After a long winter’s training, at the weekend, Finn, Alexander, Harris, Benjy and Isaac travelled to Temple Newsam, Leeds, to run for Cornwall in the English Schools Cross Country Championships.
Each county was fielding a team of eight for each race, so our athletes were competing against the best runners in their age groups from across the country. The standard of competition was high, and the conditions could not have been tougher – icy winds, flurries of snow, a very hilly course and plenty of sticky, heavy mud. But, all our athletes showed they were up for the challenge.
The star performance of the day came from Harris in the Intermediate Boys’ race (5km). He moved up toward the front of the field early in the race and gradually settled into 8th position which he then maintained comfortably throughout. By finishing in the top eight, he gained selection for the England team competing in the home international in Nottingham next weekend. This is Harris’ second England selection following his English Schools Junior Boys win two years ago. This apparently ‘comfortable’ result belies the fact that Harris has been plagued by injury and illness for much of the winter; it is a great achievement. Benjy also competed in this race coming in 152nd (3rd in the Cornish team) out of 339 finishers, a very good result given that he is a year young in this age group.
In the Senior Boys race (6.3km), Finn also produced an excellent performance. He positioned himself behind the leading pack for much of the race and then timed his finish superbly to come in 9th. In doing so, although a year young, he beat a raft of England internationals. There is no Senior Boys England team running in next weekend’s home international, but Finn has had such a good season that it must only be a matter of time before he gets the opportunity to represent England again. In the same race, Alexander, also a year young, had a very good run, coming in 178th out of 312 finishers. Both he and Finn were scoring runners for the strong Cornish team which came 10th out of 39 counties, Cornwall’s best team result of the day.
In the Junior Boys race (4km), Isaac ran really well, leading home the Cornish team with an excellent placing of 134th out of 346 finishers.
Other than Harris’ race next weekend, this concluded our athletes’ very successful cross country season. They will now turn their attention to the forthcoming track season.