a long list of prestigious results over the last two years. Well done, Finn!

 

Truro Schools Runners in the Cornwall Cross County Team

Truro School’s Students at the National Cross Country Championships 2015

 

But it was not all about Finn on the day. Harris, running a ‘year young’ in the same race, showed his growing ability by storming round the course to come 26th out of 341 finishers. Of those a ‘year young’ in the race, this ranked him 5th in the country. Alexander just keeps on improving this winter, coming in 4th for the Cornish team with a fine 131st and Elliot, given the standard of the competition and the fact that he is also a ‘year young’, had an excellent race (250th). The boys helped the Cornwall team to 12th on the day (out of 45 counties), the top south-west county, and the highest placed Cornwall team.

 

Not to be outdone, Emily lead the Cornwall Junior Girls team home later in the day (when the muddier sections were getting even worse) with a terrific 90th out of 345 finishers.

 

Other than Finn’s race next weekend, this concluded the cross country season and all the school cross country runners would like to thank their coach, Mr. Knowles, for all his help, guidance and training sessions throughout the year.